“For a star to be born, there is one that must happen: a gaseous nebula must collapse.
So collapse. Crumble.
This is not your destruction. This is your birth.” -Anonymous
When a person commits not only a societal sin, but a religious sin as well, how does she revitalize her reputation, dreams, and goals? Maybe she listens to society, believing that her “immoral” choice is the end of her or possibly she listens to that voice within uttering “I have not counted you out.”
We live in a generation that juggles modern and traditional beliefs. If I have learned anything on my journey, it is we must never waiver from our values. We must courageously uphold our beliefs with dignity. Unfortunately, this concept diminished as I grew older. I was a hopeless romantic willing to do anything to love and be loved, even if that meant straying from my moral compass. “It is the 21st century; no man waits until marriage for a woman,” “It is better to live together before tying the knot, so it will not end in divorce,” and “An engagement ring is not in our budget at the moment, neither can we afford the wedding of your dreams,” are only a few examples of the lies I allowed to be implanted into my mind.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)
So, my ex-boyfriend and I moved in our home and started our lives together. All the while I held aspirations of becoming a national pageant titleholder, publicly speaking about my platform “Women-to-Be”, writing a book about my journey of stepping into my calling, and making a NFL cheerleading team. Yes, bizarre right? I was aspiring to be an influential and Godly woman all the while consensually going against my own beliefs for the sake of love. God continuously revealed to me that I was not receiving His best and that a life of sin would only lead to destruction. I experienced serious financial hardships. My confidence was at an all-time low. I put “love” before my education, and I lost all motivation to go after my dreams. I continued to depend on “love” from a man that was not willing to love me the way God loves us, and eventually my sin lead to a life changer: my daughter.
The same male I chose over my beliefs, my education, and my aspirations is no longer the love of my life. I am now a single mother attempting to count myself back into a society that has counted me out. I truly believe my daughter is a blessing and a lesson. The blessing is that I am entrusted with full responsibility of raising an infant girl to be a phenomenal woman. Can you believe God would assign such a huge responsibility to a sinner like me? That is where the lesson occurs. The lesson is that sin brings about nothing but destruction and challenging consequences. As a result of my sin, I am forced to care for a child in a single-parent home. My family is currently incomplete.
Let us not forget the public humiliation of being criticized by others for having a baby out of wed-lock. Did I also add that my possibilities of fulfilling my aspirations have been narrowed dramatically because most pageants do not cater to women with kids, more specifically unmarried women with kids? I also am faced with heavy financial burdens that make my journey even more challenging.
“Your beauty should not come outward adornment…Rather, it should be that your inner self, the unfading beauty of gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)
Some may question why I let myself venture so far away from my beliefs and place myself in such a difficult predicament? Truth is I was searching for love in all the wrong places. After being bullied for my appearance throughout elementary school, feeling like the outcast (an ugly duckling) in dance school because I was the only African-American in my class, and dealing with older boys who were after everything but my heart, I was an absolute mess. I did not know my own worth. I desired to be anyone and everyone else but myself, because I just was not good enough in my own eyes. I was attempting to fill a void. I was naïve to the idea that God is the only One that can make me whole and overwhelm me with His love. I will not be able to properly love myself or anyone else without experiencing God’s love for me by building a relationship with Him.
“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV)
Here I am, three months after the birth of my beautiful angel, recreating my life and redefining my journey. When others count you out, God counts you in. The pageant I yearned to compete in for the past 2 years, Miss Georgia South, now features the Ms. Division group, which grants me the opportunity to compete and prayerfully accomplish my goals. I recently arranged lessons with a superb, well-known pageant coach. I am also on a journey to reaching my goal of becoming a national titleholder. I have launched a blog and arranged speaking engagements for my platform and for single mothers. I will also be directing a pageant for successful and influential single mothers (never married, divorced, or widowed). Currently, I am a Health Services Administration major online while maintaining a full-time job to care for my little princess. My expected graduation date is in Spring 2016. As my daughter advances in age, I will pursue my dream of becoming a professional cheerleader/dancer.
I am evidence that with God all things are possible and no matter how dark the past may be, if you seek and follow God, he can bring light to your situation and transform your life. He forgives all sin, even those that the world cannot seem to let go. I am seeking the crown without a veil.
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