Normally when I am prepping for a pageant it is my LIFE. It was the summer before Miss Colorado USA 2014. After I was first runner up in Teen the year before I was sure that the next year was my year, and that I could take the title. But two months before the pageant, tragedy struck. My high school sweetheart, Paul G. Nahon III and I were in Estes Park, Colorado climbing the biggest 14er in Rocky Mountain National Park, Long’s Peak. A fun adventurous day turned into the most unimaginable nightmare, when he fell 150 feet to his death. As you only can imagine how a 19 year old girl would feel, lost and completely shattered.
Last year I read the “She Is More” blog constantly. It was so cool hearing all the different stories of what woman had been through and it was somewhat inspiring. I was never a religious person and when it came to the faith based blogs, I would most likely just skim through them or scroll past them. This whole year has been a battle. I was a huge believer in everything happening for a reason, but I think the hardest thing we have to face as human beings is when you can’t find justification in why awful things happen.
Not having a church to fall back on or a religious base made everything even harder without me even realizing it. After the accident, finding joy was very hard. I lost joy in things I loved. I couldn’t get myself to put on my dance shoes again.
I connected with Paul on so many levels, especially through music. We definitely had our favorites and “our songs” and every time I would hear one on the radio or at a public event, I hoped he was with me.
This past Easter led up like an average Easter, it really didn’t consist of much besides maybe posting “Happy Easter!” on my instagram. But for some reason this year was different. I woke up early and wanted to go to church. I guess if you knew me, you would know that either waking up early or searching online for a good church in Los Angeles isn’t really me.
Next thing I know I am barely making it to the 11 o’clock service sitting in the back of Mosaic. As the worship came to an end, they started playing this video on the projection screen. The video was a montage showing all these people who had gone through a hard time, and their quick blurbs about how once they “found God” things changed. In that moment, I got so mad, so angry. How?!? “How can you just find something and start believing and it fixes everything and makes your life better??” After my upset train of thought, the video ended and the lights went out, one of my songs
with Paul started playing, lights begin to sparkle throughout the room and blonde dancer began to dance down the aisles. It was our song, and dancers, blonde dancers!! Yep, I lost it.
Since that day, I let go, I surrendered, because at that moment in time, Paul was there, God was there for me when I needed Him so desperately. I know he is here, I know he is okay and I know I will get to see him again one day.
One last thing to tie everything in. Last summer, before everything happened, I was signed up to compete in Miss Colorado USA in the fall. I was expected to win. Everything on paper seemed right. But my heart was shattered glass. Lexy was gone. I remember getting my hair and makeup done and looking in the mirror and just staring at myself. I remember wishing that all I had on my mind was competing and getting excited for the show but I was so far away from that being possible. I could have called the production company to drop out, but that wasn’t what Paul would do. I didn’t want to be a quitter on top of everything else.
Looking back, I can’t even imagine representing my state of Colorado in the state of mind I was in. Last year wasn’t “my year” in the pageant world, but it was my year to heal, my year to grow, and my year to find myself again. Last fall was the first time in my pageant career that I didn’t place Top 15. Was it a mistake that I competed? I don’t know. I never will. It was all a part of my process, grieving of the loss of my best friend.
So many of us go through some awful things in this world, I just experienced it a little sooner than others. No matter what we decide, or how we handle our hardships, God is there. God saved me this year. He has slowly built me back up to do things I have never done before. This April I ran my first marathon, I finished school when I didn’t think I could, and I organized an event in Paul’s honor. Two weeks ago we had The Play Like Paul 5k Run/Walk for Paul’s athletic scholarship fund, we had nearly 300 runners that day!
If he was there for me, He is there for you. And if you haven’t yet, you will find Him.
If Lexy’s message blessed you, be a blessing by sharing with others.