CHANGE. Such a simple word, yet, can be so intimidating. It is often one of the biggest unknown challenges a person will face.
Change is one of the main topics that I consistently discuss when I talk with my family and friends. From being scared to step out of their comfort zone, walking away from a dream they wanted, letting go of the people or things that bring negative energy to their life, or even deciding that they finally had enough from that uncaring boyfriend/husband of theirs, change can come in any form. It all revolves around that one word; CHANGE.
One of my favorite verses that I always like to turn to when dealing with this issue is Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 speak volume to me every time I read it.
I remember having to make one of the hardest decisions of my life when I had to come to realization that my dream of being Miss Alabama USA was not God’s plan for me. It was a dream that I had for myself since I can remember and dedicated so much of my life to. Each year I competed; there were countless hours spent in the gym, so much money put towards it, having to constantly train myself into being mentally prepared, etc. In 2010, I placed second alternate and when you’re that close to winning, it makes it even more difficult to not crave achieving that dream.
My mind was so set on winning this title because I felt like it was the only path to getting me to where I wanted to go or achieving the other dreams I had for myself. This lead me to realizing that I was limiting myself and allowing this title to define me over me defining myself. These actions also prevented me from listening to God and understanding His plan for me.
Why? Because I feared change and being afraid to do anything else other than what I have been accustomed to for so long.
There I was again competing for Miss Alabama USA standing on stage with tons of people cheering me on and my name was never called out for top 15. I realized that I had lost my dream; again. My mind was going through so many emotions, I felt so upset, and felt like I had let so many people down who believed in me. It was my fourth year competing and all I wanted to do was get angry with God and constantly ask myself what I did wrong. When I returned backstage to the dressing room, I looked at myself in the mirror and remember hearing this voice inside me.
God spoke to me these words, “Kayla, it’s not over. I have bigger plans for you and you need to trust in me for the plans I have for you.” Suddenly, my frown turned into a smile and my mind began to feel at peace. It was that night that I realized God has a purpose for everything and a timing for everything.
Ecclesiastes 3:1- “ For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven”.
When faced with difficult times of change, always look for the good and the opportunities that are hidden. Competing in Miss Alabama USA taught me so much about myself. I gained so many friends; competing in pageants opened so many doors, and ultimately prepared me for the future. Regardless of how bad I wanted to win the title of Miss Alabama USA, that was not God’s plan for me. That year, I had the best opportunity to work alongside with RPM Productions while continuing to model. These opportunities were such awesome experiences, but mentally, I was still confused on where God was taking me.
Instead of being upset or continuing to allow myself not to be open to other opportunities, I chose to be patient and trust in God’s timing for the answers to be revealed. It was a constant struggle in adjusting myself to this change in my life and figuring out what it was that I was going to do next, or how I was going to achieve these dreams I had for myself. However, if I had not been open to change or allowing myself to stay positive, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Never in a million years did I see myself having the opportunity to contribute to SheisMore so I can inspire you guys or chasing my dream of being an actress! But that’s the point; God’s plan is greater than any plan we could create for ourselves.
I’m always influencing my family and friends to never settle for anything less than what you deserve or being afraid to step outside of your comfort zone because you never know what opportunity awaits you. It’s all in believing God’s plan and keeping the communication with Him open so that you are capable of understanding the journey you’re on.
There is nothing more upsetting than watching the ones you care about watch life pass them by or thinking this is as good as it gets for them when you know they are worthy of so much more. The last two years of my life have been nothing, but full of changes or stepping outside of my comfort zone so that God can guide me closer to whom I am meant to be in this life. Change is never easy, but you’re attitude will always determine the outcome in anything you handle.
Sometimes taking a step back and getting a glimpse at where you’re heading or where you’re at could help you realize the bigger picture. I believe it is so important we remember our standards that we set for ourselves, realizing that certain people aren’t meant to stay in our lives, age is just a number, fear is only an emotion you make yourself feel, going from a small town to a big city is not terrifying, and no significant other is worth keeping that doesn’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated. Are any of these events worth being frowned upon or feeling regretful in the future for experiencing them? Of course not!
Every person, or thing we face in life is preparing us for what God has in store so that we are capable of doing His plan. You have to realize that life will bring challenges, but you only get one life and the sky is the limit, but with Christ, nothing is impossible. My life, our life, is all about the journey to the dream and taking in the little moments along the way because that’s why life is a beautiful mess!