As I have mentioned before, I spent over a decade of my life competing in pageants. Bless my amazing mother who is the exact opposite of a pageant mom, but was by my side every moment to remind me of my purpose in competing… and to put me in my place during my rare “diva moments,” but I digress… Now before you get all judgy, let me share that the pageant world is more than frilly dresses or “the package.”

As a former Miss North Carolina International, I learned what it means to lobby for the HIV/AIDS crisis, greet and serve the military men and women who tirelessly served our country, perform at sporting events and international conferences and what I consider most important… serve as  a role model for young women (and older women) by unabashedly walking with them in their shoes, so I can learn from and be part of their journeys.

I would say only 5% of my work as Miss North Carolina was “ the package.” Yes, I was perfectly styled, coifed and I even had a wardrobe sponsor who tirelessly provided clothes, shoes and jewelry the entire year of my reign and when I competed and placed 4th runner up at nationals (had to toss that in there!).

But… the true story and impact of the Miss North Carolina title was the passion, hard work and love that went into what was behind “the package.” I spent the entire year of my reign working my regular healthcare administration job 40-50 hours per week, going to grad school for at least 3 hours every week night, and traveling the state of North Carolina at least 3 times per week supporting and representing my title. I’m sure you’re wondering “why” in God’s green earth would a grown woman do all of that for a silly crown??

It was more than “the package” of being Miss North Carolina. I had a message to share through my service for my state. A message that imperfection, trauma, joy and life are all part of “the package.” This message came with a purpose that only God could provide, but the impact of that message spread  more than I could have ever imagined. It was the message within “the package” that was the important part. The work, the drive, the self-confidence that I didn’t always feel but knew someone else needed me to be for them… that’s what drove me to not allow anyone to be distracted by “the package,” but focused on the journey, purpose and message that God had to share through me.

So, I ask you… what’s more important to you right now? Are you hiding behind “the package” because it’s easier to let people see that side of you? Are you missing out on God’s opportunity to use you as a blessing for others? Don’t let “the package” get in the way of your message.

Tags : package