What’s been my favorite part of preparing for the pageant? Finding my strawberries. 🍓
Let me explain.
During the process of preparing for the pageant and working with some incredible sponsors (such as Dr. Dallaire and KPC Pageantry) and others in the business, I felt compelled to really slow down and dive deep into who I am and what I want to present to the world in this journey.
A lot of prayer went into this introspection, as at the end of the day my only goal is to represent Christ IN me. And I knew part of this pageant journey was the Lord wanting to fully develop me into the ambassador I’m called to be.
You always hear the term thrown around, “Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle.” You hear it, and you agree with it, but you don’t necessarily think it applies to you… until it does.
A few months back my mom was scrolling Facebook and made the comment that this picture you see here is probably her favorite picture of me. She showed it to me and said, “You need to get your strawberries back.” And I knew exactly what she meant.
This picture was taken in April of 2019. That’s a significant date, because it was the year before I found myself smack dab in the middle of a cancel culture storm. A storm that proceeded to follow me for the next three years.
Dealing with that scale of never-ending persecution, threats, and bullying on and offline, is something I had never expected, nor experienced before. And while it didn’t make me shrink from standing firmly in what I believe, and voicing it regardless, it did however slowly but surely condition me in the defensive.
I became used to being attacked, and consequently I was building a subconscious “edge” to my personality, which was replacing the natural sanguine purity I’d had ever since I was a little girl.
Like I said, you don’t realize how others may have dulled your sparkle until you look back and realize how sparkly you once were.
So my mother telling me to “get my strawberries back” was a call to regain the sweet wholesomeness of my personality that picture exudes. That call to sweetness was the confirmation of the tug I’d felt from the Lord in recognizing these gaps I asked him to fill while shaping and molding me into the image HE wants me to project.
I knew He wanted me to find my strawberries, and when I acknowledged that, I started to find them. This has manifested in so many beautiful ways over the last few months, and I’ve noticed a significant change in how I carry myself on a daily basis.
It’s even found a way into my new wardrobe! Maybe only girls will understand this part lol, but my style had also subconsciously morphed to match my “tough” exterior. But now an array of color is finding its way into a closet that had become dominated by neutrals and black, and more feminine styles are replacing my mostly no-nonsense utilitarian pieces.
I mean, we’re not going full Lilly Pullitzer over here by any means… but the closet does look a bit happier lol.
I’ve realized in this process that being strong doesn’t mean I have to be hard. And I can be soft, without being fragile.
The world so often encourages women to be sexy, smart, sharp, and the ultimate “badass boss babe,” that nowadays being sweet is seen as a weakness. We’ve become so focused on the spice that we’ve neglected the everything nice. We’ve forgotten the sugar.