As I sit in my lawn chair writing this while watching the kids and their friends enjoy floating out on the lake, I have had a few days to process the last few weeks/months of our lives. So many of you prayed for, asked about, supported, and encouraged Hannah as the reigning Miss Lexington Teen working toward winning the title of Miss South Carolina Teen. We left home on June 25th and returned on July 4th after a very exciting, and very exhausting week of pageantry. Though Hannah did not place in the top ten, I am so proud of my daughter. Hannah’s life Scripture which appeared on her ad pages in the Miss South Carolina program book, as well as on her resume for the judges is Romans 12:2, which says, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
When Hannah won her title in January, she worked harder than I have ever seen her work. She had a dream and a goal, and she gave it 110%. Over the course of the last 6 months, I reminded her that though she wanted to win the crown of Miss South Carolina Teen, the results would ultimately rest in the hands of God. His will is what we prayed for. I reminded her of His Word to her, “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
I remember when I was Miss South Carolina years ago now, actually telling the Lord that I would be such a great witness for Him if he would let me win the Miss America title. Of course I came to realize that the Lord, the Creator of the Universe, did not need me to wear the crown of Miss America in order to work out His perfect will and purpose for my life. Hannah said the same thing to me last week, that she felt like she could have a much bigger platform if she were Miss South Carolina Teen. I reminded her of the lesson the Lord taught me years earlier…He didn’t need a certain crown on her head to use her for His kingdom. For now she is right where she needs to be. Her platform in the competition was “L.E.A.D” which stands for “leading, encouraging, and accomplishing dreams.” Each of us has to realize that we simply have to look to the Lord for the next step, even when our plans and dreams may fail. Sometimes God allows a “no” to be a greater “yes” on down the road. As we choose to not conform to the patterns of this world, sometimes that means we may not win trophies and crowns that we wanted so desperately.
At the end of the final competition on Saturday night, I was the proudest of Hannah when she came back on stage with the rest of the contestants. Her smile was radiant, and she finished what she had begun well. As I watched her each night in each preliminary phase of competition…talent, evening gown, on-stage question, and physical fitness, she did her absolute best, and she represented not only the town of Lexington well, but also her Heavenly Father. She did not try to fit into any certain mold in order to win a pageant…she was simply true to herself, striving to be the best that she could be. I believe that one day she will hear Her Father say to her, “Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Each of us needs to live our lives in such a way, seeking his approval above all else. Five judges may have decided the fate of those 84 Miss South Carolina Teen/Miss South Carolina contestants, but I am sure God is in the business of working out His plan for each of their lives, and for each of ours. And to top it all off, we wouldn’t trade a minute of all that we got to experience together. Hannah earned the Duke of Edinburgh Award, the Presidential Community Service Award, she was awarded a cruise to the Bahamas, had lunch with Miss America, participated in the Scottish Games, met Prince Edward, Earl of Essex, gained life skills, and made friends with some of the finest young women in our state. Not many 16-year-olds get to experience such things! She will finish out her reign as Miss Lexington Teen 2010 until January 2011. Life is so much more than a destination...it is the journey along the way that is making us the people God created us to be.
This summer I am enjoying having Ross and Hannah home, and grateful to be able to carry my laptop out to the lake to mix a little work with play during these precious few weeks of summer vacation. July is their birthday month, and Ross will be 14, and Hannah 17. I am grateful to be traveling to Pleasant Garden Baptist Church in Pleasant Garden, NC this weekend, and next weekend I will have the privilege of speaking at a women's conference in Lebanon, Oregon. I will be in Laurens, SC on July 24th and on the 25th I will be in Monetta, SC, staying closer to home after some busy traveling weekends. I am so very grateful that every weekend from now until the end of August is booked and covet your prayers for me during this busy season. It is a blessing to have such a busy summer in light of all that is going on with our country and the economy and I am so thankful for God's provision and for all of you who prayed and suggested my ministry to friends and family and churches you know. Jennifer is still working on finishing the fall and Christmas calendar and is booking into 2011. Your continuing thoughts, prayers and suggestions are greatly appreciated!
Remember, Jeremiah 29:11 is true for you today. The plans God has for you may not look like you thought they would, but they are always His best for you. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Dawn Smith Jordan
Contemporary Christian singer/songwriter/recording artist with Urgent Records
Professional Speaker, Author www.dawnsmithjordan.com
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding,
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will direct your paths."
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