I will never ever forget “being bloodied” by the media and then getting on an airplane. I was sandwiched between the window of the plane and a rather large cowboy who handed me his handkerchief to wipe my tears. The cowboy with the alligator boots, cowboy hat, Levi jeans…deep voice and big smile….was God’s perfect provision! I was in my early 20’s and preparing in the upcoming weeks to head to Atlantic City to attempt to fulfill a lifelong dream of becoming Miss America.
As many of you have probably watched or read about the Miss America pageant in the last few weeks, you have realized that the interview portion and being able to handle any question is very important in “vying” for the crown. There has been criticism over some of the answers given. I can honestly say, as I reflect, you can prepare and prepare and prepare and still not be sharp or “spot on” for the unknown questions that come your way…in the “heat of the moment!”
The Miss South Carolina directors knew very well a long time ago that, to prepare me, I needed to be exposed to those situations–“hot seat” situations–that would prepare me for interview. That airplane flew me away from a hot seat situation. I was headed back home from a journalism conference for aspiring journalists. I was on the “interview panel” being interviewed by seasoned journalists while the aspiring journalists were watching and taking notes.
What did they learn from me? That I was a blundering lamb who was massacred, bloodied from head to toe. I was unprepared to defend my beliefs and position on issues. Now, as I look back, even though it was one of the most “BRUTAL” things I have ever experienced, I can see, and did back then after my wounds were bandaged by the BIG ‘ole cowboy, that God had orchestrated the “blood bath!” Yep, God’s fingerprints were ALL OVER THAT day….. :o)
My desire that was birthed at an early age…age 9…to become Miss America…was with the desire to share my faith. That the “crown of Miss America” would provide a platform to share Christ…:) I had experienced in a church setting a Miss South Carolina doing just that …using her title for a testimony. God knows our motives and as I prayed for guidance and His help in my 20’s, little did I know that preparation would include being “bloodied” and would produce tears!
I was asked the question about abortion. The journalist wanted to know why I didn’t support it and wanted me to defend my position. In my 20’s I knew that God was in control and created every life but beyond that I wasn’t prepared to defend my position to a “hostile” interviewer.
Fast forward to the plane and cowboy. That cowboy, Grant Taeff, was an “angel” or maybe a “prophet”. Just like God used angels and prophets in the Bible to do His work…or relay messages…God used a seasoned college football coach who had been interviewed by the press thousands of times…and placed him directly by me…to explain what had just happened and why.
Just think…I didn’t pick who sat by me on the plane. Not only did God place someone seasoned in dealing with the press, but he was also a strong man of faith. He loved Jesus as I did…and to top it off… he asked me, “What is wrong?” He cared enough to not only listen (to a stranger), but as I told him of the “blood bath,” he spent two hours mentoring me. Asking me who I was in Christ. What I wanted to accomplish and why.
As we worked through my honest answers, he first took me through scripture on defending my stance on abortion. He had a big, black worn Bible that he pulled out of his alligator brief case (no coincidence that he had his Bible). He took me through scripture of how
God was with me…
going before me and coming behind me….
even to “orchestrating the current moment” we were in
and reminding me that it was NO ACCIDENT!!!!
He showed me the “blood bath” was allowed by God to show me how I needed to prepare for the “dream” I had. It was God’s preparing me……giving me time…to go home and prepare. By the time I got off the plane my tears were dry, my hopes were high and my confidence in Christ having me in His grip was the “HIGHEST” I could ever remember at that point in my life….
Point of post…God has things for all of us to do. He gives us dreams and desires that HE places in our hearts. And when He does, we are to ACT on them…and TRUST…even though the road…can be difficult, bloody and exhausting.
HE IS THERE.
He will provide every step of the way.
Sometimes, in order to prepare us, we have to be “BLOODIED”. It is part of His plan to mature us and prepare us for a bigger, more important moment. HE doesn’t waste anything in our lives…especially when we fall.
A second and just as important point: He may want to use us to get outside of ourselves or our agenda in order to “tune” into someone else’s wounds and bandage them. Be the “angel” or “prophet” …to give encouragement and wisdom in their lives. At 53, on the Back 9, I can say…if you are a Christian….God intends for us to do both….accomplish dreams and be a “voice” that He uses in someone else’s life. I am reminded of Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 40:1. “‘Comfort, yes, comfort My people!’ says your God.” He desires to comfort us in our troubles and often uses others to bring about that encouragement.
Today…open your heart, your eyes and your mind to where God has you and what He would have you do. Maybe there is someone who feels as the psalmist does in Psalm 69:20. “Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none.” Will you be that someone?
God may have a dream for you to pursue…or HE may have someone right in front of you…or right beside you that you could be called to Encourage…share the love of Christ with or your Wisdom….He may have both…I believe HE does!
Psalm 139:4-6, “Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”