One year ago today I ran for Walworth County Fairest of the Fair. It was a very neat experience and I learned so very much. I am so glad that I do not have to go through the nerve racking moments of standing with my Dad and waiting to go on stage. If he hadn't been there to hang onto, I know that I would have either passed out or locked my knees I was shaking so bad. But in typical Kaila fashion, once I got up there and started talking I was in my element. The Lord was with me and I had a mission to accomplish.
Even though winning would have been really exciting, I didn't go into it with a mindset to win. I knew that God had a message that He wanted me to present. I prayed that I would be given questions that would be channels to share my faith and God was so good to answer my prayers. I remember watching many fairest competitions where the contestants were "all about me." I really wanted my speeches to be different. I wanted them to be all about God and others.
As I look back on that day I notice a few things.
I was the youngest girl to run for fairest.
I spoke longer than the other girls.
I spoke about God way too much for a competition with judges picking winners.
I wasn't excited and bragging about the college I would be attending in Madison - because I won't be attending. :-)
I was homeschooled.
But you know what? I wouldn't change any of it. Not one bit. Because I had a purpose and a mission for being on that stage. Really, when I think about it, that competition stage is the biggest platform that the Fairest ever even has to share her faith on a large scale. Yeah, if I had been Fairest I would have gotten to ride in parades and talk about the fair events, but on that stage I was able to share my faith with a whole crowd of people. It was there in that moment that I was given the biggest chance to reach many people and the Lord took away my fear when I got up there and helped me to do just that.
Being on that stage was a wonderful experience but there is one moment I know I shall never forget. There is a little, tiny old lady that comes to watch the competition every single year. She's as sweet as pie and always wears pink and uses her adorable duct tape cane. When the Fairest is chosen she's the first to get a picture with her. It's kind of a big deal and it was something I had watched happen every year. When that competition ended she didn't go to the Fairest first like she had done every year I had watched. Rather she came right up to me and thanked me getting up there and being bold in my faith. Then she asked her friend to get a picture of the two of us. In that moment, I might as well have been Fairest. It may not sound like a big deal to the average person, but it was a lot to me.
A few people asked me if I was doing it again this year. I didn't close the idea in my mind, but I knew that it wasn't what God was calling me to do this year. God's ways and plans are amazing. I didn't want to share this to brag about me, but rather to brag about God and how awesome He is. When we are willing to trust and follow Him, He will lead us to places we didn't think we could go. He helps you meet people that you never thought you'd meet. And He helps give you the words you never had. Don't be afraid to follow where He leads you - even if it terrifies you for a little.