I had the opportunity to be a contestant in the miss collegiant Nevada pageant last weekend. It was an amazing growing experience for me as I was able to stand up for my beliefs and feel confident in the person I am.
Early on Saturday morning, I entered into a room full of anxious pageant contestants waiting for their 5 minute interview with the judges. Everyone looked so beautiful in their well kept fitted dresses, makeup and hair done to perfection. Each girl came out of the interview with a smile bigger than they entered. A few contestants talked about how sweet each judge was and that there is nothing to worry about. One by one each contestant was interviewed till it was my turn. The last. I walked into a room of 6 judges. Smiling, I stated my name and then it was time for them to ask me anything they wanted to. The very first question was, "so I noticed you wrote shooting as one of your hobbies and that your a Mormon. How do you respond to people? As these are controversial things." I was surprised by the question but answered honestly that my religion and hobby of shooting is not something I force on other people but they are things I love and enjoy.
I think back to my high schools days and I wonder how I would have responded? Would I have denied my faith? Would I have even written shooting as a hobby on my paper knowing they would judge me on it? Or resisted writing what my values are? (like not drinking and smoking) I have been blessed so immensely as I have stood up for my beliefs. I feel more respect for myself and for others. I realized in that moment, the moment I left the interview, that I knew who I was. And I love it! I love my values even though not many people in the world love them today. I am proud of the person I am. I am proud to be a Christian.
It is hard to stand out. Many say they are Christian, but are too afraid to pay the price to really stand for all that he did. Being a follower of Christ is all about sacrifice and yoking that load with him (Matthew 11:29). Being Christian is more than just the name, it is about who we become how how well we emulate him.
Stand up for what is right, you may be looked down for it. People might not understand. They might not know the whole picture. They might judge you. But stand up for what is right and that's when true happiness will follow.