However, not every day is happy or easy. Sometimes there are lows. I want to be the kind of Miss International that people can relate to and if I were to tell you that every day-all day is flawless… I think I'd set some sort of false reality for little girls. I have no interest in that. It's about being real and the peer role model I needed when I was younger.
When I was in the depths of anxiety, depression, and an eating disorder… I would keep all of my emotions to myself. I wouldn't acknowledge the low moments because, to me at the time, I thought that meant people wouldn't like me and I wouldn't be perfect. That's a lot of pressure for a young woman to have and face everyday. I didn't want to burden people with my feelings so I would “clam” and pretend that it was all okay when I was actually crumbling to pieces on the inside. If I did acknowledge them, I did so silently and by myself. I was afraid to lay my feelings at the feet of Jesus because I didn't think I deserved His presence. This low time in life actually helped me to see that Jesus never left my side and that he desired a relationship with me. I didn't have to “pretty up” before calling on Him, I could just come as I was.
The whole process of treatment and coming to life in Jesus helped me see that I was never a burden to begin with and that I was deeply loved. People wanted to help me. I didn't have to be perfect, I just had to be me. Amanda was enough.
By avoiding feelings and emotions, to the point of being a stoic, I lost out on some beautiful moments and times in my life.
Instead of avoiding lows... I challenge you to acknowledge them and trust that it gets better. Seek council and speak out when you need help. Mental illness will tell you they don't matter and that YOU don't matter but do not believe that lie. You do matter and you have a significant calling on your life. Celebrate the highs and appreciate the lows. We don't know how beautiful the highs in life are unless we are in touch with the more challenging times. Feelings and emotions can't be avoided and doing so does not make you perfect.
We are humans and we were created to be people filled with feelings, depth, and relationships.
Perfect isn't real and real isn't perfect. The highs and lows help us see how beautiful life is.
Redefining Beauty Worldwide,
Miss International 2016