Maybe I needed to hear that, because it spoke to me. Living in a small town, as we do, reputation can be important, sometimes a little too important. There is a lot of speculation, rumors and insecurities that can play a role in your “reputation.”
I remember when we first moved here, almost 5 years ago...There was a rumor flying around that we were under “witness protection.” Because according to them, “Why else would someone move here?”
Let me start by saying...I know that I talk about the bible and God a lot, and I know it might offend some… But I can assure you, it's NOT something you must adhere to, should you become Mrs International. It's just a part of who I am. I'm a wife, a mother, a business owner, a philanthropist, Mrs International, and a youth pastor. Teaching about my personal struggles and “choosing love” that IS my platform.
With that said, living in a small town hasn't been that “fairy tale” that movies portray. For us, it's been the opposite. Not at all “easy” but instead, very difficult. To the town, we will always be “outsiders.” But we've learned not to worry about our “reputation”, or what others think, or say. Instead, we focus on our character. Doing what's right, regardless of what others think, even when no one is looking.
To my extended family, who I only see once a year...I'm never an outsider, I'm always received, welcome, loved and adored. But in my own town, where they see me everyday, where I invest in their kids, feeding all the youth weekly (out of our own pocket, because we aren't a “paid position”) and we are constantly give back, funding repairs when the town is vandalized, supporting teams, schools, and local businesses.... And yet, we are considered “outsiders!” And that's okay, don't get me wrong, I'm fine with it.
But I've had to learn that my reputation is what other people THINK of me. People who don't know me, who don't love me, who don't try to take the time to get to know me. Therefore, their opinion of me shouldn't matter. When someone is judging you off of your exterior, your marriage, your family, your home, your car, your Facebook...It shouldn't affect you! Because to them you'll always be an outsider, BUT to Him (God) you're never an outsider. You're always welcome, received, loved and adored.
Focus on the people who love you, unconditionally, who lift you up, and welcome you with open arms.
I'm your Mrs International reminding you-
TO CHOOSE LOVE,