Final Thoughts

As I sit in my room in Charleston, it has finally hit me that this chapter of my story is coming to an end. Women from across the world are on their way to West Virginia to compete for the coveted titles, and in just a few days I will become the former Miss International. I’ve given this year everything I have and, given the opportunity, I would do it all over again. The opportunity to serve as Miss International has been one of the greatest privileges of my life and I am eternally thankful. You see, this year changes you. Your heart can never be the same and you will grow in ways you never fathomed.

Above all, I pray that Jesus’ name was proclaimed above mine. All I have is because of what He has already done and I am so thankful He invited me into His plans for this year. I pray that I was able to be His hands and feet through True Beauty Movement, the Eating Disorders Information Network, the National Eating Disorders Association, the American Heart Association, and International Pageants as a whole. God entrusted me with this great responsibility and I’ve grown closer to Him through this incredible job. He’s taught me the power of His calling on my life and how He can make beauty from ashes. He pulled me from the depths of an eating disorder, washed my sins clean, and set me atop a mountain - allowing His light to shine through me. Although I may no longer be a Queen after this week, I will forever be a Princess because my Father is the King.

This year has been a balance of confident humility. Confident in my identity in Christ, what I can offer, my unique skills set, and the ability my life has to make an impact. Humble in knowing that it is a privilege to serve and that my year as Miss International is not really about me - it’s about others. The photoshoots are amazing, walking the red carpet at NYFW… pretty cool - not going to lie, seeing my photo in Pageantry Magazine… unreal. However, my favorite moments come from serving others and putting my crown to work. My trip to Africa for True Beauty Workshops will always stand out as a highlight from my year… and I believe that is what our crown is about. I did not want my year to be about earthly investments… I wanted it to count for the Kingdom.

I’ve met the most incredible people because of our organization. My sister queens, the staff members, Joey, Clay, Ms. Terri, Susan, Suzi, Natasha, Susanne, Cristen, Mr. Mel and Ms. Mary… we aren't just people who work together… we are forever family. It has been a blessing to be surrounded by others who uplift and empower. Part of what makes passing on this title so challenging is knowing that I won’t get to see my International Family as often, but I am confident that my involvement in our organization is not over.

I am not sure we can evaluate my year this side of Heaven. The ultimate evaluation will come when I meet my Savior face-to-face and see all those who are in Heaven because of something I did through God’s power and light within me. Was I responsible steward of His blessings? Did I lead others to Him? Did I proclaim the gospel? I pray that I was an active vessel and created a space for more people to experience Jesus. Everything I have and everything I am is because of Christ and I want to spend each day praising Him and pointing others toward His grace, mercy, and beauty. ( 1 Peter 2:9)

My journey has come to an end, but I am confident that God will continue to do immeasurably more in my life and I am excited to watch Him move in ways that only He can. When I gave up doing things my way, I got the best way in Jesus and His way is the only way I want for the rest of my time on Earth.

It has been a great privilege and sincere honor to serve.

For the last time…

Redefining Beauty Worldwide,

Amanda Moreno
Miss International 2016


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