Hi, my name is Kelly Beth, and this is My World.
Growing up, watching my sister compete in many pageants, I claimed I would never do one. But after homeshooling, she convinced me to compete in the Miss Illinois Teen USA Pageant. Surprisingly I ended up winning, and immediately got swept away as I was preparing for Miss Teen USA.
I became obsessed with myself and began spending all of my time working out at the gym, abusing diet pills and laxatives. You know, my heart set out to serve the Lord, but I had an eating disorder, and my first desire was to have the “perfect body”. And I was willing to do anything and everything, even if it meant sacrificing my health.
I left to compete for the Miss Teen USA Pageant, and I remember while I was there I got really sick and lost a lot of weight in a very short amount of time. And I was in the bathroom and I was stripped down naked- I was waiting for my mom to put sunless tanner on me. And I just remember looking into the mirror and saw this frail body back and I was like, “that is so disgusting!” And it was in that moment that I realized that that was my body and that is what I looked like. I’m so thankful for that moment of truth, when God allowed me to see how sick I was and how much I needed to get help.
On the way home I began having suicidal thoughts. I felt so hopeless. I was literally about to take my car and crash it into just anything, but I knew that wasn’t the answer, so I prayed that the Lord would take the wheel and get me home and he did.
After a lot of prayer and discussion with my parents, they decided that I needed to go into a treatment center. I remember I was sitting in a circle and these girls were talking about how disgusted they where with themselves and how ugly and hat they felt. And I remember looking at each of them thinking, “Gosh, why can’t they see what I see? They are so beautiful!” And it was that moment that I realized that I have some of those same thoughts. And God used that situation to remind me of the calling he has for my life and he reminded me of the passion that he’s placed in my heart to minister to women and encourage them.
As Christians, I am confident that we will always struggle. I will always have difficult circumstances ahead, but our hope lies in the fact that God is using even trail and every tribulation we go through to grow us into his image and to bring glory to His name. And I think that’s something to be excited about.