If someone told me last year that I would be here holding the title of Mrs. Haiti International 2020 and living in the United States today, I would say that’s a good dream; a bit far-flung. But yet, here we are. A big difference from the life we were living eighteen months ago. The journey to this new life began with tragedy. Hurricane Dorian struck my hometown, the Island of Abaco, and Grand Bahama in the Bahamas on September 1st, 2019. It is a day that will forever be etched in my memory. Hurricane Dorian will go down in history as the great storm of 2019 that devastated Abaco, Bahamas, and caused a mass exodus of 70,000 survivors. It ripped through the heart and breadth of the land. Many died and, hundreds were injured. The hearts of many were broken.
For my family and I evacuating was hard but necessary because we had two young children and one on the way. I was 5 months pregnant. The physical and mental pain grew as the adrenaline from survival mode wore off. Our reality set in; we were homeless and, our future was dark.
The thought of competing in a pageant was the furthest thing on my mind in those moments. Eight days post-Dorian we landed in Fort Lauderdale, thanks to the 3C Foundation, which helped several Bahamian families find safety after the storm. The days following, although my future seemed uncertain, I was surprisingly at peace. I knew that God was with us, and every step that we took up to this point has been ordained by Him.
One of the most significant moments that the Lord orchestrated for us was when a lovely family called The Pardals in Fort Myers, Fl offered to take us in for a few months until we got back on our feet. We went from the island to the country and it was wild. A house full of kids and farm animals turned out to be exactly what we needed. Our children were laughing, fighting, and playing again as they should be. They had toys and a bed and more than enough space to run around. They seemed to have found their way but as parents, we were still in the dark. Looking back, I realized that we were in the dark about our future because it was exactly what the Lord wanted. This time He was in complete control because our backs were pressed against the wall.
Daily he provided sending help from everywhere for our physical needs. Yet spiritually, I wrestled with the transition that I was going through. I felt exposed and vulnerable. There were moments when I felt so alone even though I knew that God was with me. I began to write my feelings and prayers down. The more I wrote the more exposed I felt. Yet, the exposure did not lead to shame. I would feel peace and acceptance with each confession and prayer. The more of myself I revealed to God, the closer I felt to Him.
Psalm 34:4-5 I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.
The Lord was healing old wounds that were covered and hidden for years and somehow being in this unfamiliar place, under those circumstances, forced me to open up and let the light of God into these very dark spaces in my heart. I had spent so much time taking care of others. I forgot about myself and the purpose that God had created for me.
Jeremiah 29: 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future., the Lord wanted good for me, good was His plans for me, a hope and a future were my portions.
When the time came for us to leave the ranch, it was again orchestrated by God. He provided us with all of the necessities to move. Baby Aaron was born December 22nd and we were home by Christmas Eve enjoying our first holiday together in our new place. Two months after giving birth, I felt a gentle tug in my heart to re-inquire about the Haiti International Pageant. I decided to compete. The COVID -19 pandemic began in the US around the same time, shutting everything down which led to the pageant being held via Zoom in June instead of April. However, even with all of the challenges I faced, I kept going because the Lord was directing me. Ultimately, He honored me with the crown. My obedience to His gentle touch led to Him granting me my heart’s desire which happened to be His plan for my life all along.
I was crowned Mrs. Haiti International!!!!
In December 2020 I will be hosting my first virtual summit for women of faith and those who want to build their relationship with God. I also host a book club virtually every week and send out encouragement emails weekly. I am accepting invitations for speaking especially at Women’s and Youth events. I can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs.Haiti International 2020
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