PI Girls, we’re so excited to introduce you to our new contributor, Kristen Dalton! Dalton was crowned Miss USA in 2009. Today, she is an actress, motivational speaker and founder of the website She Is MORE. We’re thrilled to welcome her to the PI community!
I’m so excited to be a part of this community with you! I’m super passionate about girls understanding their precious worth. It can save you a lot of tears, regret and strife if you can get a head start on setting morals, standards and goals at a young age.
When I was in 7th grade, I made a promise to God, along with my girls’ Bible study group, to abstain from alcohol, drugs, smoking and sex until marriage. I wrote out a whole letter, sealed it, addressed it to God and that was that. My vow had been made, and in my mind, there were no ifs, ands or buts about it. It made it even better that all my friends were in on it, too!
But then I got to high school, and as my mom predicted, things changed. My friends started trickling off one by one. It sounds naive, I know, but I was genuinely hurt and confused. I thought, Wait, what about the vow? I don’t know where I got the conviction, but I wasn’t very influenced by peer pressure or doing something just because everyone else was doing it. But I was influenced by the knowledge that when I honored God, He would honor me.
I also was very influenced by the fact that I had a big dream. Since the age of three, I had the burning desire to become Miss USA. By high school, I was studying all the winners, their resumes and their final answers. Miss USA was always smart, polished and well-spoken; she held high morals and values, and had a passion for serving others. I wanted to be her, and I knew I had to walk the narrow path in order to stand out when I was finally old enough to compete.
Throughout high school and college, when people found out I didn’t drink and have sex, most didn’t believe me. Even adults I met would grunt and say, “I bet that’ll change soon enough” or “Yeah right, you’ll change” or “There’s no way you’ll get through high school and college without partying and doing it.” These comments made me mad and probably could have easily discouraged me, especially hearing adults say them, but I decided I would just use this as motivation. When people don’t believe in you, YOU have to believe in you…and prove them wrong, of course! 🙂
My mom always told me that it’s better to have people respect you than like you. It was kind of hard to believe that in the midst of not being invited to parties and being left out of everything social. It’s true, I was a bit of a loner, and I started doing a lot of community musical theatre in order to have a place where I felt accepted. But now, I’m so glad I listened to my mother. It’s better to live your life in a way where you’re thinking about your dreams and your future, and you’re considering the possible repercussions of your actions. I believe if I hadn’t done this, I never would have seen my childhood dream come true and won Miss USA!
It may be awesome at your school where you have a lot of strong Christian friends with whom to surround yourself. If so, yay! If not, stay faithful to this: “Blessed is she who believes that The Lord will fulfill His promises to her” (Luke 1:45). It isn’t easy to be the light, stay obedient and walk the narrow path. But making a solid decision about something before you get into the situation makes it a lot easier to stay strong. “And then they will shine among them like stars in the Universe.” (Philippians 2:15). Why try to fit in when you were born to stand out?
[Image: Courtesy Kristen Dalton]