I just re-read my last blog post, and it honestly made me tear up. I can’t believe the last time I went to Church I was in Los Angeles and getting ready to begin the journey back across the country in less than a year. So much has happened in the last month or so, but I am grateful that my life path has led me here.
As I sit this morning, at 6:20 am in Jerusalem, watching the sun rise, I am acutely aware of how amazing my life has been. Obstacles this past year have left me feeling down and out on occasion, but when engulfed in the city where Jesus himself died on the cross, I realize how insignificant those misfortunes really are. I am so thankful for the amazing village of people that have surrounded, love, cherished, encouraged and guided me through my years. I am also thankful that God placed me here, on this trip, with these people, to open my eyes to the things that really matter in this world.
I have not been able to share until now, but I am in Israel with an amazing private organization called The Face of Israel, a private project, which works in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to bring opinion and community leaders as well as influential figures from around the world to Israel, in order to nurture a greater understanding and appreciation for Israel. I am so honored to have been asked to be a part of this group which consists of several women from the “pageant world.” While I’m basically holding it down on the Miss America front, I know that this trip will provide an opportunity to create relationships and dispel stereotypes about the Miss America/USA “battle.”
More than anything, though, I am so excited that I get to spend this trip rooming with my new friend, Kristen Dalton, creator of She is More and author of the new 60-day devotional journey, Rise Up Princess. Kristen and I had a fantastic time earlier this summer at the Princess America Pageant in Orlando, Fl, so I look forward to spending more time with her and being next to her as we journey through the history of Israel. She has already said prayers for me this morning and, frankly, what more can you ask for from a friend and travel companion?
When we arrived last night, we were greeted with a beautiful welcome dinner from the hotel restaurant. It was amazing! I look forward to sharing more of our experiences from this week, but for now the sun is up and my coffee is gone. We have quite the day ahead!
Follow along with most of us:
@themalloryhagan; @kristenjdalton; @jennagedwards; @realmissCAusa; @vierrabianca; @aliciamblanco; @michelleafrance; @cassidywolf_; @carriemantha; @thecandacesmith; @thefaceofisrael