Exiting Miss Wayland offers thoughts on her year

Note: We asked Miss Wayland 2007 Amy Rendon to share her thoughts about her role as the university representative and what that has meant as she prepares to crown the next winner on Nov. 3. Rendon is a senior Spanish major from Midland.

If someone would have told me a year ago that I would be Miss Wayland, I wouldn’t have believed it. Being crowned Miss Wayland was an unexpected honor and an undeserved privilege. I can still remember hearing my name called on stage, and I think my heart might have stopped beating for a second as I scanned the crowds. I saw my family and friends cheering and saw tears welling up in my mother’s eyes. I couldn’t believe that they had picked me.

I come from a very hard background. It was difficult to believe that dreams come true. Coming to Wayland has been a breath of fresh air and freedom. I came from a place of hurt into a community where I was viewed as worthy. The crown was a symbol; a symbol of belonging. I could never express my gratitude to the family of Wayland, for loving me for me. I could never with a million words describe how freeing it is to know that I was chosen to represent this school just being who I am. All my life circumstances have echoed through my ears and thoughts that I couldn’t make it. When I won that night and saw my family’s tears, it was almost as if God was speaking to me, “I love you. You’re worth it, and I am the one writing the story of your life.”

I will be a college graduate in May of 2008, and I will be the first person in my family to have that honor. Wayland made that possible.

My reign has been a roller-coaster ride, and I have loved every second of it. From learning how to eat properly, to judging other pageants, to speaking to this community and other Wayland officials, I have been able to represent Wayland and Christ. My heart has been filled to the brim with happiness and joy. Throughout the year, I was able to be with many young students in our community. I got to see the faces of young people who are walking where I had walked. I have been able to tell them that dreams come true. Wayland’s slogan is “Seek your dream,” and that is so evident in my life. Wayland changed my life, and I have so enjoyed telling young people that dreams are possible, and there is hope.

While working with the crown, I developed a passion for education. I am now applying to the master’s degree program in education. I want to impact the youth of this country and show them that there is hope. Dreams do come true.

I have met so many people and heard so many stories. I loved hearing other people’s stories and knowing how important they all are. Just as I was accepted and valued for who I am, I was able to show others that they have value just as they are and where they come from. I am especially thankful for the time I was able to spend with women, who in this era are so attacked by self-esteem issues. I do not fit the normal perception of beauty. I am not a size two, and I don’t have flawless skin or blonde hair. But I know that I am beautiful because of the beauty that God sees from the inside out. I was able to impact women in this community and tell them that the most important beauty comes from the inside, and beauty on the outside comes in all shapes and sizes with different personalities and backgrounds.

My best memory of this year was being able to say thank you to the board members and those who fund this university. It meant so much to me to be able to say thank you to those who were involved in changing my life and making my dreams come true financially. I am so proud to represent this great school. And I will not stop when I give up the crown. I will continue to be a representative for Wayland.

Even though I will be handing down my season of Wayland royalty, I will still see myself as a princess in my heavenly Father’s kingdom. Still representing Him won’t end for me. Wayland will always be in my heart. Miss Wayland will always be a part of me. I am a part of a legacy. I feel so honored to be counted among the ranks of Miss Wayland. Miss Wayland is about service, and I will continue serving through Wayland’s new program, the President’s Ambassadors.

I want Wayland Baptist University to be a legacy. I want to be part of carrying on the tradition. I am excited to see the next beautiful girl who will be able to serve this university and this community. It will be an honor to crown another deserving girl and see her dreams come true.