They came Saturday —150 girls and women from kindergarten to their mid-80s — to hear Miss Kentucky 2013 present the program “Wonderfully Made,” at the Lyon Convention Center. And when they left, they departed in an uplifted spirit and encouraged to fulfill their dreams and the mission their Creator sent them to fulfill.
Jenna Day, 21, of Louisville, a senior, double major at the University of Kentucky, represented Kentuckians well in the Miss America Pageant in Atlantic City, N. J. last month. Now she is traveling the state making appearances in her one-year job as Miss Kentucky.
The program was hosted by Macedonia Baptist Church and chaired by Krista Grigg, wife of Pastor Brian Grigg. Krista Grigg also is an assistant to Judge-Executive Wade White.
“Not only am I Miss Kentucky, but I am also a child of God,”
Day said in her opening remarks. “Did you know that you are also a child of God, that if you love Jesus, He accepts you into His family?”
Day focused her comments on what it means to be a child of God. She told the crowd that Saturday was the first time she had shared my testimony with more than one person at a time. She made her profession of Christian faith when she was 8 years old, and she encouraged the women and older girls to continue planting seeds of faith in their children.
God wants his children to talk to Him and to trust Him, she said.
“My favorite place to talk to God, and when God talks to me the most ... is in the shower,” she said. “... This is why, there are no cell phones in the shower, there’s no technology in the shower, there are no other people in the shower with me. ... It’s just me. And when we’re alone with God we have a little bit of quiet time, and sometimes in the shower is the only time you have time to yourself.”
Day said God wants his children to trust Him with their lives. “And that’s not always easy to do,” she said. “... There are certain things in life that we want out of life. I’ve really wanted the job of Miss Kentucky for a very, very long time.”
When Day was in fourth grade, Miss Kentucky of that year spoke at her school.
“Right then and there was when I decided this was the goal I had, this was my dream,” she said. “... My older sister competed in Miss Kentucky, my Mom competed, my aunt competed. So by the time it came to me and I was old enough to compete in pageants, this was my goal.”
She said she began competing in pageants at 13, “but this was just one of my dreams.”
“I have to tell you, I didn’t win Miss Kentucky the first year I competed or even the second or even the third,” she said. “It took me four times — four years, and I’ll tell you, in those four years I prayed a lot. ... I asked, ‘God why is this not happening? Can’t you see I’ve prayed about this, and it’s not happening? ... And I’m beginning to doubt that you care about my dream and about me.’
“Then finally it happened, but it happened exactly when it supposed to happen,” she said, explaining that she won the Miss Kentucky pageant in God’s timeframe not hers. “... When I looked in the rearview mirror of my life, I realized why God didn’t need me to win the first, second and third year. There were things He wanted to teach me, other things He wanted me to experience. So it made sense.”
When she competed in the Miss America Pageant in September she said: “I wanted to win so badly.”
She prayed about it asking the Lord to “please let” her be Miss America.
“But ... I clearly did not win Miss America,” she said. “I was disappointed; I didn’t understand.”
She prayed: “God I know you have a plan, but it’s really hard to see that plan.” But she told the Lord she would praise Him anyway.
“God wants you to talk to him when you don’t understand,” she said. “So I continued to talk to Him, and it took several months, but now I see exactly why I didn’t win, because God has a specific plan for me right now as Miss Kentucky. ... So finally I understand what He was doing in my life.”
Day is taking a year off from her school work to fulfill her job as Miss Kentucky, and in the fall of 2014, she will return to UK and complete her double major in political science and vocal music. And she didn’t rule out out a future run for public office. She jokingly tells people she plans to run for president of the United States in 2028. “But,” she added, “I’m only half joking.”