Monday, November 15, 2010


From Friday at noon through late this Sunday evening, my weekend as Miss Minnesota was jam-packed with events—literally every minute when you include the travel time—but unlike other blogs I have shared, this blog is not going to be filled with all of the fine details from my events at the Muscular Dystrophy walk, the Miss Mankato pageant, and the Night of Inspiration in St. Peters, MN. Rather, I am going to take this opportunity to bear my soul to give you a greater understanding of the woman I am today as a result of past adversity. This weekend, I performed and spoke at Compelled: The Road Less Traveled, a retreat to inspire youth to pursue excellence and the path of righteousness. It was in this venue, filled with talented musicians and encouraging testimonies, that I revealed the depths of my inner most struggles and the strength that has carried me through to minister to many young people so they could experience their own revelation. Upon leaving this event, where I left more changed than I ever thought possible, I now feel ready to share my heart with you. While I have shared my personal testimony at a purity retreat prior to becoming Miss Minnesota and in several high schools, I have not shared my story with many individuals who I personally know. I guess I am finding that it takes more courage to speak face to face about this with people who I know really love and care about me than it does to share in a larger group setting where I can use my experience to inspire youth to be strong even in the midst of life’s most difficult moments. I know I certainly could have used someone being raw and real with me three years ago when I hit rock bottom.

I will begin by saying I am blessed…I always have been. With a family who has done nothing but support me to the utmost and beautiful gifts that God has bestowed on me, I really feel blessed. But there was a time in my life where I didn’t feel as blessed, though I can now reflect back on that period and know that everything happens for a reason and out of the worst the best can arise. That dark moment in life came three years ago when I was a victim of rape. This adversity dealt me a significant blow that I can’t even begin to describe. After this happened, I admittedly fell into a more destructive path having no self-worth or value and feeling completely used like a disgusting piece of trash. Fear prevented me from initially telling anyone, but I mustered the courage to tell my sister Kari who helped me tell my parents. If I hadn’t told her when I did, I can’t even imagine where I would be today. I may have never told anyone, which likely would have caused this secret to eat away at me and perhaps even lead me further down the path that so many youth find themselves on today-the path of self-destruction and regret. Instead, with an unshakable faith and immense love and support from my family and counseling, I slowly started to put my life back together and heal. But, it wasn’t until I dove in heart first with my platform where I was meeting inspiring people who had been nominated on that I began to realize the blessing that could come from this horrible dark point in my life. After listening to story after story of seemingly awful situations, I realized that some of the most amazing people have gone through the worst of the worst but their strength and attitudes in overcoming their tragedy or adversity has allowed them to be so inspiring. These are the individuals, the real heroes among us, that allow others who are experiencing similar situations to begin to realize a sense of peace knowing that a light does exist at the end of some of the darkest tunnels--“If that person can get through it, I can too.”
I know that God does not want bad things to happen to us, but He allows them so we can grow closer to him and to use those situations for good- to be a light in the world and to those He has placed in our paths. Thus, it became clear to me that Inspiring America is what I must do with my life. This is MY experience…not an experience that I asked for, not an experience I would wish upon my worst enemy, but it is now mine, and it is my responsibility to use it to create hope and peace.
I have healed my pain by honoring and sharing the inspiring stories of our unsung heroes across Minnesota, and, almost three years later, I can truly say the Miss America Organization has changed my life. It has provided me this opportunity to use my crown as a symbol of America’s strength. I am stronger than I ever have been and I owe it to so many things: God’s healing grace, my family, my platform and this organization. I was given a great responsibility this year as Miss Minnesota and I am so grateful for this opportunity; I just never realized how much it would touch my heart and change me more on the inside than the outside.

So, that is my revelation. I feel a greater sense of healing even writing this, just as I felt that deeper sense of peace after the youth retreat this weekend. I really hope the students were changed in some small way, but I know that I benefited in a greater way than I bargained for. I left changed…every time I leave an appearance, I am changed, sometimes in small ways and sometimes in big ways…thank you, Miss America, for providing constant opportunities for change. If you are a contestant in this organization, buckle your seat belt because if you really go after it, you stand to gain so much more than just a crown. You stand to gain the greatest sense of fulfillment, peace, and beautiful revelations in life day after day. My advice, take the risks…be courageous in sharing who you are, be raw, be real…you won’t regret it! This weekend, I felt the Lord by my side starting at the retreat and going all the way through to the Night of Inspiration Concert in St. Peters on Sunday. I am ready to seize every opportunity to share my story and work on my platform to the largest degree possible, whatever that may be.
I encourage you to help me continue this network of inspiration and pay it forward to someone else. Whether that is volunteering, nominate your inspiring person, or just telling them that they inspire you, it is a small way to help us realize all the amazing things that are happening around us every day amidst the negative we see on TV. This Tuesday is Give to the Max day. If you feel you can contribute financially and give to a charity, go to

Thank you for allowing me to open my heart to you and reveal the person I am on the inside not just the outside.


  1. Kathryn,
    You inspire me with your faith and your courage. I love you.

  2. Kathryn,
    Your honesty, vulernability and heart amaze me! Your story will no doubt inspire lives. thank you so much for letting us into your heart & sharing with us. I pray many blessings as you finish this year and head to MISS AMERICA!

  3. Thank you for sharing. May this help others share their stories and start the healing process.

  4. Kathryn, it is such a privilege to be on the receiving end of such an honest, real and heartfelt revelation. You are truly an inspiration to many and will no doubt continue to be as you travel along your life's journey. Praise God for your healing, and God Bless you for your service to others.