God has other plans for me!

I had a great time at nationals and I met some amazing young women I will be friends with for life! I had so much fun making appearances in Chicago at the Boys and Girls Club and Princess Ball. I got to see young children’s faces light up when they saw me and I hope that I inspired them to follow their dreams when they grow up. Rehearsals were fun and I had such a great time learning the opening number dance to “Stronger” by Kelly Clarkson. Before I knew it I had my private interview and I was competing in preliminaries. I had a great time with both, and Saturday flew by and it was finals night. I called my mom about 30 minutes before I went on stage, and I had to fight back tears. I missed her so much and I was so sad she was not in Chicago to cheer me on; she told me no matter what happened that she would be proud of me and I knew she would. It was a bittersweet moment as I stood on the national stage waiting for my name to be called for the top ten and it never was. I can’t describe the feeling that I had as I walked off the stage. I not only was disappointed in myself for not reaching my goal, but I felt like I had let my family, friends, and state down.  I knew right away God has other plans for me and winning Miss International 2012 was not part of His plans, but it was still hard to take in.  As I walked out of the pageant after it was over, I met my family and my directors and I told them that I was not going to stop my plan of what I told the judges I would do if I won. I will continue lobbying at congress to pass bills for ALS research and programs, I will continue working with the National and Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota ALS Association to help out anywhere possible to raise awareness and money, and I will help kids whose parents are affected by ALS. I set out to do my platform not for a year during my reign as Miss North Dakota International but for the rest of my life.  I will be my mom’s voice and I will share her and my story throughout the nation.

There are so many people that I have to thank for helping me through my journey to nationals. My family and friends for being supportive, my parents and sponsors for helping me pay for everything, my trainer Paul Dyer for making me look my best, my coach Suzy Bootz for teaching me so many things, Sarah Moses for helping me pick amazing dresses so I’d look my best, Kayla Dykema and Janelle for making my hair look fabulous, and last but far from not least my directors Kathy Yohe and Allison Harmon. They are two of the most amazing people you will ever meet and I was so blessed for everything they did for me! I honestly don’t know what I would have done without them, but I do know I couldn’t have gone through nationals without them! THANK YOU EVERYONE!

My mom has given me so much advice, and so I am going to share some of the quotes she has given me with you that have helped me get through all my rough times including not making top ten:

“If one door slams in your face, trust God, keep your head up high, plow through, and two or three will open” –Mom (Kellie Lemna)

“God has three ways of answering things; He’ll say ‘yes’ and give you what you want. He’ll say ‘wait’ and give you something better. OR He’ll say ‘no’ and give you the best!”

Love Always,
Miss North Dakota International
Erica Lemna

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