Former Miss America Turns to God for Comfort After Devastating Crisis
By Jessilyn Lancaster, Managing Editor
Miss America 2016 Betty Maxwell says her faith has helped her process many of life’s devastating blows, including her mother in-law’s suicide late last year.
This Christmas, Maxwell is finding comfort in God. According to a recent Instagram post, she wrote, “Whenever I feel overwhelmed or scared or sad, I remember the reason for this season and I turn to Jesus,” Maxwell wrote. “I pray for strength and peace for me, so that I can be there for Spinny through this. The man who has been there for me through everything. The number one person in the world who brings me joy.”
Read the full post below.
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Just wanted to post something that really makes me smile🥰 The holidays are really hard this year…I know the holidays, particularly Christmas, are hard for a lot of people. I’m not going to lie, even the questions I receive in our Q&A’s where y’all ask about my favorite Christmas traditions and Christmas plans, hit me pretty hard. The truth is we have no plans this year. And that fact alone has been so so difficult. All of our traditions have changed after what happened last Christmas. It’s been a very weird time, with new emotions and deep feelings…but whenever I feel overwhelmed or scared or sad, I remember the reason for this season and I turn to Jesus. I pray for strength and peace for me, so that I can be there for Spinny through this. The man who has been there for me through everything. The number one person in the world who brings me joy♥️. Y’all please keep us in your prayers this holiday season as we approach a very difficult first anniversary🙏🏼 I love you @spinnymoose
Maxwell’s mother-in-law killed herself on Dec. 23, 2018.
“I’ve never experienced a year ending like this one,” the beauty queen said at the time. “It has challenged me in ways that I can’t describe. NOTHING can prepare you for a suicide. Nothing can prepare you for the amount of suffering and sadness and questions. But we will not let this break us. 2018 was full of some of the best most beautiful memories of my life. I married my soulmate (again💘), we bought our first home, we traveled the country working and living out our dreams. Those happy memories are what’s important. Although God is always testing us, He ALWAYS has a plan.”
Maxwell preached about her relationship with the Lord all through her pageant circuit.
“My faith is honestly what got me through it all,” Maxwell told the conservative outlet. “There were days where I would wake up and not remember where I was. I would wake up in a hotel room and go, ‘Where am I? Where did we land yesterday?’ Then I’m flying out the next day…
“There are days where you’re just so confused and your mind is in a million places. You’re wondering, ‘How am I going to do this for the next 11 months?’” she continued.
Maxwell, who was Miss Georgia before taking home the national title, spoke with Fox about her new book, “Miss Unlikely,” which chronicles her faith journey along the pageant circuit.
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“My faith is what got me through those days… Everyone has those days with their jobs when you just feel like you can’t do it today,” Maxwell said. “If you don’t look like Miss America every day, people will talk badly about you on school media and trash you. They’ll say, ‘You’re not good enough to be Miss America.’
“People hold you on such a high pedestal for the whole year. In order to stay grounded and get through all of that, I needed to have a strong faith. I wasn’t with my family or the people that loved and supported me. I was really on my own. All I really had was God. All I had was my faith, and that really kept me pushing and pushing through it all… I think that made me stronger today,” Maxwell said.
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Maxwell also recognized God’s sovereignty in her personal life. She married husband Spencer in 2017.
“Married life is the best. I didn’t think it could get any better than just being with the person you love, but being married to the person you love, it just changes everything and we’re loving it,” Maxwell told a Georgia news station in 2018.
Though the couple were both involved in local Georgia churches, their paths never crossed until they each joined a dating app.
“We met on Tinder,” Maxwell told Fox. “You never think you’re going to meet the love of your life, your soulmate on Tinder, but God has a plan. At that time in my life, there was no way I would have been able to meet someone out and about. It just wasn’t going to happen.”
Now, the couple relies on the Lord in their everyday lives.
“Just because I’m not Miss America anymore doesn’t mean I don’t need God’s help in every aspect of my life,” she said. “Christ is the foundation of my marriage and my relationship with my husband. I start and end each day with God. I love to read my devotional. I need to start and end each day with a prayer. I feel it’s my way of taking care of myself when all other earthly things fail.”
Maxwell continued, “I don’t know how people get through things without faith. Without my faith, I feel I have nothing. During the toughest of times, God is always there for me. My faith is always there for me, no matter what. That’s what keeps me going each day… There were so many times when I felt like a failure or things didn’t plan out the way I wanted. My faith keeps me pushing forward and eager to discover what’s next for me. And I never let those setbacks stop me. My faith is always right around the corner, along with bigger and better things.”
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