December 18th, 2006 10:41 EST
A Personal Message from God Via a Homeless Man
And the winner is Angela Perez Baraquio Grey! CONGRATULATIONS! You have been crowned the new Miss America! It was September 2001…on the shores of Atlantic City, New Jersey. I had the privilege of attending the Miss America pageant and modeling some fancy gowns for the tough judges for next year’s competition. I came so close, yet I was so far away. A huge dream of mine since I was 13 years old, was to be crowned Miss America. I remember modeling dresses and making an acceptance speech to my reflection in the mirror as a young girl. Months prior, I had the opportunity to compete for Miss Los Angeles County and came in 3rd place, but this didn’t give me the chance to advance to the state level and compete for the title of Miss California. It was hard for me to let that huge dream go, but I had no idea God had much more in store for me. It wasn’t a crown of jewels I was going after, or fame or fortune….I wanted to win the pageant so I would have the opportunity to travel throughout the United States and share about my abstinence pledge to thousands of teens. Abstinence education was my platform while running in the Miss America pageant system. Since I was 10 years old, I started praying for my future husband and making a deal with God. I would remain a virgin until my wedding night as long as God didn’t come back for his people until I had the chance to experience sex with my husband (preferably for more than just one night). I didn’t think I would be able to have sex in heaven. So far so good. I’m now a 29 year old virgin – by CHOICE – and proud of it!
So much of this world glamorizes sex without showing the consequences. Every media outlet, film, TV, magazines, the Internet, billboards, you name it, makes sex look cheap! I wanted a lot more for my life. Sex will be amazing, with the right person at the right time. God designed sex as a confirmation and communion between a husband and his wife. I didn’t want to taint the one gift I can give to my soul mate someday. Has it been easy to wait? NO WAY! Throughout high school, I became very involved in many different activities to keep my mind off boys. Choir, piano lesions, playing keyboard in the high school band, color guard, musicals and plays, Forensics, working a couple of part time jobs and helping my dad out on the dairy farm has kept me busy. Dad’s gun closet by the front door was also an incentive to not do anything that could cost me my life.
Years passed and I went through high school, college and moved to Hollywood to pursue a career as an actress in Film and Television. I wanted to talk to celebrities and help them realize that what they were promoting was destroying millions of people worldwide. Even though I met many handsome models and actors and could have had sex numerous times, I remembered my promise to God. Things were going great on the virginity front, until my 24th birthday. I started questioning if God was going to fulfill my dreams and if I would be able to find an amazing man that would actually want to wait to have sex until our wedding night. Many men I dated said they would wait, but after they didn’t get any “action” after months of us dating, they would go their separate ways. It became tough to honor God with my abstinence pledge during this time. For weeks, I struggled with this issue and just wanted to find my companion so it wouldn’t be such a hard struggle.
I’m normally a very outgoing, high-on-life woman, but during the Miss America pageant when I saw my dreams slip through my fingers as Miss Hawaii became the new Miss America and I was too old to compete another year, I became depressed and discouraged. On the night the 2001 Miss America was crowned, I left the pageant wondering what God had in store for me. I thought the only way people would be open to hearing me share my abstinence stance was if I had a title, a crown, being nationally recognized, having a winner’s trophy to put on my dresser. Something of value to give me the platform to speak to others about my life’s mission. As I walked away from the pageant, I wondered what purpose I had. What was God’s plan for my life? Everything I had worked for and towards for years, came to a bitter end…or so I thought. Literally, 5 minutes later my life took a dramatic change!
As I walked alone down the boardwalk along the Jersey shore, I began to think about my life and how alone I felt. I was all put together on the outside. Cute outfit, high-heeled shoes, hair and make-up in its perfect place. Anyone looking at me would’ve thought I had the world in the palm of my hand. However, on the inside I was dying. Confusion and aloneness just crept in, but deep down inside I knew God had a purpose for me and his Glory would shine in my life. Just because I didn’t have a NAME for myself, did not mean I did not have a purpose or a platform to share the truth to those who would want to hear. HE was and IS my purpose. If there is a will – there is a way. As I was walking down the boardwalk, I heard a loud, commanding voice behind me. As I turned around, I saw an old, homeless looking man crouching over on the boardwalk, about 10 feet behind me. There were crowds of people walking all around enjoying the sights on this beautiful star-lit night. All of a sudden, calmness overwhelmed me. This old man locked eyes with me and said, “You MUST save your virginity! You MUST NOT have sex until your wedding night! God WILL HONOR your decision and will give you everything you’ve always wanted and much more. You MUST wait! Save yourself until your wedding night. You MUST save your virginity.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, but without thinking, I yelled back, “I KNOW, I WILL! I will wait to have sex until my wedding night. I will remain a virgin. I promise! I WILL!” Then as soon as I turned to continue my walk, I thought about how in the world this man would know something SO PERSONAL about me and why he chose this time to reveal that message to me! How did he know? Two seconds had passed and when I turned around again to look at the man but he was GONE! Nowhere in sight! He couldn’t have run anywhere, unless he jumped 50 feet below into the Atlantic Ocean. I knew at that moment that God had sent me an angel. A TRUE, LIVING ANGEL to speak directly into my life. I had always believed angels existed. I know I have several guarding my life and they definitely work overtime, but it was AMAZING to witness God’s never-ending love for me and intervene in such a remarkable way. I then realized that everyone walking around me had stopped and was staring at me. They thought that I had been talking to myself aloud about wanting to wait to have sex until my wedding night. It was comical for them, but little did they know that I just had a major encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ!
I believe the more you rid your life of anything that’s impure, the more you will hear from your Lord and savior. You must feed your holy spirit what is pure and holy and God will speak to you in ways that you never knew possible.
I made a new commitment that night to remain a virgin until my wedding night. Today, at 29, I’m engaged to an amazing Christ-filled man and we will join forces to do ministry together. I waited for the one that God had created me to be with. I can’t wait to start the journey as a team and glorify God together throughout the world! God has blessed me more than I could have ever imagined – just like he promised before I was even conceived, when I was 10 making my first deal with him, when I was 24 and met one his angels on the Atlantic City boardwalk, and today when I share this story with you.
Are you allowing God to work through you? Are you absolutely SOLD OUT to the Lord God of all heaven and earth? Are you purifying your life in every way? Everything that goes into your heart and mind needs to be pure in order for God to work through and in you. If we love God, we need show God we love him. Not just in our words, but our actions. We can’t say we love God and then live a life that’s opposite of what he teaches. I never won the title of Miss America, but God had MUCH MORE in store for me. Today, I speak to thousands of teens and parents throughout the world, about my abstinence pledge and how the media twists the truth. Pop culture glamorizes life-threatening behaviors without showing the consequences and it became my life-long commitment to expose this LIE. I absolutely love traveling, speaking to people who need, and want to hear the life-altering message. As I eliminated all of the negative influences in my life that were causing a relationship and communication gap between myself and my savior, God revealed to me what his purpose for my life had been all along. I’m living out that dream today and I’m loving every minute of it. To see lives dramatically changed when the TRUTH is revealed, gives me a huge sense of aliveness that only God above can release in his obedient children. I want you to experience the life God has always destined for you to experience. LEARN, LIVE AND LOVE THE TRUTH. Live in Purity…every day. All that matters in the end, when we are facing God up in Heaven, is that we lived each and every day growing closer to God and doing what he wants us to do. Enjoying the process and helping others along the way. To live in complacency and without challenges seems like such a boring life to me. Sharing the truth with everyone God puts in our path and using our voice to stand up for what is right, sounds much more exciting! What do I have in store for the future? God has put so many exciting ideas in my head that I will be 80 years old still living out God’s promises. I am working on a teen radio show; working on a very informative website www.tinamarielive.com to help people learn about the issues society is facing in today’s challenging times, and writing for several publications and books of my own. Literally being his hands and feet. It will be a journey I will look back upon on my deathbed and know I did my very best. I challenge you to honor God every day and when you are taking your last breath, you too, will leave this earth with a smile on your face as you enter his glorious kingdom….