By Vicky Kaniaru
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) -- "My mom had the choice to abort me. Instead, she chose to raise me," said 18-year-old Kelcie Johnson, a student at Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Ga.
The life choice Robin Johnson made is one reason her daughter, Kelcie, is Miss Right-to-Life, Georgia, 2011.
"I was terrified, absolutely terrified," said Robin, who, after talking with her pastor had a peace about her pregnancy and decided to tell her parents.
"I love you and I'll love this baby," Robin's father responded.
In retrospect, Robin said the prospects of a baby in the home helped ease the grief from the then-recent loss of two grandparents.
"I think the biggest reason I decided to keep Kelcie is because everybody wanted her. It wasn't just me," Robin said. "No one made me feel bad about being an unwed mother. I was scared at first, but I never doubted there was a reason she was here."
Eighteen years later, the Johnson family saw Kelcie crowned the 2011 Miss Right-to-Life Georgia, a pageant that benefits the Georgia Right to Life organization.
"I am beyond proud, and it just confirms all the decisions that I made were the right decisions," Robin said. "God has something for Kelcie to do, and there is no doubt that it involves the Miss-Right-to-Life organization."
During the pageant, Kelcie told her mother's story, affirming to the judges that, though her mother, a deacon's daughter, was judged a hypocrite for her actions, she remained strong, and that Kelcie's life was the product of a pro-life choice: "It just goes to show that if you trust in God and have faith in him, something good can come out of it."
Kelcie also quoted Jeremiah 29:11, and noted that God has a purpose for every child.
When asked by pageant judges how she would defend a pro-life choice without the Bible, Kelcie said the retelling of her mother's story would show that "good things can happen when you choose life for your child." Growing up from a little girl who simply knew it was wrong to kill an innocent baby, Kelcie states that life "has opened her eyes to what it really means to end a life."
Robin said she is "unbelievably proud about the woman Kelcie has become and how she is allowing God to lead her life."
While serving as Miss Right-to-Life, Kelcie wants "to set an example to the younger queens that it's not all about the crown, it's about what you do while wearing the crown," Kelcie told TMCNews, which includes "sharing our testimony about what it means to be pro-life."
As for Kelcie's academic ambitions, she plans to earn a degree in early childhood development with a minor in world missions as she believes God confirmed such a call on her life when she served as a volunteer at the 2010 Winter Special Olympics.
CLEVELAND, Ga. (TMCNews) – Recently crowned the 2011 Miss Right-to-Life Georgia, Kelcie Johnson is also Truett-McConnell College's first female to receive a scholarship from the Conrad Rehling Memorial Fund.
"Receiving the scholarship was a God-thing," said Johnson, whose family was "worried about finances" for college.
Established in honor of Conrad Rehling –TMC golf coach Mary Holmes' father – the scholarship awards exceptional athletes who also exhibit exceptional spiritual maturity.
"I didn't have the peace of mind about going to Truett-McConnell," Johnson said. However, while on the golf course with Holmes, Johnson said she was impressed by the coach's athletic abilities and willingness to share her Christian testimony.
"She's here to help you not only with your game but also with your spiritual walk," Johnson said of Holmes, who requires the golfers to memorize a Bible verse every week and then tell the team and Holmes how the verse applies to their lives.
Though Holmes' athletic abilities and spiritual leadership helped draw Johnson to TMC, it was God, according to Johnson, who finalized her decision at a cross on the campus.
Looking at the cross, Johnson said, "If the cross is the center of the campus, the cross needs to be the center of my life."