Madi is sharing how her journey on ‘The Bachelor’ changed her, what inspired her book, what she wants her fans to know most and more in her exclusive interview with AfterBuzz TV.
Hundreds have been cast on The Bachelor and its multiple spin-offs since its premiere in 2002, but few have cemented a legacy in Bachelor Nation. Roughly six percent hit one million followers (via Bachelor Data), and less than 30 have published books. Madison Prewett is one of those people, and she’s now joining the ranks of Bachelor authors with her new book, “Made for This Moment: Standing Firm with Strength, Grace, and Courage.”
Madison rose to fame on Peter Weber’s season of The Bachelor in 2020 and experienced a tumultuous ride, leaving Peter in the last week of the show after finding out he was intimate with other women and realizing they had too many differences. Peter proposed to remaining contestant Hannah Sluss only to later end his relationship with her after admitting he still had feelings for Madi. Peter and Madi attempted to give dating another shot but ultimately decided not to pursue a relationship.
Madi is sharing how her journey on The Bachelor changed her, what inspired her book, what she wants her fans to know most, and so much more in her exclusive interview with AfterBuzz below:
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AFTERBUZZ: Of all of the different things you could write about, why was “Made for This Moment” the message you wanted to share?
MADI: When I came off of The Bachelor, everyone was asking me the same questions over and over again: How were you able to stand firm under pressure? How were you able to stay true to yourself and stay true to your beliefs and convictions and not change for someone or something? When I was reached out to about writing a book, I’d actually already started writing a book before I ever went on The Bachelor, which is something a lot of people don’t know. When I came off of The Bachelor, and I was reached out to by different agents and publishing companies, I didn’t want to put a book out there that’s just another book out there. I want to put a book out that adds value to people, that speaks to people, that helps them, and also answers these questions that they’re all wondering and struggling to find out. When I decided to write “Made for This Moment,” I took all those questions people were asking me, and I turned it into how I was able to stand firm under pressure because of the true source of courage and confidence that God gave me. And the model for that was actually out of the Bible, out of the Book of Esther. There’s a little quote from that passage in the Bible where it says, ‘maybe you’ve been called to this position for such a time as this.’ And so I actually took that phrase ‘for such a time as this’ and was like, what is the modern way of saying that? That’s how I came up with “Made for This Moment,” and my whole heart behind the book is for people to understand that they were made on purpose and for a purpose, that they are a part of something so much bigger than themselves and they have something so valuable and so beautiful to give this world.
I’ve seen so many who have everything that this world says is valuable and important feel like their life is pointless and meaningless, and they lay their heads down at night and say, ‘Is this all there is? Is there more for me?’ And then I’ve seen the people who feel like they have nothing in the world that’s valuable and important, and they’re like, ‘Why am I even here? What value do I bring to anyone or anything?’ I’ve seen what it’s like to be in the seasons where I feel like I have everything and in the seasons where I feel like I have nothing, and really my whole secret of learning contentment and joy and confidence and rising in my purpose in either of those seasons of life has been knowing why I’m here, knowing the one who created me and that really being the foundation of how I live my life. I really just have a heart to meet people exactly where they’re at, but help them ultimately get where they dream and long to be, and for them to just know that they were made for such a time as this. That’s kind of the heart behind the book.
AFTERBUZZ: You talk about our best not being God’s best, and we don’t always know what unexpected things are going to happen in our lives. You didn’t get engaged after The Bachelor, but what are some of the unexpected good things that came out of that experience for you?
MADI: I felt led to go on The Bachelor, which is something that a lot of people kind of looked at me sideways for: ‘What? You felt led to go on The Bachelor? What are you talking about?’ I talk about in the book what led to saying yes to going on the show and what that looked like, but I feel like even though I said yes to it and even though I stepped into it, I really had no idea what it was going to look like. I had no idea what was going to come out of it and how people were going to respond. I knew that Christianity had been depicted in not the most beautiful light in the past. I had no idea, and I was like, ‘Okay Lord, I know you’re calling me to do this, but I’m honestly terrified.’ So I said yes to going on the show, a little afraid and honestly a little ignorant. I had never watched the show before, so I had no idea what I was really saying yes to. I’d only seen little clips from previous seasons, but I never watched a full season. I didn’t really know all of the rules. I had no idea really what I was doing. So I stepped into it open-handed and kind of like, ‘Okay God, you got this, and I trust you with this,’ but I didn’t really know what to expect.
Now looking back, it’s so crazy because I had no idea that it was going to be me and Peter at the finale. I had no idea I was gonna be kind of the last girl standing, and I had no idea how God was going to use it. And it’s cool because I feel like God not only used the season while I was actually recording and getting to pour into the girls and getting to build a relationship with them but he’s also used it when it aired for the people that watched my life and since then, in how I’ve been able to really step into my purpose and really encourage people from afar through my platform. It’s been really cool to see how God has used it, but I would say one of the things that has kind of surprised me the most was how it’s changed my personal life just as a person, how I view the world, and how I view others and view purpose. My book is called “Made for This Moment: Standing Firm with Strength, Grace, and Courage,” and I feel like in going on the show, those three words were redefined for me. I feel like I saw strength as perfection, and I always had to have it together, and I always had to be strong, and I couldn’t show weakness. I couldn’t show struggle. I couldn’t be vulnerable or let my guard down. I saw courage as always having fists up ready to fight, just saying whatever, doing whatever, and grace as almost this passive thing, letting people walk all over me and just sitting by and letting people say and do whatever.
But I feel like those three words were totally redefined and transformed for me. During that time on the show, I was able to see that true strength doesn’t always look like being perfect and having this picture-perfect image, but rather just letting people see all that you really are and letting God move through that. God gave me grace for the race that I was running and the lane that I was in when I felt like I couldn’t keep going, when I wanted to give up and when I felt like I didn’t have what it took. God gave me grace for that season and courage to know not only when to fight when to speak up and defend myself and when to use my voice, but also knowing when to be silent and knowing when not to speak. When I’m at the finale, and I’m having words thrown at me and all of these things being said, knowing that in that moment, it’s not the words that I say but rather the words I choose not to say that are going to really make an impact and a difference here. In all of it, it was a beautiful experience because I feel like God used it in such a big way to encourage other people, and I feel like he’s still using that. But also, I feel like it changed my life, and I grew so much as a person through that experience.
AFTERBUZZ: Speaking of unexpected benefits, right after you got off the show, you got to hangout with Selena Gomez. She’s someone who’s been in the spotlight and in relationships publicly before. What kind of advice did she give you?
MADI: She’s amazing and one of the most down to earth, incredible humans I’ve ever met. Honestly, I was going through so much. It was literally a day after I walked off the finale, so I didn’t even have time to process what was going on in my life, so I didn’t even see it as like, oh, I’m going to hang out with Selena. I was like, cool, I’m hanging out with some friends, and that’s literally how it felt from the moment that I met her. She was just like a friend. It didn’t feel like, oh my gosh, here’s this person in the spotlight. This is this amazing girl who has such a big heart, who loves God, who loves people, and that’s how I felt from the moment I met her. She embraced me. She prayed over me. She just encouraged me through her struggles and things she’s walked through and how to handle breakups, but also in the season of life that I was now in and what I was now going to be facing. She was just such a breath of fresh air coming out of such an intense moment and situation. It was two days after the finale. It was the night that Peter and I had ended our relationship and was actually the night Peter and I had posted publicly that we had ended the relationship. It was a whirlwind of things going on, and so spending time with her and all of those girls was just such a breath of fresh air. She’s incredible.
AFTERBUZZ: One of the hard things about going on The Bachelor is not being able to consult others who are close to you. How were you able to learn to trust yourself in your decisions?
MADI: I love that question a lot, so thanks for asking. I actually think it’s funny because that was one of the first pieces of advice that I gave Peter on the show. We had our first one-on-one date, and I was like, ‘Hey, I trust you, and I want you to trust you. I want you to trust yourself. I want you to trust that you have what it takes. I want you to trust your judgment and your discernment and to know that you have everything you need to be all that God has called you to be, to make the right decisions, and to walk this out beautifully.’ I love that you asked that question because that was actually the first thing I challenged Peter with.
This is actually the whole idea and heart behind my book, that the way we respond to pressure matters, but the way we prepare for it matters just as much. I was able to stay true to myself with the whole world watching because I knew who I was when no one was watching, and I believe that those are directly connected and directly tied together because who you are when no one’s around is who you’re going to be when everyone’s around. I was able to stay fully true to myself. I didn’t feel the need to perform or change myself or be someone that I’m not to be validated, to be chosen, to get a rose, to be accepted by others because I knew who I was, and I was able to stand firm in that. I’ve not always been perfect in that, and I don’t say that in the sense of like, ‘Hey, I’ve got it all figured out,’ but I’ve learned through failures. I’ve learned through the highs and the lows, when I was able to stand firm when I folded under pressure–through all of those moments, I’ve learned true strength, grace, and courage. That’s what I want to help other people discover: when you are in moments of pressure, when you are in moments of temptation, when you are in moments where all eyes are on you, you need to know who you are, and you need to know what you believe. Because when those moments come, what’s inside of you is what’s going to come out of you. That’s just what’s going to happen, whether you like it or not. You can’t just rely on adrenaline, feelings, or peer pressure. You’ve got to have something so much deeper than that.
Being on a show like The Bachelor, when you have tons of voices around you when you have tons of pressures, tons of opinions, tons of temptations, I was able to stay so rooted and so grounded to keep my standards high and keep my roots deep because I knew exactly who I was. I knew exactly what I believed. I knew no matter what is thrown at me, no matter what is going on around me, I’m not going to change who I am. I’m not going to settle. I’m not going to conform to what’s going on around me because I know who I am, and I know what God’s called me to do. That’s what I want to help other people get to because I haven’t always been at that place. I had many moments in high school and college where that was not the situation. But in this season, where a lot of people were watching my love story unfold, I was able to demonstrate that, and I believe that’s only because of God. Now I want to help other people in their moments of pressure. Even though that’s probably not going to be on reality TV for millions of people to see–at least I hope not!–I still want to be able to help them in their moments of temptation because even though the outside circumstances may not look the same, it still leaves the same internal struggles; that feeling of, ‘I want to be liked. I want to be accepted. I want to fit in. I want people to love me and choose me.’ That desire to conform, that desire to change ourselves or look like everyone else, is always going to be there. How do we deal with those pressures? How can we stay true to ourselves? How can we know who we are in a world that’s constantly trying to tell us who we are? My heart is to meet that individual who wrestles with that on a daily basis.
AFTERBUZZ: You don’t just have a communications degree, but you also attended seminary. When I think of going on a dating show, I don’t think that there are two better skill sets you can have than strong communication and strong grounding in your faith. How did those two things shape how you’re using your platform now?
MADI: I love that you brought that up because I do believe how you invest in yourself, how you prepare in private when no one’s around, is how you’re going to perform in public when everyone is around. For me, that goes back to the discipline, the practices, and the things that I was doing for years and years and years when no one knew who I was, when no one was patting me on the back when no one was tweeting about me or talking about me in a good way or bad way. Those years of preparation, those years of discovering who I am and what I believe and feel called to do, were so essential and so crucial. That goes back to when I was in college, and I had to make hard decisions when nobody was around: what kind of life do I want to live? What kind of decisions do I want to make? Who really am I? What have I been purposed to do?
It was in college where I went all in with Jesus, but also where I discovered I feel called to add value to other people. I feel called to do ministry, whatever that looks like. I think I was a year and a half into Auburn when I decided to start my seminary leadership Bible college program through my church, and it was at the same time, so I was actually balancing the both of them simultaneously. I really had no idea how it was all going to play out. I graduated college, and my first job was in foster care and adoption. That was a huge passion of mine, but I knew it wasn’t ultimately what God had called me to be, but was rather something for a season. I had no idea how it was all gonna play out, but now I look back, and I’m like, wow.
It’s so true that you are in this season of life and exactly where you’re at for a reason and that God uses every single bit of it. Even though I couldn’t see the fullness of what it was going to be at the time when I was going through seminary or getting my communications degree and logging in long hours and doing all these things that no one could see, it was preparing me for a moment that everyone was going to be able to see. It was preparing me for moments where pressure was going to be intense, and pressure was going to be high, and I was going to be tested in my identity, tested in my faith, tested in every single way possible. Those moments of preparation and of really walking out my purpose with no one around were so crucial for walking out my purpose when everyone was around. I look back, and I’m so grateful. I’m grateful for parents that raised me in the church and spoke life over me, and also for an opportunity to study communications, to learn how to speak and write, and then ultimately to go through Bible college and learn the why behind everything I do and how to walk that out. I’m very grateful for those opportunities, especially before I stepped into something like The Bachelor.
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AFTERBUZZ: You touched on earlier how everyone questioned you, ‘What do you mean you feel called to go on The Bachelor?’ How do you overcome the anxiety that comes with choosing not to do what everyone expects from you?
MADI: For me, it came down to–and I talk about this in my very first chapter–what true courage looks like. I guess I can only speak on behalf of myself because, for people who don’t believe in God, it’s going to be different. But at least for me, true courage looks like not just being willing to go and being willing to do this and do that, but also being willing to stay and being willing to listen, and being willing to be faithful. True courage to me is coupled with that conviction to do exactly what God has called you to do, and sometimes that doesn’t look like what everyone expects you to do. Sometimes that doesn’t even look like what you would expect you to do.
I had no desire and no idea that I would be going on a reality TV show. That was not what I would have planned out for my life. I expected to marry a pastor and to have a little church with my husband and my kids, and we’d sit in the front row. That was what my life was gonna look like. That’s what I had pictured. That’s what everyone else had pictured for me. Going on The Bachelor felt like a total contradiction, not only for me but for everyone around me. They’re like, ‘This doesn’t make sense. This doesn’t align with who you are and the trajectory of where your life is going.’ Maybe that’s how other people feel about you and what you’re doing and what you’re accomplishing. One of my biggest challenges to people is don’t be afraid to step out of the boat. Don’t be afraid to break the box that other people have put you in. Don’t be afraid to be all that God has called you to be. Courage doesn’t mean that we don’t get afraid; courage just means we don’t let fear stop us. Courage just means we won’t let the opinion of man and the fear of what ifs get in the way of what God has called us to do. Honestly, the reason that I almost didn’t go on The Bachelor was because I was so afraid of what people would think and what people would say. I was so afraid of the what ifs. I was so afraid of what could happen, how I could be portrayed, and I just remember having almost like this heart check; it was this moment that I had with God where God was like, ‘Okay Madi, I’ve called you to do this, and you’re really gonna sit here and look me in the eyes and say, no, I’m not going to do this God because I’m so afraid of what other people are gonna say and what other people are going to think?’
I think so many people don’t step into the fullness of what God has for them because one, they’re not willing to go through what it takes to get there, and two, because they’re not willing to make certain sacrifices and they’re not willing to step out of the boat. And I think a lot of that does go back to being so afraid of what other people are going to think. They’re so afraid of going against the grain. They’re so afraid of looking different. My challenge to be made for this moment, to be a moment maker, is to be someone who rises in confidence and courage. That looks like sometimes breaking the box, and the barrier other people have put you in and stepping into the fullness of what God has called you to do, and being unafraid of what other people might think or say, trusting at the end of the day, I have to give an account to one person, and that’s God. Whatever he’s called me to do, I’m going to trust that he’s going to give me everything that I need to do it. That was how I felt. I felt so unqualified to be a messenger of God’s grace, hope, truth, love, all the things on something like The Bachelor. I felt so unqualified for that. I did not feel like I had what it took, and I didn’t know how it was going to be displayed, and that was terrifying to me. But I knew God was calling me to do it, and so I had to trust, ‘Okay, God, if you’re calling me to this, you’re going to get me through it. You’re going to give me what I need to be who you’ve called me to be and to do what you’ve called me to do.’ That’s what I would encourage to you and to everyone who sees this: you have exactly what you need inside of you to do what God has called you to do. You’re the only one who can get in the way of what God has called you to do. No one can stop you from what God has called you to do unless you give them the opportunity to do that. Don’t get in your way. Trust that what God has called you to do, you have what you need to do it, and he’s going to continue to sustain you through it.
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AFTERBUZZ: One of the overarching things you talk about in the book is pre-deciding the decisions you’re going to make in life. I think so many young people are blessed that they get to learn that from you. Can you talk about what pre-deciding looks like for you?
MADI: I remember when I had that moment of revelation of why it’s so powerful to pre-decide. It’s kind of what I was alluding to earlier when I made the decision I want to go all in with Jesus. I remember being in college knowing, okay, I don’t have my parents here. I don’t have people breathing down my neck telling me this is who you should be, this is how you should live. It’s no longer my parents’ religion or my parents’ relationship with God. Now it’s fully up to me. I’m on my own. I just remember having that moment of, okay, so who do I want to be? What kind of life do I want to live? What kind of decisions do I want to make? I knew I was going to be faced with pressure and temptation to conform, or to look like someone else, to do this, to do that. I knew I was going to be in rooms alone with guys or at parties around people telling me whatever. I was going to be in situations where there were going to be pressures to conform or change myself, to look like everyone else or to do whatever that person wants me to do so that they’ll accept me or love me. And I knew at that moment, when I went all in with Jesus, that I wanted to live a life, of course, that honored God, but also a life that I was proud of. I knew if I just let my feelings lead me and I just let the pressures around me guide me that I was going to go down a road of resentment, and I was going to go down a road of shame and regret, and I didn’t want that. I wasn’t perfect, of course. There were still moments where I messed up, and shame followed, and then grace followed after that, but I still made a decision in that moment: if I don’t want to go down that road and I don’t want to have to deal with those feelings of shame, regret and resentment, I need to decide right now before those moments of pressure ever come what I’m going to do. Of course, there’s going to be situations where you have no idea when pressure is going to arrive and when moments of temptation are going to arrive. There are some situations that you can’t necessarily have a full plan in place for, but you can prepare by just knowing exactly who you are and what you believe so that when those moments of pressure come, you already know ultimately how you’re going to respond because you know who you are, you know what you value most, and you know what you believe. Ultimately that’s going to be what’s going to lead in those moments and not just the feelings and pressures around you.
It was that moment in college where I asked myself, what am I going to do at this moment? I presented myself with those situations, and I said, ‘How am I going to respond when that happens?’ Because I know it’s going to be hard when I’m in a situation where I really like this guy, and he’s really cute, and he’s telling me all these things. How am I going to respond at that moment? I made a decision at that moment, and I was able to stay true to that not because I just made a decision at that moment, but I continue to choose it, and I continue to practice it and to invest in myself and invest in my faith and in my relationship with God. Yes, it was a decision that I made outside of the heat of the moment, which I believe is so powerful and so important, but it was also practicing and stretching that spiritual muscle within me that was giving me what I needed so that when those moments of pressure came, it was my spirit leading me in that moment and not just my cravings, my desires and my feelings leading in that moment. I think that it’s a combination of both of those things. I think that pre-deciding outside of the heat of the moment and taking time to prepare is so important, but also realizing we don’t have what it takes to stay strong. We really don’t. We don’t have what it takes to stand firm, but the spirit inside of us does, and God’s spirit in us does. It was realizing that on my own, I don’t have what it takes, but with God, I have everything I need. Making sure that I’m investing in that relationship and I’m spending time in God’s word, spending time in prayer and in God’s presence, that’s going to give me what I need in those moments, as well as doing the hard work of pre-deciding and preparing. I believe that takes some action on your end, but it’s also realizing this is so much bigger than me, and I really need God’s help with this.
AFTERBUZZ: There are so many quotes in the book that are gems, but one of my favorites is when you were single, and your mom told you that what you’re going to do in this season, you wouldn’t be able to do if you were married. How did that advice impact you?
MADI: Gosh, that advice still impacts me. I’m like the only single one in my friend group, and I still cling to that. And I think it remains true not just to those that are single and not just in a relational way, but I think it remains true no matter where you are in your life. You are exactly where you are for a reason and for a purpose, and there’s something to be learned here that’s going to prepare you for what’s next. I had to learn, and I’ve had to continue to learn and continue to choose that if I’m not content here, I’m not going to be content there. If I’m not fully maximizing and utilizing exactly where God has me right here, and right now, I’m not going to be ready for where he’s trying to take me next. That was a humbling moment because it’s really hard when you desire something so much to be truly content with where you’re at and to trust that God is not withholding good from me. I am where I’m supposed to be.
It’s hard to believe that when everyone around you is getting what you so desperately want. I was in this season where all of my friends were getting married, and I was going through a breakup at the time. I was in probably five or six weddings, planning all of these engagements, planning all these bachelorette parties, going to all of the weddings, and it was extremely hard for me to learn contentment and to trust, okay God, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. And hearing those words from my mom was just such an opening moment: like, oh my gosh, she’s right. God is not withholding good from me. There’s something that I’m supposed to be doing right here, right now, that’s going to prepare me for where God’s taking me that I wouldn’t be prepared for had I gotten what I asked for a year ago, which was to be married. I had to remember what my mom was saying, that if I were married, maybe there are people that I wouldn’t be able to reach and things I wouldn’t be able to do, which was all right. I obviously wouldn’t have been able to go on The Bachelor and ultimately write this book and do what I’m doing now had God given me what I so desperately wanted and longed for at that time. That’s why I say you were made for this moment, not you were made for or a future moment, but for this one right here, right now. You have exactly what you need for where you are.
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There is a reason that you are where you are. There are people around you that need you right here and right now, and there’s also something that God wants to do inside of you that’s going to prepare you for the future moments that are to come. That was a big eye-opening moment for me, not just regarding relationship stuff, but just life in general. When I knew I was going to be faced with situations like getting a job that I wanted, or getting the applause or the rewards that I wanted, or getting the relationships that I wanted–whatever it was, there were going to be those moments where it would be easy to compare, or it would be easy to just dwell in this sadness and this darkness of, ‘It’ll never be me. I’ll never get this.’ Like, ‘God, do you see me? Where are you?’ I’ve had many of those moments if I’m being real and honest, but it came back to this place of, okay, why am I here? What has God called me to do? And then just remembering, it’s so much bigger than me. God is so good. He’s not withholding good from me. And so that means that I’m exactly where I need to be right here and right now.
AFTERBUZZ: If you could say anything to the person who’s reading this right now and is struggling with all the things that can get in the way of the life they want, what would you say?
MADI: To those who long to know their identity and long to know their purpose and long to be made for this moment, I would just reiterate you were made on purpose and for a purpose. No matter what you’ve been through and no matter what other people have labeled you as and said about you, God has a big plan and purpose for your life. It’s not by accident that you are who you are, that you are where you are. You were intentionally designed, you were fearfully and wonderfully made, and it’s not an accident that you are here right now. You were made for such a time as this. And if not you, then who? If you don’t step up, then who’s going to?
There are going to be people reading my book who have an opportunity to reach people that I don’t have an opportunity to reach, and that’s why it’s so important. If everyone lived with this passion and desire to say, ‘Hey, I’m made for this moment,’ if everyone lived with that sense of urgency and passion and intentionality, can you imagine how different our world would be? So I just want everyone to know exactly who they are. I want everyone to see that they have so much to give, but also that it’s not even about them. It’s so much bigger than them. Even what God has given them is not for them. It’s to give back, and it’s to make a difference.
The moments when I was the most insecure, the moments when I could not even stand to look at myself in the mirror and didn’t even want to get out of bed, and I felt just lifeless and hopeless, were the moments that I made it about me. Those were the moments where I was living selfishly, and I was making it about, what can I get out of this? What can people give me? How come I’m not where she’s at? Or God, how come you didn’t give me this, or you didn’t take me there? And the moments I made it about me, I felt so lifeless and hopeless. But I can say now, in this season of my life, what I want people to realize is now I have so much confidence and so much joy, and so much peace. And it’s not because I have this or I have that, or I look this way, or I was raised this way, but it’s because one, God is the source of that, and two, I’m living a life that’s so much bigger than me. Now I realize that my true source of contentment and confidence, and joy is actually living with the idea that this isn’t about me. It’s about how I can add value to other people. How can I serve other people? How can I make a difference? And it’s through that that I find true hope, true joy, true contentment, and true purpose. My life has just been totally transformed, and I want to see people rise in confidence, rise in contentment, rise in joy, rise in purpose, but also realize that everything that they have and everything that they discover, everything that they’ve been given is just to give back to this world and to give back to those around them. That’s where they’re going to find everything that they’re looking for.
You can pick up a copy of “Made For This Moment” when it’s released on Oct. 19!