In 2010 I graduated from the University of Surrey, and worked at a radio station. A little later, my parents encouraged me to do a Master’s degree. I wasn’t keen on it. I finally had something worth being proud of in this job, and it didn’t immediately make sense to me. But I listened, and it ended up being one of the best decisions I’ve made. The first day of my Master’s degree I knew I wanted to do a PhD, and my professor encouraged it. Considering I thought I was a failure for so long, applying was one of the most audacious, faith-filled things I’ve ever done.
Meanwhile, it’s important to note I was having a long distance friendship-turned-relationship with the American man I’d met in Surrey. We would travel back and forth from D.C, to London, and I just knew he was my husband. It didn’t make sense to me how it would work, but I was in no rush at all. He had already said to me he wasn’t looking to get married until he was 30. I told myself this was fine, as I was concentrating on working on myself anyway. I also remember there was a “friend” who told me she couldn’t see me getting married until much later on in life. So I believed her, believed him, and continued getting on with the matter at hand. PhD applications.
I was knee deep into the process when he proposed on my birthday that winter. A couple of months later, I got into a school in Washington D.C.
I was actually going to America. For good.
I arrived in America, August 4th 2013. Barack Obama’s 52nd birthday. God made sure that I saw that He was all in this from the beginning. The failures, the childhood dreams, He was in it all.
Each day in this country is a testimony. I'm reminded of the goodness of God. He hears your prayers. He sees your secret tears. Purpose is not to be played with. To the naked eye, everything was fine in London. Although I couldn't shake the feeling that **this wasn't it**. I was restless. And I was right. What I know now is restlessness is a sign that you were made for more than you're experiencing.
My time here has not been without challenge. My happiest and my saddest days have both been in this country.
The America I dreamed of and fell in love with is not the America I see today. I think about how to raise children, especially sons, and the task of constantly flooding them with positivity. In this America, I will have to be intentional that they know they are special, capable and deserving of every good thing this society has to offer.
But August 4th will forever be a day of gratitude, and a reminder to have bold faith in the most unthinkable circumstances. It’s a reminder to take steps that make no sense, and speak things that seem impossible.
Dreams chase you, so if you know it’s yours, even the setbacks will bring you closer to it.