The Countdown.

Today marks ten days. It was a bit surreal once I realized that I’m less than two weeks away from calling Nigeria home. It feels like it was only a few days ago when I made the announcement. I’d gotten so used to saying “I think I’ll head out at the end of the year.” Then that turned into “I think it’ll be closer to November.” Now, I sit at my computer, with confidence that in 10 short days, I will board a plane, another plane, and drive right into the sweetest gift from God.

This will not be a super long blog about how sad I am,because quite honestly, I’m excited. I’m excited about being obedient. I’m excited about tapping into the culture I’ve obsessed over for so long. I’m excited, and sometimes I feel like I can’t say that. I compromise self-expression for the sake of protecting the people I love. I know how most loved ones handle things like this, and I sit in my excitement alone.Fortunately, I’ve realized (and have been advised) to stop that. When God calls us to change our lives, for Him, we can’t compromise our joyful obedience for the sake of trying to play God. How is that “playing God”? My desire to manage how everybody handles this move is just another way Shakiyla is trying to control EVERYTHING around her. It’s not for me to control. It’s not for me to manage. It is for me to bring to God. I finally trust His ability to change their hearts from a spirit of neglect, fear, and sadness to one of hope, trust,and celebration. Of course we must feel. We must process the things life throws at us HOWEVER we need to, but we mustn’t forget that we serve a sovereign and powerful Father. He is more than I ever could be for any of my family, friends,or students. I finally believe that.

It’s tempting to wallow in the reality that I’m leaving everything I’ve always known. Two years doesn’t sound like a long time, but two PLUS years has a different ring to it. I’m not sure how long I’ll be gone, but I’m confident that I will never know love like my family’s and I’m forever grateful. It stings when I think about it for too long. I talked to my sister this week and she said, “We don’t think about the possibility of not being able to just invite each other over whenever” and now, that’s all we think about. It’s tough, but they are the most supportive and uplifting, it’s surreal.  Anytime Elijah or Jamaal texts me, I get all giddy, and this is nothing new. They’ve always been the greatest examples of loyalty and life. I love my babies, y’all. I’m not even going to mention my Mama (lies) she is, has always, and will always be the driving force behind my love for service, people, God, and myself. I jokingly call her perfect. I’m aware of her imperfections, but the way she surrenders them to God screams perfection in my eyes and nobody can tell me differently.

I can’t wait to share this journey with you. Like most things, there will likely be hard days, but I’m learning that I didn’t commit to a life I surface level happiness, but one of soul quenching-joy, and I crave it. If you are not following me on Instagram, I recommend doing so. I will likely have more updates there, and DEFINITELY go to the sight and sign-up to receive my monthly newsletter. 

https://www.rafikifoundation.org/missionary/shakiyla-solomon-241

I will send one soon after my arrival. I usually have a “main idea” for each of my posts, I guess this one is to remember who you are in light of who God is.

Thank you for reading.

I love you.

Meet MawBea

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This is MawBea, she just happens to be the most amazing thing to happen to me since January. I’m somewhat a caregiver, I sit with her a couple of days a week and help her with things she needs help with. We talk a lot and spend a lot of time telling and listening to each others’  stories. So, a couple of Thursdays ago, for the first time in a while, MawBea asked me why I wasn’t “going steady” with anyone. Initially I had what I’d say all figured out, being I get asked it so often. This time was different though. I asked her why she asked me that and she said, “What’s wrong with these men? Why can’t they grow up and have enough faith in love and the Creator of it to jump in!?” My mouth hit the floor. I don’t think she was saying it to say that I was so special, I legitimately think she wondered why no one had committed to me. As we continued talking she started telling me stories about how she and her husband met, this was in the 1950s by the way. She went into detail about how much she didn’t pay him any mind at first. Later in the story she said how he decided that he wouldn’t give up so easily and so the pursuit commenced. She told me the biggest leap of faith she had to do was to trust that her husband would love her unconditionally & that until that moment she didn’t think her life really started. By this time, I’d  completely stopped talking because her story captivated my 22 year old peanut brain and this is what she proceeded to say,

“Shakiyla, did I say it right? SHAHKEEEELUHHH? I love that name. Shakiyla, why are you so scared to love?”

I didn’t say anything, I literally sat there and stared at her as if she’d spoken in another language. So, being the delicate little flower she is, she threw her ink pen at me and said,

“I know you heard me! What makes you so scared to love? and don’t say you’re not because I see it on that lil face. You love tough girl, sometimes too tough, but it’s as sweet as friendship bread, why not give that love to an amazing man of God that you know will protect it?”

To my surprise, I didn’t start crying, I simply replied “Fear.” & she reminded me that there is no fear in love.

Yep. That’s what happened. 20 mins into me going to work, this conversation filled the room. I’ll never forget that day y’all. Out of no where she unknowingly told me what had been the heaviest thing on MY heart and used the sweetest most simple scripture to remind me of how INVALID that was. Now, my life has definitely already started, I have goals and desires, and this is not the 1950s but those truths stand just as firm as my fear sometimes. Sometimes.

If she knew I was writing this blog about her she’d absolutely slaughter me! So y’all better not SAY A WORD. She’s more of an answered prayer than she’ll ever know and It’s the little things like this that remind me of her virtue. She’s so special and I just think I need to start sharing things like this with y’all. Disagree? Go have ice cream and take a nap, you’re crazy.

                                                                                                                     

MAW BEA MOMENT OF THE DAY:

She was walking up the garden in the picture above and the shovel was lodged in between the wall and her walker, so I go, “Maw Bea watch that shovel” and she replies, “I see it baby, thank you. Now, what am I watchin for? Is it gonna dance or somethin?” I told her to LEAVE ME ALONE, and she blew me a kiss. She’s my best friend.