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.

Going, going, GONE.

February 2018

The week has started, and I’m pretty anxious about my upcoming trips. I decided that with all of the traveling I did last year, I wanted to keep up the momentum. Today is February 5, 2018 and I’m taking my first couple of trips starting this Friday. The goal has been for me to leave Louisiana at least once a month, and visit somewhere new, with or without a travel buddy. I’ve been hungry to experience new things, new places, and new people.

So, the first part of my trip will be in Florida. I’ve actually been to Florida once before, but never by myself, or at my own pace. I will be staying in Eustis, a small city in Lake County FL. I don’t know much about the place, or what it has to offer, but I’m eager to find out. I’m specifically going there for a job interview, and if all goes as planned, I’ll be sharing that with you all soon. If you have any suggestions or recommendations of places to see while I’m there, PLEASE drop a comment. I can easily Google it, but it’s just not the same as a personal recommendation.

My second stop will be Washington D.C. I’ve never been, so I’m super excited about all of the historical artifacts, museums, and food I plan to take in while I’m there. I haven’t gotten any suggestions on places to visit, and my priority is the National Museum of African American History. I will obviously be spending time other places, but my list is fairly short. I plan to visit the national monuments and The Ethiopic Restaurant, an African restaurant in the city.

I’ve set a personal goal to meet at least 5 new people and try 3 new foods- I’ll be sharing that with y’all as well. I haven’t made a decision on where to visit in March, so I’m attaching a poll that I’d love some feedback on! I will be posting my “Top 10 Tips for Solo-Female Travers” soon, and hopefully that’ll encourage you to take the world, country, or even your state by storm!

VOTE HERE

Thank you for continuing with me on my journey. There is so much more to come.

I love you.