This is a bit personal but I want to share this because someone out there might need this.
My first book is due for release in just a couple of days. The postman delivered the first hardback copies and suddenly there it was… finally in my hands – the dream, the baby, it’s finally real…
The kindle version and paperback versions should be up on Amazon any moment from now… THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!!!
It is surreal.
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I have screamed, danced, laughed, cried, prayed, laughed and cried some more. You can imagine that I am in a somewhat reflective mood… and I want to share my heart with you.
You might be someone that has a dream. You know that you were created for something bigger than yourself. You may even have an idea of what it is. You may know what you want but you just don’t have the skills or the tools to translate your dreams into reality. This little note is for you.
That is exactly where I was at the end of last year.
Even though the story is long and started about 7 years ago, the teacher in me is going to summarise it and bring out the relevant lessons that I hope will encourage you to hold onto your own dreams or encourage you to keep going and don’t give up on your dream.
1. You have been given a gift
Mentors like Pastor Abbiih and coaches like Temi of Business First Steps and a number of other friends had been telling me for years to do something with my passion for children. They knew how obsessed I was about helping children succeed and bringing the best out of every child and they recognised and told me that I had a gift. I know it might seem boastful to say that I have a gift but like my good friend and critic, Eme says, you are not boasting because you are not the owner of the gift – it was GIVEN to you. It could have been given to anyone else but I am privileged to have been given this gift. So I want to remind you that you are gifted and that talent is not for you to keep, it is for you to use. Many of us, especially women do not value what we have. When we are passionate about something and it comes so easily to us, we don’t realise the true value of what we carry.
2. God’s divine timing
There is a prayer I always pray: “Lord, don’t let me run ahead of you but don’t let me fall behind you either. Let me walk alongside you…” Even though it had been years since people were telling me to step out with what I wanted to offer children and parents I hesitated for one main reason. I wanted to be the hero of my own home first and take my own medicine before going out to tell people that “this thing works”. What is the point of teaching people how to help their children do well in school and how to support their kids if I wasn’t able to do the same with my own children?
In January of this year, after our “Start the Year Right” programme in church, it became clear to me that it was time. I received some specific words from the Lord. While I won’t go into details, I will say that it became very clear to me that it was time to step out. When I did, I was constantly amazed at how quickly things started to fall into place. I want you to be assured that when it is your time, it is your time.
3. You can’t do it alone. You need destiny helpers
By a series of divine “coincidences”, I met the right people at the right time. I would have an idea of what I want to do and the person would say “these are the specific steps you can take to get the result you want. The first thing I was told was this – “You need a voice online. You need to be having conversations with the people you want to serve so that you can find out what they need and then you can serve them better“. Surrounding yourself with the right people that will show you what you have and give you a platform to showcase or translate what you have. That was the push I needed.
4. Hard work and Patience
As at last year, all this internet stuff was foreign to me. Put me in a classroom and I am in my element but suddenly we were talking about webinars and blogs and email lists and youtube channels and facebook pages. All I wanted to do was find a way to reach parents and help them to support their children. So I had to learn and get help with all these things. In many cases, paying for them from my own pocket. Sometimes you have to put your money where your mouth is. There is no overnight success but we had a goal. It was simple. Help parents help their children. So everything we did and are doing had to point to that goal. I was always looking for and will continue to look for ways to help you help your child.
5. Be prepared to Put Yourself out there
I love to talk and I know my stuff but I constantly found myself in new situations. By the grace of God and with the guidance of great people around me I was able to find my voice. I learnt to keep moving forward in spite of any fear and certainty I felt. I learnt to always evaluate what was working and what was not. I think what really helped me was that I decided not to be afraid to try new stuff- even the things that made me uncomfortable – facebook live, webinars, name it I was up for it.
6. The journey continues
I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude. Nothing is as wonderful as looking back and seeing the way God shapes and leads and makes things fall into place and opens doors and brings the right people and the right ideas at just the right moment. I don’t feel I have “arrived” – not at all… but I thank God because He has helped me lay a good foundation. I don’t know what the future holds, but I am full of expectation that it will be great and I pray that He will continue to use me to help parents to help their children – in whatever shape or form that will take.
So there you have it. A look “behind the scenes”. While it might look like it was hard work that got me to this point, I want you to understand and be reassured that aside from hard work, there is also the Grace of God that guides us, keeps us, covers our imperfections and favours us.
For that, I am truly grateful.
I hope this will encourage you to keep going for your own dreams or to get started on that idea that is so close to your heart.