Sunday, September 13, 2015

Chronicles of Tampa (1)

My oh my.
In all my years of writing (trying to sound like one pro,lol) I've never felt this glad to be sharing my thoughts again. I have missed you!!!! Like you can't understand what it means for me to be typing on my blog right now. The only time I'm not buried inside school work is when I'm in the bathroom and even then I'm probably holding my phone to go over some project or school work. Today, I decided to overlook all of my "busy bee ness" and get in touch with my first love.

A lot has happened in my life in the past months; so much I feel like I've lived my whole life in just 2 months. Lol. Never that serious. But trust me to tell you everything. Errm, almost very thing :D

I'll start by telling you about my "Big move". So after 3 yrs of studying chemical engineering in a Nigerian University, I transferred to the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida, to continue my studies. Crazy huh?
Yes, I dropped everything, I mean everything to start all over in a strange land. Well technically not start over but yeah, it kinda is. I'm sure you're still wondering why I made this, what may seem to you as stupid, move. Let's talk :)

So let's flash back to about 2 months ago when I moved from my mother land. I can remember I promised to share a testimony just before I finished the cactus series and that's what we are starting off with.
About a year ago, I started processing my admission to transfer to a Uni in the U.S.
I wanted to go after high school and since I didn't have the opportunity, I forgot about it and moved on with life. Then 3 yrs later, the idea sprung up again. It started off as a joke with very little motivation because I was in my 3rd year in a Nigerian uni and everyone around me thought it was a crazy idea.
I spoke to the one whose opinion counts the most, My God of Possibilities, and He told me to go for it. I was really confused and scared at the same time. Confused because I didn't know how to go about it and scared because I didn't want to put in so much effort into what seems absurd.
I took the next step of telling my mom who probably thought I was a joker and was probably being half-sarcastic when she told me to go ahead with my applications. If only she knew how serious I took her.
That was just the beginning of my discussion with God. I prayed more than I ate (and if you know me and how much I like food, then you'd understand better)
Was I really ready to drop everything and move to a "strange" land? Does this mean I'm going to start my half way earned degree all over?
These questions lurked my mind on a daily as I wrote numerous exams, application essays and the likes; while still going to school. But I knew God brought this up for a reason and from experience, questioning God is the last thing an ordinary girl like me should not dare to do.

You know what my fave, apostle Paul, said about faith? "Faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see"- Hebrews 11:1
This was a huge test of faith for me because all odds were against me. I mean, who decides to transfer to a new school in the middle of earning a degree? And not like the resources were even readily available for me.
So why am I making such a big deal out of this you may ask?

1) There was a high chance my credits would not be accepted and I'd have to start all over. I wouldn't know this until after spending a couple of weeks in the school and I would have paid my fees by then , so going back wouldn't be an option.
A lot of my friends that were already in the US told me about different scenarios of transfer students from US schools(not even Nigeria) that were enough to discourage me.

2) I might have been rejected a student visa after spending so much time and money on applications because I wasn't the conventional freshman student. The oyinbo* people may think I just wanted to run away and not come back; hence denying me a visa.

3) What if my mom was not able to sponsor me financially; 'cos education has to be the most expensive gift to ask for.

I had a lot of bible verses during this period but my favorite was

Hebrews4:16

" approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that you may receive grace and mercy in your time of need"

I confessed and personalized this on a daily. To some it isn't a big deal, but to me it was a huge one. I possessed my heavenly inheritance and I never knew I could totally surrender all my fears at the feet of Christ. God instilled in me the confidence to go after my heart desires; I literally felt God's presence in every area. It was during this period I got a revelation to do the cactus series. I was getting all worked up about the process and God told me: "you know what Moyo? You're worrying too much about a done deal, lemme give you something to keep you busy" And that was how the cactus series came about.

Trust me people, challenges help you grow deeper in faith. Now I understand when Paul said he rejoices in the midst of troubles because he knows God is preparing him for something bigger.
After I got my admission and it was time for me to go for visa, I started another round of prayers. My advisor was trying to tell me indirectly that I might not get a visa because of my academic level and all but I said to myself: "God didn't bring me this far to abandon me"
At the embassy, about 7 people before me were rejected and when I got to the visa official, it was like a higher authority already told him my name and I got my visa without pain (it was too easy for me to even comprehend).

"He that lives in me is greater than he that lives in the world"

To the glory of God, I'm here today, more than half of my credits were accepted. People still ask me till today how I did it because it is as rare as a unicorn. I mean, coming from Nigeria where our educational system isn't so trusted in the western part. I'll be graduating the same year as I was supposed to from my previous Uni; with more experience you may say.

It's been favor upon favor since I arrived the white man's land. The God who started a good thing in me has promised to bring it into completion and he's still at it.

This won't be complete without me mentioning my best friends in the world : Rolake Omoya and Fatimah Muhammad, whom God used as sources of motivation. They believe in my abilities more than I do myself. God bless you abundantly for pushing me way past my breaking point.

I want to continue sharing this praise report but I have to go now. It's way longer than this and I don't want this post to be longer than it already is.
I'll share my experience so far and I hope to write again soon.

Is it alright to say: "to be continued...."

Love always.

*oyinbo- white man in my native language
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