Remember

This song pretty much speaks for itself. It’s been on non stop repeat for the last few days and I wanted to share. I’ve never experienced this, but the words speak volumes to me and I really do empathise with Jhené and what she’s singing about.

I love this song and I really do hope you enjoy.

Until tomorrow

Rebekah

 

Brother/ Sister Love <3

Hello again. As usual, I hope this meets you well.

This week has truly been a blessing. Although I didn’t do anything that was different to what I usually do, it was different. This is a week that I’ll enjoy looking back on, as I was reminded how much I love and adore my three siblings and how grateful I am to have them.

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To my siblings,

I love you, and I couldn’t imagine life without you. Yes, we have our moments, and you all can annoy the crap out of me, but I wouldn’t change it. Because the highs are so much better and last so much longer than the lows.

Thank you for redefining the meaning of laughter and happiness. Nobody banters the way you do. I’m grateful because each of you remind me what it means to love unconditionally and what it means to accept people the way they are. What it means to overlook the unlovely. Thank you for all the support you give me and for loving me unconditionally, despite my flaws. When all else fails, I know you are all there and you will continue to support and surround me with your love. You’ve taught me that the love you have for your sibling(s) is constant and never changing, it’s innate.

Each day you remind me how important it is to me, to spend life with someone who makes my stomach disappear. Each day you remind me how grateful I am for the childhood we were given. A childhood I dream of giving my own children. Each day you remind me that we are strong, we are blessed and we are loved.

You made me realise how much I adore being a sister, and how important it is to be a sister. I hope for more than one child.

So, hold these words to your heart: In darkness, I will be there. In light, I will be there, because ‘together we stand’. When you feel pain, I feel pain and when you laugh, I laugh. You keep me warm and nothing can tear us apart.

All my love

Rebekah

A Letter to My Younger Self

Dear Bekz

Wow, where to begin? I wish you could see how far you’re going. I wish you could see where God is going to take you. Although life is challenging, life is good. There will be tears, laughter, anger, frustration, joy, peace, hope, and love. You won’t always understand things and seeing others suffer will cause you pain, but you have to keep going. You have to keep fighting because you have no choice but to survive. Be strong in the dark days and bask in the bright days.

As to be expected, a lot will change as the years go by. Unfortunately, some of the people you thought would always be there won’t be. You’ll lose friends you thought you’d have for life, but you’ll gain friends you’ll actually have for life- friends that you can’t imagine life without. Family is still everything to you and family will still be there for you. You are going to overcome, really overcome, cross bridges you never thought you’d cross, let go, and live a life that is full to capacity. Your experiences will be endless. You have so much to be thankful for.

Take note of life’s lessons, for He is a great teacher. Trust in God always and always believe, for it is He that has made all things possible. Chase your dreams and live according to His will. His will for you, and your hearts desires line up. Oh, and ‘be you, love you. All ways, always’.

So, I’d love it if you did the following. You’ll thank yourself for it later:

  1. Enjoy yourself now, enjoy these moments ‘coz you can’t get them back.
  2. Don’t worry so much, there’s really no need. I know you know about what Jesus said about tomorrow.
  3. Read your Bible and cry out to God more. Find a routine that works for you and stick by it.
  4. You truly don’t care about what people think of you, what they have to say about you and whether they like you or not. Never lose that. Self-confidence is important. Especially in a world that will do anything to keep you down.
  5. Believe that you are beautiful.
  6. On many, many occasions you will wonder whether you’ll make it, if you’ll ever succeed. You will believe that your hard work never pays off and you will wonder if the stress is worth it. Yes, the answer will always be yes, it’s worth it. Never, ever give up. Your hard work pays off in more ways than one.

Darling, the future is bright. Take your time, smell the air, touch the flowers, play in the snow. Adulthood is inevitable, there’s no rush. Enjoy these moments because everything has and will continue to fall into place.

With much love always

Rebekah

Closure

On Friday 20th May, I had the pleasure of going to see my friend’s graduate fashion show in London. As explained in ‘Winning’, this friend is a friend I met at uni and a friend I would have been graduating with this summer, had I not attempted to retake year one and had I not left. In that blog post, I explained that I felt a little sad and reflective of the events that had passed. I further explained what I remembered and what I learnt, which in turn, reiterated the fact that I quit for me and better came because I finally let go.

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Before Friday came, I had absolutely no expectations- funny how I went through a good few that day. I’ll be honest and say that I first felt a little annoyed because I was reminded of some of the reasons I didn’t like it there in the first place. I felt that nothing really changed- these people were still the same. I was quickly reminded that as much as things change in such a short period of time, is as much as things can also stay the same. Maybe I read too much into it? Or I was being too quick to judge? But I was shocked because nobody humbled themselves and acknowledged that although I came to support my friend, I came to support them too. Of course, the show was never about me or about me coming back after so long, but I would’ve appreciated it if people smiled back and said hello and/ or thank you for coming. I see that maybe it meant more to me because I was coming back. Maybe it meant less to them because I was the one intruding in on something that no longer belonged to me.

But all that faded and when the show started, pride consumed me. I felt proud of each and every one of them because I truly understood the struggle and the lengths it took to get to this point. I sat back and basked in what was happening in these precious moments, truly appreciating the concepts, the thoughts, the music, the garments- which were made to an incredibly high standard-, the design process and everything behind the scenes leading up to this moment. I truly appreciated what I saw because I knew Struggle so well. I knew him and I was finally able to see what breaking free of him looked like. It looked like me leaving and sounded like a thousand shackles falling to the ground.

Then peace, and acceptance set in when I asked myself if this was ever in my reach. ‘No’ never sounded so good to me. I accept that what is for me, will always be for me and what is not for me will definitely never be for me. I find solace in the fact that fighting for it, and not being able to give anymore if I tried, proves just that.

And finally, gratitude followed.

So yes, I got a lot of closure from this one show. It enabled me to put the last few years into perspective. So much unfolded before my eyes, further confirming what I already knew. Friday symbolised the end and reminded me I made the right choice.

Unlike before, I now recognise that my timing was slightly off. I thought This season, filled with a lot of rain, and a lot of sunshine, started when I left uni. It actually started three years ago in 2013 when I knew the journey I was to embark on would take everything in me and when I made the choice to press on anyway. I had no idea that three years later I’d be closing a huge chapter of my life. Properly closing it. Three years of fear, courage, strength, weakness, laughter, tears, overcoming, optimism, faith and so, so much more, led me here. Led me to look at my reflection and stand in awe of the woman I have become. Of what I have overcome. Closing the door, means that I have truly overcome sadness, fear, frustration, anger, pride, faithlessness, disappointment and worry. Starting led me to leaving which in turn led me to discovery, growth, peace, joy, strength and so, so much more.

I am grateful for this journey and I promise you, I would not change it for the world because I stand here, a better and stronger person.

I thank you Father for your spirit that liveth within me and for healing- for breaking every chain. Thank you for helping me to see what the last three years have amounted to. For opening my eyes and my mind so that I could truly understand what you have done, what you have used this season for. Thank you for preparing me for what is to come, for walking with me and for never letting go, even when I thought my way was the way, even when I didn’t understand. Thank you for being patient with me.

With new eyes I see what it means to be broken as a Christian: ‘The very word brokenness means that something that was whole has been taken apart. In this disassembly of the human soul, brought on by conviction of the Holy Spirit, the life of the individual is left without excuse or reason not to surrender all they are to God. In acceptance of God’s complete authority over the life of a Christian, that person is made complete in the process of being broken’. (http://www.angelfire.com/ma/bhall/broken.html).

On this journey I have been broken in Christ. He has ploughed my soil and replanted the garden in my heart. Through Him, I am better because of it and I thank Him for it. I didn’t realise until now, the importance of this season and how much this season moulded me. Three years changed me, and I didn’t know it, I honestly didn’t even know it.

Lord, I stand in awe of you. In awe of the fact that ‘I’m standing here, only because you made a way’. I wish I could express just how grateful I am. Just how much peace I feel. You are intentional and never failing. Thank you for closure.

Very soon, I’ll be closing this chapter, and I know that I’ll close it with no regrets, with sincerity and with peace. This chapter will be a constant reminder, that once more, what has come and what is to come will always, in its entirety, be greater.

 

‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose’.

Romans 8:18

‘For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us’.

Romans 8:28

P.s- The show was great- for more reasons than one.

 

Until next time

Love, light and blessings

Rebekah

Winning.

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be going to see a friend’s final collection for her graduate fashion show in London. A friend I met at uni and a friend I would have been graduating with this summer, had I not attempted to retake year one and had I not left. To be honest, from the moment she invited me and from the moment I purchased my ticket, all that crossed my mind was how proud I was of her for making it through and completing the course, and how excited I was to see what four years of hard work, dedication and perseverance had to say for itself. I know it has a lot to say for itself.

But today, I somehow found myself watching a video that the soon to be graduates had put together in anticipation of this journey’s end. And I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad. Not envious or jealous, but sad and reflective of the events that had passed.

For a few moments, I was reminded of where I could have been if I was successful in pursuing that dream. I’d be graduating and I would be proving everyone who ever doubted me wrong.

But then I remember how I felt, and how I started to lose hope. And I remember how I couldn’t have fought harder if I tried. How I did make the right choice and staying in that place was no good for me.

And I remember what I learnt. And that is: it never could’ve worked because even when I fought so hard to make it work, it still crumbled before my eyes.

And then, despite the fact that I’ve said all this before, I remind myself of how true the lessons that I have learnt are. I remember that:

I am not a failure

It was ok to let go when I realised that it wasn’t for me

Letting go doesn’t mean that I failed

I am strong

It is so important to stand firm in my choice

I didn’t fail and I didn’t lose but I gained

Everything is ok

I gave it my all and I couldn’t have given anymore if I tried

They are the ones, who didn’t deserve me

Leaving didn’t mean that they won, it meant that I won, because I did not allow them to control my life, my feelings and the choices that I had every right to make

I fought to win, and I did win. It not working led to (and will continue to lead to) much greater things.

So, I take a moment to breathe, and think about how graduating is not the be all and end all, and proving people wrong is not the be all and end all. People will always talk and there will always be someone who thinks less of who you truly are and what you are capable of. I’ve found that what matters is that I am alive and able to tell the tale, alive and able to say: ‘I quit. But I quit for me and I am not a failure, and there are better things to come, better things have come’.

Overcoming is a journey in itself, and it often takes more work than what we originally anticipated. Sometimes we think everything is ok and we’re fine with how things worked out, but the smallest thing can carry us slightly backwards and wondering about what could’ve been, even though we know what could’ve been in nowhere near as great as what has been or as great as what is to come.

So today I’m encouraging myself, and reminding myself that this is a journey. There will be setbacks and sad moments where I wonder about the past. Moments where for a moment, I lose sight of the blessings I’m experiencing and have yet to experience, the blessings I’m experiencing because of those dark days.

Today, first and foremost, I’m praying for myself. I’m praying that God will continue to lead me and fill me up. I’m praying that I never take my eyes off of Him and lose sight of what He has brought me out of and where He is taking me. I pray that in moments like this, I don’t get weighed down with what could have been when I know that what is to come will always, in its entirety, be greater.

And for you friend, today I pray that you too, will never get weighed down by what could’ve been. I pray that God continues to use you in your season of growth, renewal and healing. I pray that you look forward with no regrets and you stand firm in the choice(s) that you made, that have been ordained by God. I pray that you never allow a small moment to dishearten you or to make you feel that the past or what could’ve been is better than what is now.

Love and blessings

Rebekah

Overcoming Fear and Feelings of Failure

I’ve been meaning to touch on my university experience a little bit more. Writing about current things and where I am now is important, but to me, it’s just as important to backtrack and reflect on where I was. It’s such a significant part of my journey. Part of encouraging people through my blog is about sharing past and present aspects of my journey, documenting my journey from this point on ensuring to touch on previous events.

Getting onto my course was a journey in itself, (see ‘A Leap of Faith’ for more details), and I was not prepared for what was to come. Saying that my university experience was not what I expected it to be, doesn’t come close to how it all panned out. After the first couple of weeks I realised that this was going to take every breath in me, but like always, I was prepared to give everything that I had to succeed. I’ll never forget the day I cried out to God. I felt like everything was so much bigger than me. Still I pushed through. I dunno. With every passing unit, day, week, things seemed to get worse. I hated waking up knowing I had to go there and how fear and sadness consumed me when I got off the train each morning and walked to university. I never knew I could ever feel that small. Never knew I could feel so dumb, never knew I would feel so humiliated. I’ve never felt so intimidated.

It pains me looking back and thinking about how I felt like I was always drowning. I fought, I pushed and I never gave up, but still, it wasn’t good enough. It felt like I’d take one step forward and twelve steps back. Excluding the written side of the course, I failed every single unit. And every. Single. Time I got the results paper back it was like someone was tearing my heart out, because again, my best was never good enough and all I ever wanted to do was succeed. On top of that, I experienced issues with a tutor who only made me feel smaller. I was appalled by his lack of professionalism. But anyway, year one wasn’t very good for me and I soon realised there was no way I could make it into year two. I was faced with two options:

  1. Resubmit the relevant pieces of work during the summer or
  2. Retake the year.

I chose the latter. How did I expect to successfully redo and resubmit all of the things that were asked of me, (in six weeks) when I couldn’t even pass the units one by one in the space of a year? Retaking seemed like the better option because I knew I’d have a firmer grip on my studies. This would be the first time I’d learn to overcome fear. I feared the unknown and the ‘I told you so’s’ but I soon realised that none of that mattered, (see ‘Help, I’m Retaking Year One!!’).

Anyway, I used the summer to prepare and felt ready for the next step. So, when September came round, I charged at it the same way I charged at it the previous year. I made sure to go over any conditions and found that I could only fail one unit in order to progress to second year. I won’t lie, it shook me a little bit, but it was another reason for me to work harder to ensure that I passed all four units with the grades I knew I deserved.

But four weeks passed and my results came in. I’d failed. Again. I can’t even tell you how sick and tired I was of failing. I was so angry and so frustrated with myself and I couldn’t help but wonder if this would ever end. After speaking with my lecturer and the admissions/ results team, I found that once more, I had two options:

  1. Continue on and work hard to pass the other three units. At the end, my work would be assessed and the examiner would decide whether I could retake the unit the following year and return to second year the year after that. If I was not allowed to retake the unit, all of that would essentially be for nothing.
  2. Leave knowing that I tried and it was time to let go.

I was faced with one of my hardest choices. There was no guarantee or safety net if I went with the first option but also, going with the first option was a waste of time especially considering the fact that I was no longer passionate about the subject and this was no longer a field that I wanted to pursue. Going with the second option, despite the fact that it was the better option, made me feel like I had failed. I just couldn’t let go. I couldn’t bear failure. I couldn’t bear the fact that I had to let go, because letting go felt like accepting defeat, letting go felt like I’d given up, like I’d lost the fight I fought so hard to win. I desperately wanted to succeed for myself, but also succeed so that I could prove everybody who said I couldn’t do it, wrong. Ultimately, it felt like ‘Letting Go and Leaving Uni’ would mean that they won.

In order to leave, I first had to overcome those fears and overcome those feelings of doubt. Three things helped me to overcome these feelings:

  1. Thinking about things logically: When things get to us, we sometimes lose our senses or our ability to think straight. I had to remove what I felt and line up all the facts, making sure to consider what was best for me.
  2. Praying/ Surrendering to God: I try not to make huge choices without God, I’m working on consulting God on every choice I’m about to make, not matter how big or small. With that being said, I made sure to seek His face so that I could be sure that this was what He wanted from me. I had no choice but to trust Him, no matter the outcome.
  3. Seeking wise council: I wanted to make sure that I consulted those who mattered the most. I spoke to my dad, sister and my former support tutor-who has become one of my greatest companions. It was she who helped me the most. ‘A’ understood my pain and she watched and helped me with this part of my journey. Her advice was and still is so valuable and I hold her words ever so close to my heart.

I did three quizzes with ‘A’, she asked the questions, I wrote down the answers. We reviewed them at the end and it was clear, the words basically spelt out that it was time to let go, leave and move on. I tell you, the day I left? I have never felt so much joy and so much peace. I was happy.

Thinking about things logically, praying/ surrendering to God and seeking wise council helped me to see the following:

  • I am not a failure
  • It’s ok to let go- especially when you realise that something isn’t for you
  • Letting go doesn’t mean that you’ve failed
  • Letting go shows your strength
  • The importance of standing firm in what you’ve chosen to do
  • I didn’t fail, I didn’t lose but I gained
  • It’s ok
  • Leaving didn’t mean that they won, it meant that I won, because I did not allow them to control my life, my feelings and the choices that I had every right to make
  • I gave it my all and I couldn’t have given anymore if I tried and
  • They are the ones, who didn’t deserve me.

I thank God for seeing me through- I am forever grateful. I pray that you are encouraged and that you put yourself first, never allowing feelings or what other people will think, to get in the way of what is best for you. You are not a failure, you are loved and you will be ok.

Love, love and more love

Until next time

Rebekah

A Leap of Faith

Hi all! I hope all is well and you’ve had a good week. I apologise for the late upload, so without further ado, happy reading…

For those of you who don’t know, I was in university before, but I withdrew at the end of December 2014, check out ‘Letting Go and Leaving Uni’ for a few more details. A year and three months later, for the second time round I’m in the position I was in January 2013. I’ve finally applied for university and there’s no going back. I’m not quite sure if I’d class this as an adventure, but I will say it will mark the beginning of a new chapter if I’m successful. Some might ask why I’m bothering to go back, there are definitely some people I know that thing I’m crazy for going back- especially after my last experience, but there are also some people that are proud of me for going back. I stand with the latter. I’m proud of myself for taking the first step and for taking the time to ensure that this was really what I wanted, but also for getting this far. It has been a whirlwind of a journey.

Before studying for my Fashion related degree, I did an Art and Design Foundation, which was by far, the best form of education I’ve ever done. When it came to applying for Higher Education, I decided to apply for Fashion Design. I applied to five different universities. The process was long, preparing and tweaking my portfolio between interviews, hoping that I’d be successful. Time passed and I found myself having to come to terms with being rejected from all five of my university choices. I knew it would be hard, I knew it would be time consuming, I knew it would be energy draining. But facing the reality of being rejected consecutively, weighed heavy on me because I felt that my best wasn’t good enough. Somewhere along the line, I realised that what I thought I wanted for so many years, wasn’t actually what I wanted.

I didn’t really want to let my tutors know that I’d been unsuccessful, but two of my tutors asked me one day, how the university process was going. I’m not one for lying so I told them. They gave me some options and we discussed them. It’s funny looking back and thinking about how concerned I was, how I didn’t consider how many people were or had been in the exact same position. Better yet, how I didn’t see that despite the journey being far from smooth, things would work out and I’d be here over three years later.

So anyway, they suggested a year out and I explained that I really didn’t want to take another year out. I told them that I was interested in working with young people and families but I didn’t have enough experience. We left it for a while so I could think about where to go from there. Some time passed and my tutor (who was absolutely incredible, and who I have so much love for) had a look at my portfolio. We talked about a lot of things, including whether this was the right route for me. As we looked through together and talked, she stopped and said: ‘There’s this course that I think would be really good for you’. She told me what it was called and I looked into it further. I took her up on her offer, and she had a word with the uni as the application stage had passed. A few weeks later, she handed me a print out of an email she’d received. I’d been given an unconditional offer and I was so, so ecstatic. God had made a way.

It seems that I’ve taken a few leaps of faith over the years and here I am again taking another one. I’m proud of myself for always trying and never choosing the easy route. I really, really hope this works out but I trust in God’s plan and understand that His will is better than mine.

I know I’m taking forever, but all of this to say:

  1. Never get tired of trying
  2. Don’t give up on what you want
  3. Try, try and try again. It’s comforting knowing that you gave something your all. That way, if it doesn’t work out, you know it wasn’t meant to be
  4. Things work out, even though it doesn’t seem like it
  5. Things work out, majority of the time, it’s not how we planned them to, but they still work out
  6. The first leap of faith brought me here, and here I stand, stronger and certain of what I want. I’m a better person because of it
  7. With most things, you’ll look back and realise what you thought was the end of the world, really wasn’t
  8. Always trust in God
  9. You’ll be alright.

I truly am so grateful for everything that has happened. I wouldn’t change a thing for the world and I stand in awe of where I am and the person I have become because of my journey. I won’t give up and I hope you don’t give up on yourself or your dreams and goals either.

They don’t call it a leap of faith for nothing, right?

Until Thursday

Love and best wishes

Rebekah