Today is May 7th, I have gotten a much-needed 10-hour rest after my final paper at graduate school. I also cannot believe that I get to say this, two years after, the journey, that I get to graduate from Georgetown University.
For those of you who know me so well and have followed my journey from the start (starting a Gofund me page, and sometimes soliciting for support on my IG platform), you will understand how much of a triumph this is and not just for me, my family and friends but for those whose hopes I did not let down. People watched keenly to see if it will all end in praise, and it did! A few months back, I had written a piece on do not box God, to share a faith-building experience I encountered on a visit to Atlanta, this is the promised part 2.
On February 7th of this year, while everyone was wishing me a happy birthday on my Instagram post, where I wore a green shimmery dress and looked all flamboyant, in reality, I had packed my bags and was trying to book a flight back to Nigeria. My tuition was late, and the school had given me an ultimatum to sign a leave of absence (which I did) to prevent falling into the wrath of immigration laws. On this same day as I attended my last class and bid my professor goodbye, I checked my email, and there it was “Congratulation Grace, your Mpower loan is approved”. I cannot tell you the gush of relief, and the tears of joy I cried after I saw the email, because earlier that day, my story was different. In the morning of February 7th, while I was preparing to leave, with tears in my eyes (because all my privileges would have gone to waste), all I could think about were the questions I was not ready to answer, the people I would be too ashamed to face, my parents health failing (because they would be too ashamed), and those who would be waiting to say “but Grace I told you so”.
You see all I remembered after that moment was the bible verse Psalm 126: 1 “When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream”__ Christian Standard Bible. God was fulfilling his word.
When I wrote part 1 of ‘do not box God’, I had started to build my faith again, because God had reinforced why He is supreme at what he does. So on February 7th of this year, after I was told I had 14 days left to prepare for my exit by the immigration office since I could not meet up with my tuition deadline, my sadness was only about how to answer people belligerent questions on why I was back home. I had not lost faith in God, I knew if his will was for me to return without a completed degree, then He had better plans for me, or had other lessons to teach me.
Since February 7th, a lot has happened I got a job, completed my second tuition, and I graduated today with a Masters of Arts degree, concentrating at the intersection of Technology, and Policy management. The journey of this end will not be complete without thanking my dad, who would reiterate, “Grace you will not be stranded in America”, and truthfully I have not, my mum who has been a kind, loving and sacrificing mother. Also, to my immediate and extended family (Peace, Wisdom, Emma, Chimmy, Kunle)both in Nigeria and here in the US, who made my burden light, to my Friend Kwabena (you have been an angel), Wale (your laptop was a saving Grace) Vivien (thank you, for the light that is you) Asiyami, Osato (your beautiful souls are a delight),
Gabu, Nomso, Alem (Gafasandals would not have been without you), Mihika, Margret, Linda, Yifan, Jaxin, Deby, Zak and Zach (you added flavour to my time at Georgetown CCT), to my church in Maryland (y’ all have encouraged the faith in me), Evelyn (Naija no dey carry last), also to my followers (the one person who contributed $2 to my gofundme account) who have been nothing but supportive, y’all are a light that keeps giving.
Dear Awele, you are a light in my life, and I love you. There are so many people, who made my burden light on this journey, and I say thank you to you. I look forward to sharing more fashion stories, and life as I see it.
Black graduation gown: Zara
Black suede Shoe: Schutz