The Transition


It is an interesting phase in life right now - one I call 'The Transition'. A phase that not a lot of people vocally talk about but rather internalize and ask the deep meaningful questions independently in their head voice or share with a few in their close-knit community. It is also a phase that comes wrapped in uncertainty and mystery yet laced with excitement and hope as to what lies ahead.

As a person who isn't too extremely fussed about sharing, and understands my voice to be a powerful tool to encourage, I'm using this platform to share the journey - understanding that life isn't as glossy and streamlined as the online world seems to paint it and knowing that my fair share of difficulties and bumps on the road are on the way.


Where are you now on your journey and how are you feeling Deborah?


Okay, so in a few days, I transition from graduand to graduate. How time flies...

In all honesty - I am grateful and full of joy. To be able to complete a 3-year degree is not a joke and I am so happy to know that I worked my absolute hardest and it paid off. I finished with a 2:1 - an achievement I am totally proud of considering the tossing and turnings that took place to finally get here.

The journey to get to this point has not been easy. My education journey is one I hope to tell my kids one day - one of hope and triumph. A testament to God's sovereignty and control over a small girl with a calling greater than herself. I'll keep it brief as there are many layers to my journey but I'll include the key bits.

A bit of a back story: I was never a super academic student at school. Shove me in a quiet room with highlighters, post it notes and a notepad and you could probably squeeze out a mid-B grade out of me. So I was an average achiever, nothing to shout and jump around about. Just average.

I remember applying to Universities via UCAS in 2014 and jotting down a few Russell Groups as part of my 5 options. The reaction from people around me at the time was so absurd now looking back:

A bit ambitious don't you think Deborah?
I mean, if you work hard, you could get in but it's really not guaranteed...
There's not even a safe option in any of your choices! Be realistic.

but I still persisted as I had a strong conviction of what I was capable of achieving and where God really wanted me to be. This conviction didn't come in a strong audible voice but rather a subtle leading from some form of authority (almost in the form of an older sibling/mentor but without a physical manifestation of one) positioning me at the right places, providing a sudden increase in focus and drive and wisdom beyond my years at the time.

I had a few complications with my A-Level choices during my AS year meaning that I had to make the decision to drop the BTEC I was studying alongside my two AS Level subjects (Biology and Psychology) and pick up another A-Level and complete it as an intensive course aka 2 years in 1 year. It was a madness. So, my A2 year looked a little like this: Biology A2, Psychology A2, Geography AS and A2.

At the end of A-Levels, I finished with:

Distinction* in the BTEC and BBC grades - again, like I mentioned, average. Nothing to shout home about but God never saw it that way.

I shut down, thought I lost my opportunity to achieve the goal I had for so long then I remember seeing this on the UCAS website shortly after...


And from there, my journey began...

I look back now as a graduand and know that the real purpose behind my education journey was to teach me crucial lessons that I needed to know before starting University and ultimately lessons that I will carry for the rest of my life:

 To never rely on my human flesh and think it is by my intelligence, intellect or charisma that will get me to anywhere in life but rather a total reliance on God's spirit and being able to immerse myself under his authority. This authority is what has formed and will continue to be the compass of my life.

 Practice humility, always.

Pride goes before destruction,
    a haughty spirit before a fall.
- Proverbs 16:18

It is clear to me that wherever I end up in life, I must have a centered and grounded core and not allow the inflation of ego from human praise, titles, accolades etc. get to my head. Those things are given for specific God-given purposes, not for me to bathe myself in self-righteousness. What God gives, he can quickly take. 

 Let God's voice/word/leading have more influence in my life than the voices/opinions of any other. As you can see, the critics at the time I applied to University were kinda right: I didn't qualify to enter King's but what they didn't know was that there was a greater power working upon me that enabled me to jump over hurdles they never expected me to jump over. Imagine if I listened and got discouraged? Imagine if I ignored that subtle leading? My story would be completely different.


So, what are your next steps?

Currently, I am in the 'job hunt' phase of life. It has proven to be quite draining and long but I guess that's part of the process. My deep desire is to be in an environment where I am growing constantly, learning new skills, being mentored, having awesome work colleagues and having the space to evolve.

I'm not too fussed on making the financial gains at this stage in life but rather the aforementioned desires take precedence in my job search at the moment. I hope to still pursue a career in Global Health/Development. The field is super b r o a d which hasn't made things easy for me as to where exactly I want to be but I hope to find my fit eventually.

Any final words?

I am not too sure what lies ahead but I am certain that the authority that brought me through the past three-four years will continue to guide my steps in this next chapter of life.


This victory belongs to Jesus.

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AN  UPDATE // 27th July 2018 - 08:32

I graduated yesterday at The Barbican, London and became the first Black British Nigerian to graduate from the Bachelor of Science in Global Health and Social Medicine!

Photos effortlessly captured by Odera Okoye

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6 comments

  1. Wow Debzi, this is beautiful, thanks for having the courage to share your story

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  2. Lovely and insightful, what a courage!!! Thanks for sharing your story and testimony (exercising due caution in returning the glory to Jesus). I pray that He who has begun a good work in you will be faithful to perfect it in Jesus name...(Phil. 1:6).

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  3. Deborah, your words are motivating. Thanks for sharing this write up.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks so much. My pleasure to share 😊

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