Hello Houston: Tiara Jea'nae
If I am honest with you all, I had a very challenging Junior year of college. There were many hard lessons about life that I had to learn. So going into the summer I knew that I would have to suck up my feelings and conquer senior year at Hampton. However, God had a different plan for me.
One day after work I was on the D.C. metro and received a call from Houston, Texas. I checked my voicemail and BAM it was NASA seeing if I was interested in an internship with them this fall. I quickly got off the next stop and called them back to do a phone interview. It did not click until the end of the phone conversation that the internship was at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas (…haha). While I waited to see if I would get an offer I was still unsure if I was going to accept the position. There were many events that I would miss on campus as a senior and Texas is a tad far from home. Well two days later I got the offer and now I am in Houston!!
This was a big leap of faith for me. Before I took the offer I was unsure if I was able to walk for graduation with my own class. Moreover, I knew that I would have new financial responsibilities like rent and possibly car bills. I knew though this was God ultimately answering my prayers. He (…and I) knew that I needed a break from the traditional education experience and needed a professional challenge. Taking this move has challenged me in many areas of my life so here are few lessons I learned during this transition.
1. Trust God – I am not one to get overly stressed or anxious about things. Nonetheless, I was scared about this big move. My dad asked me many times “T are you excited about going to Houston” and I would nervously say yes. Reason being was that I knew absolutely no one in Houston and would have to adult really quickly. Also, I was unsure if I could handle the responsibilities I would be given at an agency like NASA. I became anxious for a while and soon remembered that God says “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heats and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). So, I did just that and journaled all my worries to the Lord. Quickly, things began to fall in place – my godfather gave me his car, I found a house with wonderful people, and soon realized I do know fabulous people in Houston. Also, when I first walked into work I was comforted with a mentor who cared about by well-being and professional growth.
2. Be prepared – In many ways I was prepared to take a semester off for this internship. At Hampton, I took the max credit hours which pushed me a semester ahead. Also I had a lot of professional experience in various areas. When I started my internship I realized that I was more than prepared to tackle this new assignment. On the other side, I was not prepared to adult. Even though my dad preached to me about saving my money, it somehow always went to concerts and trips. This meant I had to try to be financially ready for this move within a month’s time, even though I had other things going on. Moving to Houston could have been less stressful if I had enough saved that gave me some cushion. Ultimately, we do not know when God is going to call us to our next assignment. Therefore, we must be prepared at all times or we will start a journey or we might miss our next assignment from God.
3. You do not have to explain yourself – I did not post on social media announcing that I would be going to Texas for the semester. However, word eventually got around and the texts were rolling in. “Why would you take a semester off?” “Are you sure you can graduate on time?” “You do not want to go to homecoming?” “Your parents are really going to let you take off a semester?” There were many times that I was explaining myself to people who were not even invested into my life, they were just being noisey. If you know that your next move is something that God has called you to, just do it! You can seek counsel from others to make sure you have a smooth journey and celebrate with your closest friends and families. Nevertheless, there will be many people who are going act like they care but simply are being nosey, so do not entertain it!
4. Remember where you came from – Lastly, remember that you cannot accomplish anything without the Lord. The reason why you can take leaps of faith is simply because of him, therefore continuously thank him for his many blessings. Also remember the people who have invested in to you along this journey. There are many people who have poured tons of love and energy into me – whether it was giving $5, paying the rest of my tuition bill, or just talking with me. This means that the work that I do here in Houston is on their behalf as well and that I need to thank them. During this journey, I have tried to make an effort to write thank you cards and text/call people who truly love me. I do not believe that one can be too busy to invest into relationships they care about.
My journey to Houston, Texas has been amazing thus far. I have been able to connect with wonderful people, eat AHMAZING food, and grow professionally. In no way do I regret taking this leap of faith because I know that it will reap unforeseen opportunities. So this week, I am challenging you to really tell God what you are dreaming for right now and be prepared to conquer that dream. Be open to the opportunities that he gives you. It might not be what you are expecting or in the package that you wanted. Remember you are a child of God and can handle any assignment that you are given. So take that next assignment like a champ!