I came across a post saying;
“Somebody’s breakthrough is locked up in the testimony you’re afraid to share”
Like others, it spiritually slapped me in the face. So many of us don’t realize who’s day we can make or how much we can help somebody just through a few words of encouragement.
As we never know what people are battling with, sharing your story may possibly relate to there’s, and even if it doesn’t, it will still give them that reassurance that happy endings well and truly exist. If God can make it work for somebody else, surely there is room for a breakthrough for you too.
So this is why I wanted to start this. Helping others is one of my favorite things to do, and I really hope somebody stumbles across this page in times of need.
2016 has been a year of progress for Tracy in various ways. This year, she finally moved out of the headspace of ‘thinking’ about the things that she wanted to accomplish into actually ‘doing’ the things she needed to do to get there.
In 2014, Tracy learnt and heard a lot about your outlook being very important in the way you deal with things that happen in life. From that point, she knew that she had to work towards shifting her negativity, doubt and fear to positivity, confidence and faith. Just before 2016 approached, Tracy created a vision board, which, in her opinion, is by far one of the most powerful things you can do to keep your goals in focus.
Having a tangible, physical image of the material goals she wanted to achieve on her wall meant that Tracy’s goals were always in focus and she knew what she had to accomplish this year. Some things on her board were manifested and some sparked new goals and points of focus. Some things, God had to completely turn around to teach her some important lessons and others had periods of great success to inconsistencies.
But through it all, it taught her that when it comes to goals, sometimes you have to fail to succeed. The result or the change won’t happen just because you have a desire to achieve something. Staying committed to the journey, even through its ups and downs is key to achieving a long term goal, such as a lifestyle change. You have to go through all those motions to get there. There is no shortcut.
Speaking of going through the motions, the second major learning curve for Tracy was to put her trust in God solely, even through the roughest times. Tracy had failed her second year of university, and although it was a disappointment she was able to get past it and learn that faith without works is dead (James 2:14-17). Especially if you haven’t put the work in! God is not a genie. God is greater than what we confine ourselves to believe we can achieve on our own strength. He does things we can’t comprehend at times but they always work out for our good (Romans 8:28).
Re-sitting her second year of university was one of the best things to happen to her because now she has completely changed her attitude to learning. Tracy is more engaged in her course, has confidence in herself, her ability and potential as opposed to being crippled by fear, not ‘intelligent’ enough and feeling indifferent.
Tracy also learnt to trust, pray, praise and worship God through a period of financial hardship in the summer. God showed her that he alone is her provider (Philippians 4:19). Every day, God provided for her, even at times when she had absolutely nothing. (Philippians 4:6). Prayer and meditation on some of these key verses got Tracy through some rough times and she encourages us all to seek God, not just when things are bad, but at all times so that we are full of his word.
In conclusion, Tracy can confidently say that in 2016, she has broken down barriers of fear and strongholds, by God’s grace and triggered the process of “creating the life she wants to live”. From revamping her blog, ‘tracylandu.com’, creating an inspirational and motivational Instagram page ‘wordsbytracylandu’ and achieving so many more personal goals, Tracy is hugely looking forward to continuing that process in 2017!
Tracy prays that we all place 2017 into God’s hands, pursuing purpose relentlessly, with God’s will for our lives as our foundation.
Check her out on: tracylandu.com here
Instagram: Follow tracylandu here
This year, Marni had achieved and overcome personal goals and challenges. The one major thing that she had constantly been asking God for was a ‘renewal of her head’ meaning that if the INSIDE can change; then there MUST BE an OUTWARDLY change. Therefore she hoped people would begin to see her differently.
Marni’s insecurities began creeping up on her and this continues to be her biggest breakthrough. Being 6ft tall, skinny with hair at an awkward length that just swings at her shoulders, for the longest, Marni just wasn’t interested in her physical appearance and told herself she just wasn’t the one. On top of this feeling, seeing the ‘glow ups’ of old friends and acquaintances didn’t help either.
Disclaimer- Marni isn’t a jealous shady cow who wished all the girls would wake up one day and lose their fleek, but surely she couldn’t be blamed for how she felt. Marni began questioning everything under the sun. When are my breasts going to properly come out? she would say; bum … Where art thou?, Hair, do you care to grow anytime soon?
Marni was tired of looking at the same girl in the mirror day in and day out, feeling the same emotions and thinking the same negative thoughts. At this point, she knew she had to take control, but not in the way most people would think.
She knew she had to let GOD take the wheel. She knew that she has been doing things HER way for years with no success simply because God was not involved. Marni then remembered how much no one knows her more than God, he is her creator, therefore he must be put first in every single situation!
Marni knew that in order for her attitude towards herself to shift, her mindset had to change. She had to dig into God’s word and realise what he thought about her, long before herself or anyone else could.
God doesn’t do ugly hunny.
First thing on the agenda for Marni was a gym membership. Putting in the work at her own pace resulted in her body shape completely switching up. Muscles were built in the right places, everything almost toned and the noticeable progress has made her want to keep going.
Secondly; UPLIFTING music. Currently, Mali Music – Beautiful is the top song on Marni’s playlist. Finding songs that she could just instantly turn on that sets the tone for a chilled, positive vibe. She knew that it’s not every time she’ll be jumping and bouncing around, she knew that some days she’ll feel crappy and cry her eyes out because this is the reality when you are still learning to love yourself and that was okay.
But the lyrics will never change. And as long as she is working towards the confidence level she desires, Marni will always believe that she is beautiful! And she will continue to play that song over and over again until she’s back to where she needs to be.
Don’t be embarrassed of that REPEAT button!
Thirdly; WALKS. As nerdy as it may sound, walking and talking with God was some of the best times Marni ever had. Finding a bench somewhere or just walking around the park was where she just told him everything. Argued with him, cussed herself, and even cried in silence.
Walks open up your mind and make you challenge your perspective.
Lastly; Marni knew in mind that things won’t always be this way. She won’t always be 20,odd, in university, skinny as a rack and able to afford gym membership.
Marni’s advice to readers; Make use of the opportunities you have at hand. Learn to accept flaws, learn to appreciate your growing self as nothing happens overnight. If you do believe in God… Continue to push to place your trust in him. Certainly easier said than done but do-able. You’ll look back at the end of the year amazed at how you managed to breakthrough!
Check her out on marnifaithsblog.com here
Rachella’s biggest breakthrough of 2016 was something I was able to relate to the most, where the main issue for her was confidence. Like other women, including myself, Rachella had been struggling with this constantly and 2015 was the peak time for her. Rachella then made a conscious decision that in 2016, she would love herself unconditionally. However, this proved difficult for her at the beginning of the year due to what she consumed most of her time in.
Social media was Rachella’s worst enemy. She would compare herself to the praised body images and appearances and became completely oblivious to how much she was intoxicating herself and her confidence.
I couldn’t even blame her. One day you’re scrolling through the Instagram explore page and see somebody with the body you’ve always wanted, the physic you’ve always adored, and the smile you can’t get enough of, the next minute you’re depressed because your crush liked the picture and it’s not even you.
Rachella started using self affirmations to build herself. She knew how important it was for her to evaluate herself; study how well she can adapt to information and experiences that could potentially threaten her self concept. She also found this difficult as growth and confidence surely doesn’t happen overnight and we know social media isn’t going anywhere. It’s only developing. but her heart was set out in fulfilling this and her faith in God helped her a lot.
Rachella’s natural hair journey also played a huge part in her self love and confidence journey, as this meant she was constantly embracing her natural self which was something that if you were to ask her 2 years ago if she would ever do, she’d probably laugh.
2016 was definitely Rachella’s year of excepting herself for who she was, embracing every single flaw and coming to realization that she is completely in control of her mind and how she wants to view herself. A positive mind sets the tone for everything. If you tell yourself that you are beautiful, you are good enough and you are worthy, this will eventually rub off on you and you’ll begin to see results in your personal growth.
The opinions of others was once a major contributing factor towards her confidence but are now no longer an issue to her.
Rachella is now using her experience and testimony to help other woman who have faced this and are currently going through this phase in their lives. She is a part of an organisation which aims to promote women’s well-being and self development with self love being at the center of it all.
Throwback to January 2016, if you were to ask me who I was, what I want, what I like about myself chances are you’ll get that wifiddii response. It’s not that I didn’t think I was anything special or that I thought I was a piece of garbage. But I genuinely felt skeptical about this year and wanted it to end before it even started. It’s funny because 2015 actually ended on a positive note. My eldest sister got married in Nigeria and the link up was everything. (More pressure for the rest of us from one annoying aunty Bumni) and it left such a bright spark on my family as a whole.
But come January it was as if I entered a whole different world a whole different galaxy and I just didn’t know what to expect. Part of this issue was because of the way I felt about myself. My confidence was poor and as the year went by I felt like I wasn’t growing. I felt like I would be in the same position next year and the year after. I’d look at other girls and think she’s got her life together, she’s beautiful, she knows her worth, and then look at myself like this does not bang.
University wasn’t helping either. It felt like a younger sibling pulling on my jacket, just constantly bringing me down. I was so financially unstable with no sense of direction. The only thing that kept me going was prayer, and even with that, my faith was nonexistent. Who was I fooling?
As I am not born in the UK and do not have a British passport, I initially wasn’t entitled to student loan and I couldn’t even start in the same year as my age mates, I was forced to take a gap year that I never even planned on doing. Anyway, that is a story for another day.
There came a time where my mum would keep telling us to not open the door to strangers. I’d be thinking what is this? 07′? She then explained that bailiffs would potentially be coming to pay us a visit. Nope, not one of those should I put the kettle on visits, those I am really going to remove you from this household visits. That’s when I started seeing all these eviction letters, scattered around like say they were them pizza flyers you get through your letter box. I wanted to evaporate there and then. What do you mean eviction? Which address are you referring to? Let me know bro.
Even after I had gone back to uni my mum at one point actually told me to come back home and pack my bags. Me that could barely afford student accommodation now my only place to fall back on is at risk? What is happening?
My mum works hard, she had still been working at that moment in time but it wasn’t enough to cover the cost. Being a single parent she’s had to do a lot on her own and cater for 4 children at the same time so I do and will always adore her to death. From failing court cases to trying to borrow money from relatives things were literally falling apart and when these bailiffs actually showed up God came through because they were very polite and understanding. They understood that it’s not that we didn’t want to pay its that we couldn’t. From that moment on, we were given more time. Where we eventually paid this off.
I noticed that my spiritual life was shaky. My faith in God was no where near sky high and that’s where the problem lied. I was constantly worrying about every aspect of my life; my growth, my self esteem, university, family, money that not once did I ever even attempt to learn about myself or have in mind that God has already sorted everything out for me.
The summer of 2016 saw a great turnover for me. I began focusing on one of the things I enjoy that I want to build a platform on which was makeup. Because of this, I’ve never felt so positive about any year before. This is something I’ve always had a passion for. I remember sitting down for hours watching tutorials, studying the tactics, learning the products and buying all of them. I’d practice on my face and actually love the results, it was so therapeutic and the compliments would come in giving me that reassurance that I’m good at this.
I plan on expanding this and get myself out there through social media platforms. The key word for me is START. Start whilst you can still breath.
I think it’s so important to study yourself and find out what you’re good at, because this will set the tone for everything.
Although it took me a while to be comfortable in my own skin, and I’m still working on it, I can honestly say I’ve progressed. Growth doesn’t happen over night and it’s not a race of who is going to reach their peak.
I can’t wait to increase my relationship with God, my friends and family and myself.
As a social work student, I plan to take on a placement next year in mental health, I think helping others would definitely enhance how I feel about myself in a positive way.
Believe in the God you serve. He didn’t let you down then and there’s no way he’ll let you down now. First and foremost, work on your faith and everything else will fall into place. Believe in you and everything else is a minor.
If I don’t know who I am who will? I could tell you my name, my hobbies, my favourite movie, the silly dances I do in my bedroom but what matters in the long run is how much I really know myself, meaning appreciating my flaws, knowing that there s only one me and that’s where my power lies and keeping in mind that I will be fine even if someone doesn’t like me for me or if something in life doesn’t work out for me.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
My motto for 2016? Keep the faith!
2016 has been the year that has made me really realise the importance of keeping my faith in God. Not in religion, not in rules, but the man above and believing that He is always with me no matter how bad things may seem and no matter how much I may doubt his works because He’s always working in my favour.
Although it seems so simple, it’s very hard to do this when bad vibes experiences seem to never leave you alone and your world gets turned upside down.
But as I reflect and look back on the year I’ve had, I’ve learned that he’s the only one who knows that everything is going to be okay. But the only thing is, He will never reveal his plans, and that is where my faith and patience should come in.
It’s so important for us to be strong enough to sit back and give our anxiety, depression, and worry over to Him, I promise! you WILL feel better. The problem is, once again, it’s so hard to do. I’m guilty of not doing it so many times as I try to take it all on myself and the truth is, I just can’t.
Sometimes I just need that friend to talk to too. And that’s okay. Sometimes, I feel like crying and that’s also okay. However it’s so vital that I let go of what I can’t control, because in the end somehow, He makes a way.
Psalm 23:4, Jeremiah 29:11: Keep the faith.