My story began in August 2017, when I desired an Emancipation outfit. That year was a challenging one for me, as I was laid off my job and, being a full time University student, I had to work a few part-time jobs in order to cover my university expenses.
I must say during those times, God truly provided. And most of all, because of that experience, I discovered a talent that lay hidden for years.
So, I wanted an Emancipation wear so badly. However, the new school term was approaching and I had to set my priorities straight with regards to my finances.
On that day, a crazy idea hit me: ‘Maybe you should sew an outfit yourself!’
Then there were the opposing thoughts that highlighted the facts that (a) I had NO experience in sewing, (b) I HAD never sewed an outfit before; (c) Even worse, I never even had a DESIRE to get into sewing!
Little did I know that this was PASSION and a NEW talent was being birthed that day!
Ohh Here comes the discouragement!
A little discouraged, I just sat and had a conversation with the Lord in which I said, “Lord I really want that outfit! Why did I lose my job? If I hadn’t, I would have easily bought an outfit. Why is everything so messed up?”.
Suddenly two Scriptures came to mind. The first of which is Philippians 4:19, a still small voice within me said ‘I am the God that supplies all your needs’. ‘Haven’t your needs been met for the past few months you have been unemployed?’.
The second Scripture was Zechariah 4:10, ‘never despise small beginnings.’
These thoughts resonated in my spirit and I ceased in my complaints. Then, somehow deep down, I felt an unexplainable confidence. And everything within me cheered: “Yes I could do this! What is there to lose in trying and furthermore, there is a sale on African cloth material right now, so it would be affordable”.
My early struggles – Why don’t you just forget it?
The next day, I travelled to a well-known fabric store in the capital city and bought my very first African fabric. I watched numerous videos on how to sew, yet I was terribly confused as some of the methods being displayed were completely foreign to me.
The only thing I knew was that I loved fashion and never wanted a cultural outfit that was similar to everyone else’s. There were indeed moments of frustration and struggle.
Some persons around me even said ‘why don’t you just forget it or buy an outfit or something’, ‘you are putting yourself through a lot of unnecessary work and frustration’.
Despite the negative remarks, I was so determined and eager to push myself. This first outfit took me around 2 weeks to make and the last two days were the most challenging as I encountered great difficulty.
I made a huge error and had to rip out all the stitching and start all over again! During this moment, I honestly felt like forgetting about making that outfit. But every time I felt like giving up, a new idea would pop into my head and I felt encouraged and challenged to make this image a reality.
The designs I envisioned in my head just fuelled the passion within me to complete the outfit. At the end of the frustration, I was able to complete the outfit.
People marvelled at the outfit when I wore it to church that Sunday morning. I myself was astonished because I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be able to sew my own outfits. I always had a passion for fashion, but sewing was never something I even thought of doing.
How my life has changed in two years!
It is now two years since those first steps, and from that day until now, my life has changed. To date, I have designed a total of 20 outfits, with 17 of them being completed without any professional knowledge on sewing.
At the beginning of this year, I was finally enrolled in a BASIC sewing class and it has been a wonderful experience! I must admit, I still struggle with some aspects of sewing.
But I am learning and growing in perfecting my art. My dreams are vast and wide, yet I know that God makes provision for our vision.
I will continue to tirelessly and passionately pursue my goals and I know that God will continue to expand my borders. Through this experience, I have learnt to ‘never be afraid to try something new, because you might just be good at it’ and to ‘never despise small beginnings’. Looking back, I can really see my steps of progress and there is a still much to be done.
God’s way is above our way!
God’s way of thinking is so much higher than ours, His plans are so much greater. If I had not been laid off from my job, I don’t think I would have been sewing and building my own business today.
Sometimes we are so small minded. I strongly questioned my unemployment in 2017. But now I could see that God wanted me to create my own employment and help me discover a hidden talent I never knew I had.
Faith without works is dead
I am so grateful that I took that step of faith and I marvel at what God has done. Surely faith without works is dead. So if you have a dream, apply the faith and do the work to get there. For example, start your own business under God’s direction, and watch God multiply it.
My last word of encouragement is never cease in dreaming. Dream big. But most of all, BELIEVE in your dreams. Get excited about it.
If you don’t believe in your dreams, who would? Only you can see where you want to be. And how you get there, depends on no one else but YOU!