Taking Stock 2016

Life is so delicate and so precious. I value greatly God’s gift of life and birthdays are memorable events worth marking and reflecting on.

Even though I have lived in the United Kingdom for the past 19 years, I was born and raised in Accra the capital city of Ghana in West Africa. It is always a blessing to spend my birthday in Accra with my family and friends.

Thankfully my birthday almost always falls around the Easter vacation. I get a little over 2 weeks off for the Easter vacation. As soon as school’s out for the Easter vacation, my student’s know that there is but only ONE destination on my mind…Accra!!!

Accra is the capital city of Ghana with a population size approaching almost 27 million people. English is the official language of Ghana, but not necessarily the first language for many people. The local language in Accra is Ga, but Twi (pronounced 'chwee'), Ewe (pronounced ayvay), Hausa, and English are also widely spoken. Founded in the 17th century by the Ga people, Accra became the capital of the British Gold Coast in 1877. Following Ghana's independence in 1957, Accra became the capital of the newly independent state.

For my birthday shoot, I deliberately chose ‘The Black Star Square’, also known as ‘The Independence Square’, which is a public square in Accra, Ghana as my location of choice because of the connotations of ‘Independence’, ‘Freedom’ and ‘Liberty’ that it encapsulates.

In the last 12 months these themes have become very precious to me. I wanted to explore these themes and their significance going forward in this my new birthday year.

I wish I could capture in words just how liberating it was for me to walk onto that vast expanse of wide open space you see in front of me at the Independence Arch in Accra and feeling the cool breeze from the Atlantic Ocean(which is just beyond the Independence Arc) blowing across my face.

From a very young age, I have always had a sense of duty and wanting to serve God by serving mankind. The noble role of educating, nurturing and impacting the next generation of future leaders is one that I take very seriously as it fulfils a portion of my sense of duty. Knowing the selfless sacrifices that have been made to get me to where I currently find myself at this moment in my life and the depth of investment that has been made into my life, I have never been comfortable just to live life to gratify self. I was brought up to consider serving others as a great privilege and a real honour.

For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more -
Luke 12:48(NKJV)

Beyond the classroom though, there are so many other things that I am passionate about but somehow up until now, I never really shared that side of my life with people other than my family and friends. 

Sometime last year I had an epiphany experience where I realised that I could actually also serve others through the use of my God given gifts and talents. That revelation gave birth to the ‘Angie Broks’ project. 

There is something so liberating and empowering about embracing all of who you are and living God’s truth in your life. In the last few months I have come to realise that AUTHENTICITY and being true to one’s self is so important. Bringing all of who you are to any endeavour gives you a very unique advantage.  

There is a PRECIOUS sense of FREEDOM that comes when you finally embrace God’s call on your life and live and walk in that truth.

I remember when I released the ‘Full Length’ video to introduce the ‘Angie Broks' project, one of my friends posted this message on my YouTube channel…She simply said ‘Glad to see you coming full circle into your own’.

And that sentence REALLY encapsulates what this birthday shoot and the launch of ‘Angie Broks’ means to me. It ushered in a new season of my life where God is bringing me full circle into my own and what He has called me to do to serve mankind.

There is an expanse of GREAT pleasure and FULFILMENT that God has uniquely carved out for each and every one of us. God is just waiting on us to say YES to His plan for our lives.

I know the plans I have for you, ‘’declares the Lord, ’plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future’-Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

So if you aren’t sure of your life’s purpose, just do what you do well and just watch God confirm it by blessing your endeavours with success. You will be so amazed when you stand back and watch how what you do makes a difference in the life of others. Don’t waste your time trying to do what you’re not gifted at just because you see someone else doing it. Equally don’t let others dictate how you should be doing life or what your service to God and to mankind ought to look like. That’s something that needs to be worked out between you and God alone. Once you've worked that out, go out and live that unique path and be a BLESSING to others in the process. 

You will know when you are operating in our gifts and calling because what you do will minister life to others and will fill you with so much joy and fulfilment. If what you do is making you miserable and is filling you with a sense of dread, that's a clue right there that you're not in God’s perfect will. God gives us peace and joy to let us know we’re fulfilling His perfect plan.

Ye shall … be led forth with peace.’ - Isaiah 55:12 KJV

Look at what you enjoy, what you’re good at, and what God is giving you the GRACE to do.

In the words of Apple’s founder Steve Jobs during his commencement speech at Stanford University in 2012,

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

It is my prayer that this post inspires you to have the courage to FOLLOW your HEART and your DREAMS. The last 12 months since I embraced the call to start ‘Angie Broks’ has been pretty much beyond amazing in every sense of the word.

I can’t say I know everything BUT this ONE thing I do know: 

Living in your purpose will be accompanied by so much peace and joy. It will bring you the highest level of fulfilment - Angie Broks

It's a step of faith and I am learning to walk out my purpose daily.

I will leave you with this quote:

What you are is God’s gift to you, what you become is your gift to God. - Hans Urs von Balthasar

Lot’s of love,

Angie Xxx

Hair by Twist & Locs in Osu, Accra(Ghana)

Blue peplum top: GAP USA

Mix Print Skirt by Chicwish

Shoes: Express USA

Makeup by me