Diasporic Realness: Press Through the Process


By: Valencia Campbell of Church Decoded

There are a lot of things in life that I have faced and easily conquered. Law school is definitely not one of them. Now, just about every day before I actually started, I loved the idea of going to law school. I was proud to tell everybody that I was going to law school, and everybody supported me. It…was…great. Now, I actually started law school three weeks ago. To be completely honest, I have hated every day of it until about two days ago. I had 80 pages of readings due ON THE FIRST DAY (we’re not in undergrad anymore, Valencia), so I started off behind. I had an hour commute to and from class each day for the first week. I had to juggle all that comes with moving with all that comes with law school (and being behind). It was terrible….and it taught me more than I could’ve ever imagined about starting the journey in a terrible position.

I called one of my friends to talk about how bad my life was, and she reminded me of something I never really considered: it’s only week one (…or two…or three). The fact that you start your journey in an…undesirable condition does not mean that it will not be worth it. Will you have to fight for it? Yes. Is it rough now? Yes. Will it get easier tomorrow? Maybe not. But none of that means that you can’t get to where you want to be, nor does it mean that you can’t get there and be one of the best. How you see your story is one of the biggest indicators of how it will end.


One thing that I’ve noticed about church (people) is that it gives us the solution, but it doesn’t always tell us how to apply it. Now, I love church. I’m a church kid at my core. I’m such a church kid that I honestly don’t know what to do on a Sunday morning if I’m not at a church. However, the lack of application is something that I had to overcome with much haste (haha). Going to church is good, but it only works for you if you take what you hear on Sunday and apply it to the struggle you have on Friday. For example, one of the most quoted church phrases is “the last will be first and the first will be last”, right? It’s very easy to hear a preacher preach about that on Sunday, and be wonder how truthful it is when you’re two weeks into your journey…and not one inch closer to first place.


Here’s what made the journey easier for me: I took it one step at a time. If today was terrible, I put it to the side and hoped for a better tomorrow. You must always hope for a better tomorrow. If today was the best that you had, and there’s no more purpose left in you, you wouldn’t be here, boo. If you’d already accomplished your purpose, your mark would already be left on this earth, & you wouldn’t have those dreams. The fact that God gave you goals and dreams means that He’s already placed everything inside of you that you will need to accomplish them. You had this victory before the game began because you’ve got His purpose inside of you. If you quit now, you’ll never know how great you could’ve been. If you accept your current situation as the end, you’ll be selling yourself short on life. Yes, it’s a rough journey. Yes, you probably wish things were done better. But since we can’t change yesterday, let’s change the way we view and work for tomorrow.


You may be wondering why I don’t hate law school as much now as I have over the past three weeks. The answer to that question is the fact that I defeated Thursday. For whatever reasons, Thursdays have been the hardest days for me. I have had about four assignments due (in ONE class). I have the typically 40-50 pages of readings due, but I ended up staying up until about 2:30 a.m., and praying to God that nobody called on me in classes because I couldn’t form a sentence due to exhaustion. However, this Thursday, I got a little extra breathing room and wrapped up my readings by 1 a.m. (that’s early haha). I woke up feeling great and ready for all of my classes. I actually understood what my professors were talking about. I completed all of the assignments for my class. I spoke up in my classes (and I was right! Haha). And finally, after my classes were over, I went to the library and did all of the readings I needed to do for my Friday classes. I didn’t survive Thursday, I defeated Thursday, and I would have never done that if I quitted last week when I was drowning in cases.


Whatever your “Thursday” is, take hope in the fact that it can in fact be defeated. You can do this. If God has placed you on this journey, know that He will keep you until what He said becomes your reality. Even if you’ve placed yourself on this journey, know that He will protect you and use every one of your mistakes for your good. You were created to outlast the struggle. You may not feel like it, but you are definitely stronger than the storm. Never let today take away your fight for tomorrow. Trust me, one day, you’ll swing, and defeat “Thursday”. Ohhhhhhh and when you do, your entire outlook on who you are and what you’re capable of will change. Law school has been rough, but it’s made me one of the strongest people that I know…and I’m only in week three. **wink**

IMG_20150412_135102Valencia Campbell was born and raised in Dallas, TX. After she graduated high school, she went on to attend “her dream school”, The University of Texas at Austin, which she graduated from in May of 2015. While she has been in church all of her life, she began to notice a difference in what she saw and felt in church, and the various events that would happen to her outside of church. She began to realize that for a great portion of her life, she knew church (and church routines) better than she knew the God she’d heard about every Sunday. This led her to start a blog entitled ‘Church Decoded’, where she attempts to break down what is often said in churches and “make it real” so that people better understand the Christian journey. When asked how she would quickly describe herself, Valencia states that she is “random, honest, complicated, and resilient”. While she is now in law school, Valencia hopes to continue to use her voice to bring hope to the broken, talk about the “hidden topics” in the church, and help somebody realize that sometimes, the best thing to do is leave the past behind us, and make it to tomorrow.  Check out her blog Churchdecoded.


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