Following her destiny
Some people may have thought it strange when Helena Pipe decided to leave her job, friends and family to pursue a theatrical career in the UK.
Those who really knew the 29-year-old understood that she'd been wanting to take the leap for years.
“I had plans to move to the UK in 2015 and had it all planned out,” she said. “That's what I intended but God made it very clear that wasn't His will at the time and He desired something else for me.”
Ms Pipe stayed in Bermuda and taught dance with the Christian-based Anointed Steps Dance School.
She started getting comfortable with life: she was active within her church and got involved in stage productions of The Colour Purple and For My Good.
Only then did she feel God finally give her confirmation to go.
“It was a process,” she said. “It sounds really easy. People just say, ‘Go for it, you can do it', but it takes a lot of trust in God to do that.
“I became overwhelmed at the thought of changing my whole life and just being open to something new. Sometimes when you are on the island you can't see outside of it and I was definitely stuck and didn't want to let go of the things I had come to love, but through prayer and God just confirming, I did.
“I also knew I didn't want to walk outside God's will for my life, so if I had any doubt I don't think I would have done it. It was a matter of trust and hearing His voice telling me, ‘It's OK, you can go'. And I also knew the people I was leaving behind were OK — like my family and the children I was working with — and they would continue on even if I wasn't there.”
Ms Pipe has been living in London for just over a month. She writes about the highs and lows of the experience through her blog, The Journey.
“I started the blog to encourage myself because I had so much going on in my head and just needed to get it out onto the screen, but now as I write, with the response I'm getting back, I realise it's greater than me and people are being blessed and inspired by it.
“They are able to feel encouraged by my honesty. I try not to sugar-coat anything and that's so God gets the glory at the end of the day.”
Ms Pipe was always told she was an overly dramatic child. She caught the acting bug while playing the Cowardly Lion in a Mount Saint Agnes production of The Wizard of Oz and decided to pursue theatre in college.
Out in Canada on her own however, she went a bit “wild”.
“I didn't know Christ then,” she said. “I was just living a wild life. When I didn't get into the acting programme at Dalhousie University, at first I wanted to give up. I talked to my mom and she said if I get my life on the right track I can get there.
“I auditioned again at the next opportunity and got into the programme. I learnt so much and was able to work professionally in Canada for a few years doing a bunch of shows.”
God has taught her a lot about patience in the past decade, Ms Pipe added.
“Even being out here in the UK I was expecting everything to happen instantly, but that's not how it works,” she said.
“While I've been here I've had to really seek God. If I'm really honest I've never really sought Him, listened, and waited internally like I am now. It's a secret place that I go to where I listen for Him, seek His word earnestly and desire to hear Him. So just the patience of having to trust Him has been an important lesson.
“I've seen that He is in control. When I am anxious, overwhelmed and doubtful, He constantly reminds me this was the right decision. My faith has been the thing holding me together. It's one thing to say I want to move, but once you do it's very different.
“The hardest thing is really letting God do it because I have a tendency to want to do it in my own way; God has a funny way of sitting me down and making me wait.”
She suggests that anyone considering taking a similar leap “be bold and don't let anything stop you from living your destiny”.
“If you have to, lock yourself off from other people who have a more conventional idea of how things may go.
“Sometimes God is very unconventional. To other people it may seem crazy or strange, but you just have to trust Him.”
Leaving the island was easier because of the support she received from family, friends and fellow believers.
“People were able to tell me how they see the God in me and how I'm an example,” she said.
“Sometimes you get so consumed in the things you are doing, you don't realise that you are making an impact on others. To hear people affirm the things you have done, that you have been successful and made a difference, it meant a lot to me.”
• Follow her on Facebook: The Journey or helenapipe.com