Chance Comes Once

Amazon and other booksellers link to this page instead of the book page for Her Own Two Feet. If you’re looking for more information on Rebeka and our book,  click here.


Alayna is in her last semester at Texas A&M, preparing to graduate in May, 2018. It wasn’t easy re-integrating back into life in College Station after spending a semester in Grenoble, France.


It wasn’t just the language and culture shock. It was the fact that most of her friends graduated last spring and life was going to look really different. She had one friend who remained, and a room in that friend’s apartment where she could put her mattress on the floor, and live out of cardboard boxes for a few months. I think we all figured she would grit her teeth and endure but hey, you only get one last-semester-of-college in life, and Alayna has never been one to pass up a chance at a new adventure.

alayna trapeze

she flies through the air with the greatest of ease . . .

alayna rwanda

in Rwanda, she’s always ready to engage with strangers who become friends

Last summer when she interned at Explore Austin she began to rock climb at a nearby climbing gym. What started out as a hobby turned into an obsession. Upon her return to College Station, she tried out for the Texas A&M competitive climbing team, the Craggies, and made it! For Spring Break she went climbing with friends in Arkansas.



climbing in Arkansas

Since then she has competed in several competitions and most recently qualified for nationals in speed climbing!


She is officially hooked. She makes multiple trips a week to Katy where they have a regulation speed-climbing wall where she can practice for nationals. She inhales climbing documentaries, and is asking for climbing gear for a graduation present. I am so proud of her for taking on this last semester with gusto, and re-inventing her life in College Station with this new passion. She’s met new friends, and she’s earned some gnarly callouses.

I know about re-inventing. I’ve been re-inventing my Rebeka book for almost a year now, revising and revising again. I’ve built up some tough callouses, taking constructive criticism and cutting some “darlings” to get to the heart of the story. My most recent revision was coming up with a new title when my agent wasn’t entirely happy with the first two. I had sent an email to a friend in Rwanda, asking her if the phrase “seize every opportunity and make the most of it,” was common in Rwanda. Something like “Carpe Diem,” or “seize the day.”


Rebekkah in Rwanda, who gave me “chance comes once”

She responded that in Rwanda they say Amahirwe aza rimwe, which means “chance comes once.” The phrase captures perfectly the tension in Rebeka’s life. Many times she was given opportunities where saying “yes” wasn’t easy. At age five, she stayed alone at a clinic for eight months to receive treatments for her feet. She left family and friends and all that was familiar to come to America where she endured painful surgeries and challenging physical therapy. And when she returned to Rwanda, Rebeka left her family yet again to attend a prestigious boarding school located several hours away by car.

bunk bed

Rebeka’s bed at boarding school the year she returned

They were all tough “yes’s” to once-in-a-lifetime chances. These two girls impress the heck out of me. They suck the marrow out of life, pushing themselves as they pursue new opportunities and continue saying “yes” to life’s adventures. I am forever grateful for the time they got to spend together.


Chance comes once. Sometimes we get only one chance to take advantage of an opportunity, and these two girls embrace their chances with gusto. I did the same when I took the chance to tell Rebeka’s story, now titled CHANCE COMES ONCE: BASED ON THE TRUE STORY OF A RWANDAN GIRL’S JOURNEY, and I’m so glad I said yes.

11 Responses to “Chance Comes Once”

  1. Krista Wise

    You are gifted, Meredith! Love the parallels in Alayna and Rebeka’s lives. I see that same desire to make the most of every opportunity in you! You inspire me!


  2. Paige

    So enjoy reading these stories from your life, Meredith. Your voice on the page is just like you in person–clear and warm and inviting. Can’t wait to read CHANCE COMES ONCE!

  3. Sheri Miller

    Thank you for the exciting update and photos of Alayna and Rebeka. I can’t believe how Much Rebeka has grown! We are also super proud of your two amazing girls!!! Love the title and can’t wait to read your book!

  4. A Duncan

    I still can’t believe I know you. Every time I talk to you or read something you’ve written, regardless of how seemingly inconsequential it may be to you, I pinch myself and smile! This is good stuff. Can’t wait to read it.

  5. Anne Westrick

    The photo of you and Rebeka really surprised me. She’s so grown up! And I love the title she suggested. CHANCE COMES ONCE. I’m so glad you’re writing her story.

  6. Nicole

    Meredith, I arrived in Paris a couple of hours ago and I am waiting for my hotel room to be ready. What better way to pass the time than to start reading your “Stories in the Street “blog! You truly inspire me and I wish I had taken the time to get with you before leaving to get advice on creating a wonderful blog like yours. I didn’t even know you had written all those books. I didn’t know I could just look here to see precious Alayna. I love the title “Chance Comes Once”! Do your books sell on Amazon? Can I just be you when I grow up?

    • Meredith Davis

      So excited for your trip, Nicole! And glad you’re enjoying this blog 🙂 While I’ve written several books, including CHANCE COMES ONCE, I am still awaiting publication so you’ll have to wait a little longer to find them on the shelf. When they’re available, I’ll let you know! Traveling mercies!!


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