When I started college, I felt like I was okay with my Christianity. Before college, I would hear stories from pastors and religious leaders about their experiences in college. They thought since many of them came from religious backgrounds then they would be shielded from whatever evil would come their way…and they were wrong. If anything, temptation hit them THE MOST. I come from a very faithful family who would not take “no praise” as an answer, my Grandmother being the strongest of all of us. When I tell people stories of my Grandmother, they automatically think she is mean. They also thought about how difficult it must have been growing up around her when wasn’t but there were many times when her words would sting deeper than a venomous bite. Growing up, God was all that I knew and it was nothing more; no confidence, no self esteem, just God. I always was the one to do the RIGHT things and never anything less and when I would do bad things I would feel real bad about it and I would take it really hard. I often was left in confusion when other family members would nag me about things of life that didn’t have anything to do with God. For example, my weight and my appearance were just a few and whenever I would run to the one person who I thought could fix it but couldn’t.
I was confused many times growing up around my family. I felt like serving God was, at times, the best thing for me and for some reason when I first got baptized, I felt like God heard me more than any other time in my life. I felt like I would mentally ask for something from God and it was done for me. I still struggled with many other issues that I was too afraid to ask God to help me with because I felt like they were selfish needs. I really didn’t like praying about my mom’s financial situation because I was always under the impression that that was the most selfish thing to ask for. It’s like I have mentioned before, I was never allowed to be sad or to have sad feelings really. Whenever I would start to talk to someone about something, the person’s rebuttal would be “oh there are people in Africa staving“, “somebody died today, you should be thankful to be alive“, or “most people don’t even have what you have Alexa, so you are doing better“. So I would really be embarrassed for trying to vent my feelings off and I would just forget about asking God for better things for my family. Though I remember making many prayers to Him about it, I figured they never got answered because I didn’t have too much confidence in my prayer and on top of that, I felt so bad for asking for it. And even now I still feel bad for asking God for many things because I feel like I have been conditioned not to be selfish and even with my prayer.
My freshmen year I really don’t remember me struggling with my faith in God that much. I do remember being lonely sometimes and I would often call my mom and Grandmother for a conversation. And every time I would call my Grandmother she would encourage me with words of wisdom and prayer. In fact, it was this semester (my freshmen) that she gave me the Bible verse “1 Corinthians 10:13” which goes like, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13 KJV“. That verse stuck to me more than any other verse she had given me at the moment. I really felt like that scripture had power and that it meant that I could get myself into some tight situations but I would be able to wiggle myself out…unfortunately this was never the case for me. I got myself into some tough spots but I never was able to make it out. I often thought I was being too hard on myself because yes I made it out, but I never finished like I wanted to and that was always the biggest disappointment to me. But why did I bring up the whole faith and me thing? Because it just seemed like no matter how hard I prayed about studying and being able to pass a test, it just never seemed to get through. I would go through the motions of listening to secular music cause I wanted to just relax but then feeling like in order to get an answer from God then I had to listen to Gospel music. One weekend it was one type of music and the next weekend it was the other; I couldn’t deal. But there were times when it just didn’t feel so right and I got scared and instead of being understood for my choices I was often called a “baby” and told that I needed to “grow up” and that didn’t make the struggle feel any better.
There were many times through my college years where it seemed like Jesus appeared and tried to get my to come on home but I just didn’t want to. I needed to but I didn’t want to. It was crazy though how God would use the biggest sinner to deliver a message to me. And I felt like it was even crazier that these same people could party, curse and sin way more than me but whenever they said “Jesus please” it was done for them but I had to work to get what felt like the smallest nudge from God. I would go to church so many times and pray but I just wasn’t feeling that close to God. I figured I was praying wrong too. The year of my sophomore year in college was the worse one yet because there I truly decided that if I couldn’t get pass to God then I was going to leave His side…and it was that spring semester when I did. That had to be one of the most scariest times in my life because as dramatic as it may seem, I thought that I was going to die through either self harm or something else. Too fed up and confused with God to pray about it and too forewarned by my dreams that something was going to happen to me that I just decided to let life take its course…I was on the path to no where and I was truly alone.