A thousand things tugging at my heart, and I want every last one of them.

Yikes…but I do. I keep going back and forth between secular music and Gospel music and to be perfectly honest both are now numb to me. I haven’t prayed since earlier this year. I go to church but only so I don’t have to be nagged by those who appear to be less than Christian about the fact that I didn’t go. I know there is a God and I believe that Jesus is real but I am having a hard time feeling the presence of God. I feel bad that I am not falling out on the ground in church, crying or speaking in tongues like many do. I don’t feel usable and I don’t know if there is anything that I can do for God. My nature gifts seem so boring and even if I go the Jesus route with them, there is always that person that says, your works aren’t good enough. I cannot sing; I can sing but I don’t believe my voice is unique or different so I don’t. I am lonely but I am told to pray that God will send me someone and so then I shut up. I figure I could do it on my own but I am not sure where to start and then I get discouraged, only for the feeling to fade but to come back again. I am broke and with bills beyond my control. I am car-less and couldn’t travel to see anyone if I liked so I stay to myself. That, and everyone seems to be so worldly full of curses, sex and alcohol.

It’s hard to find Christian friends though, really it is. I think about getting my own house and THEN will I truly commit to Jesus but what if I never make it to then? In this small area that I am in, it seems pointless to work on Jesus now because things are pretty stressful so I can’t go to God with a jumbled mind and cluttered heart. Ugh, so every little thing is giving me a road block and it is making it harder and harder to get to Jesus…hmm so what can I do? I tell myself to ignore the things that I don’t have and to focus on God. To not let other people’s blessings leave bitter feelings in my heart because the same things I am reaching for seem unattainable. I kept going back and forth with myself saying that college was a waste and I should live for God but knowing also that God cares about the whole person so college wasn’t a sin and neither was being a Biological Sciences major. I love science but while in high school and college I didn’t prove that I did. I just wanted lectures and daydreamed through them but I was able to make it out because of the small notes remembered. I do want to graduate from college and I believe that God wants that for me as well. I also want to live for God and come to terms that on this road, a lot of sacrifices are made some easy some painful in order to live for God. Yes, there are a thousand things tugging at my heart, but now, I only see the need for one of them, Jesus <3.

My College Daze: But where was my faith in all of this?

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.

Inspirational songs: So long by Kierra Sheard

Name of the song: So long
Name of the artist: Kierra Sheard

I think it is good to say that my mother is my main source for new Gospel songs. I really wish I could find and listen to more and more than I do but I guess it takes time. YouTube has helped me out with this too. I remember browsing on YouTube a while back in my Senior year of staying on campus for different Kierra Sheard songs. I luckily came across the song, “So long” from Kierra. This so is simply beautiful and it talks about how we as one can let so much worldly influence get into out way and we then end up neglecting God and forgetting about Him. We soon are so quick to ask, “where did you go Lord?” “did you forget about me?” and this was something that I struggled with many times during my college years. I was always under the impression that God had left me and that I was all alone. I felt dumb for trying to go back to Him because I didn’t want it to be like I was begging for Him to be in my life now that things were going wrong. I was torn. No one will ever understand how much it hurt for me to get back to God because I felt like me going back and forth with Him would soon get old and I just didn’t want to hurt Him like that,…so I stayed away.

I am, in the process, of getting back to Him and this time I plan on staying with Him. I remember whenever I was younger and I first got baptist-ed. I felt like God and I were in the best of relationship because the things that I asked for happened for me, even at a young age I felt like I could ask for something and it be done. Now, now that I am older I feel such a disconnect with the Lord, as if I am on a journey to find Him again and find Him and His love for myself. I know that I love the Lord but I also know that I need to feel like I love the Lord and I am still in a trial with getting back to Jesus and having Him back in my life. I know He loves me but I don’t know why I feel so bad whenever it comes to going back to ask Him for something. I never liked being taking advantage of by people and so I tried my hardest not to do it to others and now, I see that I tried my hardest not to take advantage of Jesus like many people have done. So I then just felt like it was best to leave God alone. This song really correlates with how I was feeling and how I have been feeling. It has been my ringtone on my phone for the LONGEST! Since last year! I love it and it fits so well that I can’t change it. Anyway, this is a great song with a smooth R&B tone to it, but listen to the lyrics because you may find that the song is relating to you too. Be blessed.

Inspirational songs: Testimony by Anthony Brown & group therAPy

Name of the song: Testimony
Name of the artist(s): Anthony Brown & group therAPy

I fell in LOVE with this song and then I started to develop a tiny little itsy bitsy crush on Anthony Brown. Oh my gosh I thought he was so cute! He still is! Sigh! Anyway I heard this song about this time last year and I liked this way that the song broke up into parts like it does. I can’t describe what I am saying but I know what I am saying! I realize that this statement is confusing…sorry. I don’t know I just felt like this song would be my coming out of this situation song and that I would be able to like make my own music video and show what my family and I have been through and then show how we all made it out. I guess I am living in a dream world? Okay anyway just listen to this song for me okay? I am kind of in a rush so if I have more time I am going to come on here and talk about the song more. I hope you enjoy it is really upbeat and super cool. Thanks.

Oh yeah while I am listening to this song, I really fell in love because I love Anthony Brown’s voice! Aah! His voice is amazing and I just think it fits so well with this song! I am not a true music review person so I am not sure what technical words to use when talking about music so please don’t mind me whenever I am making up words and stuff to describe what I am talking about! LOL I really hope that Anthony and his group go far because like I said this is the first time of me hearing about him. I would love to hear more from them and I hope that they can make it big, and bigger.

Inspirational songs: Praise Him in advance by Marvin Sapp

Name of the song: Praise Him in advance
Name of the artist: Marvin Sapp

I’ve had my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around, God came and spoke these words to me, praise will confuse the enemy.

I started singing, I started clapping, I started dancing, people were laughing, they knew my problems, they knew my pain, but I knew God would take them away.

I have my share of ups and downs, times when there was no one around, God came and spoke these words to me, praise will confuse the enemy.

I started singing, I started clapping, I started dancing, people were laughing, they knew my problems, they knew my pain, but I knew God would take them away.

That’s why I praise him with my hands, that’s why I praise him with a dance, He’s given me a second chance, come on lets praise him in advance.

I remember what I am about to tell you guys as if it happened yesterday but then again it might as well have because I feel like I have been living in hurricane season since 2005 and that’s real. I remember finally coming home from relatives house after being forcefully blocked out of home from water (from Hurricane Gustav in 2008) and just being back in my room with my computer. I remember me having to re-install some of my music onto my Windows media player and this song by Marvin Sapp, “Praise Him in advance” was one of them. I believe I listened to that song in that one sitting for about 60 times. I guess I was just so happy to be home but in that moment I really felt a new me was developing. For the first time I felt like I was really able to understand what many of these Gospel songs and their lyrics were saying and I was just so happy. Many times I found myself crying because I felt like the song was touching a small part of me and waking it up. “You need to get back to Jesus, you need to get back to Jesus, you NEED TO GET BACK TO JESUS…” are thoughts that ran in my head so many times but I just kept ignoring them which is what most of us do.

I believe that Marvin Sapp himself was going through a whole lot of turmoil too. I can’t remember what was going on with him but he was making some powerful and influential music at this time. If I wasn’t blasting this song I was blasting “Praise Him now” by Kierra Sheard so yeah. There are many more songs by Marvin that I like but I haven’t been able to sit down and listen to him like I like. Since they took away the Gospel station 94.9 FM and changed it to something else, it is hard to listen to Gospel music on the radio unless we have a CD made or if you try to catch a tune on 140.5 AM and that signal barely works. Anyway please enjoy this song and have a blessed day.