Growing up, I never had a church home. My mother tried attending different churches and the one I could remember was a Jehovah Witness church. We were there for a little while and I remember my mom would have bible studies sometimes at the house. I was so young so learning about God and the Bible never stuck. Never paid attention. Fell asleep in the pews at church. You know…what kids usually do during church (there wasn’t a children’s church in the back of the church back then). That slowly but surely fizzled away and my Sunday morning routines were spent at home. Wake up, breakfast, sports, play, homework, bed. Every single Sunday. We were too comfortable on Sunday’s. Never really spoke about church either. As I got older, to appease my grandmother, we would go on holidays. Mother’s Day, Easter. Those were the main two. If I would spend the night at a friend’s house and their parents went to church, then I would go. I would always hope that the parents over slept and didn’t want to go anymore. After all, I still never understood what the Preacher was saying and it always put me to sleep.
It was that way for a very long time. Growing into my later teens, it was all about me. No cares in the world. I always had good grades in school so I had a lot of leisure time. Family, friends, parties, fun. What worldly teenagers do. Around 16 years old, I met this one boy. Every girl has that “one” guy. The role that relationship played on my life weighed so heavy on me. Along with taking my virginity, he took my mind. I was only 16 and felt several emotions in one day. The epitome of a teenage girl. My every thought surrounded him. Every text message and phone call I received, I wanted it to be him. I had a life outside of him. I was always involved in something with school and with friends but when all that was over, I just wanted him. You can just imagine how the course of my relationship went. Break up to make up. Verbal disrespect. Immaturity. Careless intercourse, which of course, led to a planned pregnancy.
My pregnancy in 2009 was the result of a conversation her father and I had prior to leaving for college. It made so much sense when conversing….at the age of 18. We would have a baby so we could always be together-simple. Smacks my own forehead. Downward slope. We got exactly what we asked for. A child and we always have to be in each other’s lives as long as we live. Argument after argument after argument. Continuing to break up and constant tears. Most of this is explained in another blog a posted a few months back, so I won’t go in too deep with this blog. 2009 was a hard year for me. Gave birth to my child and shortly became postpartum. I cried all the time and never wanted to be around Addyson. I resented her father and just wanted my old life back. I prayed everyday asking God to take to the pain away-assuming it was supposed to be an instantaneous process. God doesn’t work that way. I didn’t know that back then. I didn’t have a relationship with Christ or a Godly foundation in my life. I was just calling on him when it was convenient for me.
As months passed, I grew out my depression. I went back to school and keep my credits up and was working. A lot of my mind was occupied for the most part but my heart was still with her father. I was in bondage. Anger, bitterness, resentment…all still rested in me. Even when I came back to MU in January of 2011, I still had those feelings in me. My only solution to help get rid of these feelings was to involve myself with other guys. Regular dating and sexual intercourse. It made perfect sense. In order to get over her father, I would seek interest in other guys-simple. Of course that didn’t work. I kept trying to convince myself that it would. You couldn’t tell me anything.
August 2011, I began my senior semester of college (the first of 3 semesters). It was a new me. I had once again decided that I was over her father so I did what society tells single young females to do. I had cut off all my hair, changed my number, and moved into a new apartment. It was supposed to be my new season. All about me. I was thankful that God had delivered me from previous pain and hatred over her father but reacted in a negative way. My attention diverted from God to myself. “I’m 21 and single. Do me” was my motto. Weekends of partying, smoking, drinking, occasionally sex (another blog coming soon) and it became a routine. Addy was still taken care of and schoolwork was still done, but my mind was all on me. The more I would partake in these things, when I would go home with no one but my thoughts, I felt conviction. I knew it was wrong. I always felt guilty when I would do those things. Conviction was never heavy enough to keep me from doing those things but I definitely felt guilt afterwards. More and more. I would go to the club and in the back of my mind I would think, “Alana you have no business here. This doesn’t feel right.” I would have sex and afterwards I would feel disgusted. I felt like God was looking down on me in utter disgust and disappointment. The thought would always make my eyes well.
I fell to my knees one afternoon listening to Praise is What I Do. I was tired. God I was so tired. I was tired of temporary satisfaction. I was tired of my arrogant, narcissistic attitude. I was tired of my selfishness. I was tired of my worldly ways. I was tired of being out of his will and I never wanted to feel that way again. Just like in 2009, I prayed for God to take this pain away but this time, it would be to grow into him. I wanted Him. Church became the regular for me. Sex was completely cut off. Drinking slowly dwindled and so did partying. I was stepping into a new season.
More into 2012, my relationship with Christ continued (and still continues) to grow. The desires of the world began to fade (they never really went away. I am just strong enough to resist temptation a lot more than I used to be).
Here I am today. On fire for God, which was my hope for this blog (name change coming soon.) I was ready. No pressure. No force. No judgment. I was ready. I was keeping me from this season. Fearing that I would have to give up so much to live for God and granted, I did. Those things don’t matter. Everything God takes out of your life he provides so much more. 2x better. It’s not about me. Everything I go through isn’t for me. People here my story about past relationships and say, “Thank you, I needed that.” It is not about me. I’m so glad God has gotten me to see that. I am still learning.
If there is one thing I can say that can encourage everyone who is reading this is to pray for the desires of the world to fade. Don’t be afraid to let go. These things in the world that we seek pleasure in hold no weight to the things God wants to give us. Restoration, peace, patience, grace, love, the desires of our hearts. All of the riches of his glory that he promised. It feels amazing y’all! It really does!
To conclude: What I can say about my “new beginning” is that I am still human. I am still subject to fall and make mistakes. Only difference now is that my intentions are whole-heartedly to please him. Repentance for the times that I mess up. I am not perfect. Do not put me on a pedestal nor view me in a judgmental eye now that I am “saved.” Continue to pray for me. This is the time that the enemy is really going to try to throw his hardest punches at me…. but I am not moved. Thank you God for continuing to pull on my heartstrings and get my attention. I am excited to see where you are taking me. Love you pops! Muah!