The War Within.

It is 2:52 in the AM. As of late I have been taking time away from social media. It's not that it controls me. but I oftentimes find myself playing the comparison game (still). I feel like I am so behind and so far from where I should be. This feeling has caused me to retreat and not make quality content, but merely post to get by and stay relevant. There is a war within myself, a war that says "Alexa you aren't not worthy", and another that say "because you are not worthy Alexa I have chosen you".

I despise when I go through these times in my life because I pull back from any and everybody. Although it causes me to go into a time of isolation I always end up doing some "deep thinking" (see this blog post) and peel back another layer of myself. I know I am not the only one.

I write these posts because I want you to know that you are not alone. I have been STRUGGLING even in my time with God. Figuring out whats authentic within the Christian community and what is not. Looking for wisdom from God to deal with these feelings and learning how to bridge a gap.

I HAVE BEEN PUTTING IMMENSE PRESSURE ON MYSELF. PRESSURE THAT DID NOT COME FROM GOD. PRESSURE THAT SAYS GOD IS DISAPPOINTED IN YOU BECAUSE YOU DON'T TAKE THE TIME TO SPEND WITH HIM DAILY ANYMORE, OR LOOK FOR HIM IN THE STILL SMALL MOMENTS OF THE DAY. YOU ARE NO LONGER EARNING HIS LOVE.

When God truly says I miss you. I long to spend time with you. I am here waiting. You do not earn my love because it is freely given to you. Stop listening to outside voices that push you AWAY from me and DRAW NEAR to me and the promises I have for you.


 There is a war going on inside of us each and everyday. Lately, I have been letting my doubts and the lies of the enemy win. How can I possibly do that when Jesus already won the battle for me. It's not as hard as we make it. All it takes is belief and surrender. Turn off condemnation and pick up constant love. I want to do better. I have to do better. I just may be the person whose story leads you to the one who can change you forever.

It all depends on the war though and how I choose to end the battle. 

I choose LOVE!

 

In-Between: I Want What I Want, But I Know I Don't Need It.

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Why does this life have to be so hard? Why can't I just have what I want even though I know it's not what I need. Everybody else seems happy, I want to be happy too. It shouldn't have to be so complicated! ugh!!  I know, I know, I know I shouldn't have animosity towards anyone but it's just not fair. You keep telling me everything that glitters isn't gold but it still looks beautiful. I want beauty, I want good things, I want success, I want the easy way out. I want, I want, I want. 

Isn't that how life normally goes. We get so focused and caught up on what we want that we neglect what we need. For instance, we want fast satisfaction so we go out and live these lives full of drinking, partying, and abuse that only last for the night. Leaving us to have to wake up, get dressed, and do it all over again this time with more of a hangover than we had before. At the end of every emotional high comes the breakdown. Then we realize it's only temporary.

I remember the time when that was my life story. I never wanted to wait, instead I enjoyed temporary thrills that never held any substance. The only thing accomplished was a night full of misfortune and a morning spent in bed with a pounding headache and nausea. Or maybe that wasn't you. Maybe you are the girl or guy that wants to be loved. So much so that you continue to settle for whatever's easy. You want fast satisfaction so you take it. No wonder you have a different "bae" every valentines day. Instead of taking the time to get to know yourself and figuring out who you are, you bounce from person to person. That's not what you need but you don't want to be alone.

Take the time to look at your actions and figure out what motivates you. Are you driven by your WANTS or NEEDS? Are you willing to take the time to make lasting impacts on your life or are you only interested in what today's satisfaction hold. So many of us fall short of flourishing to our full potential due to the fact that WE JUST DON'T WANT TO WAIT. Let's begin to think different. How great would it be if we could become who we are supposed to be instead of settling for something we aren't.

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IN-Between

I remember the times when I couldn't choose between the church and the world. One minute I was in the club and the next I was in my bible. I wanted to give God my all and I wanted to truly be on fire but I was stuck in between of what I knew was right for my life and what I took pleasure in doing at that very moment (the club, drinking, sex, gossip, lust). I never thought others could relate because it was always an all or nothing message I heard. Either you are in the church or you aren't. 

I was raised in the church and I knew better. I knew what I had been doing wasn't pleasing to God and I knew that I wasn't happy. But, I was stuck and I didn't know how to get out of the continuous cycle. I needed someone to push me through and I couldn't find anyone to relate to. 

How many of us are stuck in that stage? You know what you should be doing and what you want to do lines up with that, but you don't know where to start and how to get out of the cycle. Well let me be that push you need. I once was there and I have come out on the other side victorious. 

God has really been speaking to me about being the voice for this generation and the bridge that leads you to him. So let's start this journey to the other side. I too know how it feels to be stuck and I have a passion for seeing this generation set free. You are not alone and I am here to make sure of that. 

Are you ready to be all in?

I love you like crazy and so does God. He is ready and waiting for you to come out victorious as well. Coming soon will be content to help you in your walk with God. Feel free to shoot me an email AlexaGabrielle@VirtuousBeautyxo.com and I would love to hear your testimony. Get ready because this year will be like none other. 

If I Could Just Press.

If I could just press where would I end up? I am learning to press past my anxiety, fears, doubts, wants, and things I think I need. Instead, I have begun reaching for the kingdom. I have had a couple rough months as I know many of us have. Sometimes I'm too hard on myself, YA KNOW?! I expect myself to be so much further along and because I am not I tend to fall back. What would happen if instead of falling back I press forward!

This past year has been so crazy and with the end near everything has begun to hit me at once. I went from working full time to part time, am working on building a business, have had other failed attempts at things, and ultimately have been challenged in ways I didn't think I would be. One part of me is so ready for this season to be over and for the next to begin the other is thinking to myself "what have I really learned if I am still so ready to run away". 

I turned 25 this year and the "oh crap I am 25" mentality has hit me full force. I am so use to beginning something and if I don't feel it anymore just letting it go and moving on. I need to learn to press. NO, I HAVE to learn to press. There is too much for me to do and I cannot afford to back down.

Do you feel like giving up? A lot of my peers have lately. With the holidays coming it's hard to see past all of the let downs of this past year. It is hard to press forward when you feel like you have nothing to look forward to. Can you promise me one thing if you are reading this? Promise me the you wont quit. Promise me that you will continue to press and push until you get through. There is a huge reward waiting for you on the other side. 

I am not alone and neither are you. We are in this together. 

So, You Want to Get Married ... Why?

Virtuous Beauty Photography

Virtuous Beauty Photography

I am what society likes to call a "millennial"  aka a hot mess express generation. You see us "millennial's" see what we want and we go for it. We also see what we don't want and we drop it quicker than we can rationalize why. I love my generation because we are so passionate, but it somehow has become more like a curse than a blessing.

Social media is a big factor in how we play out our day to day lives. What we desire, what we wear, what we eat, and what we believe in is persuaded by what social media says is relevant at that time. One of the biggest trends I see is "relationship goals" and the constant quotes about wanting love, wanting a family, and wanting to get married. I can guarantee if I walked up to 95% of the people posting these things and ask them "why do they want to get married" they will say "well I want to be happy" or "I don't want to be lonely anymore". Allow me to break down why those answers are not a good reason to get married, and ultimately proves you are not ready to get married. 

I want to be happy

Virtuous Beauty Photography

Virtuous Beauty Photography

The number one reason I have observed in regards to wanting to get married is the statement above.  Every time I see it I want to scream "WHO TOLD YOU MARRIAGE WOULD MAKE YOU HAPPY?!". Social media has given off this fake image that marriage is all sunshine and butterflies. Although I am not married I have enough friends who are and also from watching my parents .. you go through rough times and you aren't always going to be happy. People dies, financial hardships happen, you have children & children drive you nuts (lol), and there are so many other factors that can cause friction within a marriage. Nobody knows these things because they base their wants on pictures and television shows -- by the time they figure this out they are headed for a divorce because they didn't enter into marriage with a true commitment, they only wanted to be happy. 

If you go into marriage with the desire to only be happy you are headed for divorce before you make it down the aisle.
— Alexa Gabrielle

I don't want to be lonely anymore

Aaaah, this phrase y'all. Can I just shake you and say "GETTING MARRIED IS NOT GOING TO CURE YOUR LONELINESS" if anything it is going to fuel your insecurities and what used to be loneliness has now become an obsession and new identity aka your husband/wife. You have to know your assignment on this earth before you think about marriage. If you are secure in your identity when you get married you will really lose yourself after you say I do.

Marriage is a ministry not an ego boost.
— Alexa Gabrielle

Marriage is a ministry not a tool used to make you happy, cure your loneliness, or boost your ego. Before the desire to say "I do" takes over your life make sure you have these things checked off:

  • Know who you are and whose you are in Christ
  • Make sure you are happy and secure being alone 
  • Seek God on what your assignment is and begin to move in that
  • Don't make marriage your idol. If it is now begin to pray and seek ways to let it go
  • Pray, pray, and pray some more so you are prepared to hear God's yes or no when you meet your future spouse. 

I urge you to begin to study what marriage really means through God and not from the world's point of view and stay tuned because I will be going in depth on that topic within another blog post. Until then here are some scriptures, blog posts, and youtube vid's to check out on the subject.

http://marriedandyoung.com/every-marriage-mission-mandate/

 

21 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. 25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— 30 for we are members of his body. 31“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” 32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. 33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5) 

The Bride Series: The Bride Who is Afraid to Try Again.

"I remember being a little girl and looking in the mirror fantasizing about the day I would become someone's bride. I would make up fake vows and draw sketches of my "one day" wedding dress. I knew what colors I wanted and the song I would walk down the aisle to. There was nothing I wanted more than to be a wife; That was before I got my heart broken over and over again. Now I want nothing to do with marriage." 

Those were the words of Vanessa, a young woman who was once hopeful for love, but after one too many heartbreaks she has decided to throw in the towel. Receiving love after heartbreak can be hard, trust me I know I've been there. Last year around this time, even up to a couple of months ago relationship and Alexa were not a good match. Much like Vanessa I too fell victim to the "fear of trying again". 

Much like Vanessa I too fell victim to the fear of trying again.

If you put in me a bubble alone for a year I would be just fine. I love being to myself and although I would love to be someone's wife and I know I will be with not a remnant of doubt in my mind, the devil began to take me to a place of comfort within this single season. Now I know what you are thinking "Alexa, you have God you are supposed to be comfortable in your singleness.". You are 100% right, but that is not the type of comfort I am referring to. 

Anytime fear accompanies comfort it can become a recipe for bondage.
— Alexa Gabrielle

Many of us use God to cover our fear of heartbreak. We walk around announcing our "Single and satisfied" selves as a mask to hide the true feelings of longing for companionship. The fear out ways the burden God has placed on your heart for love and in return you check yourself out of the game and no longer see marriage as an option. What I have learned is Satan will place fear over any area God wants to use in your life to bring glory.  Whether it be marriage, speaking, teaching, finances, relationships with others, etc. 

Sis, I am here to to tell you YOU HAVE TO LET THAT FEAR AND PRIDE GO. I do not say this because I believe it's easy, because I have been there. I say this knowing first hand the way the devil will try to shut you down and keep you away from the gifts God wants to give you.

Marriage and relationships are a beautiful thing and so is heartbreak. It was a broken heart that led me back into the loving arms of God. He wants you to be happy and feel love. With marriage comes the unity that results in the birthing of nations. Do not be afraid of what can come out of a heart that is willing to overcome past failures.

A healed heart is a powerful heart. 

There is no fear that can overpower the redemptive love of Christ. Receive it and give it away. FEAR CANNOT AND WILL NOT RESIDE IN THE RESIDENCE OF YOUR HEART. The things of the past are stepping stones building a staircase that lead to your destiny and promise. Lay down your stones and begin to climb my love. There are new heights waiting for you to exceed.