February is supposed to be a month of talking about Christianity, anxiety and depression but so much has been happening lately. On that note, I want to review an album that is so dear to my heart and also borders on our theme. Around November last year when the different phases of the pandemic and life changing so fast had began to phase out, leaving most of us with the after effect of a weird year, Chandler Moore released an album; one that for certain was written during the peak of it all. Everybody in one way or the other went through this rush of emotions, tired night, heavy days, sadness with no attributed cause, we lacked assertiveness as to if things were going to be fine, the world looked like it was ending while our lives were at a standstill, confusion flooded our minds daily and it was a struggle to keep up. The hardest part about being a believer in times like this is the very assumption by others that you are completely fine and untouched by the eminent situation of things. They believe having Christ automatically means you won’t have feelings forgetting that God put those feelings there for a reason. Not just so you could experience different emotions for different seasons in your life but also for your relationship with him to be as relatable as possible. Feelings is the first track of the 37 minutes long album. For me Chandler was voicing out his thoughts, our thoughts. He was thinking aloud in words most of us would use. “I found myself in a place of grief and at first I didn’t have a language for it” one of the opening lines of feelings conveying perfectly how believers who are convinced giving their lives to Christ sets them apart from sad emotions, feel when they come face to face with those feelings. In all of this, where the joy came in was when he began to think out in hope, elucidating the Fathers matchless love and impeccable understanding of who we are, what we go through, how he is with us in all that we go through and why our process of accepting how we feel aids us to move forward in our relationship with God. It isn’t new knowledge that communication is a massive human problem on all levels so Chandler’s expressiveness at the beginning of the album, sets the pace for a symmetric flow of Spirit inspired melodies. You have heard him praise, cry about revival and speak on the love of God, this album shows another side to him─ his human side, his vulnerable side─ a side most of us conceal diligently with our “It is well” behavior then make others think Christianity is the smoothest sail ever meanwhile we are still ordinary people who have accepted the love of an extraordinary God. “Where are you now? In my hour of greatest need you’ve gone missing” Come on friend, this isn’t hide and seek so let’s drop the pretence. All of us have asked God why! King David expressed deep sorrows in some of his psalms to the point where I felt like his trust in God had gone lean like it was on a keto diet. He wasn’t angry with God. The perceived silence of the Father or lack of responsiveness equivalent to his expectation was simply not there. We need God every hour and even when we express how we feel, because he is trying to let us say everything without holding back, we might not get the “as e dey hot” reply which leads me to the next track. Chandler’s realization of Gods working patterns and mannerism of response made him to decide that he was going to “let it all out” since “it’s okay to not be okay”. He finally admitted that he hadn’t let it all out which is why God was sort of waiting for him to keep talking, crying and expressing his concerns. We do that a whole lot. You have an argument with someone and not until it’s over do you remember all the punchlines that would’ve been dished out effectively during the confrontation. We fall back and when triggers come, we unpack both the fresh bags and the ones we carried over from the previous time; things we could’ve just taken our time to express when we already began to talk. God gets this analogy perfectly; I mean he knows us more than we know ourselves. He wants all the details from you before he start working so you don’t come half way and be like “yeah God I even forgot. Maybe if…” nahhhhh God don’t roll like that, he lets you be. He wants you to come to him wearing your flaws as they are, clothed in your garments of worry, frustration, fear, anxiety, unexplainable sadness and whatever. If the accessories of your feelings be tears, screaming alone in the parking lot or an empty space, journaling how you feel, soliloquizing, worshipping, reading psalms, you name it! It’s really okay. You don’t have it all together and honestly, that’s fine “Aint no shame in letting go, amma let it go now”. Do you have a friend who is the perfect listener then gives the best advice or comes up with lasting solutions to your problems? Yep! That’s who God is. He sent his child to die for people who some of which, don’t care about him. Mourned his son alone and had no one to speak to about it. Watched his son die like a common thief so helplessly that he couldn’t bare to watch and you think he doesn’t understand what you are going through? Try again.
His son Jesus in order to fulfill the purpose, for which he came to earth, had to live a hand to mouth lifestyle. In today’s world, Jesus would be that broke church brother all the girls see potential in but are worried about he feeds talk more of paying their dowry so they’d probably pass up on him. Picture that, is it a good feeling to be in his shoes? He left luxury, comfort, and a chill lifestyle to wear one tunic for days, strap sandals as we were told, and eat bread and fish, then some of us who feel sad we can’t afford coldstone at the moment go crying to he and his father, screaming at them that they don’t understand, seriously? Well I am glad for Chandler’s revelation that “if anyone knows, he understands”. He went through it all, he knows the stages of grief, can relate to friendship (Judas) or relationship (the sin of Adam and Eve) break ups, financial strains, watching a loved one suffer, bullying at any level (if the word bullying or shaming is defined correctly, that’s what the Pharisees did to him all the time), you name it! It might not be in your exact context but he went through it all so he understands. Now if we know that he understands it can help us see the bigger picture ahead that we were “Built for this”. These trials, the anguish, sickness, and all the things we detest. Our horrible past has led us here and knowing full well the power he bestowed upon us individually, he allows us face things we can handle. We shouldn’t despair in the face of pain (trust me I am learning to take this advice) nor shrink at the slightest inconvenience. Our story is probably happening to us so we can conquer and help others up when they face something similar. The harmony and sequential flow of this album is what thrills me so much. It is proof that God inspired these songs. How each one is sort of an answer to the previous track or an explanation, tells me God put this music out there so other believers like myself, like you, could see the brighter side of everything. “I see you, in the wilderness and in green fields” The God of our good days and bad days is who we should love every day. Get it? It can’t be all green fields with no touch of wilderness vibes. Some days will ensure we run mad on its account and make stupefying attempts at dragging our mental health shamelessly but here’s the goodnews? WE ARE NOT CONSUMED! We’ve grown thick skin to the wiles of the devil, we know his tricks and now we have chosen to ignore them the way no one pronounces the p in psychology. Do we still feel affected by his little games every now and then? Sure! Do we let fear encompass us and keep us permanently on the ground? No we won’t! Not a single chance! We refuse to be consumed by anything seeking to ridicule our faith in Jesus, derail us from sanity or keep us at our lowest and so Chandler gives us the anthem “Not consumed’. At this point, the saying of saving the best for the last was the tactic here. “Lean on You” has lyrics you could write on sticky notes and place beside your bed to constantly remind not to brave this cold world alone. I was reading a Youversion bible plan last week and it formed an opinion for me. Why tell your friends, random social media followers and contact list your issues before you get to pray about them? It was a huge revelation for me since I am the person who can tweet about the ridiculously long ATM queue instead of calling on the Holy Spirit to clear it for me or share unsolicited info no one really cares about. Most times we think we are leaning on God but in actuality we are just falling on a bunch of things with the semblance of God, hoping he will be in those things and it’s so funny because we know the most direct way to reach him. Men and women in relationships lean on each other’s shoulders a lot not because they can’t find anywhere else to rest their heads. They simply want the warmth of someone who cares; someone who can say all the nice things. Why don’t you try that too? Lean on Jesus when nothing else matters, when you are confused, when you are excited, in fact, pitch your head permanently on his shoulder if that’s what it’ll take to survive all the chaos in this world and come out whole. Looking back now, this album came into my life at a crucial point. I was back to crying in the mornings and unnecessarily “thinking about my life”. Seeing God’s love and the embracing nature of his presence through the soothing melodies of this album helped me know better. It made me see that Feelings are for me to have and in all I should glorify God in them. Yepppp we are done guys! The next step is for you to check every streaming service and streammmmmmmm this album or Google download sites and cop this blessing fast. You already know its blessings on blessings, Love on love fam and light on light. Crystabel Nnamdi, For Lumiere de Dieu.