Alyssa Sellers


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Knowing I Don’t Have to Know

Joy Ride New OrleansThere I was, ugly crying on the cypress wood floor in my uncle’s home in New Orleans. It was the summer of 2002 and, after watching a seemingly innocuous movie, I was an emotional wreck.

Not just because in “Life as a House” an adorable young Anakin Skywalker stood in the pouring rain and fervently cried out for Alyssa, the witty and wise girl-next-door, who happened to share my name as well as some of my pretty fabulous character traits. (Yes, yes, I know. Hayden Christensen was acting in the role of an entirely different character named Sam, but to me he was still the promising young padawan – you know, before he goes all dark side of the force – only NOW with bonus blue hair. Swoon.) No, I was sobbing because Anakin/Sam and the other characters in the film were ultimately searching for redemption, love, and an understanding one’s self, all the things I had journeyed to New Orleans to find.

And because I was failing miserably in my search.

My movie postmortem didn’t start with me lying in a puddle of tears on the floor. It started with me sitting upright on the step at the top of a staircase, looking out through a giant window at a warm summer sunset, and holding a pen and yellow paper tablet in my hands prepared to write a veritable masterpiece of emotion inspired by the movie I had just experienced.

As you may have surmised, that didn’t happen. Continue reading

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To Love or to Fear

Winter in the City 029I was crossing the Hawthorne Bridge, beginning a long walk along the Willamette River, when I passed an older man carrying an over-sized pack on his back and a large bible in the crook of his arm. I smiled and said, “Hello.” As he passed me he replied, “You’re beautiful.”  As the distance between us increased, I called out thank you. Then I began to cry.

It had been a VERY long time since anyone has said that to me. I hadn’t realized how much my heart needed to hear it.

This past December I wore a dress every day as a way to raise awareness and support to end human trafficking. To do this, I took pictures of myself in said dresses and posted them on social media. This activity, along with figuring out new ensembles, forced me to look at myself FAR MORE frequently than I was accustomed to and lead to an amount of emotional distress for which I was completely unprepared.

I did not believe I was beautiful. Continue reading


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Just Call Me Ms.McFeely – Speedy Delivery*

First US Post OfficeIt’s not in my nature to wake up at 5 AM.

It’s also not in my nature to willingly take on something that I’m not absolutely positive that I’ll be fairly exceptional.

This might sound a tad braggy, but really it’s more about my fear of failure and rejection.  And maybe it is about my pride. I’m sure it is.

It’s all wrapped up together really: fear of failure and pride.

Because what am I afraid of? That people will judge me and not think I’m awesome? Because mostly I’m not talking about life or death stuff, I’m talking about everyday life stuff and more specifically my post -ministry employment choices.

I started work with the United States Postal Service on Saturday. Continue reading


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All You Need Is Love

Hong Kong ~ June 2011

I once heard a sermon on Jesus’s vine and branches talk that turned me off to the whole passage. I can’t remember why now, but I really didn’t ever want to read that section again. But because this passage is full of wonderful words Jesus’s gave to the disciples just prior to his death, I forced myself, many times and once about a year ago, it sorta changed my life.
Summer 2011
 
“You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you…” ~Jesus (John 15:16)
It is a beautiful thing to be chosen, to be picked, singled out, wanted, desired. To think Jesus chose me…wow.
Before this he says that the father (God) shows who he is when we as disciples produce grapes/fruit, when we mature as a disciple. How close we must really be that our products our results reflect back and prove who God is.
“Make yourselves at home in my Love…I’ve named you friends.” (John 15:9-15 The Message)
Wow…what an invitation! At home in Jesus’s perfect, pure, fear-free love.  Beautiful.  And to be named a friend, what an honor. 
I think as much as I didn’t want to, I may have operated in a bit of fear over the last few months. Forgetting whose house I live in-the home of Jesus’s love. That surrounded there in that home of love-all things work for good and I don’t have to grab them or manipulate them. I thought/feared, “If I don’t grab this, if I don’t make this happen now it never will and I’ll live alone in regret.” And while I do believe that there is a good deal to be said for “now is all we have” and “the future is a lie” I need to remember that when I say this I mean my version of the future is a lie. God’s future is now and he is not a lie. I cannot even begin to imagine what he has awaiting me in my future.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:7)
I have been chosen, I have been named, I have been given peace, and I live in love.