Alyssa Sellers


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Single in the Summer is the Worst

single in the summer squareBeing single in the summer is the worst.

Sure, the Christmas/New Year combo could vie for the title of Worst Season to be Single. What with the constant barrage of songs telling you that Christmas just ain’t Christmas without the one you love and all the parties you have to attend solo with the faces of other happy families reminding you that you are a family of one.

Stealthy summer wins because of its tricky sneak-attack of sadness.

At first, the physical freedom from outerwear mixed with extended hours of daylight provides a certain kind of euphoria. Soon, however, you discover you have a tad too much time.

In the dead of winter, it’s dark all the time and you have no place you need to go so you feel no guilt staying in on a Saturday night watching an entire season of some show on Netflix. But in the summer, the sunny outside world beckons with promises of road trips, camping adventures, ball games of all sorts, hikes to majestic views, naps in lush meadows, seaside rambles, and so forth, you know what I’m talking about, you feel me. Continue reading

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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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Because Even in a Group You Can Feel Totally Alone

cropped-multipigeon.jpg

Alone.

I was in the middle of a three-day camping trip with 50 other people from my church whom I know and love and I felt alone.

It was Saturday; the second morning of our camping adventure and a new wave of friends joined us during the night. I arrived on Thursday afternoon along with three families with kids and one other singleton. Now, in addition, there were married couples without kids, couples at various stages of their dating relationships and a smattering of singles.

I was sharing an old-school canvas tent that I nicknamed Big Top, with a rotating cast of single ladies because most could stay one night but not another. When I woke up on that second morning I walked down the hill passing the tents containing the 50 some odd members of our group, out of the camp site and down the road to the day use picnic area. Continue reading


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Jesus: Lonely Like Me

Salt Lake

In Still: Notes on a Mid-faith Crisis, Lauren F. Winner talks about her faith being somewhere in the middle; not in the excitement of her conversion but in the numb monotony of the middle. In one section she is reading her Bible in an art museum and she writes what she thought at that time:

“The story ends with Luke’s telling us that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places to pray. ‘A little like escaping to the quiet of a museum,’ I think. What can it mean for a place to be lonely?
‘A place, lonely like Jesus? Lonely like me?
Maybe I can make my loneliness into an invitation – to Jesus – that he might withdraw into me and pray.’” (page 141)

I have been thinking a good deal about Jesus’ loneliness. About how often he was misunderstood, even by his best friends. Continue reading


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What You Waiting For

Ideas can start out so noble and pure. After a while they can be twisted and manipulated into selfish, lustful things.

I wonder how couples succeed in focusing on God first and not their family. I think at the core my idea is to be in a loving relationship with someone similar to me who loves Jesus and wants to work together to see God’s will done. That is noble.

Meanwhile my mind runs wild with selfish desire – which is not. I’m in a period of pruning and weeding that stuff out. It’s sorta painful. Like a good sore after a good work out. Well that’s what it feels like now. Not too long ago it sucked and I pouted like a three-year-old who had her pillow pal taken away.

Oswald Chambers wrote, “If our hopes are being disappointed just now, it means that they are being purified. There is nothing noble that the human mind has ever hoped for or dreamed of that will not be fulfilled. One of the greatest strains in life is the strain of waiting for God.”