Isolation & Connection

I’ve been in an intense struggle of choosing relationship over isolation, battling loneliness and desperately wanting connection, but feeling frustrated when I can’t connect and thus wanting to shut down and isolate more. Possibly being overly introspective in an inaccurate sort of way which has led me to be exceptionally selfish lately. I’m so focused on wanting to fill my need to connect that I’ve stopped actually caring about the people in my life. It sounds backwards, but it’s true.

One of my closest friends called me out on this last night. I zone out on him way too often. Like…if I don’t deem it “actual connecting” or if it’s something frivolous in my estimation I just stop listening. I don’t mean to…but it’s been happening more and more. So I’m also feeling like an asshole right about now. I used to pride myself on being a good listener. Now I’m having to convince myself I still actually love the people in my life. I’m also struggling to believe that making new friends is even worth it.

Some of this comes from some difficult changes that have happened with Bushbaby over the past year. She’s very different now and our friendship is too. Overall it’s not a bad thing and we are still friends and still love each other, but the process has caused a lot of pain and I think I have trust issues that I never had before. I don’t like being someone who has trust issues.

In May I had a few weeks where I was really struggling with the specific residual wounds of that situation. On top of that I was struggling with feeling isolated whenever I was with my family simply because I’m single and relating to people who all got married and had families young is difficult.

I realized that the isolation you feel because you are the only single person in the group is worse than the fact that you are still single. You can’t contribute to the conversation about child labor or the various joys of childrearing or sex, and those people don’t know what to ask you so they just don’t. That isolation is far worse than the fact that you don’t have a husband yet even though you want one.

And then you ask yourself,”Do I want one? Or do I actually want to go be a hermit in the mountains with a few sheep and my cat?” Because hermithood would be easier than wanting and trying and failing to connect and then you wouldn’t hurt anyone when the process morphs you into a selfish asshole and no one could reject or misunderstand you ever ever again. Just you and Jesus, some sheep and a cat.


But it would be a waste. And I believe that none of this season, this pain, is a waste. It’s life.

As tempting as it is, hermithood is not true living.

Other contributions of this season:

Falk (while still a fantastic human) is not right for me and I’m longer interested the way I was. The more I spent time with him the more I realized we wouldn’t have the right kind of connection that makes you want to talk and talk forever.

Ironically, the Lord forced me to hang out with Shanks for a few hours so that I’d have to see him as human and stop flat-out disliking him. I had to face why he made me so insecure and got under my skin so damn easily.

First, it’s easier to paint someone as an all around unfeeling, inconsiderate jerk than to be ignored and rejected by a good man.

I also realized that he reminds me of some guys I went to college with who were very cerebral and only cared about people who impressed them with their intellect and wit. Anyone else was rarely acknowledged and definitely not valued. I spent about two semesters in this friend-group and then realized I always felt horrible about myself afterward so I stopped hanging around those people. I attributed the same snobby callousness to Shanks because his treatment of me felt very much the same and I saw his intellectual side come out more than any warmth. As I have said in previous posts, I value warmth and compassion, so when I felt the opposite I immediately assumed he was just like them: snobby, arrogant, and exclusive. I also realized that I’m snobby toward people I view as snobby. Then I realized that just because his intellectual side might show more dominantly, that doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t love people.

At this point I still don’t know much about whether he’s a jerk or a prince charming or what. He could be a nice person and he could be a total snob. But I’ve at least been stripped of my preconceived notions enough that I don’t seethe when I see him, because 90% of my feelings about him were derived from my own issues and only about 10% of it was actually his doing. Who he actually is remains to be seen and I’ve cleaned all my scribbles off his slate at least.

He still intimidates me. I also realized that part of my whole “my man has to love people and see people and be warm” thing might be because I don’t think a guy who was particular would ever give me a chance. Maybe it’s this subconscious belief that it would take a guy who really loves people to notice and have enough grace to pursue me.

Yikes, that is a vulnerable confession. I hate that that level of insecurity is in there.

I was also sick for a few weeks (which was not fun) and my roommates have been busy with trips so I’ve spent a lot of time alone. I’ve watched a lot of TV which hasn’t helped because you are watching shows about connection and seeing characters connect or suffer being disconnected and you long and then relate and then feel like you have no life and you want something to happen because nothing ever happens and somehow you are the hermit already except you are still having to interact with people and still having to try. None of the perks of being a hermit. Only the disadvantages of feeling alone.

Ay-yay-yay what a mess.

I’m a mess.


The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 6

I’d love to wrap this saga up in a nice little bow. I’d love to say I have no more insecurities and my confidence now brings all the hot men to the yard more sufficiently than my milkshakes. But I can’t.

I can’t notice Falk’s qualities without instantly feeling the weight of my flaws. I fight it, but it is definitely a struggle that I’m not entirely sure how to fight.

All I know is to focus on what the Lord is teaching me. What He’s shown me.

It has definitely been a month of asking and listening about all this. And also Jesus answering.



I recently watched the Meryl Streep film Out of Africa for the first time. Now, I haven’t experienced dramatic love affairs in the African savannah, or even dramatic love affairs in the US…or even dramatic love affairs…

…or …love affairs.


What resonated with me the most was that, yes, Karen was a strong character and she did what she had to do and she survived, but at the end of the day she didn’t want to do it alone. Was she capable? Yes. She proved that to everyone.

The real tragedy in the movie wasn’t the death of the man she loved. To me, it was that, though she was capable of going it alone, she didn’t want to have to. She wanted a partner to help her do life. And none of the men in her life were willing to truly be there. They wouldn’t step up. Were they capable? Yes. But they chose not to be there, annoyed that she even expressed that desire. He uses the excuse that his freedom was a better mark of his love for her. That he comes back because he truly loves her and not because he’s obligated to. He doesn’t see that she’s tired. He doesn’t see that for once she doesn’t want to fight alone for herself and her livelihood. That she wants him to fight for her by fighting alongside her instead of galavanting off to his easier life and leaving her with all the work and toil and uncertainty.

How often have I desired that? Am I capable of doing this life thing without a man? Yes. I am. And thank Jesus I’ve got the Holy Spirit so I’m not truly alone. But at times I long for a partner to help me carry my life’s burdens as I carry theirs. I long to have someone in my corner. Someone who has my back and shares the load of “running my African coffee farm.”

This lack also extends beyond the romantic realm. Sometimes it is very discouraging in ministry when men don’t step up…almost as if they view relational ministry as “women’s work.” I’m the head student ministry leader and it’s hard to see the girls growing and the number of guys dwindling. Us female leaders can only lead the boys so far. We can’t teach them how to be godly men and we can’t invest very deeply without it being inappropriate. They need male leaders. Male disciplers and mentors who lead them by example and invest in their lives. We have volunteer leaders but none of them know how to invest relationally. At times their presence seems to be more of a hindrance than a help because the example they set is to be passive, aloof, and clicky. The opposite of servants.

What’s more, around the time I watched Out of Africa I also was, once again, having attitude issues with the guys in the band.

Quite often I go through bouts of questioning why God decided to make me the leader. Why God? You know I’m non-confrontational. You know I’m not good under pressure and especially when I’m angry. You know I’m like a fish out of water when trying to relate to men. You know how hard it is to lead while trying not to come off as a bossy “bitch” who is disrespectful to the men she’s in charge of. Why did you put me in a job where I’ve got to handle people? Lead them?

The attitude got out of hand one Sunday and I was so shocked by what he said to me I didn’t respond. I could only stand there in unbelief at the level of disrespect he’d just shown in front of everyone. I didn’t get the chance to confront him about it afterward in private either and was so upset that week, feeling like a failure and also hurt that he’d acted that way and hurt by what he’d actually said. Mostly mad at myself for not handling it when it happened.

That week at the small group I shared my struggles, thankful that this group of people was unrelated to the rest of my life and a safe place. I needed encouragement that God would enable me to lead if He’s called me to lead. I’d even have been happy for some advice for how to talk to the guy in the band and deal with the issue. Some of the people did encourage me. But then Irishman, who is also a worship leader I look up to, asked me how long I’d been in my job. When I told him he said that maybe I needed to look elsewhere.

He didn’t say it as though it were a word from the Lord or anything. He said it kind of flippantly. But it hurt because he basically was affirming the idea that they were never going to respect me no matter what, that I’m not cut out as a leader, and I should just quit. He didn’t hear me. He didn’t see my need. He didn’t see me.

Already feeling unseen and misunderstood, things got worse when Shanks arrived super late when Dreamer and I were the only women left. Dreamer asked this young guy what kind of girl he was looking for.

“Oh, I’m not worried about that at this point,” he answered.

“That’s true,” she mused, “You’re only 22. You have time.”

Then Shanks piped up, “I don’t know, though. When I was 22 I thought I had time but when you get to be my age the dating pool is ugh!” And he pulled this face of disgust.

“It’s super late and I’ve got a long drive home,” I declared and left fairly abruptly. Between the house and my car I paused and seriously considered going back inside and giving him an earful.

“Ace Rosalind, you get into your car right now and drive away,” I commanded myself. You know it’s bad when I’m considering actually chewing someone out, swearing included. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve lost control of myself in anger but when it’s happened I scare myself. INFP’s ya’ll. Great depths of emotion that don’t come out very easily but when they do…boy are they strong! Like a bursting dam.

This was my imagined rant to Shanks:

If you had ended that sentence with, “the dating pool is smaller,” or, “it’s so much harder to find people who aren’t married,” I would agree with you and would have no problem. But “ugh!?” Really? You’re really going to say that in front of me with no hesitation? I’M IN YOUR FREAKIN DATING POOL! So either I’m “UGH!” or I’m so far beneath you you don’t even consider me as in your UGH pool! What’s more, you say this to people who are part of the small group that is full of beautiful, intelligent, single, Christian women. No wonder you’re single, you jerk!”

After raging all the way home I tried to go to bed. I couldn’t sleep. I let God in on my thoughts and emotions and found myself crying and felt my heart breaking.

Lord, it’s not just Shanks. It’s also the men I do ministry with and my friends and these singles. God, they’re breaking my heart! I feel like Karen in the movie. I want help. I want to be seen. I want them to want to understand. But they don’t. Not in ministry or friendship and certainly not in dating.

For the first time I felt a discouragement about men that caused actual despair. That night, What Men Lacked seemed to have a weight of its own that crushed and buried me. They lacked the ability to care to see. I lacked the ability to cause them to. I felt that I would forever go Unseen, Unknown, and completely Misunderstood.

The irony in all of this is that Bushbaby gave me a Giving Key with the word “Cherished” on it. Basically the idea behind The Giving Keys is that you give someone a key with a word engraved that the Holy Spirit directs you to give. That person wears the key until they embrace the word and then they pass it on to whoever the Lord directs.

So I’m trying to embrace that I am “Cherished.”

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Over the past months I’ve felt quite the opposite of cherished. Loved, sure. I know God loves me. But cherished? How can someone Unseen, Unknown, Overlooked, and completely Misunderstood by what felt like everyone around her be cherished? 

But then that Saturday I put on the new Bethel album as I drove and the Holy Spirit directed me to pay attention to the words of a certain song. I cried as I listened and then I listened again and cried more. I love it when God speaks like that. So specifically to your need. And not only to dispel lies and speak truth but also to prove that I am cherished by the fact that He does so!

After worship and much prayer, the Lord affirmed me in the leadership role He gave me. Throughout the Bible He never says that He will take away the weakness of those He uses. I’m not going to be cured of the things that cause me to struggle as a leader. However, He always tells them that He will be with them. He equips them to do the work. On their own they can’t, but He will act out His will through His power and their weakness will be the means of displaying that power. The same goes for me. He’s called me to lead. I’m not equipped on my own but I don’t have to be. He will give me what I need in the moment. I must rely on Him to come through in my weakness.

He did. The next day went really well. I got some attitude from the one guy. Instead of inner turmoil the Lord gave me the words and the tone and an inner peace that were perfect for the situation. He came through for me.

I went on a mission trip. It was very challenging for me this time. Again I was in a situation where I had to work with someone very difficult. I wondered why I was even there and felt useless and Unseen in totally new ways. And yet, I ran to God in the midst. And in each instance where I wanted nothing more than to lose it on this difficult person or get snippy or really passive aggressive, I asked Him for patience and self-control. For grace. And He sustained me. I’m still shocked that I contained my frustration as well as I did, and can only say it was Jesus doing it in me. He was very much my refuge on that trip. And in the end I was exhausted because it had been hard but I was also very much in love with Jesus and so thankful for His care in the midst.

On the trip there were some very precious moments of connecting with people. Even though the work I went to do was disrupted and frustrating, these moments of connection were the bright points. One of these moments was a conversation with a leader from another group that was staying the same place we did. (This was not a romantic thing) He and I talked about theology and philosophy, but occasionally he would say something like, “You seem like a (insert descriptive word here) person.” And he would totally nail it. Like…he got me. He saw who I was after only talking to me for half an hour. And as I walked away I felt really encouraged and heard the Holy Spirit say, See? There are people who can see you and get you. I’m not the only being who can. And there will be men who can too.

What matters, what He has been showing me through all of this searching and questioning and feeling and hurting…well, basically I’m cherished by Him. Maybe the idea isn’t to cure me of my insecurities about other people. Maybe He’s brought this up in order to show me His sustaining power, His tender care, His deep personal desire to show me that I’m understood completely by Him and so loved for who I am. And to show me that His desire is not just for me to understand that He loves me, but that I was made for loving Him in return. The kind of relationship I long for He longs to have with me! He wants me to seek to See Him and Know Him and Understand His heart.

This is the song that He led me to, that I’ve gone back to over and over lately because I need its truth to sink in. To seep into my cells. It’s super good…and then the bridge hits and it goes to a whole new level. COMPLETE Lyrics are below (The vid only has some).

“You Don’t Miss A Thing”
When You stand I feel the floor of Heaven tremble
As You breathe we live and have our being
When you speak oh I feel it in my chest
When You sing all my fears are put to rest


What a wondrous thing
I can stand to sing
Cause when I fall to my knees,
You’re the one who pulls me up again
What a mystery
That You notice me
And in a crowd of ten thousand
You don’t miss a thing
You don’t miss a thing

When you sigh the wind becomes a sonnet
When you laugh the storm around me ceases
You whisper and all my enemies are scattered
You surround me with angels on assignment


And I am seen
And I am known
By the King of Kings
And Lord of Lords

There’s no place I can go
Where your love won’t find me
No place I can hide
That you don’t see
There’s no place I can fall
Where your love couldn’t catch me
You see it all,you see it all
Through the eyes of love

There’s no place I can go where your love won’t find me
No place I can hide that you can’t see
No place I can fall where your love wouldn’t catch me
You see it all, you see it all
And you’re in everything, you’re all around me

When I withdraw, still You pursue.
There’s no place I can go where your love won’t find me
No place I can hide that you don’t see
When I’m misunderstood your love understands me
You see it all, you see it all
You’re in everything

You’re all around me
You surround me

There’s no place I can go that you won’t find me
There’s no place I can hide that you don’t see
No place I could fall your love wouldn’t catch me
You see it all, you see it all
Through the eyes of love

So come and see me
Come and know me
Come and search my heart and make me
Like You, like You
I just wanna be like you

Come and see me
Come and know me
Come and search my heart and make me new
Make me new
I wanna be like You


The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 5

There is a reason I’ve written this saga. It began the night I wrote part 1.


I lie on the air mattress at Dreamer & Irishman’s house staring at the ceiling in the wee hours of the morning, unable to sleep.

Why am I so insecure? Why do I hold back? I really do care too much about what people think. 

These thoughts dredge up the past and then I’m lying there going over and over memories in my head. Seeing the night my 8th-grade crush walked with Gleam under the stars. Then the realization hits me.

It’s been 15 years. FIFTEEN YEARS. And somehow I’m in nearly the EXACT same scenario. How did I get here again!? 

The similarity is too uncanny. It’s more than coincidence.

Lord, what is going on? This has to be for a reason. Why are you doing this? What are you trying to show me?


Dreamer and Irishman started a small-group that I’ve started attending. It is for creative Christians and so far it’s been really great for me. First, it has inspired me to keep writing my novel and I’ve made tons of progress since beginning to attend in January. Second, it’s awesome to have a group of people MY AGE, who are a nice mix of singles and marrieds, who are outside my normal social bubble and with whom I have a lot in common. Finally…and more pertinent to this blog… there are single, Christian, attractive men.

I will discuss the two who are on my radar at the moment. At her New Years party, Dreamer suggested I consider the first one, Shanks.

The first time I met him I didn’t. Meaning…I met pretty much everyone there except him even though there was ample opportunity for us to meet. The reason was that he seemed to be avoiding me like the plague or just actually physically couldn’t see me at all. Because he ignored me. Like, would talk to the people next to me and his eyes would glaze right past me like I wasn’t actually there. It was rude. If he had paused I would have introduced myself because that’s what everyone at that party was doing. They are a group of very nice people. Not him. At least, not to me. He was super friendly and chatty with everyone else, it seemed.

Needless to say I was very quickly turned off by this. I can’t stand people who act like other people aren’t important and I don’t like people who are rude to everyone but their friends. In this setting it was rude.

By 4 in the morning most of the guests had left but a small group of maybe 8 of us. Shanks brought a game and we decided to play it. It was the best kind of game. A game to show your wit by writing down things. And I was funny. And often in the lead. And often pitted against Shanks. He had no choice but to acknowledge me. I felt so inwardly smug and justified when my answer beat his over and over again.


That’s right, I’m a person, I thought, and my brain is a force to be reckoned with. There’s some gold in there and you gotta deal with it.

When I attended the small group a couple weeks later I made an effort to talk to him. Just because he was rude didn’t mean I was going to be. He did talk with me some but it was by no means very engaging.

Dreamer asked me about talking to him later. I mentioned how he’d ignored me at the New Years party and she responded, “Yeah, I noticed that, too! You know, Ace, I’m starting to think that he’s just awkward around girls because that seemed so out of character for him”

That gave me a little more grace. After all, I’m an expert at feeling awkward around attractive members of the opposite sex so I’ll cut him a little slack. But only a little😉

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After the New Years party I was a little confused as to why Dreamer thought Shanks and I would be a good match. Didn’t she know that I prefer friendly, warm, fun, and engaging men? Shanks was definitely cute, and seemed like he could be fun once he let you in his club, but he didn’t see anyone outside of it. Whoever I end up with has to see people. He has to care about those around him. A man might treat me like a princess but if he’s oblivious to how he makes everyone else feel then what good is that? It only shows that his love extends to those from which he wants something.

I love people. I don’t ever want to be inconsiderate of their feelings. That’s why I’m drawn to people who also care about those around them. We may not be perfect at it but at least being considerate is important to us.

The second man on my radar, Falk, is one of these people. I met him the same time, and instantly felt seen and important. He’s fun, caring, confident, and a good listener. He’s physically attractive and has never met a stranger. He introduced himself to me and every time I’ve seen him he makes a point to talk to me. I shared with him a job situation and the next time I saw him he asked me about it. He treats everyone like that, from what I’ve seen.

After the New Years party I was further confused at why Dreamer didn’t consider him for me. Later she revealed that they were hoping to set him up with her sister.

My mind and emotions chewed on that one for a while.

Dreamer’s loyalty to her sister is greater than her loyalty to me and so her sister should end up with the best guy she knows, and/or she really does think they’d make a better match than he and I would be. Both are understandable and I’m not upset at Dreamer about this.

I can’t say I’m thrilled about the situation, though. Finally, here’s a handsome, Christ-loving, people-loving, fun, kind, engaging man who isn’t married (and who is not too young for me!) and who is in a good stage of life, and my friend basically betroths him to her sister.

And her sister is Gleam.


I mean seriously, Lord?

Now I’m sitting up on the air mattress, mouth hanging open with the realization that once again doubts and insecurities are creeping up because I’m comparing myself, and I happen to be comparing myself to the same freaking girl who won the heart of my first major crush!

She’s still beautiful, still bubbly and sparkling. Still has that thing. That same infectious laugh.

Somehow wounds from that tumultuous age tend to take longer in the healing, and that same feeling of disappointment washes over me as my hope deflates. And all over again I’m alone on that porch swing witnessing their romance under the stars.

All over again I’m walking past Lara’s door, stomach dropping as I see her in George’s lap and the barely contained joy on his face as her arm drapes around his neck.

These wounds…so many years later and after so much growth and coming into who I’m supposed to be…they are still there. They are not healed as I thought. Why?

So I pick up my laptop and write, beginning the process of sorting it through.


I don’t fight to be seen. Or can’t. Or I won’t. Something about fighting for attention, fighting to be heard or noticed goes against something ingrained deep inside me. The very thought causes me some distress. Perhaps it is from numerous times of being ignored while trying to address a group of people.

My voice is at a pitch that naturally blends with other voices, no matter what volume I’m speaking. It’s frustrating because often I try to speak up, no one listens, and I feel unseen.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not uncomfortable with attention. I’m on stage for a living and I lead people and I can capture their attention if I have to. But just to be seen in a social setting…It’s different. I have plenty of conversation in me and I like talking to people, but if there are loud voices and personalities that make no space for me unless I force space for myself, then the majority of the time it’s not worth it. I’d rather sit quietly than try to fight to be heard.

The aversion to fighting to be seen and heard is on a whole new level when it comes to dating.

I hate competing against another woman for a man’s attention. It feels so wrong and stupid and I hate it and I won’t do it. And I don’t know if it feels that way because it is wrong and stupid, or if it’s because in the past I’ve always been passed over for someone else and so I don’t have any confidence that I could actually win. (But even saying that makes me feel wrong because I can’t help but think of the other woman involved and how I might make her feel…how Lara made me feel.)

I recognize that Falk is fair game. He’s not dating her yet. And just because Dreamer is picking out their wedding present doesn’t mean that they are automatically going to like each other. There is nothing wrong with me being warm and a little flirty just to let him know she’s not the only option out there.

And yet, there is something in me that recoils.

See, what I’ve come to realize is that it isn’t the exact same situation as 15 years ago. Very similar, and yet I see her differently. For all her charm and mystery and unquenchable sparkling beauty, Gleam, like me, has yet to win in love. Despite that thing she’s just as single as I am.

What’s more, since going to the small group, I now see her as a person in a way I couldn’t before, and definitely didn’t when I was 13. Then she was only this popular creature who had it all. Now I know that she was very lonely during high school. She didn’t have good friends. I think the girls in her class were, like I was, jealous of her. When you are jealous of someone you only see what they have and not what they need. I assumed she was perfectly happy because how could she not be when everyone desired her or desired to be her? I didn’t understand the isolation she felt because she had no friends who were girls. I’m guilty of adding to that isolation by not really seeing her.

Gleam has had it hard in her romantic life as well. She has had a few serious relationships that everyone, Gleam included, thought would end in marriage but only resulted in heartbreak. The first one of these ended when she found out he was cheating on her. How devastating that must have been for her. My heart aches when I put myself in her shoes.

After we talked and she shared with me her struggles in high school and then later shared with the group about her heartbreak, I realized what an enormous ass I’ve been. Even now I feel terrible for my selfishness and jealousy. By comparing myself to her I not only damaged myself but overlooked her need for love and acceptance. I told her I was so sorry that she was lonely in high school. I told her I wish I’d realized and had tried to reach out and bring her in.

I see her now, and I see that the issue isn’t about competing. It’s about comparing. When you are unseen by the one’s you want most to see you, sometimes it’s easier to blame the shininess of someone else for their ignorance. I always feel like…if they could just notice then they might catch a glimpse of my beauty that tells of yet more beauty within. But they don’t notice so I go on unseen. And this lack of notice is so painful, so damned frustrating and reaffirming of the lies that I’m not enough and too much, that it’s easier to  not hope as soon as some other girl is in the picture.



When it comes to this hope is a sacrifice of worship. One that makes me want to scream and rage at God.

Can’t I just stop hoping and wanting? Can’t I just be content with the fact that You see me?


This Saga is not my normal writing, so thank you, readers, for bearing with me. Writing has helped me process. This Saga is not so much to inform my readers (though maybe you might understand me better), but to work out the source of these insecurities.

I started writing this post maybe two days after my last one. It has taken me this long to sort through my thoughts. I hadn’t figured it out yet. Hadn’t known where to finish. I still don’t think I have fully. So bear with me yet again as I finish with:

(To Be Continued….)


The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 4

Red has always been a good color on me. I chose it to be festive, of course, also appreciating the way the shirt complimented my figure. It was a Christmas party, after all. One that George would attend, and I had the feeling that tonight might just be a crossroads for him. A chance for him to see that there was another option, another path that was coming into view already as he moved forward. And maybe, just maybe, he would see the opportunity that the new path was and change direction.

That evening, I allowed myself to believe in that possibility. I still knew it was only a maybe, yet I chose to wield the hope of it over doubting thoughts.

It’s all in your head. He’d never choose you over her. She’s got that thing. The thing that Gleam had. He wouldn’t like you.

But my hope responded, why not? There’s a chance. I actually care about other people’s feelings. She’s just using him to get over her ex. He might see that I really care. He might make a better decision. Besides, if he doesn’t, it’s his loss. But I’m not going to pass up the chance that he might.

My hair was straight and I spent a little extra time on my makeup. Lara joined reader and I as I was getting ready for our party and immediately noticed.

“Oh, you’re looking all hot. Dang it, now I’ve got to put on makeup.” She left my room and Reader and I looked at one another, puzzled. Lara hardly ever put much effort into her appearance. She really didn’t have to. She was petite and beautiful, yet unique in her beauty…like something of the Fae in Irish folktales. She had long dark lashes that showed whether she wore mascara or not and she never broke out. So her comment and subsequent sprucing were definitely out of the ordinary.

I got a bad feeling in my gut.

The feeling deepened when, upon receiving some very encouraging attention from George, Lara suddenly began to compete with me.

The party was not fun. Not for me. Reader and Gamer were furious on my behalf, noticing how she fought to silence me and passive-aggressively put me down at any opportunity. She wouldn’t risk that I might be noticed. Even when we were playing games in a group I couldn’t have a turn at something without her loudly inserting her own jokes or diverting his attention in that moment. She blatantly flirted with him. The bad gut feeling quickly turned to hurt and anger that she was acting like that. It was childish and unnecessary. She was a picture of jealousy. The kind of jealousy I never wanted exhibited in our friendship.

I didn’t compete back. I let her have all the attention, which he gladly gave, at last getting the confirmation of what he’d “known” to be true. This was exactly what I had been trying to avoid when I asked her to tell me if her feelings had changed. How many times had she insisted that she didn’t like him? How many times did I assure her that if she would just have a conversation with me then I would be fine if they were together? But after two and a half years of friendship she either still didn’t trust me or she was too selfish to care about my feelings.

He was the last guest to leave the party. After cleaning up I passed her room and uttered a quick goodnight. She was sitting in his lap, their arms around one another, as he showed her something on her computer. They said goodnight, probably seeing on my face the hurt I tried to hide, and I went to my room where I finally let myself shed a few tears.

The next day our other roommates left to go home for break and she avoided me by staying in her room. I called George to see if he needed any help packing, because regardless of who he was with, I was still his friend. Right after, he accidentally sent me a text that was meant for her, explaining the phone call I’d just made to him. He tried to backpedal by lying that it was meant for his mom. Trying to cover for Lara eavesdropping on my phone conversation.

She finally came out that afternoon and I asked her what happened between them. She tried to avoid answering.

“I’m not exactly sure.”

I hate lying. I’d rather someone hurt me with the truth than keep it from me. Not only did she keep her interest in him a secret from me, he’d also lied about his texting mishap, and now she was still trying to avoid telling me anything.

Again I realized she didn’t trust me. What on earth had I done to cause this? She didn’t trust that I actually wanted both of them to be happy, and I loved them both enough that any feelings for him and disappointment for myself would heal. I guess her own wounds made her unable to trust that someone would really be capable of that. I don’t know.

After similar questions and evasive answers, I finally asked, “So, did he leave with the idea that you don’t like him or that you do?”

“That I… do?”

“And do you? Because the last I heard you didn’t.”

“I don’t know. I think I do?”

I felt a pang and my jaw clenched. How could this be happening? How could she use him like this and how could he not see it?

“Why didn’t you just tell me?”

“I didn’t want you to be mad at me.”

“You guys lying to me is the only thing that is really going to make me mad. George lied to me earlier today. I’m not stupid. I just want you to be honest with me. Keeping me in the dark is what hurts me more than anything. Can you just give me that courtesy? That’s all I ask.”

She nodded and I added, “That and…just be sure that you really do care for him. Don’t lead him on. He deserves better than that.”

Though the bulk of the awkwardness between us was sufficiently resolved and she departed for Christmas break, my trust in her was now damaged. Not because she was with the guy I liked, but because of how she’d handled the whole situation.

That evening George called me and asked if we could talk. He came by that night and apologized for lying about the text.

“I’m not an idiot, you know.”

“I know. It was stupid and I’m sorry,” he said from his seat at the kitchen table.

I nodded and leaned against the counter, arms folded. “You know, don’t you?”

“What,” he said, playing dumb.

“Oh, come on. You know.”

I really don’t.”

I sighed, “You know how I feel…about you. I’m sure it’s been obvious.”

“Yeah. I knew,” he said kindly.

“I’ll be fine, I promise. I just want you to be taken care of.”

I’m still proud of myself for not saying a word about the daily selfishness her roommates had to put up with, or her using him or her flakiness about her feelings for him. I wanted to, but I didn’t. I’m pretty sure it’s proof that even in that dark time in my life the Holy Spirit was still doing His work in me.

I recounted the night I did laundry with him from my perspective and he groaned and laughed with me about it. He enjoyed scriptwriting and agreed that it was gold…painful..but gold.

He told me he’d stop by the next day to say goodbye. I think he knew that, though he and Lara would stay in touch after he moved to Chicago, things wouldn’t be the same between me and him.

I began to pack the next day, frustrated when I saw that my roommates had left a sink full of dishes, a fridge full of food, and loads of trash to carry to the dumpster. Seriously, sometimes they were the worst.

He stopped in after his graduation. I gave him a book as a graduation present and then he hugged me. I listened to his heartbeat and fought back tears and we just held each other.

After a long time he said, “You are awesome.”

“So are you.” Then he let me go and I opened the door. He walked through it, turned and said, “Bye,” and gave me that warm, winning smile.

“Bye,” I returned, though, at the moment, I wasn’t capable of smiling quite so big. I watched him get in his car and as he pulled away I shut the door.

I locked the deadbolt and my hand blurred in front of me as sudden sobs overtook me. I sank down the door and sobbed and sobbed.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but I don’t cry often. Perhaps…3 times a year? I might tear-up during a movie, but real crying, from my own emotion and not just theatrical catharsis, is rare.

That December day I cried as I had never cried before and haven’t cried since. Not even when people have died. Like…my grandparents. Parting from George was the only time I can recall being inconsolable.

I wept on the floor in front of the door for a while and then decided I needed to pull myself together and do the dishes. Then, as I was doing the dishes with tears still pouring from my eyes, the fact that I was having to do dishes made me sob all the harder to the point that I couldn’t even do the dishes anymore. So I gave up and went to my room to pack my clothes and somehow ended up curled up on the cold hardwood floor. I wept so hard that I literally (yes I am using the word correctly when I tell you this) cried a puddle of tears on the floor. When I splashed my finger in it I started laughing but then resumed crying all over again.

I don’t know how I managed to finish everything and pack my car, but eventually I was on the road and headed home. I cried the entire two-hour drive. Then I went inside and sat on the couch with my parents and cried more as I told them what had happened.

“I know that God has someone for me and I know I’ll get over this, but for right now this just sucks!” By then my body really couldn’t produce anymore tears and decided instead to start giving me awful rending pains in my chest. I could actually feel something for once. Not just hints of emotion but something strong and real.

“I’m going to milk this emotion while I’ve got it.” I went to my room and wrote a whole song. It’s super depressing and not very good but I still kind of love it to this day. (My fellow INFP’s totally get this paragraph, haha).

I told the woman who’s like a second mom to me about my chest pains.

“You’re broken-hearted, Ace. Emotional pain can be so strong it’s physical. That’s why it’s called ‘heartache.'”

I wondered how long it would take before Lara threw George aside or if he would wake up to her flaws first. But I was wrong.

A few years ago they married and are still married to this day.

It didn’t take me long to realize I didn’t actually want to be with him. And now I’m so glad I’m not and never was. I’m glad I was wrong about her and she didn’t hurt him the way I was so sure she would.

As I write this, reliving these memories has been painful, and not because I regret how things played out in the long-run. It hurts because this experience drove the wound much deeper.

Ace, You’re too intimidating, too reserved, too opinionated, too awkward. You’re not enough. Not charming enough, not mysterious enough, not flirtatious enough, not cool enough, not approachable enough. You don’t have it, whatever that thing is that makes you worthy of pursuit by someone you actually desire. There’s always someone shinier, and it doesn’t matter if you wear a blue sweater or a red shirt, you will still be unseen.



(To Be Continued…)

The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 3

Headlights on the road, backseat full of laundry, and my heart resisting the continual urging of my brain to beat at a normal pace, I made my way to George’s apartment.

Our dryer was broken and he’d offered his to me.

George and I had spent hardly any time without Lara. This was exciting and nerve-wracking all at once.

The evening started out just fine. We talked and chatted as my clothes tumbled about in imitation of my insides.

Then he changed the direction of the conversation.

George: Ok, ok, so I’m going to pose a hypothetical question.

Me: ….ooohhhkaaay…

George: Ok so hypothetically, what would be the chances of you…telling me…if someone in your house liked me?

Me: That’s funny because I was actually about to ask you how long you’ve liked Lara.

George: No, no, no, no! This is hypothetical! (looks at me very intensely and says with emphasis) What are the chances…of you…telling me…if someone in your house liked me?

Me: Uh…good I guess?

George: So, then, my next question. Does someone in your house like me?

Me: So, you’ve got it pretty bad for Lara, huh?

George: Ace, no no. Does someone in your house like me?

I’m sure I just blinked a few times as he continued staring knowingly at me.






My thoughts: Holy crap, he knows! Why is he asking this way! This is so weird!

(George continues to stare. He can see right through me.)


My thoughts: If he knows about my feelings I might as well be honest.

Me: Maybe a little?

George: (With a satisfied smile) I knew she did! I knew it! I could just feel that there was something there!…

My Thoughts:


George:   I could tell by the way she looked at me and I just knew she had feelings for me! It’s in her posture and everything! You know, I’m really good at reading people….



(George continues to go on and on for a few minutes about sensing her “feelings” for him and how he liked to go to the mall and just people watch and try to pick up on things about them and how good he was at that)



My Thoughts: I have no idea what to do in this moment. Not a dang clue. He’s not very good at reading my distress! She expressly told me she doesn’t like him and now he thinks she does and I can’t just interrupt him and say, “No. I meant me,” now that he’s gone on and on about how right he was. What is happening. What is happening…

Have you ever had a moment where the narration in your head would make J.D. from Scrubs proud? Or where you wished you could freeze the world around you with a Zach Morris-style time-out in order to say to the camera, “IS THIS REAL LIFE!?”

There have only been a few times in my life that felt more like a movie or a TV show than reality. This one was supremely surreal. I just kept thinking that it had played out like a script. Could a worse miscommunication possibly have taken place!? I had no answers, no knowledge of how to fix what I’d just done. I don’t remember what we talked about until my clothes dried but I laughed/groaned all the way home at the insanity of what had taken place.

I confessed to Lara what had happened when I arrived and she was very alarmed. I don’t remember either of us doing anything to correct what I’d told him. I guess we figured that if he made a move she would just turn him down…but I really don’t remember the in-between very clearly.

I just remember that not long after, he and I got to hang out again and we talked about deeper things and got to know each other better. And not long after that, we had a party at my apartment.

I could tell something was bothering a friend of mine, and so he and I decided to take a walk so he could tell me about it, and we decided this while Gamer was in the same room so I figured that it was fine to just leave because Gamer knew where I was going and who with.

I should have realized that Gamer’s head is in the clouds 90% of the time and he was not paying any attention to me and my friend. We were gone for probably an hour and when I got back George was absolutely furious. He was legitimately angry (which I’d never seen) and gave me an earful about disappearing without my phone. Reader told me after that she’d never seen him like that. She said he realized I was gone early on and he searched and searched and kept making her call me and was really worried.

I apologized to him. I was touched that he cared about me that much. And for the rest of the night I noticed that he was giving me more attention than usual. There was a slight change in him toward me after that night. Was it possible that he was starting to have feelings for me too?


(To be continued…)

The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 2

High school passed with a few crushes rolling by like tumbleweeds in the barren desert that was my love life. Two years of college produced little more than a friendship my freshman year that was almost something more until I realized I didn’t want it to develop beyond that, and meeting a couple of guys I would have considered had they not already been taken. Women outnumbered the men at my school, which made the odds worse. So I studied and socialized and worked hard, with a gut feeling that I wasn’t going to meet my future husband at college. Or even that anyone would catch my interest. I was right and I was wrong.

I saw him first perform in an improv show my junior year. He was cute and absolutely hilarious, but not cocky about it, and I was immediately attracted to his warmth and liveliness. I’ll call him George.

Some time later that fall, my roommate (whom I’ll call Lara) brought George back to the apartment and introduced us. They invited me to hangout with them. This turned into the three of us together quite often that semester.

My time out of class was mostly divided between hanging out with Lara and George or hanging out with my two best friends – the guy I turned down my freshman year (I’ll call him Gamer) and Reader. In the midst of this very busy semester I was blindsided when Reader announced one day that she and Gamer were dating… as in not just going on dates but actual boyfriend and girlfriend. It totally threw me. After the somewhat short conversation I skipped my next class and walked the campus to try to wrap my head around it. These were my two best friends, the people I considered closest to me in the whole world at the time, and suddenly they were dating!? How had I not known? How had I not seen it? Were we not the close trio that I thought? And then came the shameful thought of, how could he choose her over me? Even though I knew I had no right to that thought since I had passed him up. He really was over me. And then the realization that Reader! Awkward, abrasive READER had a boyfriend before me!

After a few hours I was able to accept it and get over myself, but felt a sense of loss. Things wouldn’t be the same anymore. Their dating had changed things.

And in this I was definitely correct.

Reader was a very selfish person. In many ways she was a bully. And I am naturally a peacemaker, and at that time in my life I was one to a fault. So having a differing opinion from her was something I tended to avoid unless it meant enough to me to be willing to argue with her. She almost never lost an argument.

Part of what had made me realize that I didn’t want to be with Gamer was that he put the people he cared for on pedestals and saw them, not as they were, but as glorified versions that he made them out to be. His love was extremely blind, which scared me because I wanted him to see me for who I was, not as a paragon of something I could never live up to. What was scarier was that his brand of devotion gave me way too much power, and I knew I would take the lead in the relationship and could steer him however I wanted. This was not the kind of relationship I was after, and not the kind of love I wanted.

Add the two together and throw me in the mix and our trio quickly became all about Reader. Gamer would never back me up on anything now that she was in ownership of his unwavering devotion. We did only what she wanted, catered to her every desire, and I lost my voice even more. I didn’t know how bad it was until I got out of those friendships, how much I was loosing myself to cowardice. Looking back I don’t wonder that my college years were the worst of my life so far.

And so I lost my place in the trio of my best friends and became a third-wheel. A lesser party. I watched his need to give and give devoured by her insatiable selfish taking and felt so unseen.

So I spent more time with Lara and George, who weren’t solely wrapped up in each other but welcomed me. I saw that George liked her. It was obvious. But when I asked her about it she annoyingly denied it, stating that they were just friends. The more time I spent around him the more I liked him. He had such a great sense of humor and not at the expense of others. Nor was it to gain attention for himself. He simply loved to make people laugh, enjoyed bringing a smile to their faces. He was interested in their lives and an active listener. His mere presence brought me joy.

I asked Lara if she was interested in him.

“If you are please tell me, because I’m starting to have feelings for him and if you like him I want to reel them back because he likes you and I don’t want to get in the way.”

“We’re just friends. I really don’t think he likes me.”

“He definitely likes you, but that’s beside the point. Do you like him? Please just tell me and I’ll take care of my feelings. I won’t be mad at you at all. I just need to know.”

“No, I don’t think of him that way.”

“You sure?”


“Ok, well if that changes please just let me know and I will be fine, I promise.”

“Ok, I will.”


I’m not one to compete. I don’t play games. I’m honest. And I valued her friendship and her feelings too much to compete with her over a guy. If she liked him then I wanted them to be together. George and I were very unlikely due to his crush on Lara, I knew that. And what’s more, I wasn’t blind to his flaws and would have to seriously pause if he did ask me out. I never expected him to, anyway. And lastly, he was graduating that semester and moving far away to Chicago so there wasn’t much point.

Yet my feelings did grow and I stopped fighting them.

In the years previous, I’d started wondering if it was even possible for me to fall in love. I think it was mostly because I had friends who fell in and out of love constantly, and also (now understanding myself better than I did then), I think I was suffering mild depression during my college years.

My feelings for George showed me that my heart still beat and it could love. My love for George wasn’t like the crushes I’d had before. Infatuation fueled by my overly romanticized imagination. I didn’t care that he and I had no future together. I just wanted what was best for him. I wanted him to find peace with his faith and see himself as God saw him. I wanted him to go after his dreams and succeed and I wanted him to keep laughing and making people smile. I wanted him to have joy and for his life to be full, whether I was in it or not.

And I think I would have been fine if things had continued this way, but things didn’t. Hope intervened.

People dogmatize hope. Scripture places it amongst love and faith in importance and I believe that.

I also know that hope can be one of the most painful things in existence.


(To be continued…)


The Unrequited Love Saga Pt 1

My periwinkle blue sweater brought out the color of my tear-filled eyes as I watched the desire of my 8th-grade heart walk hand in hand with another girl under the starry October sky. I’d bought the sweater to wear to the bonfire because I knew he’d be there and I wanted to look pretty. I was taken aback and pleased when he said hi to me and our mutual friend, Molly, with a, “Hey! Nice shirt!” at the start of the evening, but I had no chance to be around him after that. He was spending all his time, energy, and efforts on her.

A year older, Gleam was the girl who had that thing about her. That elusive thing that made her irresistible to the guys and envied by the girls. Never seeming to go through an awkward adolescent phase, at least by all appearances, she had it made. He felt about her the way I felt about him, but until that evening I thought he was simply dreaming. She was gorgeous. He was a year younger and round with baby-fat. She wouldn’t be interested in him, right? But I stepped away from the party to sit on the front porch swing for a moment to myself, and witnessed them walk through the yard hand-in-hand, laughing and speaking softly. Apparently Gleam saw what I did. A guy who was fun and kind and easy to laugh with. Someone who actually cared about people. And just like that I was crushed by disappointment. My little dreamer heart was shot out of the sky to come crashing down to the reality that I didn’t have what she had. That I was passed over for something better. That in order to attract the kind of guy I liked, I needed that confidence or that personality or that type of beauty or whatever that damned thing was…and I didn’t have it.

What’s more the magic of my shirt/eye combo didn’t work. I mean, he actually noticed my shirt! Which meant that he saw me at my most beautiful and it had no effect on him.

Molly confessed to me the next day that she’d told him that I’d bought it just to impress him. I was angry and embarrassed both at her lack of discretion and that I’d been so excited that he’d complimented me in the first place.

To this day the incident sticks out in my mind. I remember so vividly sitting on that swing in my blue sweater and the heartache I felt hearing their laughter.