Author: Ashley Tripp

Meg’s Story: Creating Space for Both a Career and a Companion

Completely content in where God has me, I reflect on the people He has put in my life as well as the direction He has given me in my career. But then there’s that bomb. BOOM. The explosion in the sky that comes out of nowhere. I try to trust God, keeping my hands open with my career and with any relationship that may come my way, but BOOM. It’s hard to let go of my control and give over my life, wants and dreams to God, especially when I really desire something that seems nearly impossible. Two things I so strongly desire: To perform: to be a well-crafted actor and see the beauty and purpose in creating. To have a companion: to have someone who will encourage and challenge me in who God has created me to be. What may help in understanding my lack of trust (yet not justifying) would be for you to hear my story, or at least a piece of it: I was dating this boy for a “hot minute.” I gave him my all. I was a dang …

Olivia’s Story: Braving a Breakup in NYC

Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of waking up in the city that never sleeps. And for a semester in college, New York City became my “home away from home” after landing a killer internship with Phillip Lim in their Wholesale Department. It was everything I expected and more. However, what I didn’t expect during my time in the city was for my grandmother to set me up with a guy. Weird, right? Lets be honest, 23-year-old girls don’t want their grandmother setting them up. This guy was the grandson of one of her dearest friends, so I decided to let her work her magic just to make her happy. The more she shared about him and his family, the more interested I became in wanting to meet this guy. On December 30th, we met and instantly clicked. I thought to myself, “Oh my gosh, I really think he might be the one.” A few days later, I flew back home to finish up my last semester at the University of Alabama. …

Karly’s Story: Single, yet in a relationship

By Karly Petrella I sit and consider a list of wants (and still want) that the Lord has not given me. There are hundreds, countless tears. My hand aches from writing out angry, bitter prayers to the Lord in the honesty of my heart. I often think I know best. My heart has been broken from a lack of a romantic relationship. Like Ashley, I’ve been single since ‘91. I have presented my request for a romantic relationship to the Lord for years. There have been seasons of begging, seasons of thinking I deserve it, seasons where I put a specific name in my prayer. Over and over presenting my requests to the Lord to have someone to love and serve and to have someone to love and serve me. Over and over I have told my sweet Savior I want: A coffee date with him A guy to notice me Someone to laugh with To feel beautiful Someone to bring home to meet my family Someone to do ministry with A dance partner Someone to cook with and …

Why Rush Into a Relationship?

Dancing his way through Atlanta last night, Jack Frost twirled with the trees and coated every branch with tiny droplets of ice. The branches drooped lower and lower in attempts to high-five the ground, much like Charlie Brown’s Christmas Tree. It’s the pocket-sized, ice sickle details in life that make the outfit complete. But often times, those details disappear when we’re hurriedly headed out the door. Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I’ve ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken and missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing… Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away. ― Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are Whether it’s speeding down I-4 to Justin Timberlake’s 20/20 Experience World Tour, sprinting across campus to turn in a written assignment or pulling a Dumb and Dumber at the Birmingham Airport, I …

Ever thought about online dating? Me too.

Refusing to take another step further, my footprints sank deeper into the sand. A crowd of college boys each held a cold beer in one hand and a numbered piece of paper in the other. As the girls in front of me strolled right past them, the guys held up their scores, rating them on a scale of 1-10 based on their looks. It was Spring Break 2010, otherwise known as SBX, in Panama City Beach, Florida. And apart from making hilarious and precious memories with my Gamma Phi sisters, I couldn’t get over what my sheltered little preacher’s kid eyes saw in PCB. One night, in particular, my sisters and I decided to go dancing at the place where MTV Spring Break has made its home for the past decade: Club La Vela, aka “the largest nightclub in the USA and Spring Break headquarters of the world.” After a few hours of dancing, or rather trying to avoid eye contact with any creeper who tried to plant theirs behind my butt for a grinding session, I made my way to the bar for a …

Why It’s Important to Shake it Off

As soon as I hear those distinct doorbell dings, I know it’s only a matter of seconds before Mariah Carey tells me exactly what she wants for Christmas. And once the chorus chimes in, it’s only a matter of seconds until I start to chasse my way through traffic with a full-on jazz routine complete with your basic steering wheel slaps, head snaps, shoulder shimmies, chest pops and awkward stares from my beloved audience members in the lanes next to me. I’ve spent an entire year preparing for that insanely high note and now’s my chance to let those vocal chords go. Gripping my water bottle microphone, I clear my throat. “All I want for Christmas is… YOUUUUUUUU!” When All I Want for Christmas by Mariah Carey comes on my Spotify, I transform into this “I’m going to sing at the top of my lungs and I don’t care who’s watching” mentality. And that carefree attitude remains true for most of the pop songs on my Christmas playlist, including: My Only Wish (This Year)- Britney Spears Man With the Bag- Jessie J This Christmas- Chris …

6 Motivational Marriage Quotes for Singles

Confidence mixed with caution, I held my bouquet like it was my job. Shoulders back, chin lifted and core tight, my Carolina blue dress rhythmically swayed to the dancing breeze of the music. Hidden behind my confident stride was a cautious fear of rolling my ankle. Well aware that wedges and nature do not mix, I shifted my gaze every so often from the wedding guests to the countless acorns, sticks, and rocks in the grass. (The squirrels forgot to remove them prior to the outdoor ceremony.) Ashley Tripp was NOT about to “trip” down the aisle. Once I successfully made it to my designated spot, I silently shouted a congratulations speech to myself, wondering if the wedding guests could read “First Time Bridesmaid” written on my forehead. Don’t lock your legs, Ash, and for goodness sakes, don’t pass out. Standing side-by-side with my fellow bridesmaids, my perspective allowed me to see every expression on the groom’s face. His infectious laughter, honest tears and assertive vows exuded passion. I prayed silently, interlacing my fingers on the stems of the bouquet. I cried out to God in three simple words: “I want this.” …

Loving Someone Who Doesn’t Love Jesus

By: Charlie* It’s a steady stinging sensation that I have felt 50 times before, but this time it’s more. It’s more painful. It’s lasting longer, darker; and somehow filled with more hope than the other times. There had been talk of a ring. Like, THE ring. We were going to have this perfect life together. And yet I could feel my heart craving something, quietly at first and then reaching a crescendo that I couldn’t ignore. I loved this one. I mean, I wasn’t in love, but I did love him. Still do. So why does God not want me to be with him? Why don’t I get to keep this one? Why is my heart more broken and crushed by this one than all the others? Why won’t God just perform a miracle and make him love Jesus? It’s been a little over a week since I obeyed God and ended a relationship with someone so very special to me. And coincidentally, it’s also been that long since I have been able to go more …

What does it look like to make the most of your season of singleness?

Arms stretched across the chair, I practiced my James Bond-ish move as an excuse to secretly glance over at the guy on my right. I took another sip of my coffee and looked ever so slightly to my left. Turns out, the only people sitting at the coffee bar beside me were all married men. Ladies, has it really come down to this? If I notice an attractive guy in public, why do I instinctively turn my attention toward their left hand? Reiterating from my previous post, at one point in our lives, we were ALL single. And then something happened. Maybe it was during college or later in your twenties or thirties when, one by one, all of your friends shifted from the shallow end of the single pool to the deep end of dating and eventually became engaged, married, and started families of their own. And if you know anything about the south, especially at the University of Alabama, there’s this fantasy of finding your husband in college and having your name plastered on a banner outside your sorority house announcing your engagement. A …

How the 5 Emotions from Disney Pixar’s”Inside Out” Relates to Our Sins

We desire to be desired. We want to be wanted. We long to be longed. …especially as a single girl. And when we choose not to believe God fulfills all of those things, we take matters into our own hands. I am guilty Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become These hands are dirty I dare not lift them up to the Holy one There are seasons where I can go weeks, even months without succumbing to my struggles. But then there are seasons where I struggle not going a day without falling into the den of lions. 1. Fear Now normally guilt surfaces in the pit of my stomach when I know I’ve disobeyed God, like a dog who’s been caught shredding the toilet paper. Tail between my legs, I try to cover up the obvious paper trail. 2. Disgust However, If I’m being honest, sometimes I don’t automatically ask my Father for forgiveness of my sins. My apathetic heart turns to stone. I talk myself out of feeling shameful by justifying my actions. The voices inside my head reason, “It’s no big …

6 Steps to Surviving the Friend Zone: As told by ‘She’s the Man’

Having a crush is like a math equation. Problematic, even. 1 x 1= 1 Boy likes girl x girl likes boy= Both agree they like each other. (-1) x (-1)= 1 Boy doesn’t like girl x girl doesn’t like boy= Both agree they don’t like each other. 1 x (-1)= (-1) Girl likes boy x boy doesn’t like girl (vice versa)= Someone ends up disappointed. It wasn’t until after I hit “publish” on the previous post that I realized just how vulnerable it was for me to confess my feelings toward my crush. It hadn’t occurred to me that he might not feel the same way and that I would end up disappointed. But that’s exactly what happened. When I found out he was talking to another girl, I was obviously disappointed. I found myself falling into the pity party of comparison. I started questioning my worth: What’s wrong with me? Am I not his type? Am I not funny enough? Am I not adventurous enough? Am I not WOW enough? I tell myself that my worth should be found in Christ and not what …

Expectation v. Reality

Legs too short to tap my toes on the carpet, my feet rhythmically swayed mid-air to the beat of the music. Not only did I need a melody of escape, but a place to take captive my thoughts. As I sat on the big comfy couch at Chattahoochee Coffee Company, my thoughts became distracted as soon as these two tall twenty-somethings sat next to me, which by the way, looked like they had just stepped out of an REI catalog. Suddenly I became more aware of my lack of care in getting ready for the day. But at the same time, I didn’t mind the “no make-up, messy hair, glasses, Patagonia pull-over, leggings, sneakers, wool socks, coffee breath” look. http://data.whicdn.com/images/24415877/large.gif Focus Ashley. So for the past two years, I’ve realized my over-thinking and over-analyzing thoughts can be harmful to my health. Expectations are either met, exceeded or deflated. And it’s especially in those situations of over-thinking when my expectations don’t align with reality. Remember the scene in 500 Days of Summer when Tom gets invited to Summer’s party? Split down the center of the screen, the left side …

Karly’s Story: Relying on the Holy Spirit in Her Singleness

By Kary Petrella Hey, I’m Karly. Lover of Jesus Extreme extrovert Obnoxious laughter Single since ’91 That last description is a label I’ve never been proud of, nor a label I’ve been comfortable in sharing with others. As a result, I turned my years of singleness into a joke so that people wouldn’t know, that in reality, my singleness was no laughing matter to me. As a result, I’ve let my singleness creep in to the depths of my heart and make me question my worth. I’ve let lies sneak in: there’s something wrong with me I’m not pretty enough I’m not approachable I need to put myself out there and look available I intimidate guys I’m not good enough All of these lies have distorted my good, God-honoring desire for a relationship. “I feel like crap,” I said to my friends. “I’m annoyed that I can’t just be satisfied in Christ. I’m annoyed that I want attention and affection from a guy to feel worth. Why can’t I just be content in Christ and be content in my singleness?” However, two of …

5 Truths About (Emotional) Dating

“1, 2… 1, 2, 3, 4!” Waking up to Raspberry Beret,  I extended my hand over to my flip phone jamming out on my desk and turned off its alarm before Prince had the chance to tell me he was working part-time in a five-and-dime. My eyes, halfway open, suddenly lit up as I noticed a text message flashing across my screen: Well, shoot. Is that not just the sweetest little text from my boyfriend? Oh, wait… Just kidding. He’s not actually my boyfriend. Emotional Dating: (in my own words) when a girl is emotionally and romantically attached to a guy without ever actually dating him, vice versa. Story of my life.  From high school jocks to southern fraternity guys, I always had someone whom I was “talking to” or “texting.” And even though these guys I texted in college treated me like their girlfriend, I never heard the words, “Will you go on a date with me?” or “Will you be my girlfriend?” Sounds like the beginning stages of a dating relationship, though, right? Boy likes girl. Girl likes boy. …

Why Dictionary’s Definition of ‘Single’ Does Not Define Our Worth.

Single: (adjective) only one in number; one only; unique; sole of, relating to, or suitable for one person only solitary or sole; lone unmarried or not in a romantic relationship pertaining to the unmarried state of or noting a parent who brings up a child or children alone, without a partner. of one against one, as combat or fight. Apparently, Dictionary.com only sees the negative connotations of the word “single.” But there is one word that sticks out to me that doesn’t quite seem to match the rest of its seven descriptions: unique Single or in a relationship, we are all unique. And that uniqueness flows from our Creator. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created him. Genesis 1:27 God created each and every single one of us uniquely. He fashioned the freckles on my arms, the blue hue in my eyes, and the brunette strands brushing across my forehead. He composed my personality type, the sound of my laughter, and the very breath I breathe. God …

3 Lessons I Learned From My Middle School Mistakes

Before the days of Facebook stalking, Tweeting, Snapchatting, double-tapping, and proudly displaying a Top 8 on Myspace, us 90s kids had either MSN Messenger or AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). Signing on to AIM, my heart skipped a beat when I saw my crush’s familiar ScreenName at the top of my “Buddy List.” To message him or to not message him? That was the question. But then I lost all hope when his allusive “Away Message” popped up saying he’ll “BRB.” Maybe I’ll just try again same time tomorrow? (Because talking to my crush face-to-face never occurred to me in middle school). So I waited… and waited… and waited until his status showed “Available.” Pathetic, but true. Too impatient for the guy to make the first move, I messaged my crush first. I just had to let him know that I was available for the 8th Grade Dance. What’s a girl gotta do to get a slow dance to Nickelback around here? Back before it was possible to Facebook stalk that cute guy from gym class, us 90s kids found out through word of mouth if in fact that cute guy …

Ashley’s Story

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” And when I was in middle school, my life revolved around comparison. I can remember times when I would walk into my dance studio, stare at the mirror and completely tear myself apart. I would look at the other girls in the studio and think I wasn’t talented enough pretty enough skinny enough And what fed into that, even more, is I was single all throughout middle school, high school and even into college. I felt like I was missing out by not having a boyfriend. That led me to feel like I was not good enough to be in a relationship. As a result, I experienced jealousy, fear, insecurity, loneliness, and anxiety. I was seeking man’s approval and not God’s approval. I kept asking myself, “Why can’t I be satisfied with the way God made me?” Even though I grew up in a loving Christian home with my dad as a pastor, my view of Christianity was skewed. I thought that being a Christian …