Because life isn’t one big game of capture the flag
Because life isn’t one big game of capture the flag

Because life isn’t one big game of capture the flag

There are moments in life when you realize that what you’re trying to find might cause you to lose focus of the wonderful things all around you.

Even during a game of capture the flag.

On Saturday night, the FCA volleyball interns I’ve been working with all summer invited me to play capture the flag with a big group of people. It’s one of those games that I really like but don’t ever play, so I was looking forward to it. Plus, those girls are all so fun and have such beautiful hearts, and you just feel better when you’re around them.

I’ve been pumping iron and stuff.

We played at one of the local college campuses, so there was a lot of ground to cover to try to find the other’s team’s flag. Most of us weren’t super familiar with the campus, and it became even more challenging once it got dark. I wandered off on my own to try to be a hero for my team, and I made the mistake of leaving my phone with one of the girls who wasn’t playing.

As it turns out, I’m still slightly directionally challenged and rely on Google Maps for way too much in life.

I started running because I wanted to make up as much ground as possible in my quest for the other team’s flag. After a while of searching all throughout the other side of the campus, though, I had to stop looking so much for the flag and start looking for the right way to get back to home base, instead. By this time, the sun had gone to sleep long ago, and I couldn’t see much. Somehow I ended up on the main streets and way on the outskirts of campus. I had zero clue where I was, I didn’t recognize any of the street signs, and there were no landmarks in sight to give me the slightest inkling of navigation help.

I had gotten so caught up in not being able to find the flag that I had gotten completely lost in the entire process.

Thankfully, I stopped some guy who suddenly appeared on the street (he appeared to be safe, and I’m confident in my abilities to kick someone’s a$* when necessary) and had him consult the Google so that I could find the right direction to run. I eventually made it to where I needed to be, but it was a much longer process than I had originally hoped or ever intended.

You know, kind of like my dating life.

I think trying to date in this day and age can be quite similar to a game of capture the flag—you search and search so hard for something that sometimes feels like it’s impossible to find. People keep telling you that “the right guy is out there” and that you just need to be patient and do more of this and more of that to find him. But it’s easy to get so frustrated during that searching that you end up feeling lost and almost hopeless at times.

The way people meet and fall in love has changed in so many ways than how it used to happen years ago, but that’s just part of the society in which we live now. One of my friends had mentioned someone she had heard of recently, which resulted in me meeting with a matchmaker one day last week. Think of the movie Hitch, and it’s a similar concept. It actually sounded pretty interesting and maybe even effective, but then she told me what the costs were for either a three-month contract or a six-month contract, and I had the same reaction that Elle Woods had when Vivian Kensington introduced herself as Warner’s fiancée.

I’m sorry. I just hallucinated. What?

Needless to say, I won’t be part of the next Albert Brennaman/Allegra Cole success story. I’m still trying to have high hopes for my dream of meeting someone unexpectedly and out of the blue, like me being hit in the face with a football or frisbee at a park or beach, and the guy runs over to check to make sure that I’m OK, and sparks fly.

A girl can dream.

Perhaps one day I’ll surprise you with a picture of me with a fella at the beach. Until then, here’s a selfie.

I don’t know how I’ll meet someone, but I do know that I don’t want to be so caught up in trying to find him that I get completely lost. There’s so much life to live, and there’s so much love to give others. I want my focus to remain on being thankful for those things and those people already in my life and pursue them. It turns out that life isn’t one big game of capture the flag—there are so many people in this world who need love and need to know that they are valued. Do I want to fall in love with my person and be loved unconditionally by him? Absolutely. But I can’t stop my life entirely to go searching for that one flag that might not be ready for me to find yet.

I had prayed for a miracle when I was lost during that game of capture the flag, and God sent me someone to help when there was literally no other human walking around in sight. And I know that, if it’s part of His plan for me not to be single forever and to forget about the guy I wish were still a part of my life, He’ll send me someone when it seems like there’s literally no one out there for me (which it feels like much of the time).

Whatever it is you’re seeking in life—whether it’s a relationship or new job or place to live or a multitude of other things—I hope that you eventually are able to capture it. But I also hope that you are still able to appreciate and enjoy what you already have in your life and show your people how much you care for them.

Because, unlike flags that are tough to find, you don’t have to go searching very far to let them know that they’re loved.


  1. Anonymous Lucys Tour friend

    Please post when you have a trip back to Dallas planned that includes a free evening. I remain convinced that I know a wonderful guy for you to meet. I’ve thought it since I first started reading your blog and I’m still hoping to be your free matchmaker. And I think we can rope Kiran and his wife into dinner with me and my husband and you and this guy. Maybe tapas, then our house for dessert and a board game? Or just dinner if the rest is too much. You just have to let me know when you’ll be here and I’ll get to work on planning.

    1. Natalie

      You’re so sweet! I’ll be in town for a weekend in August for my niece’s birthday, but it’s a short trip. I won’t be back for a little bit of a longer trip until Thanksgiving.

      1. Anonymous Lucys Tour friend

        Thanksgiving weekend it is (I hope you don’t find your person before then)! My husband and I are always in town then, KG and Sheryl usually are I think, and this guy’s family lives around here too so he should be. Eeeeee! I’ve felt in my heart for so long that you two must meet. You just strike me as similar in the ways that count (mostly values, religion, ideas for the future). I’m going to ask this guy (let’s call him Matt) tomorrow if he’ll be here that weekend! Eeeeeee!!!! I’m hoping this is the grand plan from above for both of you.

      2. Anonymous Lucys Tour friend

        One more idea. Without any big group, if you have a little morning free time when you’re here in August, maybe I could coordinate you guys meeting at the lake for a morning walk one day on the weekend you’re here for the bday? I could bring you guys coffees or teas and introduce you (or you could just find each other easily enough) and I’d guess the lake is public enough at 7 a.m. or something? I’ve known him more than 5 years, and I confirmed today he’s still single, and he’s done things like take a youth group on a mission trip overseas, so I’m sure he’s cleared background checks. If you think that might work, let me know where to email you and I’ll reach out and we can sort out details. But he’s also around over Thanksgiving if that’s better for you. Hope this isn’t too brave or too far out of your comfort zone, but I really hope you get to meet him and you guys can both see if there’s any potential. Fingers crossed!

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