If you were to ask me what I remember most about my teen years, I’d tell you I remember how desperately alone I felt. How deeply I needed to be loved by a boy. How I’d sit in my bedroom at night, with the lights off, staring out the window at the stars and would pray to God {often crying} that he’d send me someone that would love me forever.

I’d write poetry in my notebook about all my deep and sad emotions. Sure on the outside I was a happy girl. I laughed and joked and had a great time with my friends. I enjoyed working and spending time with my family. But when I was alone with myself and my thoughts… well —  I was always that little girl that never felt special or loved or wanted by her Father.

And no matter how much I told myself I hated him, or he didn’t matter to me, it was all lies. I lied to myself, to God and to everyone around me. It got to the point where I could think of him, and talk about him, and never break into tears. I hardened myself to that pain.

But I’d long for a boy to love me so badly that my heart physically ached for it. It ached for the replacement of my Father. And this is a dangerous place to be as a teenaged girl, because there are a lot of boys who’d be interested in taking advantage of a girl like that.

I sit here as a grown woman now, with her own family of boys. Three little boys and one grown up boy. And they are all mine and they all love me so much. I now feel so complete and safe and wanted. The feelings I desired too much as a teenager, I’m now overwhelmed with.

Oh how I wish I could go back in time and hold that Nell. Softly stroke her long black hair, look her in the eyes and tell her how much she’ll be loved one day. And that even though she’ll never have a relationship with her Father, she’ll eventually come to terms with it and be okay. It won’t be perfect, but it’ll be okay.

And one day… well, one day she’ll be swimming with boys and comfort and safety and all of the bounty that love brings. They’ll heal her hole. They’ll fill her emptiness. They’ll be for her what her Father never could be. And even though she’ll always have a part of her heart that wishes she had a ‘Daddy‘, she’ll feel so unbelievably filled up that she was able to give her boys their Daddy.


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  1. glad you got your boy, nell. glad you got a houseful of boys. what a houseful of love, no?

    I never cried over wanting a boyfriend as a teen, but I sure did want one! good Lord, how did we survive?

  2. Beautifully written, Nell! I was similar in high school…I had notebooks full of poetry and I dreamed so much about being loved by a boy. God heard every single one of my prayers and now I’m married to my best friend – and he is a wonderful daddy to our girls.

    It’s funny to look back and see the way we were then…and the way we are now…isn’t it?
    .-= Stephanie´s last blog ..What to Pack It In: A Duffel Bag by High Sierra Sport Company =-.

  3. Wow, Nell…I perhaps could have written this exact same post! {except God gave me one man who loves me more than life and three girls to give the life I would have wanted}. But everything else {the absent love from a father, the longing for a boy, the dangerous teenage situation, and then the hardened parts of your heart} I can completely relate to. Thank you for sharing this!
    .-= Maegan´s last blog ..Rain… =-.

  4. Lovely. I think that’s a universal feeling – the angst of youth, feeling misunderstood and unloved – but how beautiful to see the culmination of it! I think that’s a beautiful thing about God – even those prayers we’ve forgotten we prayed, he answers in his time.

    By the way, I have to say how much I love your name. My granny was named Nellie (really truly) and often was called Nell for short. I love it so much and have often lobbied it as a name for our babies in the naming contests. 🙂 it makes me happy to see it still out in the world.

  5. New commenter here! This is a beautifully written post, Nell. Your children are simply adorable. So happy to see that the heartache in your teen years is healed today by your own beautiful family.

  6. I just love your writing, Nell. I’m sorry you had such angst as a teen but it really hit home because my oldest daughter is on the verge of her 13th birthday. Sometimes I worry about whether her relationship with my husband is strong enough…could it be stronger…can we do more to make her happy…will her relationship with me survive her teen years…

    It goes on and on, as only a mother can know.
    .-= Christina Lemmey´s last blog ..Build A Better Business Contest =-.

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