Someone said to me this year, “Alison, I find it interesting that loneliness is a theme in your life… I think you might be called to care for lonely people.” As I reflected more on his statement, I realized he was right. I’ve always felt called to go to the places that were “lonely”- where no one was reaching.

Let’s connect the dots together.

In college, I joined a sorority, Pi Beta Phi, and started a Christian ministry for fraternity and sorority students. The Greek system was a place on campus where no Christians were intentionally reaching out. It was a spiritually isolated place on our campus, marked by stereotypes and rarely seen as something loved by God.

After graduation, I joined staff with Greek InterVarsity, a national ministry for fraternity and sorority students, with a desire to plant at schools that did not currently have ministries with the Greek system. I desired to go to places that had nothing and start something.

Through a series of events that I may share on this blog, my husband and I moved to Utah in 2010. Another solitary place known for the LDS (Mormon) faith, not evangelical Christianity. In a 8-state region of the country, I was the first person hired to work with fraternity and sorority students, another layer of loneliness.

I live in a literal and metaphorical desert (yep, Utah is considered the high desert!). Yet I am convinced that God plops us in the desert not merely to flail about and suffer but to grow and develop. I have learned not just how to survive, but how to thrive in lonely places.  In the desert, I have found refreshment and life.

As a starting point, here are a few of my favorite posts:

The Worst (and Best) Thing About Working for InterVarsity

When Home Isn’t Home

Ten Reasons Why I Love Utah

Praying When Words are Hard to Come By

Or check out my blog series:

Sabbath Experiments

Discipline of the Week

I have felt loneliness deeply, I am called to care for other lonely people. I am convinced that in the deserted places of our souls, God desires to bring us water.

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Note: All of the pictures featured on my blog, unless otherwise noted, were taken by my husband, Sean Smith. You can view his photography on Facebook at Sean Smith Photography.