Around the Campfire: My Most Important Question

“Around the Campfire” is a monthly feature in which our very own readers swap stories about having an encounter with God. Today’s post was provided by Lauryl Brison. You can read more of her thoughts at her blog, She Plays Drums. If you have had an encounter with God, I encourage you to share it with us. Your past run-in with God might very well be someone’s next interaction with him. You can use the form on the “Contact Us” page, or email me at


“I think that part of being human is being alone. And being lonely. I think one of the stresses on a lot of our friendships is that we require that the people we love take away that loneliness. And they really can’t. And so, when we still feel lonely, even in the company of people we love, we become angry with them because they don’t do what we think they’re supposed to. Which is really something that they can’t do for us.”

I’ve alway had this weird thing about me that left me feeling lonely, as if somewhere in the double helix of my DNA a piece just decided to not show up on the day I was being made. That part of me has always caused a ruckus within my close relationships. The quote above pretty much sums it up as I am guilty of demanding that people take the loneliness away, which they can’t, but I still end up getting mad at them when they don’t.  I have fractured many friendships and confused a lot of boys with this perception of what I think people should do for me in this respect.

This one time I loved a boy and he loved me back. I can recall moments being perfectly content, laying my head on the warmest part of his chest while we dreamed of the future together. Inevitably he would ask me if I was happy, which I was, but when I explained to him the lonely feeling I harbored within, he could never comprehend. Obviously this frustrated both of us. This inevitably began to unravel our beautiful tapestry that we had dreamed up until it was just a whole bunch of knotted colorful string on the ground.

My most important question is why this continues to dwell in my innermost being.

I’ve often been told that God uses the things that seem to cripple us to bring us closer to Him; to make us pause, to sit and be still, to call us back to Him. Maybe this is His way of getting my attention. I want and still long for someone to desperately take away my loneliness.

But I still carry this odd passenger on my journey.  Sometimes I like to attribute myself to famous Bible characters, partly to make me sound smart, but its mostly because they are highly relatable.  I wonder if this loneliness is the limp God has given me, just like when He touched Jacob’s hip.

as a reminder.

I entertain this thought often because it makes me feel better about being that person.

I wonder if there will ever come a day when I can look at the family I have created, the friends I have invested in and the life I have built, and feel like I’m finally a complete person…

There’s not really a nice bow to tie this off with so I’ll leave you with the other half of the quote.

“Friendship, camaraderie, intimacy, all those things and loneliness live together in the same experience.”- Rich Mullins 


2 responses to “Around the Campfire: My Most Important Question

  1. I was going to use that very quote from Rich Mullins! I have had this identical conversation with friends of whom I’ve expected too much. I believe whole heartedly that loneliness is a “built in” condition God has given each of us…so we look for HIM. I think maybe it’s “fallout” from the garden…

    Regardless, I feel it’s an inherent part of our humanity…and being aware of it is the first step to letting others “off the hook” as far as fulfilling that empty place.

    Thanks for this…reminds me, ironically, we are not alone in our loneliness.

  2. I’ve started to think of loneliness as sort of a companion. I tell myself all the time that loneliness is a part of the human condition, but that’s not always fun or relieving to think about. Henri Nouwen has a great quote about loneliness…about its gifts for those who surrender to its sweet pain. Big hugs Lauryl, this is a great post.

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