I suffer from abandonment issues. I am beginning to believe that in this day and age maybe we all do. It comes in so many different forms, someone says they are there for you or “with” you but they would rather be elsewhere. People who move away or people who choose to no longer keep in touch or include you in their life. I found that often times relationships were one sided, I am the one calling, I am the one driving there, I am the one writing to them. Took me years to realize I needed to stop and let that relationship go. I would honestly look at all this as something wrong with me. Something about me drove people away. I so longed to feel, well, wanted and at home.
With abandonment issues comes self preservation. We protect ourselves from being hurt. I recently heard from a woman who said that long distance relationships are safe because the chances of meeting them are very slim. My heart went out to her because in many ways I understand. If someone is my friend locally I know they accept me for who am I am, the whole package. However, I am blessed with long distance friends as well and often think they will reject me in person because then I am truly transparent. You can look into my eyes. I can not speak for her but I would often expect to be rejected.
I must confess on those hard days I can slip back into this way of thinking. Today I was truly blessed as I was reading through a chapter of Erwin Raphael McMannus’ new book “Soul Cravings”. He speaks of our craving for a safe place. A place we all feel at home. Only it’s not a place.
Remember how E.T. was always trying to call home? Do you really think he was trying to call a building or spacecraft? No he was calling his “someone” who was in that building or spacecraft.
Great movies in the past have displayed the love of a husband for his wife. We are all familiar with lines such as, “Home is where she is.” The death of a spouse can be devastating because home is where the heart truly is not the building with which you dwell.
This being said I had to start looking at this abandonment issue in a bit different light. You see often times God brings people into our lives for a season. We in turn have been removed from the lives of others. I can see His hand in doing this to protect me. At times people leave because they are called to move on. I needed to look at this through his eyes and not my own. God knows what is best for me and loves me dearly. Personally, I love to keep people in my life for a lifetime but there are times that God needs to remove them.
We have a strong tendency to feel comfortable with conditional love. How many times have you found yourself asking someone, why do you love me? Conditional love is also the kind of love that hurts us. If I am no longer those reasons you love me you will leave me. No pressure there!! At this stage in my life I find myself in the dating scene once again and often hear people speak of others appearance. He’s so handsome, tall, great skin etc. Scripture speaks of beauty as being fleeting. Accidents happen and that individual who stood tall may not have to sit tall for the rest of their lives. When these things happen do we tell them you no longer meet the conditions and walk?
What we each desire is unconditional love. That is the love that Christ has for us. Unconditional love from another is what makes you feel comfortable and at a home with them. This is what we long for in our relationships with others.
The one that you and I can count on to be the place we must first and foremost make our home in is Jesus Christ. Read John 14. You see Jesus is our home. He is even preparing a place for us with many mansions.
Abandonment and grief often go hand in hand. It’s that feeling of loss that can not be replaced. As Christians we are always promised a hope and a future.
11‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
This is also included in the grief of a loved one who knows our Savior. We will see them again. We still are promised this hope even through the loss of a spouse due to divorce or a friend who has walked away. Psalm 139:7-12 is such a reminder to us and a promise that no matter where we go He is there. We are truly never alone. This does not just refer to “where” we are but the promise of Matthew 28:20 shows He is with us through all time.
This being said take a moment to reflect on your own life. Are you the type of person who does not abandon others? Do you seek others out? Do you choose to support them? Does the world truly know you by your love?
John 15: 12
“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
1 John 4:7-8
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
1 John 4:19
We love, because He first loved us.
If you don’t like being abandoned remember there is hope. Abandonment is often times not abandonment. It is the God of the universe taking care of you and doing what is best for you. I also challenge you to open your heart to others and truly love and support them. God will bless you with others who will step in where that void was left. He will guide the right people into your life. He will use you to bless others and in turn they will bless you.
Remember that the one who you need to seek first and foremost is Jesus Christ. He will never leave you, and he will never forget it. He loves you unconditionally.