Feeling Abandoned? You Can Overcome It!

By Chloe JonPaul
for the NABBW

chloe-2This feeling can occur at any time in our lives and will always be one of the most challenging events we must face.  Quite often we equate abandonment with a baby being left on someone’s doorstep but it encompasses much more.

E.C. La Meaux writes that “abandonment represents core human fear; that it is a cumulative wound containing all of the losses and disconnections stemming all the way back to childhood.”

While we cannot deny this feeling of abandonment, we don’t have to wallow in it.  There are tools at our disposal that can and will dispel the beliefs we may be holding on to such as feeling insecure, rejected, betrayed, devoid of support.  Perhaps the most powerful tool of all is the spiritual armor at our disposal.

The feeling of abandonment is likely to occur in our spiritual lives.  We find ourselves asking, “Where are You, God?”  It would be helpful to remember that Mary and Joseph went looking for Jesus for three days and when finding Him back in the temple in Jerusalem, his mother’s first question was “How could you do this to us?”  His answer?  “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”

I believe that He has the same answer for us.  He is about His Father’s business in our lives.  As St. Alphonsus Liguori says:  “He often conceals Himself from a soul that it may seek Him with a more ardent desire and greater love.”

There are so many passages in the Bible that relate to this feeling of abandonment.  A well-known passage in the New Testament depicts the feeling of abandonment experienced by the disciples in the midst of a fierce storm.  The boat was filling with water and they called out in desperation to Jesus Who was asleep. “Master, does it not matter to you that we perish?” As Jesus stood up and rebuked the wind saying, “Peace, be still.” And immediately the winds died down and all was made calm. Jesus turned to His apostles and asked, “Why are you fearful? Have you not faith yet?” And the apostles were filled with fear and they asked each other, “Who is this that both the winds and sea obey Him?” – St. Mark 4: 35-40.

When our faith is being tested in the midst of the storms occurring in our lives, we must make an effort to trust the One Who can bring calm and peace back into our lives.

Perhaps most poignant of all were the words uttered by Christ in His bitter human agony on the Cross:  “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken me?”  When we find ourselves uttering something similar, it will certainly help to remember that we share a “common denominator” with the Lord Who experienced betrayal, abandonment of His closest friends, denial by Peter the apostle, and more than three hours hanging on a cross.

Rev. Keith McClellan, the former publisher at Abbey Press poses this thought-provoking question:  “Is there anything more dismal than the thought that God doesn’t care?”  He urges the reader not to give up on Divine Providence but likewise not to plunge into self-blame because we have to be open to God’s response.  Especially meaningful are Fr. McClellan’s thoughts on God’s ultimate eternal design and purpose.  As he states: “Moreover, if God is God, the best solution to your troubles is the divine one, not your own.”

Everyone of us, will at some point in our lives, experience a sense of abandonment so the ability to face it in a positive manner requires a willingness to explore solutions that will help one to recover.

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