Have you ever felt abandoned by someone? That feeling creeps in, that feeling of being overlooked, left out, forsaken… Chances are that person didn’t mean to make you feel that way, but you feel it anyway.
There have been quite a few seasons of my life where I have felt abandoned. Alone. Left behind. I’m not here to point fingers or place blame; oftentimes the person that left needed to… it was best for them and their situation. But it still hurt; it still caused me pain. At the end of the day, I still felt abandoned.
(In an effort to protect those people, I’m not going to share specific examples or details. My goal is not to tear them down, but to build you up.)
I will share one example; my husband said it was okay. 🙂
It’s a bit silly how this blog came about. My husband and I were running a 10K (6.2 miles) over Mother’s Day weekend. It was our first race together, and his first race ever. On our training run the week before I realized how much faster he was than me; nonetheless, I thought I was ready for race day.
There was just one thing I didn’t give enough attention to: the race we signed up for had hills. Big hills. At least for me, since I had only trained on flat ground. The hills didn’t seem to affect my husband or slow his pace, but they sure slowed me down. We stayed together for the first two miles, but he was quite a ways ahead of me for the second half of our race. About the last mile, I think he may have realized the chances of me catching up were slim, and he took off. I could no longer see him, and the stretch of the race I was on was pretty deserted. No one cheering you on. No cars. Just some stranger running in front of me that wasn’t my husband.
All of a sudden, all those feelings of abandonment come flooding into my mind. Which is silly, because it was just a race. But it triggered all of the emotions I’ve felt over the last 20+ years when I thought that someone had abandoned me.
So there I was, between mile 5 and 6, exhausted, alone, and kind of wanting to give up.
But God. He’s such a good, patient Father. He gently reminded me that He loves me. That He is with me, ready to fill the void I was feeling. That He will never leave me or forsake me. Even when I’m running a 10K.
And that is the hope I want to send your way today.
If you’re feeling abandoned, alone, overlooked… I pray that you would know in your mind and your heart that God is with you and He loves you.
Webster’s defines abandoned as “left without needed protection or care, left by the owner, no longer held or thought of; given up.” The synonyms include “derelict, deserted, desolate, forgotten, forsaken, rejected, vacant, vacated, void.” It also said that abandon, desert and forsake mean to leave without intending to return.
Here’s my definition of abandoned: Someone left me, and I think they should have stayed… I wish they would have stayed.
We are human. We will let each other down. We will mess up. We will forget. We will overlook. We will leave others behind, whether we intend to or not.
People will abandon us, but there is One who promises to never leave us or forsake us. It’s not in His character. He is with us; His heart is for us. In the big things and the little things.
My friend said something so insightful at Bible Study last Thursday. She said there are times when we ask, “Where are you God?” and He is saying “I’m right here; turn around.”
Sometimes we just need to turn around. Get a new perspective. Quiet the lies with His truth.
Joshua 1:5 (NIV) says, “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” I have this verse memorized and I’m sure I say it mechanically… so I looked up some Hebrew definitions and I love the depth it brings to two words in particular. The Hebrew word for “leave” is raphah, and it means: to show oneself slack, let alone, be quiet, sink down, relax, abate, withdraw, let drop, abandon, refrain, forsake, let go, be disheartened. The word for “forsake” is ‘azab, meaning: leave, let loose, forsake, depart from, leave behind, let alone, abandon, neglect, apostatize, set free, let go, desert. God promises He will never do these things!
Isaiah 54:4-8 says, “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband – the Lord Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit – a wife who married young, only to be rejected,” says your God. “For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,” says the Lord your Redeemer. (NIV)
Even if it feels like God has abandoned or deserted you, He intends to return. His plan is for redemption. His heart is for love. “For a brief moment” is but a flash in view of eternity. He will not leave you unprotected or uncared for. He won’t stop thinking about you or holding you in the palm of His hand. He won’t give up on you!
I want to leave you with a few more verses that have brought me encouragement in this area:
- Isaiah 62:4 – “No longer will they call you Deserted, or name your land Desolate. But you will be called Hephzibah, and your land Beulah; for the Lord will take delight in you, and your land will be married.” (NIV)
- Psalm 124:6 – “Oh, blessed be God! He didn’t go off and leave us. He didn’t abandon us defenseless, helpless as a rabbit in a pack of snarling dogs.” (MSG)
- 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 – “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (NIV)
- Deuteronomy 4:31 – “God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end He will not abandon you, He won’t bring you to ruin, He won’t forget the covenant with your ancestors which He swore to them.” (MSG)
Let His Word speak to your heart and fill those empty places in your soul.
Let’s extend grace to those who may have left us.
Let’s choose to fix our eyes on the One who will never abandon us. ❤
Here is a picture of me and my husband after our race!
We are currently training for a half marathon (13.1 miles!) – and he has already promised that he won’t leave me 🙂