Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will take care of me. Psalm 27:10
A couple of weeks ago I had an awful dream. Long after waking, I was still filled with the emotions that I had experienced while dreaming. The effects lasted a couple of days, I’m sorry to admit.
In my dream, my beloved and I were having a mountaintop experience, literally. It was a dream come true…or at least it should have been. Upon arriving at the destination, however, things took a different turn. There were people everywhere, talking and laughing, and we became separated – twice! To make matters even worse, when I talked with him later (still in the dream), he admitted that he hadn’t even realized that I wasn’t with him the second time we were separated!
To say the dream was on my mind that day would be an understatement. I knew it was important, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on the reason it was staying with me and bothered me so much. It wasn’t until a few days later that the Lord showed me what was going on in my heart. One dream, two revelations.
Revelation #1: The Lord showed me that I’ve done the same thing my beloved did, but on an even greater scale. How many times have I gone about my day, got busy and forgot about Him? Made decisions, made plans, spent time with family or friends, and not included Him? He longs to be included in everything we experience. He is our constant companion, the lover of our souls!
Revelation #2: I’ve written before about how I lived with fear for most of my life, and it was such a part of me that I didn’t even recognize it. Even as a Christian, it was with me, until the Lord took it away. You can read about it here if you’re interested. He healed me from feelings of rejection, too, but that’s a story for another day. Well, I also lived with something else, and I didn’t recognize that, either! This thing was behind many of my bad decisions. It clouded my perception and judgment and negatively affected every relationship I’ve ever had. This thing, this chain, kept me bound to a poor self image that no amount of compliments, encouragement, or personal accomplishments could erase. The chain that bound me was a feeling of abandonment.
I was blown away by the revelation. I grew up in what would be considered a fairly stable home with both of my parents, stable in that life was pretty predictable. I went to school, did what was expected of me, and started earning money as soon as I was old enough to babysit. I didn’t physically lack for anything. I later married, and divorced, but my ex-husband and I remained on good speaking terms, so I still didn’t think I had any reason to feel abandoned.
Over the course of a few days after that dream, though, the Lord began showing me things that had happened early in my childhood and throughout my life, things long ago forgotten, that left me feeling very unimportant, unloved, and very much alone. Kind of abandoned.
When I was a child, a common saying was that children were to be seen and not heard. Talking about feelings just wasn’t done, so I kept them all inside, where they piled up but were never addressed. They just became a part of me. Hurts covered with invisible bandaids. And to be fair, many parents at that time were raised the same way, so they didn’t talk about feelings, either. I don’t believe they knew what to do with their own feelings, so they didn’t how to reach out to their children. There are always exceptions, though, and if you were raised in a home where there was open communication, you were blessed.
I am learning, though, that the Lord doesn’t like bandaids. He prefers to remove them so that He can do a deep, thorough cleaning so that true healing can begin. And begin it does.
It doesn’t always feel good. We like our bandaids. We like to keep the pain buried so we don’t have to think about it or keep experiencing it. Out of sight, out of mind. But that isn’t His way. He wants us to be whole, to be able to give and receive love, and to experience life fully. He wants us to experience the abundant life that He died to give us. He died, but He didn’t stay dead. He rose from the dead, and in so doing, raises us from the dead, too.
Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Isaiah 49:15
Here’s the thing. I didn’t even know I had a bandaid, or that I had these feelings of abandonment. It was news to me. He brought it out in the open, though, in His gentle way, and healed that part of me. With every healing, I find that I can hold my head a little higher, and because I no longer view things through that particular filter, I am able to see things a little more clearly. I am learning that things are not always my fault, and that sometimes people hurt us because they are hurt, too. As the saying goes, hurt people hurt people. True, and I am truly sorry for those I have hurt because I was hurt.
But for you who fear My name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings; and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. Malachi 4:2
I know there is more there that He wants to heal, and I am confident that our great Physician will do so with the utmost care and gentleness, in His timing, as I am able to bear it.
The Spirit of the Lord is on Me, because He has anointed Me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim deliverance to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed. Luke 4:18
Jesus said that He came to heal the brokenhearted and set the captives free. I have been brokenhearted, and I have been held captive by the pain of the past. If you have, too, I encourage you to ask Jesus to remove the bandaids in your own life, and let the deep cleaning begin. I can’t promise it will be easy, but it will be worth it.
He tends His flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young. Isaiah 40:11
About a week after the Lord dealt with my feelings of abandonment, one of my very favorite writers, Jamie Rohrbaugh of From His Presence began a series on that very subject. Here is a link to the first article in the series: http://www.fromhispresence.com/4-signs-you-have-a-stronghold-of-rejection-and-abandonment/. I can’t tell you how much I have learned from her posts, and how much the Lord has used her in my life. She is a tremendous blessing to me, and I believe she will be to you as well.