I posted this in Fall 2008. This particular post is linked to the Women of Faith blog and has been from last fall. It has only been in the last few weeks that I discovered so many were finding this post from the Women of Faith sight. I have received countless emails of the beginning of forgiveness and healing in the lives of many women who have read this. For that reason I am posting this again.
I was four years old when he left our home with a lot of boxes. Loaded his truck and drove away. I sat on the edge of the windowsill crying. I don’t really know why, but there was something different on that day. My younger sister and I also got the chicken pox on that day. The day my dad walked out the door forever. Abandonment.
Along with my sisters we stood before the judge. I was eleven years old. A decision was made that day. My mother handed us over to the state’s care. She had a choice to stay with the abusive step father or put her children into the states care. That day the judge read the report and all of our girls walked single file into a small room. Never again would I go home with my mom.
My life was in shambles. I did not know from one day to the next how I could get up in the morning, be a good mother, make business decisions and have it all together. I just could do no more. I drove into my driveway. A strange car parked out front. A man met me at the walk and asked if I was Elizabeth. I asked who he was. He served me papers, divorce papers.
I sat in a restaurant with my second set of parents. At this time my life was still spinning out of control, and bad decisions being made by me. And then I hear these words. “If you don’t give this baby up for adoption, you are no longer part of the fellowship of this family”.
This past weekend I heard a speaker at a women’s conference talk about being abandoned. She spoke about the emotions behind being abandoned. She spoke about the shame, the guilt, and the feeling of never being wanted. I know how I felt in each of those situations. She captured every emotion I have ever felt. I look at this list of people leaving my life and try to understand why so many people have left me.
I know the feeling of shame and never speaking to anyone about the reasons. Embarrassed at the blame I placed and owned on myself. The feeling of me having no value to the important people in my life, thus them always leaving me.
It has been through many years of truly trusting in God. I know that He will never leave nor forsake me. I have rested on Lamentations 3 for many years.
Lamentations 3: 22-26
Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassion's fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion, says my soul”, Therefore I have hope in Him. The Lord is good to those who wait for Him. To the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.
I have rested my heart on these verses for so many years. I have faltered on many levels and believed I was so worthless for many years of my life. I could smile, and cover the pain, often with a cute handbag matching shoes, a little charm, and some wit, but at the end of the day, alone with my thoughts the pain of being abandoned over and over haunted me. I faced shame, guilt and a true sense of nothingness. I only really prayed that God would protect my children and their hearts from having such a worthless mother.
I was reminded of all those emotions that once strangled my heart this past weekend. Thinking that if all these people have left me, then how could God possibly want or ever stay with me. And then, those many years ago, His beautiful words came across my vision. Untangled those ropes that tried to strangle my hope and set me free to live my life of complete acceptance of Him. My heart was no longer bitter, ashamed, and guilt ridden. I could rest my soul in His loving care, His commitment to never leave me.
I wanted to share this for those who may read this and be bound by the loss of those who have left you. There is an amazing God who is going to carry you. I have a Father who carries my heart in the palm of His hand. He is there always when others walk away. Blessings!!!