How my Abandoned Heart Found Safety in Jesus

Abandonment.

Too free-flowing of a word for the ugly it brings in its wake.

Its cruelness whips the broken child standing on a porch stoop watching her daddy drive away week after week in a big truck. Knowing he will be back, but also knowing while he’s gone, she is helpless at the hands of an angry, mixed-up mom.

And by the grace of God she grows to adulthood.

She finds Jesus and what she hopes is home. She longs for arms to hold her safe from the cold she experienced on that porch stoop. And, for a season, it seems He does.

She finds safety in Jesus.Learning to trust people again after being abandoned never comes without a struggle.

Then, the arms seem to stretch away, further and further from her reach. Until one day the benign-sounding word returns pressing heavily on the weeping woman she has become. The wife following her faithless husband’s packing with frightened eyes and sick dread in her belly. Her hand cradling the developing life within. Suddenly this baby would be just hers and not theirs. Her husband’s life tangled with another woman’s, not hers.

Why wasn’t I good enough to be with? Why couldn’t he stay? How could this happen? How do I go on from here? How do I ever believe in love?

Like cawing crows the questions rest and flit away in unsettled patterns. She tries to shoo them off her shoulders, to hope for a better day, another chance, but they always return to their perch, shrieking in her tortured ear.

She enters into another relationship in the face of doubt. It is daunting. Fraught with a whole new host of panicked “what if’s” and the lonely walls of self-protective mistrust. What if my shattered heart gets re-shattered? What if my beloved babies who need stability in this shaky world get shaken again?

To find someone who actually understands the fears and doubts is a miracle. To marry once more, gaining a second chance at wonderful is a wonderful dream.

The daily climb of surrendering heart and life and trust can be more agonizing than those earlier years of utter loss. How can this be? Happiness is here! After all these long, lonely, life-strangling years! How does agony reside with joy?

There is the doubly sweet sweetness of the at last, my love has come along. The delight in the sheer difference of a sudden switch of melodies, from bitter dark to blissful light. The warmth of the exquisitely right after so many ill-fitting situations and heart-stomping violations.And there is the desire to stay in this heavenly pink haze for always.

But, much as I want to, I find I cannot fully relax in this unfamiliar comfort. I shift, I fluff for fluffing’s sake, but I find my laid-back isn’t always so laid-back as tension-filled. And the fragility of it all underneath, the underscoring of fear ruled my life so long I struggle and fumble with the off-switch.Not to mention the sense this particular prize is so precious the loss of it would surely mean a devastation beyond any other, seemingly beyond repair.

Oh, certainly not because he ever gives me true cause to wonder! The fierce quality of stick-to-it rises up far and wide in this man of mine, startling me in the midnight hours of my soul.

Still, scars ache and there are times it’d be easy to sink into this excuse.

Yet, the surrendering of trust to a Heavenly Father, the lover of my soul is at the heart of the whole matter. It is a slow surrender I must keep falling into, step by knee-knocking step. A place I must inhabit for my survival. A place letting Jesus be the most. His words bolster my fears most and His heart sheds the light of love most. In every dark, doubtful, what-if crack in my being.

For, though I forget this, He knows just what it means to be forsaken, and, in that moment of forsaking, ensured us forever with Him. He was the One scooping up this lost one on the porch stoop, drying the tears staining my cheeks, and carrying me every soul-bruising instant.

His was the hand covering mine and cradling the unborn babe in my belly. Jesus’ voice whispers to me still. As dear and tender and soothing as the first time I heard it, yet full of a peaceful sort of authority over those nagging birds of doubt. I keep training my ears to His voice, trusting my heart to it. I want to believe and embrace that there is safety in Jesus.

And abiding in Him, my abandonment is no more. His words are canceling out the wretchedness of that one word … abandonment. These timeless phrases never diminishing despite all the assaults and vanishing acts we may face in this life:

I will never leave you nor forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Neither height nor depth nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:39)

And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20)

In these, I must return again and again despite everything rising up in me to protest.

God's words are canceling out the wretchedness of that one word ... abandonment.Click To Tweet

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When you've been abandoned once or twice in your life, it's hard to trust and rest in a new relationship. Faith that your spouse will be there for you after being dealt the blow of divorce doesn't just happen. But there is safety in Jesus. And there is hope for a wounded, abandoned heart to be made whole.

Marissa UlrichMarisa Ulrich is a mom of four with two autistic. She is in a blessed second marriage to the handyman of her dreams. Her work can be found in Her View From Home, Zoom Autism and Autism Parenting. Look for her memoir, Broken Cookies Taste Just as Sweet: The Amazing Grace of Motherhood, Marriage, and Miracles on the Spectrum in July. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Here at Middle Places we LOVE a good story. Everybody is making their way through the middle of something and we'd love to hear about yours. Please send an email to editor@middleplaces.com or check out our Contact page if you'd like to share your story with us and our readers.
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Here at Middle Places we LOVE a good story. Everybody is making their way through the middle of something and we'd love to hear about yours. Please send an email to editor@middleplaces.com or check out our Contact page if you'd like to share your story with us and our readers.

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