Do You Feel Abandoned by God?
A cool breeze cuts through the layers of my favorite sweatshirt and long sleeve t-shirt, causing my shoulders to shiver. I pull the sherpa blanket closer to my chin as I sit on our back deck, surrounded by the fading images of fall. Only a few golden and scarlet leaves remain on naked branches. The green grass of summer is hidden beneath a blanket of leaves that beg to be raked
My husband stokes the fire pit, adding a log as embers float into the dusk sky. The sounds of a college football game drift from the patio TV, but I barely notice, distracted by my own thoughts.
We Were Never Abandoned
It’s been a hard season. A hard year…or two, if I’m really honest. Disappointment has become an unwelcome family member. Prayers seem to fall on deaf ears while stress and frustration continue around every corner. I know even in the silence, I am not abandoned. But I’m learning that knowing and believing are two very different things.
Everything inside wants to scream, “God when are you finally going to show up?” Silence.
And then, just when everything inside wants to retreat back into the cocoon of my sadness, a gentle breeze seems to whisper, “My sweet girl, I never left.” A deep sigh escapes as I draw my blanket tighter around myself.
I know even in the silence, I am not abandoned.
My head knows we have not been abandoned. I have not been abandoned. My heart, on the other hand, feels too raw and wounded to believe. How do you hold onto hope when it seems as fragile as a falling autumn leaf?
“Here you go,” my husband says as he offers me a cup of hot tea in my favorite mug. Steam evaporates as I warm my hands around ceramic comfort. “Thank you,” I reply with a smile as he returns to his football game.
I take a sip and let the tea and honey warm me from the inside out. As I watch him reclining in his usual weekend spot on the patio watching “the game” (which means whatever game happens to be on at the moment), my soul swells with gratitude and I feel my spirit lift.
Look for the Times God Provided
Memories flood my mind. Memories of how God always provided when we were a one-income family even when it didn’t make sense on our monthly budget spreadsheet. Or how friends rallied around us after our miscarriage. Or when we both knew it was time to move out of state.
Or the countless other times, big and small, that God showed up. He promised that He would never leave or forsake us. And when I look back over my life, I can’t deny that His faithfulness is etched across our lives.
I scan the horizon as shades of pinks and purples paint the twilight sky. Then I see it. The sun’s rays cutting through the clouds, the dusk sky and the edge of the woods that lines our property. In a sea of bare trees and falling leaves, hope breaks through.
Just as quickly as it arrives, the rays slips from view, making way for the North Star. As I stare up at the lone star, I deeply inhale the brisk fall air full of smoke and spice, and I chose to hold onto hope. I choose to believe the sun will burst through again.
This night—this season our family is walking through—is just that: a season. And while we don’t know how long it will last, we know that no matter how long the journey, we are not abandoned. I am not abandoned.
Tough seasons can zap our faith. Here are some tips for building it back up: If You Want to Grow in Faith, Try These Simple Things – 144