Ruth previously wrote about Why Only One? man and woman in God’s design for marriage and I think her beautiful explanation was easily relatable. It got me thinking about how I am impacted by having only one God and spouse. This pondering led me in an interesting direction.
Many probably wouldn’t see it on the surface, but God and I have been steadily uprooting my deep seated fear of abandonment for awhile. I don’t think it’s uncommon actually. My pastor advises teachers at my church to consider their audience to be a room full of people who need to be assured that they are not helpless and alone in a hostile world.
I can look back and see this fear motivating choices throughout my younger years and into adulthood. When we first married, if my husband dropped me off at the door of a store while I ran in, I departed with, “Don’t leave me, ok?” or “You’ll be right here when I get back, right?” He always replied with a puzzled, “Of course.” Thankfully, over the years, that need for reassurance tapered off and now I just throw out “Please don’t leave me!” for a good chuckle from time to time…but the habit was telling.
As I have grown in maturity and truth in my relationship with God over the years, my security in Him and who I am has deepened, too. I can tell you a multitude of verses that promise that God will never leave or forsake me. God has even given me a specific verse to counter this fear.
The Lord will fulfill His purpose for me;
Your love, O Lord, endures forever
Do not abandon the works of your hands. – Psalm 138:8
So I was a bit surprised to find myself in tears at a prayer conference earlier this year realizing that I still fear that God will leave me. Not that He will abandon me, but that He will leave me…unfinished. I rebuked this lie and cast it out. I asked God for His truth – that He will never leave me, that He has been faithful to be with me even when I didn’t notice, that He desires and equips me to become who He created me to be, that all of my emotions are safe with Him and that I am His beloved. There was no room for that lie to remain five times over.
It struck me even more recently, that when I fear my husband and/or God leaving me, I am limited in my relationships with both of them.
If I fear being abandoned, then I am limited in how I express and share myself so as not to risk being out of line or disappointing. I keep parts of me hidden and steal any opportunity for my husband to speak strengthening truth into my weaknesses. This limiting myself also denies the truth that God and my husband both delight in getting to know me, just as I do getting to know them. God kept peeling back the layers to show me that this is insecurity rooted in a lie that I am lessor than my husband. His past isn’t filled with such sin and shame. That has the voice of the enemy all over it.
If I fear being abandoned, then I also tend to want to earn or work for love and approval. I strive to be viewed favorably so they want to keep me around. This denies God’s grace. It also denies the covenants that I have with both God and my husband. It is contrary to God’s desire that I rest in and depend upon Him. It is the opposite of the very nature of God’s love being unconditional and unearned.
Maybe these rabbit trail thoughts seem silly, but for me, they are part of identifying lies so that I can cast them out and replace when with truth. They are part of my journey to wholeness. I want to live out and walk in truth so that I am free to be and share all that God created me to be.
Does this resonate with you? Have you thought about how your fears impact your relationships? What verses has God given you to counter your fears?