“For the thing which I greatly feared has come upon me, and that which I was afraid of has come unto me.” Job 3:25
My past couple of weeks have been exceedingly interesting.
While some things which initially appeared to be above-and-beyond terrible turned out to be terribly wonderful (in the making), some things simply remain – well, maybe not utterly terrible- yet without (apparent) benefit (in the near or far-away future).
The one thing, however, which I have always (silently; literally non-verbally) stated to be ultimately terrible to me/my imagination/ spirit, soul and body.. is abandonment.
I really do not mind being rejected. After all, we should not, shall not, cannot and will not be loved, liked, wanted, tolerated by all. That’s a fact. An acceptable and indeed accepted one (by me anyway). What I find rather terrible though, is having been loved, liked, accepted.. abandoned.
I perfectly get the concept of moving on, parting ways, and out-growing someone.
I get the idea of choosing to rather not continue the journey with someone you have long walked with, for whatever reasons. I am a strong supporter (perhaps even cheer-leader) of choosing your friends wisely and choosing to un-do friendships, should they eventually prove to have been not-so-wise decisions. But there should be reasons.
I’ve never fully understood why people simply walk away; out of the blue. It makes no sense. Packing their bags and leaving. Without an altercation, explanation, or a courteous good-bye.
What has made my life somewhat easy for me, I find, is the understanding that while people can part (for whatever, be they godly or wicked reasons) a door should always be left open. I do not believe in coincidence, in meeting people for no reason. Whether angel or demon, every single person is brought into your life for a specific purpose: to help you grow and develop into a better you, be it through pleasure or pain.
But, what happens when I understand but the other does not? What happens when the obvious purpose of a relationship has not yet been fulfilled, but the other party chooses to walk away anyway; to abandon you, even if only for a season?
What do you do when someone else burns bridges? Irreparable bridges?
Well, you go on living!
You go on living the life you have been given. Of recent I’ve noticed something rather tremendous about strength and grace. To hold on, and to move on.
Sometimes we work hard to keep holding on to people. Then we work even harder to let go of them. Leave them be. We tell ourselves “there is yet more, I will not give it. Not just yet.” Sometimes we fast and pray; while at other times we cry in desperation and dismay. Sometimes, it all seems a bit too much. Sometimes, you ask yourself whether it really was worth it..
What I have found, however, is that life goes on.. beautifully!
Recently my best and closest friend in Lagos, my dearest Pastor Moses, moved to London. He moved extremely suddenly, literally! For it all happened within the space of a week. I was left confused. Bewildered. Shocked. Abandoned?
For three days (40 days in the wilderness it felt..) I woke and slept crying. I did, until the Lord opened my eyes to see beyond the natural. To realize that He had been preparing me for precisely this! How he had drawn other people closer to me, how He had established my feet firmly on African ground, how He had taught me to “give away and do away” with wonderful gifts he had given to me.
He showed me that, although it would terribly hurt at first, I would be just fine. He had promised me rest. He told me to trust Him again, this time even more than I ever had, in a strange and foreign land. To trust Him that I would be okay, that He had my back. That this (pain, feeling of having been abandoned, cheated, left behind..) would soon pass.
The thing that I’ve always feared the most – understanding the need to keep doors open- is death. Not my death, no, not that. But the place of no return; being left behind by those I’ve loved the most. Those I’d rather willingly give my life for before seeing them give theirs.
Willingly give my own life for..?
What the Lord did, was show me there was nothing to fear. No fear in being left behind or leaving others behind. Why? Because while I could, I loved them. And regardless of who or where we are, what friends and loved ones we love or loose, we are never really alone. And therein lies our strength.. in the assurance of His presence.
Now, that fear no longer exists. Although no man is an island, we are sustained by Him alone!
I guess what I am getting at is that we need to move away from trusting in men. Putting our trust in things that cannot be guaranteed. The faithfulness of a spouse, the loyalty of a friend, the love of a sibling. The only one assurance we have is His faithfulness. This is the only real remedy to dealing with all feelings of disappointment. It allows you see people through His eyes. Loving them for who and what they are: frail human beings just as yourself; looking at the through the eyes of divine love and unmerited mercy.
Sometimes the thoughts of being separated – whether through relocation, a personal decisions, or even death- seem more heartbreaking than their reality. A timely, temporary, seasonal or definite separation permitted by The Almighty one can deal with. Why? Because eventually things will work out for one’s good and His eternal glory.. as long as one has Him.
There and then, connecting the dots, a moment of clarity: Just as much as I had feared being abandoned, He feared it too. Yet not for His sake, but mine. Hence why He chose to go all out and pay the price.
This really does put “dealing with losses” into perspective. At least it does for me.
No matter how little you have, no matter how great your worldly losses are, you have more than enough when you have Him! Little wonder many a men life in confusion and despair..
I guess this really is a call to stop looking at the things and people life has successfully managed to “rob” us of, and remember the reason for our existence. Not to have, but to live and to give.. and lead other to The One whose loss not even the richest of all could afford.