When my baby was nine-months-old, I attended a women’s retreat for a day. I bounced my son on my hip and smiled on the outside, yet inwardly I felt like I was drowning. Anxiety and postpartum depression were wreaking havoc in my life. My body ached like that of an eighty-five-year-old, but even worse than that was the deep loneliness I felt in my soul.
Words of Life
Desperate for help, I signed up for personal prayer. Without knowing anything about my circumstances, the woman praying for me gripped my hands. With tears in her eyes, she said, “I feel like you are between a rock and a hard place. “A sob broke from my lips as she began to pray words of life over me.
I knew the words she spoke flowed from the very heart of God. At that moment, I knew I was seen. Loved. Held. God knew the depth of my heartache and he cared deeply. While I felt misunderstood by my doctor, abandoned by certain family members, and forgotten by friends, the Lord hadn’t forgotten me. In fact, he was very present through it all.
The Holy Spirit reminded me that Jesus, too, had felt deep pain in his soul, and had experienced the ache of abandonment. In his darkest hour, Jesus asked his closest friends to pray and keep watch with him. He told them plainly, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38 NIV). Yet we all know the painful truth. They fell asleep. They abandoned him.
Even though people may fail us when we need them most, the truth is that God will never leave us. He says, “I will never [under any circumstances] desert you [nor give you up nor leave you without support, nor will I in any degree leave you helpless], nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you [assuredly not]!” (Hebrews 13:5b AMP)
Perhaps you, too, have experienced deep soul pain, or the ache of abandonment in your hour of need. If so, we have a Savior who intimately understands our pain, and a “Father of compassion…who comforts us in all our troubles” (2 Corinthians 1:3 NIV).
When your soul aches with loneliness, remember that God will never relax his hold on you.
Shara-Rae Jansen Salt+Clay Contributor