My Journey to Overcoming Loneliness and The Fear of Being Forgotten
As a young child, I would pride myself on not being afraid of anything. Other kids would shriek at the sight of a spider or claim they were afraid of heights when they looked up at me with wide eyes as I climbed the jungle gym. I was even that kid who was called on when other kids were bullied. I wouldn’t hesitate to slide dramatically down the slide to find that so-called, good-for-nothing kid and give him a piece of my mind.
I was fearless.
This valiant attitude didn’t change much as I grew older. In middle and high school, I would take out players who played dirty on the field. If one of our teammates got hurt or was being harassed by an opposing player, I would handle the situation. Which usually resulted in a yellow card, thus, giving me the title “yellow card queen.” I wore my crown proudly. I was a force to be reckoned with.
Then adulthood approached with many life-changing circumstances. Some were absolutely wonderful, while others brought great sorrow and disappointment. As life happened, I faced abandonment and rejection. I faced circumstances where I just simply was not needed or wanted. Thus, I discovered my greatest fear. Other than the obvious fear that something tragic could happen to my family, I have a fear of being alone, forgotten.
People literally walked out on me with no intention of returning. Some loved ones have come back; others have not and perhaps, never will. I have been rejected and mocked, in person and in secret. It has been very difficult to look past these moments because the people who left were the ones I NEVER imagined would walk out on me. Each goodbye has broken off a piece of my heart and has left me with hollowness and distrust. I dread the day another decides I am no longer worth the trouble.
This fear of abandonment caused me to believe I was forgettable, ordinary, and nothing short of meaningless. I worried that one day, even my faithful husband and adoring son would tell me they no longer needed me. I was convinced that old and new friends would slowly fizzle out because I was replaceable. Actually, I already felt deserted because I knew it was only a matter of time.
Jesus knew what it felt like to be abandoned.
Jesus was betrayed by Judas, one of His closest friends. Judas identified Jesus to the authorities in exchange for money, 30 pieces of silver. Jesus was abandoned by all but a few of His friends and disciples as He faced death.
Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads while saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way, the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him. From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli,[a] lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (Matthew 27:39-46).
At this moment, all of our sins were placed on Jesus. He became guilty in God’s eyes, not because of His own sins but because of ours. Jesus allowed all of our sins to be transferred to Him. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Knowing this, I believe Jesus understands more than ever our feelings of abandonment, rejection, and loneliness.
How wonderful it is that we pray to a Father who was once like us, who experienced all that we do. He felt all of the sin, despair, and loneliness. He understands us completely. I find comfort in this and also in knowing that God will never forsake us because His Son was forsaken in our place. “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Joshua 1:5). “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you” (Hebrews 13:5).
But Jesus doesn’t stop there. He promises us that His Spirit will be with us until the day He returns for us. Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit so that He can always be present with us and within us. “By this, we know that we abide in Him and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit” (1 John 4:13). We are not alone and never will be.
Also, this Spirit is not a spirit of fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). There is great power in knowing that God has given us a Spirit that is not only fearless but is also mighty and strong. We are capable of defeating the devil and the fear he tries to bind us with. This Spirit gives us a sound mind that questions the beliefs of the devil and keeps us in control of negative thoughts. We are able to replace our thoughts with those that are true, constructive, and encouraging.
This Spirit is also capable of immense love giving us the ability to reject the disparaging emotions of resentment and sorrow when others hurt us. His Spirit reminds us to love because He first loved us, despite the many times we have abandoned God in sin.
I encourage you to not only take heed to what I am saying but to also choose a verse that is foundational in your life, something that you can use as a constant reminder that you are strong, confident, and unafraid as a daughter of the King. Use it as a reminder that you are never alone even if you feel unworthy of love. Here is mine: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
You and I are not alone. We will not be abandoned even if we think we deserve it. We will not live in fear because God holds us with His “righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10). We are confident because we know who He has called us to be. We are not afraid because our eyes are fixed on Jesus.
We live because we are loved.
Megan Bouchillon | DPW Guest Writer
Megan Bouchillon’s days are full with being a working mom, wife to her best friend and an owner of many plants. She somehow manages to fit her passions into the cracks of her day; which are, writing, podcasting, thrifting, spinning in circles with her son and laughing with her hubby.