Abandonment means differing things to many people. If you have ever experienced it you will not forget it. In the dictionary it is a noun which is confusing, I would think it should be a verb? It is also unique as to it is one of those words that it is the same word used to define itself. Like:
Definitions for abandonment
aban·don·mentHere are all the possible meanings and translations of the word abandonment.
abandonment, forsaking, desertion(noun) the act of giving something up desertion, abandonment, defection(noun)withdrawing support or help despite allegiance or responsibility
“his abandonment of his wife and children left them penniless”.
And there is more but you get the drift. Now I always thought that leaving something or someone behind for any reason, not for another person to find was what it meant. No,abandonment has nothing to do with the finding just the leaving. So to the one leaving it behind it had little to no value. Obviously. ( Even though, A finder might find it valuable.) People abandon all kinds of persons, places, and things. We can abandon things even without leaving it, or them., or knowing it. However, if the abandoned is a person they will know it. If it’s a vow or a promise, God will know it.
Child abandonment is disturbing, awful, and more common than we think.
I was abandoned as a child. It was revealed to me during early adolescence out of the blue. In a drunken violent way. I was 13. I had had no idea of the reasons why my existence in the family had caused me often to sense an uneasy indifference from my siblings, but I did, and their attitude at times singled me out as peculiar. Which was shrugged off by most when I asked about it, except by the father figure whose answer to my question,”why do you call me by a nick name but no one else? Why do you call me Lucky?” He would laugh and tease me and whisper, “because your Lucky we kept ya.” I was informed by my parents on that fateful afternoon in my 13th year that who I believed I was or who they were, thus who all of us were had been wrong. I had believed that these two people were honest and loyal parents to me. Now I realized that they were not. I was not who I thought I was and neither were they who I thought they were.
The rug yanked from under my feet was swift and caused a wobbliness in my walk through life that no amount of time can change. Loyalty shattered caused trust issues. Being misled by literally every one you knew and had believed in at the same time was mind numbing. Then there was the Abandonment by a parent who knew me and left? Well that caused a plethora of damage that no child should ever have to experience. Healing through years of timely reasoning and consideration, understanding and eventual forgiveness took a while. A long while. The help I should have been given to facilitate my acceptance and understanding of the mess was not given. Even though, it had been urged by my school administrators who had noticed an abrupt change in me. Concerned of what consequence and thoughts might manifest if those urging were ignored. I was sent to see a doctor of psychiatry. Which puzzled me because I was certain shrinks were for crazy people. I mean I was 13 for Pete’s sake, I knew I was not crazy. I was Angry, very angry, confused, broken,sure, but not crazy. The professional I did see twice due to the school administrators strongly suggesting to my mother, said that I needed to leave the place I had called home. For how long he didn’t know yet, and I agreed with him. As far as I could tell this man was a help, and made sense to me. I had been instructed by my Mother through my aunt I had gone to stay with to watch what I said to the doctor. I told him everything. Apparently they were the crazies, and he said I needed to get out of that environment. My mother would have none of it. Not only that, but she now moved up my going home, from when I felt better about things, too tomorrow. I refused and was taken home on the weekend. A long period of silence floated over the family for several weeks. No more doctor visits since my Mother was furious that doctor would not discuss what I had said to him with her.
In the meanwhile I went about life scarred, determined, and willful. An unhealthy combination. I developed new goals in order to adapt, move forward and persevere. A chip on my shoulder where men were concerned the size of a boulder.
Instead of going to college as I had planned at the urging of my high school teachers and administrators, I took additional classes to keep my mind busy, went to work to cover hours after school and managed to move my graduation up a year earlier. I went to art school, modeling school, worked at a bank all while finishing high school. I wanted to go away to an art school or to New York to intern for an Interior Design company. Mom said no. So I did what any 17 year old would do. I got pregnant and married. Due to my age, events had to be in that order. I was out of the house. Goal reached.
Did you know that part of the reason the military prefers to train 18 to 23 year old recruits for warfare? It is because their frontal lobes are not completely developed yet. By about 24/25 years of age it is completed. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that understands the relationship of consequences for actions. The fact of there being consequences for just about every decision we make, well those also have consequences. This lobe involves the depth of all following consequences. Those are the incomplete lobes missing in 17/18 year olds. Including mine. (because of this fact it is ridiculous that our society has decided to make the young age of 18 adulthood. I digress, sorry.)
Three beautiful children later and about 8 years I was divorced.
I believed in God, really believed. My husband had been raised devout Catholic, I was devout to my religion, a Lutheran, a protestant. Our children we had decided before our marriage would be protestant. Even against the protestations of his family. My husband to be, being almost 5 years older than I was. (his frontal lobe becoming fully developed was still about 3 years out from our wedding date.) Still He could make a stand since he was over 21.
We were ok at our attempt of married life for the first couple of years. Just ok. By the 5th year we were not ok. Which in hindsight there were many reasons for this. The #1 reason I now see was the lack of God as the center of our marriage. I had faith in a religion, my husband had none. Even though our children started out in a Lutheran school, I taught Sunday school, the kids went to Sunday School for a while and hubby didn’t. He started to become just like the family and home I had to get out of. Disinterested in the kids and I but quite fond of his work buddies, friends and booze. More often than not I had no idea where he was or what he was doing, especially after work. I tried repeatedly to talk to him about this. Usually he would agree to stop the behavior, that appeared to me to be indifferent and untrustworthy, disloyal despite his assuring me he was loyal. I was deciding men were the enemy. Things would go along with us fine for about 15 minutes then spiral out of control again. By the 6th year I was talking of leaving and even had papers for separation/divorce filed. We were fighting just like at my home while growing up. The thing I hated and swore I would not put my kids through. He was disinterested and untrustworthy despite his promises to stop and pay us more attention. I agreed to try again, he moved back home. Things went ok for a while, maybe 30 minutes this time. He didn’t keep his promises. The 7th year my health was declining. I blamed it on the stress and over work. Three children, a job, a carousing drunken husband, and handling all the home responsibilities. He brought home what was left of his paycheck and cut the grass on occasion. We fought. In August of ’69 I was with the kids and some neighbors at a lake for a days outing when I suddenly collapsed in horrible pain. The park rangers called an ambulance for me. My neighbors promised to watch over the kids until we found out what was happening. The local hospital wanted to perform emergency surgery on what they believed was a ruptured bleeding ulcer. I tried to locate my husband. I couldn’t. I asked the hospital to call my mother, she contacted the rest of the family for help and hauled my father out of work. All were on a search and find mission for my errant husband. I would not allow surgery until he was found, so the kids would at least have a father, it was a Friday. About 8 that evening the hospital agreed to make arrangements at a hospital for me nearer my home and my parents picked me up. The second ambulance ride from hospital to hospital would not be covered by insurance and the co-pay I owed already for the first ride would surely be a doozey.
I was admitted to St. Lukes hospital in Milwaukee. Hubby was located by my dad walking the streets of bars my husband frequented on the lower south side of town. He called me at the hospital from home after Dad dropped him off. He was angry about leaving his car at the beer joint. I could hardly grasp what he was saying, between my pain, the meds I was having drip into me via IV’s, plus he was slurring his words. Something in my brain snapped. I went cold. No arguing, no anger just cold certainty wrapped me. I told him where his children were, I had managed to get them back home about ten pm thanks to a sister with her daughter to babysit. I informed my husband I would be getting a full-time job as soon as I was able and would be filing for a divorce. No more chances. He should take that knowledge to the bank, and no it was not necessary for him to come to the hospital. Not now not ever. I was firm, resolute and cold as ice. I kept my word.
By late October the papers were filed, I had a job, and he went to his mothers home. He had not bothered with finding himself an apartment because he was convinced he could change my mind, again. He couldn’t.
In Wisconsin divorces had to be with fault-finding and agreed to by a judge to be egregious enough to warrant a divorce. There was a one-year reconciliation period, and if none than the divorce would be granted at the end of that year. The judge had asked me my plans for taking care of my children and work. He thought my plan was exceptional, and spent almost an hour asking my husband what was he thinking? I just wanted out of the marriage, so I had not asked for any money, the judge thought otherwise, and I was granted a nominal sum for the three children. I had built an impenetrable wall over those last two years, around me. My husband had tried to breach it a few times with no success. He had my mother try to talk me out of the divorce. That was a huge mistake on his part. Revealing to me that he had never really understood that a marriage like hers was part of what I left home to be rid of. When she approached me about how hard divorce life would be she got an earful of what living a marriage like hers had been on my two younger sisters and I! The wall grew higher and thicker. Next my husband went to the pastor of the church we were married and baptized our children in. He said that what my husband had done to me was literally abandonment. Bells went off. I hated that word and feeling since I was 13! However, I could not bring myself to say that. To me in order to be abandoned he needed to be gone and not want to come back. My pastor thought he could make a case for it anyway by the fact that my husband was incapable of being a husband. I was more afraid of lieing to God than in being excommunicated. I had come to realize that I just needed to be away from the pain and convinced myself that God would be ok with my putting asunder what He brought together. Boy, was I wrong. I had a lot of learning the hard way to do.
A great deal of literature I read on divorce said not to make any major decisions for at least a year, and don’t get remarried for at least five years. I decided those were my new goal. One consequence I had not considered was how really really difficult being the only breadwinner for a family of four could be and parent at the same time. I also hadn’t considered how I would now be the disciplinarian and nurturer at the same time, how confusing that could be for my kids. Not having a church to go to bothered me as well, and what would happen if I got sick and couldn’t work or be home. How to work and be at the kids programs and activities at the same time. During the one-year reconciliation period a few of those consequences were speaking to me about possibly reconsidering a few things when My husband (about 6 months) into it had gotten a much younger girl pregnant. He needed a waiver from me of any chance of reconciliation, so he could marry her. I gave it to him.
This was a head knocking learning period, and to continue, with no end in sight. I depended on family, male friends, work friends and God to make it through. Any of my male friends who got serious I stopped seeing, I did not want to sacrifice my goal. I had several proposals, made some new friends and hurt more than a few people. Including me and worse my kids. My mother passed away suddenly from lung cancer in 1973. We had mended a few fences, despite she continued to drink, just not as often. She was my go to person in emergency situations. One of the men I had been seeing for quite a while who was about 15 years my senior, that I also worked for at times. I thought he understood my goals, yet he decided during the time of my mothers illness and passing to begin to pressure me on many points. I had begun to awaken to more and more of the reality of how life with him would impact both our families. It would have been devilishly delightful for me, but just hell for my children and his. So we split up. He decided if he couldn’t have me I couldn’t have his jobs. I was a designer for his chain of clubs./restaurants. My income dropped, I had been offered a job at the Lake Geneva Bunny club, as a Bunny but after driving there I decided the distance added to my work schedule time was not feasible. So I cried a lot. One day on the way home from Mom’s hospital I pulled over on a side road and bawled. The realization that now my support structure, that apparently I relied on more than I realized was deteriorating. Crying in my car on the side of roads was not new to me. I never wanted the kids to see me like that. This time was different and I literally cried out to God for help. I was afraid of tomorrow. I felt more abandoned, betrayed, out of control. Later that night in bed I cried some more and prayed, fervently.
God answered. He spoke to me. Then He gave me a vision. Now some people don’t want to believe that God still does these things, just as in Biblical times. But He does. Do you know what the test is? (because Satan is not above counterfeiting Gods Blessings) The truth these gifts are truly from God is if they come true! Satan is very limited in what he can do or not. God is not limited in anything. First He told me my greatest sin, error which had separated us was my lack of faith in Him. Which I needed clarification on, and He let me know that I broke my wedding vow to Him not just my husband and that was way worse. Had I true faith I would have asked Him to repair my marriage, and change the situation for the both of us. I did not make it through that temptation and trial. All I could see then was my anger, pride, and desires. However, despite my sin and lack of faith He showed me a vision after I had asked if this mess I created was all there was ever going to be? Was this it? How my life would be? God, my True Father, showed me a man, and I cried. I didn’t like men anymore. He said no you will marry this man. I will what? Yes you will marry this man, things would change. I tried to place the man in the vision as there was something familiar about him but I just could not. Then God showed me a little boy. A toddler on a trike with golden curls all over his head. God told me this will be your son. Then it was over. I was jolted and joyful both at the same time, right to my core. It was as vivid and real as if it played out in real life right in front of me. It still is. The next day I couldn’t wait to tell my Mom that she could die resting assured that God was with me, and the kids and I would be fine. She believed too. A few tears flowed down her cheeks, and she squeezed my hand when I told her God was in charge. Forgiving both of us. Mom had at a few points in her life experienced some wonderful majestic miraculous times with our most Holy Loving God too. As did my Grandmother. God had not abandoned me, I had left Him. He heard my call and answered, what an Amazing Grace He gives.
After that evening everything changed. My fear was gone I had new energy and joy was restored. I put the house we were living in up for sale after Mom passed. One of the men I had turned down his proposal came out and bought it. He had recently become engaged and asked if I would meet her. He apparently had told her about me and I really felt awkward but agreed to meet Dick’s intended. She was wonderful, they bought the house and I started packing. We would not move until I found a place more affordable. My Dad had moved into my guest room after Mom’s funeral and paid a few dollars a week towards the utilities until we could move. That I found out later was another of my bad decisions. He was even worse than I had thought years ago. Like most of us he had a good side and could be kind. But when he was bad he was very bad.
The Point of my unwrapping all this personal drama before the world is two fold. 1. Perseverance. God honors it, expects it and teaches us about it in several places in His word. 2Pet. 1: 1-7 which I paraphrase here, He has given us everything we need for a Godly life. We do not need more.
He called us by His Glory and goodness. He has given us his very precious and great promises. We should know and appreciate the perfectness of His gifts. The corruption in the world is caused by our own evil desires. In v. 5,” For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness: and to goodness, knowledge, and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control perseverance and to perseverance Godliness, and to godliness, mutual affection, and to mutual affection Love.” Do you know what perseverance in Hebrew means? It means PER (means,’ to go through’), SEVERE'( we know it’s meaning), ance (trials.)
2.A marriage is a sacred thing that God values immensely. We must not abandon it! Marriage is between two broken people, sinners. It can be trying, and trials are God’s tool for developing our faith, and our strength, courage and convictions, which builds our character! We must be willing to go through trouble, difficulties, out of our comfort zones. In faith to grow and be rewarded, like Job. Job was wealthy had a large family many animals a large house. He had by all exterior appearances had made it. God knew he was faithful and allowed Job the opportunity to show it. Now we might not think that the awful time Job went through is something to aspire to. In one day he lost all his wealth, his health and all of his children died! What a day! Trial of such magnitude, but he persevered on and God Blessed Job with even more in the last part of his life than he had in the earlier part. Job persevered because it was necessary for his character and maturity. God’s eye view, His perspective is not ours, not by a long shot. Our problems in this finite world seem so great, but in the light of eternity it is but a speck. Rom.5:3-4, Luke 8:15, …’but we also glory in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance and perseverance character and character produces hope.!”
So when a year and a half later I was dating someone. Actually, the older brother of one of my brother-in-laws. I asked him eventually if he had ever had a beard? (the man in my vision had a beard). I had not as of this date mentioned to him the vision I had. He actually said he had had a beard during hunting season a couple of years earlier, he took out a photo. It was him. The face of the man in my vision. The photo was taken right about the time of the vision. We had not seen each other for years. When he asked, I said yes. We were married in a Lutheran Church and at my request my second chance converted from Catholicism to Lutheran. In our first year, we had the most adorable little boy, A cherub looking toddler with golden curls. I had to pinch myself and praise God as I watched his little body pedal down the patio on his little trike. His golden curls encircling his face, just exactly as the Lord had shown me!
In 1977, I was born again, at a Jesuit retreat house in Oshkosh Wi. That my second marriage had its rocky roads is well known but I had promised God never to not trust Him in this marriage as I did not in the first one. We were married until August 2006, when the Lord took him home. Just short of 35 years. As our marriage entered its 3rd decade after several trials we had become more than husband and wife, we were also BFF’s! Upon my new birth things began to change in me and all around. He was not certain at all he liked the change. He told me I was not the woman he married, during an argument and I agreed. I showed him in the Bible where if he wanted to leave me because of it he could and I would not object. It was his decision to make. He decided to stay.
God really can and will change a loveless, uncaring marriage into His vision for both of you. He will turn hurt and sadness into Joy and Love to carry into many tomorrows. If you persevere. Do not abandon the gifts God has placed in your midst. But watch the transformation, yours. Rejoice in the Amazing Grace He gives.