If I had to pick one thing that impacted my life more than anything else, it would be my parents abandoning me when I became pregnant at 17. I had certainly played many scenarios in my head as to how they would react when I told them the news, but because of our Catholic faith, the one thing I did not consider was being thrown out of the house cut off from all I knew and loved, and then pressured to abort my child.
Abandoned and Alone
Abandonment is a terrible thing. The demise of all love by those who you thought loved you most, taking with it any flicker of hope you may have been holding on to. It extinguishes the flame of life in a soul.
Alone, homeless and jobless and having nowhere to go, through that act of abandonment, I gave in to the abortion. I remember feeling like I was thrown into the dark abyss, drowning, and although I did not want to abort it seemed to me at the time that it was the only option I had. Sadly, even after giving in, the abandonment was still there and so I found myself with no family and now living with the horrific fact that I had also participated in the death of my unborn son.
It was through this human experience that the fear of abandonment took hold of my life. A paralyzing fear that infiltrated all aspects of my life, intensified by the fact that I had ultimately also abandoned myself and my unborn child.
Life was a living hell ruled by my emotions and fears. Every argument was the end of a relationship, if I even allowed myself to be engaged in one, which of course included friendships. I was terrified to let anyone in, for fear of being abandoned again. It was a sad and lonely existence ruled by depression, anxiety and fear.
Through the Darkness, A Light
However, it was ultimately through this dark experience that I was brought into my faith, I believe, by the intercession of my son Joshua whom I aborted.
My desperation eventually led me back to the church as a last resort. Through good spiritual direction and instruction in the faith, I developed a relationship with the only one who can heal, Jesus Christ.
It was a struggle learning to trust in his love for me. How do you trust someone you cannot even see when those who you could see and were supposed to love you abandoned you? As I grew in my faith and relationship with God, my trust grew as well. Through my healing from abortion, this terrible sin which had brought me to the depths of despair, I knew what he had done for me and so fought myself and my emotions to love and trust him. To willingly abandon myself to him.
I will always carry the scar of my earthly abandonment. To this day, over 40 years later, the devil still tries to use this ploy to get me to abandon my faith, or fall into despair. The difference now, however is, that I have come to embrace abandonment. Instead of a dreaded place, through my faith it has become the place where I meet the living God who gives me his unconditional love and never abandons me.
What a paradox of our faith! That in embracing that which we fear, by trusting in, and abandoning ourselves to the will of God, no matter what it is, or how it looks, we free ourselves to live and love in the peace of Christ. This is sometimes accomplished through great pain. The difference comes because we love him and trust in his love for us, and his desire for our salvation.
And so, I embrace abandonment. I dare to say a part of me even loves it, for it is there that I intimately converse with Our Lord, who also experienced abandonment but trusted in the love of God our Father, following his will which always leads to heaven.