Hardships in Abandonment

When a woman has been physically abandoned by her husband she suffers on many levels. She is suddenly alone and has to deal with all the normal things of daily life in addition to all of her emotions of abandonment and possibly the emotional fallout of her children.

So many times the woman will tell me things feel so out of control that she doesn’t know if she can bear it all.  Her focus is on the situations and circumstances that surround her and it is easy to forget she serves a great and powerful God.

When you hear her speak of her life being out of control, remind her of the life of Paul. In 2 Corinthians 11:23 Paul outlines his own trials and troubles for us. Frankly, he faced more hardship than any of us can truly understand. Paul said he was:

In far more labors, in far more imprisonments, beaten times without number, often in danger of death. Five times I received from the Jews thirty-nine lashes. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, a night and a day I have spent in the deep. I have been on frequent journeys, in dangers from rivers, dangers from robbers, dangers from my countrymen, dangers from the Gentiles, dangers in the city, dangers in the wilderness, dangers on the sea, dangers among false brethren; I have been in labor and hardship, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. Apart from such external things, there is the daily sin without my intense concern?

Yet even in the midst of such physical hardship and misery he tells us in Philippians 4:11-12
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.

Help her to remember that the Lord is at hand!

The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, Phil. 4:5b, 6a

That God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psa. 46:1, ESV

Remind her that God is completely sovereign and even this time in her life is under His sovereign control. This means God is near and close by. He is not far away in some distant place. She may believe God is on the outside, far away, and disconnected from her life.  And it makes sense since the fearful person tends to remove God, she does not think He is in the middle of her circumstances and she may not trust He is indeed near.

This attitude contrasts with that of the Psalms, many of which refer to the Lord’s presence, especially in times of trouble.  

Remind her to be thankful, even for this.

…but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:6-7 

Teach her to remember God’s promises to her (1 Cor.10:13; Rom. 8:28-29).

 As she learns to think biblically she will conclude that God is sovereign (possessing supreme power) omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (everywhere all at once) and omnipotent (all- powerful) God is always aware, always in control, always navigating the circumstances and events of life.