My story continues in this, the second of three episodes in a series where I share my story. In this segment of my saga, I share how I felt abandoned during the most difficult times of my life.
Michael and I had been living away from our families. We were pretty sure we couldn’t live near our families even if we tried, but still. We didn’t have our families to depend on. We were struggling to make ends meet. There was no one we could rely on.
On top of our struggles, I had a huge falling-out with my sister. She was my best friend! My confidant. She and her family were visiting for a week, and by the end of their stay, she walked out the door and out of my life for two years. I had no explanation why, but she would not talk to me for two years.
To say I was hurt would be an understatement. I didn’t understand why God would allow something like this to happen to me when I was already feeling down. I felt abandoned and alone.
But, this experience has allowed me to evaluate where I put my trust. Losing that connection with my sister taught me to rely on my relationship with God more and become more autonomous! I also learned that I could be strong on my own! My relationship with Michael was strengthened. I became more familiar with grace.
I drew this illustration during my trial that helped me understand how grace really works. Forgive me if I’ve over simplified what the standard Christian belief looks like, but this is what I have been led to believe.
We are never alone because Jesus suffered alone so that we wouldn’t have to be. When I felt alone, I learned all kinds of empathy and compassion. I learned how to depend on my Savior, and I learned how I could be like Him if I use my experience to help other people who are struggling. I went through my experiences alone so that you don’t have to!
I learned about forgiveness. I learned how I could make it on my own.
Something I didn’t talk about in this episode is that when I realized that I was going to make it, even without my sister, I started to change my life! I felt empowered. I went back to school to finish my degree. I lost fifty pounds. I worked very hard to adopt healthy habits, and be a force for good for my own life.
Still, I was jaded. I was frustrated. I felt like I couldn’t depend on people in my life. I remember one day spending the morning on my college campus pushing a double stroller with my infant and my toddler. I was there so I could go buy my school books, only to get to the campus bookstore and find most of my required books unavailable! I went from campus to a group where moms were meeting for a playgroup. I was irritated and frustrated.
What made that whole experience worse was that no one at that playgroup talked to me. Maybe they could tell I was upset, but you’d think that would have concerned someone. That experience made me feel that much more alone. I didn’t have anyone in my mom group that understood me going back to school, and there were certainly no students on campus who were young moms trying to finish their degree.
I know everything I did was laced with distain for life, and the loneliness I was feeling. I learned that what I was going through was depression but I didn’t know it at the time.
In this journey of forgiveness, I have learned how to use my experience and my pain as a catalyst to serve other people. I know everyone has experiences that are trying, and life is so hard! But, we don’t have to do it alone. I am an advocate for new moms who are lonely. I know that God does not abandon His children. This is what I have been called to witness, and I am grateful for this blessing!
Here are a few of the resources I discussed in this episode:
TEDx Talk about coping mechanisms: Be Present: How to Develop Positive Coping and Thriving Skills | Javier Sanchez | TEDxInnovationDr