The fear of abandonment is common in both adults and children. But it can be overcome with God’s help and the caring assistance of a Christian counselor.Abandonment is a deep-seated fear, often rooted in past trauma. You may have experienced separation from a parent through work, sickness, divorce, or death, and this could be when the fear of abandonment took root. It can also occur if you endured bad breakups in friendships or romantic relationships as an adolescent or young adult.
Though you may feel paralyzed by this fear, you can face it and conquer it in God’s strength. A Christian counselor can lead you on this healing journey.
How the Fear of Abandonment Begins
The fear of abandonment begins when a significant person in your life leaves suddenly or unexpectedly. It can be caused by the death of a parent, grandparent, sibling, family member, or close friend. It often occurs in the lives of children whose parents divorced, no matter how old they were at the time of the divorce. A painful breakup in a dating relationship can also produce fear of abandonment.
Being abandoned is a form of trauma. Any type of unprocessed trauma can cause other problems. If your child is suffering from the fear of abandonment, she may show signs of clinginess, anxiety, withdrawal, anger outbursts, irritation, regression, or self-harm. Your child may also experience physical symptoms like stomach aches, diarrhea or constipation, headaches, and body pains. A qualified counselor can help your child find relief from these symptoms.
Adults can also experience these symptoms due to fear of abandonment. Unresolved childhood issues from years ago may be causing physical aches and pains for you now. You may be too trusting, needy, or clingy in close relationships, which can push people away from you rather than deepening relationships.
On the other hand, you may feel angry, withdrawn, and irritable in relationships because you want to avoid further pain. You may feel stuck in a cycle of frustration, fear, discouragement, and loneliness. But when you seek help from a counselor, you can find healing from these symptoms.
Every person experiences the fear of abandonment in different ways. With the help of a caring Christian counselor, you can learn about the roots of your fears so you can handle them in healthier ways.
You can let go of your fear of abandonment only with God’s help. He wants you to put that fear behind you so you can step into the future with hope. God will listen to your fears, embrace you in your pain, walk beside you in your grief, and teach you to trust him more each day. Here are the steps you can take to find further healing.
Face Your Fears
It’s scary to face your deepest fears all by yourself. But you probably know you must face your fear head-on to overcome it. Though you may have been too afraid to face the fear of abandonment on your own before, God still has a way for you to try.
By looking the fear of abandonment in the eye while in the presence of a Christian counselor, you can gain strength you didn’t know you had. Your counselor will encourage you to trust God in this process, so true healing can begin. Unpacking your fear with the help of a counselor is one of the bravest things you can do for yourself.
Immerse Yourself in the Bible
If you find it difficult to trust God in your fear of abandonment, you can get to know him better by spending time in his Word each day. Approach each reading with the expectation of learning something good about God’s character, believing he is for you. Write down the promises you find in each reading and personalize them. The everlasting truth of the Bible will help you overcome your fears.God has promised to never abandon you, which may be different from what you’ve experienced as a child or young adult. His promises never fail, though people may have failed you in the past.
By studying his Word and meditating on the truths in it, you can start to reprogram your thoughts about who God is and the authority he has over your fears. As you memorize key scriptures, you can claim the promises for yourself and speak the truth when the lies of the enemy tempt you to fear again.
Immerse yourself in the truths of these scriptures:
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. – Deut. 31:6
Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. – Psalm 23:4
Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. – Psalm 27:10
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:4
There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. – 1 John 4:18
Look up these verses in your favorite version of the Bible. Write them out and ponder them deeply. Every time your fear of abandonment rises us, refer to them and immerse yourself in God’s truth. As you use them again and again, your fear of abandonment will shrink.
Pray About Your Fears
God wants to hear about your fears in honest, open prayers. You can talk to God like you talk with a friend, pouring out your heart before him. The more often you vent about your fear of abandonment to God, the more you will see him helping you overcome.
Some of our clients like to write their prayers down so they can review them and see God at work in their lives. By tracking how God is helping you overcome your fears in specific situations, you’ll be encouraged by your spiritual growth. Prayer is a highly effective way to tackle the problem of abandonment, and your counselor can suggest ways you can speak to God about your fears through prayer.
Choose to Forgive
Forgiveness for the ones who abandoned you may be the hardest thing you ever do. But it can also be the best gift you give yourself since you can set yourself free from the pain when you forgive. It may not be in your best interest to confront the ones who hurt you, or it may no longer be possible to do so. However, you can always set them free through the process of forgiveness, and your counselor can show you how to do this.
Forgiveness is not a one-time event. It is a process of letting go and letting God handle your problems. He is the only righteous judge who knows all things, so he is strong and able to address the issue with perfect knowledge. You can trust that God will set all things right someday. Until then, you can forgive by going through the grieving process with your counselor.
Move Forward with Faith
The fear of abandonment may have held you captive in the past, but it doesn’t have to stop you from moving forward onto a new path. With your counselor’s guidance, you can learn to trust other people and establish healthier relationships. You can also renew your faith with greater hope and joy, knowing that God will never leave nor forsake you. A Christian counselor will give practical tips on choosing a new path.
Christian Counseling for Abandonment
Abandonment fears are complex and difficult to handle on your own. You can put them to rest with the insight and compassion of a trusted counselor. To start your process of personal and spiritual growth in this area, contact us for an appointment today.
“Alone”, Courtesy of Helen Ngoc N., Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “The Beach”, Courtesy of Michelle McEwen, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Butterfly”, Courtesy of Cesira Alvarado, Unsplash.com, CC0 License; “Old City Street”, Courtesy of Hanna, Unsplash.com, CC0 License
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