How to Overcome Feelings (Fear) of Abandonment

How to Overcome Feelings (Fear) of Abandonment

Psalm 22:1-2 “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?  2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.”

Matthew 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

Identify Feelings or Fear of Abandonment

We all have fears.  Sometimes we face our fears and other times we run from them.  Sometimes we act or react in certain ways and cannot quite explain why or even understand.  One such fear is the overwhelming feeling of abandonment.  This feeling of abandonment becomes so great during an emotional loss or trauma that it grips us tight enough that we begin to respond to it whether consciously or subconsciously. This fear begins when humans are newborn infants and the parents lay the baby down in a bed and she no longer feels or senses their presence and warmth. The baby feels alone and abandoned.  Hence, she begins to cry when we want her to quietly go to sleep.  These overwhelming feelings of abandonment also wash over us like an ocean wave when we lose a loved one through a violent or tragic death. Even simple life changes and transitions such as moving up from elementary to high school or on to college, and going from being single to being married with the abrupt changes can develop feelings of abandonment in people. They say statements like, “It all just happened so fast!” “My loved one was here one day and gone the next.” “I don’t want to go to a new school, I don’t know anyone there and I don’t have any friends there.” “Why did we have to move?” “Why did God take my loved one?” “I feel all alone.”
Unconscious displays of a feeling or fear of abandonment may surface as: hard to trust others, feeling unwanted and unworthy of love, being jealous of others, being hard to please, being hypersensitive to criticism, undertones of anger and control, engaging in self-blame frequently, and many more. (

Vocalize Your Feelings or Fear of Abandonment

When Jesus was on the cross He cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”  Think of that, God, the Son, fulfilling His Father’s will by choosing to yield Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of all mankind, had overwhelming feelings (fear) of abandonment!  The wave of grief (sense of loss) was so great that He cried out.  Yes, He was still human and felt great emptiness.  The Psalmist, King David, when he penned Psalm 22 began with, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?  Why art thou so far from helping me?”  Feelings or fear of abandonment are not new to the human race.  We have been struggling with them through the ages of time because all humans are emotional creatures.  Another circumstance in which many adults still subconsciously express their fear of abandonment is when the lights are turned out and they are alone in the dark.  They feel all alone and become scared that “there is a monster under the bed” or “a bad person is hiding in the closet and will get them.” The way to combat this fear initially is to hide under the covers.  “What we can’t see, can’t hurt us!”  Simply state, “I am afraid of the dark because I feel alone.”  Now whether you are alone, simply because there is an absence of light, may or may not be true.  Many times, my perception of reality is reality (although it may not truly be). State your feelings very clearly. Ignoring them doesn’t make them go away, it just makes them more difficult to deal with later, and you more difficult to deal with right now!

Address Your Feelings or Fear of Abandonment

Sometimes, we as believers are faced with these feelings and fear of abandonment.  We wonder why God doesn’t hear and answer our prayers immediately.  Job simply wanted God to tell him the answer to the question “Why?” But God did not give him an answer.  We use trite phrases like, “Never doubt in the dark, what God has shown you in the light,” when it feels like God is not around and seems to be ignoring us.  

How did King David, the Psalmist, overcome his feelings or fear of abandonment?

In Psalm 22 after David states his feelings and fear of abandonment, he goes on to address them and remind himself of truth.

  1. Praise Him - God inhabits the praise of His people.  22:3, 22-23
  2. Rehearse Past Deliverances - Remind ourselves of God’s prior answers in the past.  22:4-5
  3. State Your Feelings Descriptively - Tell God exactly how you feel i.e. “I am a worm” 22:6-7
  4. Remind Yourself of Who God Is - He created me and He cares for me. 22:9-11

Note: Just by reading this blog, you may have had some of these feelings triggered inside you. Please remember that we here at are also here to help with counseling and prayer.  Please reach out to us and let us help you.

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