My greatest fear growing up was of abandonment. My father was a traveling salesman. He was gone maybe 3 weeks out of the month. My mother was a very, very fearful person. Both of them had grown up with either various parents or no parents. And so I got this abandonment thing. A big part of my therapy was dealing with the fear of abandonment. And when I went to Detroit, I was introduced to the Prayer of Abandonment from Charles De Foucauld:
Beloved. I abandon myself into your hands.
Do with me what you will.
Whatever You may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all. I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and all your creatures.
I wish no more from this, my friend.
Into your hands I abandon my soul.
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart.
For I love you and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands
without reserve, not without boundless confidence.
For you are the heart of my heart.
It’s been the prayer of my heart for over 20 years. It delights me that I have changed from fearing abandonment to choosing to abandon myself. So that liability has been turned into one of the greatest gifts of my life.
05 July 2006
Nan C. Merrill, author of Psalms for Praying: An Invitation to Wholeness, reveals a bit about her childhood in an interview. Here is an excerpt: