'Quitting is not love. God doesn't quit'

"Quitting is not love. God doesn't quit."

I heard the words in my heart and they echoed in my ears all day. I am still processing them.

I can think of many reasons, many situations, and many ways to quit. I avoid tense, angry situations, for instance. I walk away from painful relationships. I rarely make a scene. I just disappear. I make myself invisible.

As I reflected upon my quitting pattern, my first reaction, once again, was to blame my mother. At my age, this has become ridiculous. Somewhere along my life, many times probably, I was given the chance to improve on what I had received, to become "me" rather than the byproduct of someone else.

To quit on us, to leave husband and children for several months to go and have fun with a lover, my mother had to temporarily suspend whatever love she felt for us. Months later, after her lover had returned to his wife, she came back to us more out of duty than for love's sake. At birth, I had received the gift of faithfulness, but then the fear of being abandoned set in like the foundation of a condemned building.

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I grew up practicing sarcasm as a form of escape. A sarcastic tone lets me run away, or rather slip back into my shell, like a turtle or a snail. Sometimes, I become angry, which does not help.

A friend of mine who runs family constellation workshops remarked that people who have a wounded inner child may never be truly able to grow past the age at which the wound was given. However old I get, my emotions sometime remain stuck at 9 years old.

But now blaming my mother belongs to another era somehow. For a new me was born, a bit like the eunuch in the Acts of the Apostles, when my own "Philip" (her name was Sujatha) passed her spirit of fire on to me, years ago now. This new me is also taking a long time to grow up.

"Quitting is not love. God doesn't quit." Sometimes one needs to quit a relationship because all that remains of the original love is toxic and dangerous to one's soul, one's spirit, one's life. I cannot therefore judge anyone who quits, not my mother for quitting us, not myself for judging her.

I believe that "God doesn't quit," however desperate the situation might be. God is with the schoolgirls who have been kidnapped in Nigeria, as well as with their parents and their kidnappers. God was in the concentration camps, among the decimated American Indian tribes and with the Armenians during their genocide. God is with all of us. God can bear all pains.

"God doesn't quit." However sinful, stupid, thoughtless, superficial I may be, God will stand by me. This is what I truly heard the other day. Because I believe this, I want to follow in God's footsteps. Therefore, I cannot quit those I love, however scared, mixed up, conflicted, angry I may feel. I want to learn to love as God loves.

Hearing "Quitting is not love. God doesn't quit," may have been just the words I needed for me to grow up. At last.

Miracle of miracles.

[Claire Bangasser blogs at A Catholic Woman's Place (www.acatholicwomansplace.org) and A Seat at the Table (acatholicwomansplace.blogspot.com).]

This story appeared in the Aug 1-14, 2014 print issue under the headline: God doesn't quit .

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