Okay, this is how real it gets!
If you have ever been blind-sided by intense attachment-pain for any reason whatsoever, do I ever have a testimony for you!
Instead of giving story-specifics, something that always seems to involve other people, I will use Paul’s example when he referred to his “thorn in the flesh” without telling us what it was. That description invited everyone to identify with him in anything that feels similar in our lives, and look at Paul’s testimony of how God helped him through his situation so we can be encouraged about how God will help us through ours.
Let me just say that my situation involves the very common experience of attachment-pain, and any kind of attachment-pain situation can relate.
The generic applies-to-everything answer to this and every other situation in life is, God speaks to us through his word, he shows us what he is doing (usually starting with is work in us), and he invites and helps us to join him in his work. We need to know God like that every day of our lives no matter what we are going through.
However, there is a specific and personal testimony of how God is helping me with my attachment-pain experience, and it may add some personalized details that will encourage you as well. The aim is to help you listen to what God is saying to you through his word, admit what he is doing in you and around you, and build up your courage to join him in his work no matter what lovingly-heart-searching things you must feel or express to know him in your situation.
Context: There is something on today that heightens the possibility of encountering a sensitive and painful situation where attachment-pain has already happened. There are lots of feelings about this, and I am staying close to Father about it. There is one set of emotions in play considering what might happen to cause new attachment-pain, and another set at the ready if nothing takes place at all (a different facet of attachment-pain).
Prelude: last night (I think as I was praying in bed), God made clear that my earthly-relationships side needs to take a backstage role to my agapè-hesed-love-disciple-of-Jesus side. Jesus is not telling me to stop feeling grief in any attachment-pain I experience, but he is telling me that I need to attach to him so that, should I encounter the circumstances-of-concern, my interest is in how anyone else involved will experience God’s best for them rather than a resolution to anything that has happened between us. This orients me to where my heart ought to be because I am pursuing the agapè-hesed-love of God towards everyone I meet, enemies included.
Spotlight: My time with God:
1. I began by considering how Jesus related to the things he experienced with Isaiah 53:3 in mind, “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.” Astounding and inviting!
2. This means he truly knows what I have gone through and is giving me permission to use these very words to describe my experience.
3. I looked up all the key words in that verse so I could meditate on them more in-depth. It is quite mind-blowing to consider what Jesus went through, and how it was prophesied that he would do so, which means he KNEW IN ADVANCE!!!
4. The biggest “AHA! Moment” was considering what Jesus did next. And that takes me into Isaiah’s description of Jesus laying down his life in order to give us life. The lesson to me is obvious. There are things to “lay down in love” so they become stepping-stones to loving better rather than stumbling-stones to loving less.
5. And that brought me to another experience of this scripture: “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.” A weaned child becomes calm and quiet because they are no longer crying and screaming and demanding that they need to keep nursing. Once the child is “weaned”, the process of weaning is finished, the child is resigned to being a big boy or girl, and there is no further demand to go back. The application is obvious.
6. All of this was still in the context of John 5 that even when despised and rejected, Jesus did NOTHING of himself, and ONLY what he saw the Father doing. That is clearly what God is working into me even while living with my own experience of similar things.
7. I will make this the last one, that there was a thought hovering over all my meditations the whole time, and that was what it was like for Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. I believe that, in Gethsemane, the way Jesus prayed is what it looked like for him to interact with the Father over the most intense and pure sorrows and grief the human heart could ever experience and never once separate himself from the Father because he was angry, or hurt, or disappointed (I have lots of examples of people shutting down to God when they are hurt, angry, or disappointed, so this is amazing).
As you may imagine, this was way too much for me to take in this morning. It was like watching the Spirit show me all the props on the stage, explaining why each one was there, but now I will see the scene unfold in real life over the next while so that I get to know Jesus as the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief more than ever, and will attach to him in laying down my life in love for anyone he chooses, including the worst enemies who have caused me the greatest harm.
By the end of my time with God I was in awe and wonder at the realities of the word, and the personal ministry of the Spirit to overwhelm me with his wisdom and knowledge for my good and the Father’s glory. I hope it helps you get to know your heavenly Father better than you have ever known him before!
Unless otherwise noted, Scriptures are from the English Standard Version (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.)
 II Corinthians 12:7-10
 “Agapè” is one of the Greek words in the New Testament that is translated “love” in our English Bibles. However, it is referring to the distinctive nature of God’s love. When us children of God are called to agapè-love others just as Jesus has agapè-loved us, it is calling us to love with that distinction that we are imitating and expressing God’s love rather than limiting ourselves to family-love, friendship-love, or brotherly-love. “Hesed” is the Hebrew word from the Old Testament part of the Bible that speaks of God’s covenantal love, or the distinct love God has for his own people as expressed through his covenants. This word is so deep with meaning that it is typically translated with double expressions like, “unfailing love,” or, “steadfast love”. It includes the qualities of mercy, kindness, and goodness towards God’s children because of their distinctive relationship with him. Both Hesed and Agapè combine for God’s children in Christ as they show us so clearly how God loves us and how undeniably this love expects us to pass on to others what we have freely received in Christ.
 John 10:17 and John 15:13 relate to Jesus laying down his life for us; I John 3:16 shows the expectation that we “ought to lay down our lives for the brothers”.
 Psalm 131:2
 Matthew 26:36-46; Mark 14:32-42
 Psalm 27 is one of the scriptures that I have been able to attach to in my situation, and so is Psalm 119:81-88. There are others that describe similar situations, so we know we are never unique in what we go through.