By Tabatha Miller, LCSW, Living Well Professional Counseling, Pine Bluff 

As counselors at Living Well Professional Counseling, we often meet with people in their greatest heartbreaks or overwhelming experiences. 

It is observed in this distress, our human tendency is to wonder if we are alone to face what feels insurmountable. This may be exacerbated by our experiences with others where we have faced betrayal, rejection, disregard, abandonment, trauma, or hurt. These negative interactions not only intensify our sense of abandonment, but it often increases our sense of shame. We internalize that if we are alone and abandoned, it is our fault. In response to shame, we shy away from vulnerability and erect walls to self-protect, heightening isolation, disconnection, and detachment.  

We ask the core question “Am I alone?” not only to those around us but to God, often projecting our relational experiences with others. God is not surprised by this question – He welcomes it as evidenced by the answer found in His Word. The Lord knows that we face sorrow, suffering and sin that will leave us unsure, uncertain, fearful, and shameful.  We cannot muster up enough inner strength to power through the circumstances, especially in what overwhelms us. We need Someone to be with us in it.  

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18, ESV). 

The word “near” in this verse means “close in terms of place, time and personal relationship1”. It means attachment. Attachment is the term counselors use to describe the “affectional tie between two people”2. It is the relational bond between two – in this context, between a person and God.  

We learn in Psalm 34 of the attachment God is offering to us. In verse 4, God says that when we seek Him, He answers and helps us. In verse 5, the Lord lifts our faces to connect with Him like a baby looks into the loving gaze of her mother. As we look into God’s eyes, we are not ashamed. Joy ensues. Verse 6 states that when we cry out in need, God hears us, protects us and saves us. Verse 10 states that we will lack no good thing. 

In verse 19, we remember that we encounter many afflictions in this life, and they are overwhelming. But the Lord will deliver us. This starts with Christ’s deliverance of us. The very thing we so often fear amid the crush of life – sin, shame and abandonment – was borne by Christ on the cross. “But He was pierced for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:4-5). The Lord can promise to save those crushed in spirit because Isaiah 53 was fulfilled by Christ. Christ secured our attachment to God so that through belief in Him, we become His (Romans 10:9-13). So, when life is difficult, we are never alone.  

These are all the markers for secure attachment – we are safe, heard and our needs met. Thus, we are loved. In difficulties, our God will be with us, never abandoning us. When we are overwhelmed, He delivers us from all our fears. We cry out and He is right there. So, given this security the Lord offers, the psalmist encourages others to know that the Lord is trustworthy (verse 8) and to remember who He is (verse 1-3). When we do so, how can we not draw near? He is near to us. We can draw near to Him, attaching ourselves to Him. It is safe. It is secure. It is love. 

To learn more about attachment, visit: Understanding Attachment – Attachment and Trauma Network ( 

To check out counseling services offered by Living Well, please visit Living Well Counseling — Arkansas Families


Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are from the ESV Bible, (“The Holy Bible, English Standard Version), copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. 

1 H7138 – qārôḇ – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (ESV). Retrieved January 6, 2024 from  

2 Attachment and Trauma Network (n.d.). Understanding Attachment – What is Attachment? Retrieved January 6, 2024, from  

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