You know that feeling…
When the tears feel like they are going to burst through like a tsunami, but it just isn’t a good time to cry.
You’re in public.
You’re with your kids.
You are at work.
You have to prepare for a project or for people coming over to your house.
You need to help someone else.
There could be any number of reasons why it is never a good time to cry…
What if the tears never stop?
What if I get swallowed up in grief?
What if I make a fool out of myself?
What if I can’t snap out of it afterwards?
If I’m going to be honest, I have to say this is where I have been lately.
Maybe this is where you have been, too.
As this year comes to a close, I realize my heart has endured more than I have been able to process this past year. It is multi-layered. I have gone through those kinds of situations that you are not supposed to talk about. It all involves other people, so there’s no need to tell the world about it.
I was told to move on and get over it before I had the chance to even process what happened…
But the real problem is… I told myself the very same thing.
“I should be over this.”
“Why is this affecting me so much?”
“No one else seems to be affected so deeply.”
“Why can’t I pull myself together?”
“I need to just move on and forget about all of it.”
In telling myself these things, I have stuffed my grief. I have stuffed intense pain while not knowing what else to do. Have I talked to God about this? Yes. I have poured my heart out to Him time and time again…yet my heart still hurts.
My heart feels raw….yet numb at the same time.
Each time a wave of grief or deep sadness pours over me, it seems to be at a really inconvenient time…
I am in the grocery store.
I am doing something with my kids.
I am by myself… but afraid that the tears will not stop if I let them start.
If you are in the same place in your life right now, I need to let you in on a little secret. (I am reminding myself of this at the same time. 🙂 )
One of the ways Jesus heals our hearts is through tears.
I know this, because it is one of the ways He has healed my heart in the past. The flood of tears came, and they eventually did stop. Healing, peace, and joy did come again. It’s funny how I can know this, yet still hesitate to let myself go there again.
I know what’s on the other side…
Fear tells me there is unending grief, unending pain, humiliation, regret, and all sorts of other things on the other side.
That is not true, though. That is a lie.
On the other side of letting myself (and letting yourself) cry the tears that we have been holding back is:
Healing for our hearts
Restoration for our souls
Society often tries to tell us that tears are a bad thing. They are a sign of weakness and a sign that we need to be stronger. Even well-meaning people can give us the impression that tears are a sign of our faith not being strong enough. Even worse…we can tell ourselves these very same things.
That is simply not true.
Tears are a gift that Jesus can use to heal our heart…to restore our souls.
It’s OK to cry.
It’s not just OK to cry, but it is good to cry.
There may never be that perfect time to cry. Healing can be messy, and that has to be OK. Trust that God has your back in this.
To look at it another way, crying is a way of releasing the pain (even the poison) inside of you. Jesus can do amazing healing in your heart in the process. I am reminding myself of this as well, as I write this. He wants to heal your heart, and He wants to heal mine.
There is such safety in entrusting our hearts to Him in this way.
Father God, I pray that You help each and every one of us give our hearts to You in this way. For those of us who need to cry but have been afraid to let the tears start coming, I pray that You help us release this to You. For those who have been told they should not cry and they should just get over it, I pray that You show them it is ok to cry. You can heal us through our tears. For those who cannot cry, or feel too numb, I pray that you help them release those tears. Holy Spirit, I pray that You comfort us in the way that only You can do. I thank you for the healing that will come. I thank You that You are our Comforter. You are our Counselor. I pray for deep healing in our hearts. I pray for complete restoration in our souls as this happens. I thank you, Father, for the way You work so gently in our lives. You will never damage us. You only take us places that will ultimately restore us to who You created us to be. Thank you for who You are. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen