Tears came up several times last night in conversations with different people, then one of today’s articles at boundless.org is about tears, so it seems like a good time to post about them.
I’m a crier. I have been since birth, as I’m sure my parents can confirm. My mom used to tell me that I could cry six tears out of each eye at the same time. While I have never seen myself do that (usually being quite distraught at the time of tears), I do know that I have probably cried more tears at 22 than some people cry in a lifetime.
At one point, several years ago, I got tired of crying. Crying made me tired emotionally and physically, it made my face get puffy and red, and it made my nose run. Ick. So I asked God to help me to not cry.
And He did. I couldn’t cry.
Although I liked it for awhile, the time soon came when I found myself wanting to cry. I missed the expression that tears allowed. I missed the freedom to cry. I learned, once again, that God’s ways are best and that He had given me tears for a reason. So I changed my mind, and asked God to help me to cry again.
And He did. I can cry now.
The funny thing is that I don’t cry now as often or as easily as I did before this whole saga. Sometimes that’s nice, and sometimes it’s not. I wish I had trusted God with my emotions as well as their expressions, and I’ve learned a lesson. Tears are a language God understands, and even when I don’t understand them, I’ve learned to appreciate them a little bit more.
The process isn’t over. At the Chi Alpha leadership retreat a few weeks ago, I broke down in that trying-to-get-my-breath sort of way while trying to lead us through the Lord’s supper and felt pretty bad about it. Looking back and having more perspective from other people who were there, it wasn’t bad like I thought it was. God used it- my tears and the discomfort that accompanied them- as only He can. I have a lot more to learn.