What are tears?
Google definition: a drop of clear salty liquid secreted from glands in a person's eye when they cry or when the eye is irritated.
They are more than that. Tears are the tangible evidence of emotion. Tears of happiness, grief, frustration, anger, fear, manipulation, awe, inspiration...the list can be endless.
I was in junior high, I think, when I started to hate myself for crying. I learned that it was a weakness. As I got older, I tried to force myself not to cry, so by the time I was in my late teens, I just didn't. And then it took years before I was able to let myself cry again.
I had heard somewhere that holding tears in can be toxic. I don't know scientifically if that is accurate, but it makes sense. Holding on to my tears certainly didn't make things better for me. What am I going to do with all those tears I kept hidden, anyways? What good are they to me?
Why were tears a weakness to me? Maybe because it was involuntary. It represented a lack of control. It showed my emotion, and showing emotion was a dangerous thing in my life. If you show the weakness of emotion, you will be hunted down and killed. What a lie!
It isn't wrong to cry. It isn't wrong for women, and it isn't wrong for men. God has made us with this ability. Even Jesus cried. John 11:35 If Jesus cried, why do I think I need to be stronger than Him? How can I even attempt to be stronger than Him?
What does God do with our tears?
You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn
through the sleepless nights,
Each tear entered in your ledger,
each ache written in your book.
God sees every tear, and keeps track.
Crying takes courage. It is courageous to share emotions with those around you.
Crying releases control. Unclenching my hands from the reins of my life, and with my mouth telling God to take over has been the best decision I've ever made. It has brought more tears, but these are ones that are healing. Sometimes I'm grabbing back the reins, but the more I remember and give it back, the easier it is to let Him steer. I prefer a life with God in control and not me. When I thought I was in control, I still wasn't. My life was unsafe, I was miserable, and I almost died.
I give control of my life and myself to God. I will wait on His perfect timing. He helps me have the courage to weep, to tell people what I am feeling or struggling with, to ask for help, and to point towards His awesomeness.
Don't hide your tears. They do not make you weak. God counts your tears. You are loved.
My friends, it has been such a long time since I wrote anything. So much has happened.
Monday, my spirit began sliding down a deep, dark hole. I guess I spent a lot of time digging, or wasn't noticing that the enemy was helping me. Monday, I felt depression, despair, a lack of desire for anything. I didn't want to do anything, or be anyone. I wanted to disappear.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit has taught me what that looks and feels like. I recognized it, gave voice to it, and didn't have to do anything else, because God is faithful. He pulled me back to Him, and reminded me of some promises, and took away the fog. Today, I feel more energized. My eyes are opened again, and I can see the battle going on all around me, in the lives of those whom I love.
So, what has been going on?
So many things.
1) The holidays, which are tough on everyone, in different ways.
2) My beautiful miracle niece, Josephine, who was given a death sentence even before she was born, was our Christmas eve gift. She is amazing, she is so sweet, and she is a child of God. And she is alive, and doing better than the medical staff anticipated. Glory to God!
3) My daughters and I spent most of Christmas break with my family as we tried to support my sister and brother-in-law with Josephine. But the dynamics of the situation were so many, and with my daughter's special needs, it was not smooth, nor peaceful. I left feeling unuseful and unwanted.
4) I hurt my back while down there, and it did not recover like I hoped. Which affected my ability to do my job or live my life like I wanted to.
5) We came back exhausted from the holidays, and just now I am starting to recover.
6) I am doing terrible refraining from emotional eating, which is affecting my diabetes. I'm so frustrated with myself over that.
7) My house is a mess. It is out of control. I can't get a handle on it.
8) Last weekend I went to a business conference, and while I learned much from it, the social aspect of it caused some PTSD and depression flare-ups.
crushing. emotional. so much to handle.
I haven't been handling it.
Thankfully, God has grace for me. He is guarding me, and not letting me go. Its amazing, because I was looking at the ground, letting the enemy pile on me, and I loosened my grip on God's Hand. Then I slipped, and He tightened His grasp, and pulled me up and away.
What I have experienced in my life is not only trauma, but the effects of that trauma. I could have left it that way, but knowing that it would kill me (and it almost did), I wanted more than that. And God has more for me than that.
Taking all that garbage and trauma, He has opened my eyes, and is transforming me. Where once there was darkness, fog, and uncertainty, there is now a very bright Son, a trail guide, and I can see the end of the road.
I've got my sword in hand, and if I slip or get turned around, I have divine help. I am better equipped to help those that God is calling me to help. I am thankful that the trauma I once lived in is now being used to shout out about the wonders of God.
Maybe, my friends, you are tired of hearing me constantly point to Jesus, to God. But I can't stop. He is my Creator, my Friend, my Father, my Savior, my Love. No thing and no human in my life has changed me so much, nor offered such hope and strength. As a friend of yours, how can I share anything else? How can I keep Him secret? I love you too much to do so.
We might be in different places, but all of us are on a journey.
Leah's Life Verses