This evening I was thinking about various times of my life when I have had a good cry.
I’ve always had an extreme sense of justice vs. injustice, and sometimes as a child, when I would get in trouble, I would feel like I was being unjustly punished. We were allowed to cry, but if we were going to be loud about it, we had to go to our rooms and not disturb the peace of the rest of the household or we would get into more trouble.
I remember being SO MAD as I cried, and screaming angrily into my pillow. And I had to get it all out and be ready to be sweet again before I was allowed to come out of my room. Funny, somehow I would just forgive without realizing that was what I was doing. I never held a grudge as a child. Crying it all out was good for me.
After my first husband left, I was more careful about when and where I cried, because I didn’t want to upset the children. At first, I didn’t even want them to know what was going on, because I thought if he came back, they didn’t need to know what had happened.
One day during that time, I remember walking to a nearby cemetery, which was deserted. My train of thought was that even if someone did come there and find me crying, they would think I was grieving a lost loved one (well, lost in a different way). So, I had a good cry away from the kids and away from neighbors possibly hearing me.
I’m not so sure anymore that I made the right decision not to cry in front of the kids. I think maybe it would have helped us all to deal with our loss better. I know I struggled a lot with unforgiveness after that.
I remember two separate times at least a couple of years after that, when I was reading a passage from the Bible, that I felt the love of God just wash over me! I cried tears of joy because God was so sweet and loving and wonderful to me!
Those passages were Psalm 23 and Psalm 139.
The Lord is my Precious Shepherd who is always with me to provide for me, protect me, walk with me, carry me, fight for me, and restore me. I found such comfort in the fact that He always has His eye on me and scrutinizes my ways so intimately that He even knows what I am going to say before I say it.
There have been plenty of times in the last 25 years where I cried a good, agitated cry, and cried it all out about whatever I was upset about at the time, but that would take a lot more space than I have here, and I’m not sure it would be profitable. But the crying itself was profitable.
God gave us tears as a gift. They are so precious to Him that He has kept a record of each one of them in His book (Psalm 56:8). Wow! See how much He cares for us?!
These last few years I’ve taken to crying more calmly. It’s more like my eyes leak. But the Lord keeps track of all those tears, too. And He knows which ones are tears of sorrow and which ones are tears of joy.
I may write more on this subject later since I am reading and finding joy in a book by Michael Card called A Sacred Sorrow Experience Guide – Reaching Out to God in the Lost Language of Lament.
You may be wondering how I could find joy in a book with such a title, but the joy is His joy that He gives us when we find Him during those difficult times. (Perhaps you’ll want to put this book on your wish list.)
So, the paradox is that crying out our sorrows brings us to the end of ourselves, at which point we can reach out to the God of Heaven who really does care for us intimately, and in the finding of Him, we find also His love, joy, peace, and so much more!
Thank You, God!
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