I’ve always been this way.
When I was a teenager, it was probably a little bit hormonal and a little bit more about drama than it is now. But yes, I’m just a crier. I used to watch the saddest movies I could find on repeat. Return to Me won every time. Lord, that movie is sad. The best kind of entertainment was the kind that completely wrecked me for days. I’m not this way anymore. My life is crazy enough to make me cry pretty frequently.
Tonight, it was because I was alone for the first time, and today was HARD.
We’ve all heard the truth about this, right? Tears are necessary. They release endorphins, or create them, or something. I don’t know. I’m not googling it right now, so feel free to fact check that one. Either way, they do good things to our bodies when it comes to stress and hormones and emotion.
But I’ve become a little bit fascinated with church people tears. In the past three weeks, I’ve been a part of three different community groups and in every single one, at least one person has said, “Shoot, I told myself I wouldn’t cry.” They’re finally opening up about the difficult parts of their life that have been hidden away in their heart, and they’ve been convinced that allowing their emotion to be released just isn’t okay.
How did this happen? How did learn to feel embarrassed about crying in front of others or somehow feel that people need an explanation for how we feel? Why do we hold back tears when the Spirit of God presses in on us, worried about what other people might think?
I’ve done it, too. I’ve been in a spot where I just didn’t feel like dealing with it. Or letting others see. But, man. The living, breathing, perfect and sovereign Creator of absolutely everything God is moving inside of me; speaking to me, pushing me? and
I decided fairly recently that I don’t ever want to become comfortable with God’s presence. I don’t ever want to be so okay on my own that I’m not moved to tears whenever He’s around. I don’t want to be afraid to cry because people might know something’s wrong.
Most of us are asking to feel God; to experience Him; to know He’s there. And then when He does, it’s normally at a time or in a way we didn’t expect, so we shove the emotion away for the sake of our image or our self-protection.
I’m convinced we’re limiting a lot of power here. There is so much power behind our emotion. It’s not all bad. It’s not all messing us up. Some of our emotions can be trusted. There is straight up power when we sit with our people and cry for their situation. There is power when we allow our own stuff to be released. By ourselves, with people, or just with God. There is power in being moved to tears by God.
We’re running away from it instead of allowing God to use it.
I’m crying because God is so good to me.
I’m crying because I’m confused.
I’m crying because my daughter is four and she argued with me all day.
I’m crying because I’m anxious.
I’m crying for someone else’s pain.
I’m crying because a senior I don’t know graduated from high school.
I’m crying because my dad died two years ago.
I’m crying watching Grey’s Anatomy.
I’m crying because whatever it is really matters to me.
God made me sensitive, and if you are finding yourself nodding to these words, He made you that way, too. When we deny that part of ourselves we’re saying “no, thanks” to His intentional creation. In the blueprint of my life, I believe He scribbled a list of, “sensitive, empathetic, moved by beauty and pain.”
I’m wondering if your blueprint looks similar. Can we stop trying to be something that we’re not? We don’t have hard exteriors. Our hearts are strong, but they’re moldable and delicate. We’re vulnerable. We see and feel because God wanted us to be the ones to make it okay for everyone else.
We’re meant to experience it all. We’re created to have fullness of joy, and still the Bible tells us there’s a time for every emotion.
Don’t miss out on all that God is trying to show you.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven… A time to cry and a time to laugh.” [Ecclesiastes 3:1-3]