Is it ok to cry?
Have you ever asked yourself that? I have recently been wrestling with this question. Seven years have passed since I held my son and kissed his tiny, soft head. Today, at 6:28 I could remember every sight, smell, and sound of that tragic moment. The past seven years have been a mixture of some of the darkest hours of my life as well as the brightest. From anger and depression to joy and triumph and everything in between. I am not in the grieving phase anymore – thank the Lord! That was awful and nearly unbearable. I know there is a healthy level of grieving and walking through that and a point where it’s unhealthy and you’re stuck in it.
When I look back over the last 7 years, I can see the tangible ways Jesus has clearly restored and redeemed something so awful and tragic and brought good in spite of it. I love how He can take something so awful and restore and give back so much more. His goal is to redeem and restore all things lost when we choose to believe that He can and does.
I’m not stuck in the grief….but there are waves of sadness. When those waves come, I’ve wondered, “Is it ok what I’m feeling right now? Am I going to an unhealthy place of grief? Am I discounting all the good that has happened in my life since that moment? I’m so thankful for all God has redeemed and restored, (and He has blown our socks off with blessings of restoration!) BUT I still feel sad at times. Is that ok?”
I reached out to one of my dearest friends, mentors, and mother figures to ask for counsel and wisdom on this. My head says, “yes it’s ok to cry and feel sad,” but I feel like I’ve gotten conflicting messages at times from people who maybe mean well but don’t know how to let people be sad. There is pressure to push down the feelings because of all the great things God has done. My friend Laura had this to say and I thought it was a message filled with hope, wisdom, and truth for anyone who’s walked through loss and wonders, through the different stages, what it is “ok” to feel.
Laura said, “…tears will probably always come…God gave us emotions and He gave us tears as a means of releasing the sad emotions…like a pressure vale being released. It’s a good and healthy thing. Don’t equate tears with weakness or with enemy triumph over you, or even with failure to thrive in the midst of pain and loss.”
Wow….that made me cry. I wonder how many others have walked through this journey and felt like when they cry they are somehow betraying God who has brought so many new blessings into their lives? Or somehow giving the enemy Satan victory in our lives because we are sad? Or felt like we are failing to thrive in the midst of the pain and loss? Tears don’t mean any of those things, yet I’ve felt like they did! Praise God for wise friends who speak truth into our lives and show us the lies that we could easily believe. Lies do nothing but take us into further bondage. Jesus’ desire is that we all walk in freedom and in truth. He came to bind up the broken- hearted and set the captives free – we become captives to our own thoughts and lies when they aren’t founded in the truth of His Word.
Laura went on to say: “Tears are honest expressions that I believe are very healthy. For example, Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus even though he totally knew what was about to happen! Jesus IS the resurrection and the Life, yet he cried because someone he loved had passed away.”
Man I’ve wondered about that before!!! Why did he cry if he knew he was going to die? Did he cry just for our sake? If so that’s not super comforting to me!!! But I get now…death was never a part of God’s original plan. When the Resurrection and Life, Jesus, saw death, it saddened Him just as it saddens us.
“…one day, all these tears we cry for loved ones passed will vanish into an inexpressible joy and elation…and Jesus is the one who will wipe away every tear then…but I believe also even now…and God our Father actually bottles our tears as the Bible tell us.”
How relieving to know that Life Himself does not expect me to never cry and to put on my smile every moment of every day. I DO have such joy and blessing from all He’s done in me through this journey. But to know that He cried when He saw death because it is NOT His plan brings comfort and release to “be” how I am in the moment. He is ok with emotion and feelings. He created them! He came to give life and life more abundantly. The Thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy.
So this marks seven years. Through tears, that I know are ok to shed, I thank Jesus for all He has restored to me, blessed me with, and done in me. I am not the same woman I was seven years ago. I married to a different man (who was always amazing, but not even more so!), and I have 3 other incredible children who bring such life and joy daily. I’m reminded that “7” is the number of rest. I believe this year will be a picture of his rest in our bodies, souls, and spirits and I look forward receiving all that the blessings He continues to have for our family! So the journey continues.
Please share your thoughts and comments below of what you’ve processed through in your own journey! I always love to hear from you!