Tears…Are They OK?

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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!

 

9 Comments

  • Hello Jenny,

    We are Keith & Tina Weber, and we met you in Washington D.C. at the Global Conference a couple of years ago. I’m sure you don’t remember us, but we think of you both often and we were impacted greatly by your story. The short answer to your question: YES. Actually my wife Tina is a gospel singer songwriter, and right now on her home page you can hear a song she wrote called “Healing Tears”. Visit: http://TinaWeberMusic.com. It will autoplay, and you can scroll to the bottom of the home page to control it. I think this song is for you right now :). This song and another one the same album called “Reason for the Pain”, are songs she wrote for her son (my step son). You can listen to and download all of Tina’s music for free at: http://www.godlychristianmusic.com/Music_Artist_Details.aspx?id=127&groups=0&name=Tina%20Weber

    Before the story of our son here’s a couple more:

    We have a great friends who now pastor a small Church in Clovis, New Mexico. They are about our age (I think we might be old enough to be your parents). They lost a son about 35 years ago. Their first born son was 2 when he got cancer. They prayed and prayed with other members of the church they were serving at the time (he was worship leader). Their son got better, and they felt God had spared his life. A short time later, the cancer came back and God took him home a little before he was 3. They were devastated and confused at the time, but over the years they can see a lot of good that has come from that experience. Just to let you know, when we see them, the subject of their son comes up, and they both still cry. However, they are now tears of joy and sorrow combined. I’m not sure how to explain it any other way. They have 2 other children who are now over 30 (boy and girl). God does restore as you have wisely pointed out.

    I also grew up with a friend who lost his brother at the age of 2 from a heart defect. We were both 15 at the time. That was 42 years ago (uh oh, I just gave away my age). Anyway, his mom (my second mom) still cries when we talk about Christopher – 42 year later – and it’s all good.(Christopher would be the same age as my youngest brother Robert).

    Tina’s story is different, but still painful. After a brutal divorce, her ex took her son out of state. It’s too long of a story for this writing, but she went through extreme pain over it. She still cries about the childhood she missed. He is now 21, and their relationship is wonderful. Her pain is different than yours, but she still cries even though it has been restored. One thing is for sure, she has written songs that glorify Jesus over that loss.

    Don’t ever forget this one thing: You will be reunited with your son someday. And Jesus saves every single tear you cry. Those tears are precious to Him. There isn’t anything he doesn’t see or know about your pain. He knows your pain better than you do, and He dwells in it with you.

    I wrote a blog on our DreamSeed Ministries website regarding this scripture: “For I know my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth” (Job 19:25 NKJV). That scripture has really blessed my heart lately. It is amazing that those words were spoken by Job hundreds (maybe more than a thousand) years before David, Isaiah, Solomon, and Jeremiah spoke them. Through his severe trial, Job spoke of “things too wonderful for him, which he did not know” Job 42:3. Job’s story is forever written, as is yours. Remember that, because God will never forget your story: “For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name” Hebrews 6:10 NKJV

    Yes, there will be tears, but someday He will wipe away every tear. God bless you and your family. The best is yet to come.

    Keith

    Keith & Tina Weber 07.05.2013
    • Keith, Thank you for this gift! You are very sweet to share this with us! And thank your wife as well for sharing her heart in song. 🙂

      njadmin 10.05.2013
  • Jenni, I admire who you and Nathan have chosen to become in spite of the tragedy that visited your family. That is not easy and you could have made different choices and still be mired in the grief and anger. Thank you for your example of life and love and good.

    Gaylon Ratliff 07.05.2013
    • Gaylon this means a lot coming from you! Thank you for taking time to comment and share your thoughts. It’s not been easy and anger was definitely a part of our journey. I’m thankful that IN SPITE of how I responded, His grace has always been sufficient.

      njadmin 10.05.2013
  • Thank you so much for writing this. I don’t know you, but your blog was shared by a friend on Facebook and this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear. My husband and I have been struggling with infertility and I have often felt like the sadness that came with each month’s disappointment was somehow a lack of faith or trust that God would bring us a baby in His timing. I never technically felt like I didn’t trust God – I do implicitly. Yet there was always a twinge of worry that my tears equated to a sense that my heart wasn’t right. I feel so encouraged now having read this post and the wise words from your friend Laura. I feel free to trust and free to cry when the moment warrants such a release. Thank you…. thank you…

    Tasha 07.05.2013
    • Thank you Tasha for sharing such a heart felt response! I am so sorry for your struggle thus far and will be praying for a miracle in your life. I keep saying, “God is good. There is NO darkness in Him at all.” Speak out the life He died to give you (and me) and it becomes more of a reality. I pray you see his blessings soon!

      njadmin 10.05.2013
  • I needed your post today. A week ago today I was told my baby in utero had no heartbeat. I was 10 weeks pregnant. I’ve still not miscarried naturally so I’m carrying a baby inside that I’ll never know. I needed your words today! Thank you.

    Marie 05.06.2013
    • I am so sad to hear this. 🙁 I will be thinking of you and praying for you to find peace and comfort in such a hard time. I am so so sorry for your loss.

      njadmin 05.06.2013
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