If you know me well, you know that I am not a stranger to tears. I used to try to fight them off every time I felt them welling up. As I have grown, oddly enough in my mind, my resolve has been less and they fall more easily.
There's something to be said about crying. Well, there's many things to be said, actually.
For starters, it can be quite therapeutic. It helps release all bottled up tension, sometimes to the point of such exhaustion you just pass out for hours.
It can lead to headaches. I've had one too many crying hangovers, as I call them.
It is both beautiful... and ugly. The brutal emotions being let go and your heart being so open is beautiful. The faces, the boogers, the swollen eye lids and nose... not so much.
Sometimes it's a few silent tears. Sometimes it's a heaving, boisterous sob.
Sometimes it is purely of joy. Sometimes it is of heart shattering sorrow. Sometimes the tears are from overwhelming exhaustion and crying is the only thing you have left.
Crying alone can be just what you need. Silence and privacy to be at your best, weakest point with nothing but your pillow and Jesus to listen...
But crying with someone can be even more powerful.
I understand why children want to be held when they cry. It's comforting. It's the physical reminder that there's someone right there who cares enough to drop all else in the moment and just be with you in your bare emotional state. There's security in someone's arms.
To be honest, I look back, and I cried a lot in my last years of marriage. I cried about my marriage and the many things going on within and outside of it that I felt needed attention but were deemed unimportant. I cried about crying about my marriage. I cried about not having someone to hold me while I cried because he hated that I cried.
I still often miss having someone around to hold me while I cry. Just like a child, the comfort and security of having someone there is invaluable.
I know God collects your tears, feels your burdens, records your heartaches... But sometimes it doesn't feel like enough.
I know that's not how you're supposed to feel when it comes to God. I know it. I'm growing, and I try to let it be enough most of the time, visualizing myself curled up on Jesus lap leaving tear stains on his chest.
What I also know is that God provides for me, not every time I cry, but sometimes, especially when it seems I need it most. He knows how I feel about the tangible arms of someone who cares while my tears get the best of me and I feel like I may crumble. He has shown me this by providing a trusted friend or family member who, without reserve, will hold me tightly while I cry.
Sometimes, that's all I need to get through that overwhelming moment. I cannot adequately express the gratitude I feel in those embraces, both for the person with me, and for God providing them at the perfect time.
God is great like that.
Thank you to those who have ever held me while I cried.