Wednesday at lunch, I was driving and listening to K-Love. The announcers were talking about “5 ways to connect with your child.” I was rolling my eyes and ready to change the dial to classic rock (yes, I love classic rock), not because I don’t want to connect with my child, but because those type of to-do lists drive me crazy. Why? Because most of the time, instead of encouraging me, they usually succeed at making me uncomfortably aware of all the ways I’ve failed my daughter and fallen short of the world’s standard of the perfect mother. Despite my foreboding, the radio dial remained and I listened, sure of the impending guilt trip. The guilt trip came…but instead of leading me into a shame storm it led me to an apology to my daughter and the realization that the Lord is changing me, he is softening my heart.
One of the points was, loosely quoted by me: “Let your child feel their emotions. If they are upset and crying, instead of trying to get them to stop crying, let them cry and feel, they are trusting you with their tears.” Immediately, tears welled up in my eyes. Those words “they are trusting you with their tears” hit me hard.
I meditated on the sixteen years of my daughter’s life and realized that at one time she trusted me with her tears, but after too many moments of dismissing her wounded heart and telling her “don’t cry”, I believe I may have lost that trust.
Thursday morning I made amends to my girl, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be more compassionate, loving, and understanding in the future.
That one “to-do” also got me thinking about who I can trust with my tears. Who allows me to feel without feeling the need to quickly “fix” the situation so they don’t have to see me cry? Who trusts that God is working in whatever situation I am facing and can sit with me, hold my hand, and let me cry? I am grateful that I do have a few safe people I can trust with my tears. I also thought about whether my friends trust me to do the same for them? I know I have often shut their feelings down just like I did to my daughter. I’m so very sorry to those who experienced that treatment from me.
I’m learning about the healing one can find through tears. Do people forget that Jesus wept (John 11:35)? Does the world think God made a mistake when he gave us tear ducts? Sometimes I wonder by the world’s response to tears and sorrow. Tears are a healing, wonderful gift given to us by our Creator God.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
How do you feel after a good cry? I know I feel like a fresh rain has cleansed my heart and the sun is shining in my soul.