“To everything – turn, turn, turn
There is a season – turn, turn, turn
And a time to every purpose under heaven”
I find it difficult to recall just one instance in which God made Himself real to me, in which He really made Himself unequivocally known. At first, I despair because I want more than anything for God to be real to me. Then I am reminded that He constantly reveals Himself to me and whether or not I notice, I most certainly forget in short-order.
Although my subconscious fights to forget all of the emotions and revelations I experienced this past weekend, I must acknowledge that the speaker at the Ladies Retreat had a poignant message that seemed tailored to my concerns as of late.
The most impactful point, however, was the scientific importance of tears to not only our mental health but to our bodily health as well. Jane Rubietta pointed out, with some vivid stories, that “if you don’t cry, your body will.” It’s not a sign of weakness. It is essential for healing.
Crying is a stress-release. When you allow tears to fall, with them comes the release of hormones that promote bonding and healing. I have always known that a good cry does me a world of good, but to have scientific support that healing agents are released in tears makes me feel less shame in crying.
I am not usually a public crier but I also don’t deny that I cry when I need to release pent-up emotions or am just severely exhausted. We push ourselves and tell ourselves to just get through things but if we don’t allow ourselves to feel, our heart begins to die.
If crying is shameful, why is the Bible so clearly unapologetic and matter-of-fact when it says “Jesus wept”? He wailed and let out a guttural cry. That’s what that phrase means in the original language. There was no shame in it. When Jesus saw Lazarus in the tomb, he let his heart feel pain. Scripture even tells us to “weep with those who weep.” If tears were something to avoid at all cost, why does our authoritative scripture tell us it’s essential?
God helped me to see this past weekend that holding in tears when I so desperately need to cry will only cause me pain. Being vulnerable is difficult, but sometimes I need to allow others to weep with me. When I am moved, it is okay to cry. I am generally a self-conscious person, but there is “a time to laugh, a time to weep.” I pray that God will help me to recognize and distinguish those times. I pray that I will allow God to heal me instead of me trying to fix it on my own. Tears are a God-given gift in the desert place and I do not ever need to apologize for accepting this gift.