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Our Tears Are Not In Vain

Many folks, rightfully so, have encouraged us to let ourselves cry. We are on week six of our newborn daughter’s fight to heal, three surgeries in and countless more on the horizon. We have yet to be able to take her home and don’t know when we will. We watch as she is in pain and struggles. I can assure you, we cry.

Not all the time. There are many reasons for great joy. Like the fact that she has survived and thrived despite all her challenges. Like getting to touch her, hold her, feed her, rock her, read to her (which depending on the day and her latest tests or procedures, these things may or may not be possible). Like seeing her happy and relaxed and comfortable.

But, you can be sure there are also many moments of sheer frustration, helplessness, exhaustion, and deep sadness. Sometimes these moments last literally a moment. Other times they linger for hours.

The day after her last surgery I had a massive meltdown in the waiting room and the social worker posted a sign on the door that said ‘do not disturb’ so we could have our space to wail. I mean literally wail. I’m pretty sure we scared people in the hall outside. It wasn’t the first time nor will it be the last.

I don’t tell you this to get sympathy, but rather to let you know just how human we are. And if you’ve had struggles of your own, which I know everyone has in one form or another, maybe you can relate. Maybe you can find some hope in your pain, from me sharing mine.

When folks ask me how I’m doing I often respond ‘okay’ or ‘good.’ Sometimes that’s true and sometimes it’s not. I don’t intend to lie but sometimes I simply don’t have the energy to elaborate. To honestly say I feel broken.

At those moments of brokenness I know I am not shattered. I haven’t lost the war. I trust God’s already won. But I’m badly beat up and bruised from the battles. I haven’t lost my faith. But I’ve lost my fight for the moment.

Have you ever been so desperate in prayer that all you can muster to say is ‘Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.’ over and over? That’s been my go-to prayer for months now.

I’m grateful knowing that’s all He needs to come running to my aid. I’m thankful He knows my heart and my pleas, without me having to voice them. He knows the desperation in my voice and He always answers. Always.

He hasn’t left me, my husband or our daughter. He hasn’t forsaken us. Rather, He draws us close to Him in our need.

He whispers reassurance that He will heal us. All three of us. And so, He will.

That doesn’t take away the tears. But, it gives us hope to keep carrying on.

He whispers those same promises of hope to you.

“Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).”

He hears your prayers, He knows your heart, He is ready to be your great healer, if you ask Him.

He will draw you near in your weakness. He doesn’t need any fancy prayers or elaborate ceremonies to be reached. Sometimes all He needs is a basic invitation to meet you where you are, even if that invitation sounds something like ‘Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.’

If you’re struggling with something of your own, please know you’re not alone. Know your weakness is not a sign of faltering faith. It’s in your weakness that He will meet you with His strength. You don’t have to be strong. And if for a second you think I am, you can rest assured any strength you see is not my own, but His.

God told Saint Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).” And Paul reiterates, “for when I am weak, then I am strong (2 Corinthians 12:10).”

It’s counter-intuitive. Counter-cultural. Even confusing. But true.

Jesus directly tells us, “blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied (Matthew 5:2-6).”

Yup, I would say lately I’ve been poor in spirit, mourning, meek, hungry and thirsty for righteousness. Maybe you have too?

Let’s claim the blessings God promises, and embrace the tears if we must.

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