The Healing in our Tears
In the beginning of the new year as a New Hope staff we attended a conference that gave training on how to be a competent caregiver/provider for children who have experienced trauma and and/or entered into some type of foster care, adoption, safe house/orphanage living in their lifetime. This opportunity for our staff was incredible and an answer to prayer in our ability to give quality care, love, support and parenting for our girls.
During the week-long training they talked about the power of our tears and that God made us to be able to cry with a purpose. Our tears our healing, they are cleansing, and they are necessary in processing and overcoming past/present emotional trauma and hardships.
In the bible, David was no stranger to emotion. He took them on full force, expressed them with raw, unfiltered desperation, and shared with the Lord his pain, fears, worries, anxieties, and regrets. In Psalm 56, when David was being held captive by the Philistines in Gath, in verse 8 he writes, “You have taken account of my wanderings; and put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?”
When I was in high school I had an amazing mentor that shared with me this beautiful verse that God sees me in my crying and actually keeps my tears for Himself. I imagined them as little glass vintage bottles all lined up, filled to the top and sealed with a cork top. I was amazed at this new truth, and gave it me even more freedom to shed the tears that seemed to flow quite regularly. (Yes, I have always been that “cryer” in bible studies, movies, church, worship services... etc... Letting the tears go has never been foreign to me!!!)
There was one night in weeks past where I was having a really rough time in the house. It was at night, and the nanny I was working with was very sick and had gone to bed and I was left with the girls that were rowdy and restless. I was struggling... I didn’t want to even attempt to put them to bed or coax them into obeying me because I was just too tired to experience any resistance or pushback. I found myself on the phone with Greci, one of our directors, expressing to her my struggle with the girls and how I had just about had it. She listened to my cries, and began to encourage me in the truth and empower me to move forward and began to calm the situation for me.
After our phone conversation I went into our front room by myself so that I could let the tears flow and wait until I was ready to step into my role and get the girls to bed.
But... Just as I began to let lose once again, one of the girls came next to me... The one who had been giving me the hardest time of all.
“What’s wrong Corinne?” She asked me.
I told her that I needed some space before I talked to her... That I was hurting and I didn't want to hurt her because of what I was going through.
But... instead of leaving me alone, she wouldn’t leave my side.
she just sat there with me as I cried for a while, as i let my emotion go in raw freedom before this little girl who saw a very broken mess of me. After a short time her and I went upstairs and sat on our sofa benches in front of the big windows that overlook our barrio. We started to talk through what had happened tonight, she wanted to hear my heart, she asked me what I had been struggling with. The Lord opened up this space of trust and maturity in our relationship that can be difficult to come by but was so sweet and genuine in this very moment. I shared more of my story with her, and she was surprised at how much we were able to relate, details of my past that I had held back but felt ready to release in this moment of vulnerability.
Towards the end of our conversation, when I was still drying my tears that had continued to flow, she looked me in the eyes and told me,
“I wish I could cry like you, Corinne. I know I need to, but I just can't. I see you crying and I wish I could too.”
In that moment the whole night came together and I saw the Lord’s purposes overcoming the difficulty that I had been facing in anguish and defeat. I saw that my vulnerability was not only part of my healing process, but also hers, and the Lord was speaking to her about the ways in which He desires to heal her. I saw the power in my tears that night, and ever since then when a little one of ours begins to shed a tear, I begin to celebrate because I know that they are engaging a part of their healing process and so much more is going on in the inside than I could ever know.
By the end of our conversation, she told me that when she saw me crying outside in defeat, the Holy Spirit had told her that she needed to be there for me and not leave until she listened to my heart and was there for me through my struggles and all that I was going through. I was amazed at her obedience and God truly loved me so well through her that night.
There is a worship song here in spanish called “Llora si quieres llorar” which means, “Cry if you want to cry.”
I downloaded a version of it that starts with a preacher giving a mini-sermon on the power, importance, and freedom of crying. It is about 6 minutes long and then the song is another 4 so it can feel like a commitment when you begin to listen to it but I have seen sweet transformation some girls have gone through in listening to this song.
One afternoon I was listening to music in the house and a little one came next to me and asked me if I would put the crying song on for her to listen to. I put the song on and we listened to it all the way through. I looked at her to see if any tears had began to flow, and they hadn’t. After the song finished she asked me if I would put it on again. And then again. And then again. By the end we had listened to the song 5 times! Each time I repeated I asked her if she wanted me to fast forward through the pastor talking, but she told me no, that she wanted to hear it all.
That little girl never shed one tear... Not one through the whole hour long listening session... But I still believe God was working out His healing within her, teaching her that when she’s ready and able, her tears will hear and He will see and keep ALL of them for Himself.