I was reading another post from my pastor friend, Timothy M. Shorey, which he titled, “That Time of the Year”. In it, he listed a number of losses and sorrows that he and his family had experienced around the time of year that most of us celebrate Christmas.
One of the statements he made resonated deeply within my soul. He said:
“We are like so many for whom this time of the year is that time of the year when tears mix liberally with cheers.”
In grieving the death of my daughter I have found this to be so true. For example, Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago and I had the joy and privilege of serving in a variety of ways as part of the Couples Weekend that we host here at Americas Keswick.
All weekend, I was surrounded by happy couples enjoying fun, laughter, kisses and hugs. As happy as the occasion was for most of them, I found myself often crying. I was missing my husband who was away and my arms were aching to hold my daughter.
My friend went on to say… “tears flow freely for all who grieve. I love tears. I don’t love sorrow, but I do love tears. They are a gift; a God-given release of sorrow that comforts and cleanses the heart.”
I am finding that statement to be so very true. Though I have never, ever liked tears and have almost always resisted them; lately, I can’t help it. Whether I want them to or not they slip from my eyes, rolling down my cheeks into my mouth, unashamed that they communicate pain and weakness. It is what it is and in those tears I am sensing a release of sorrow that is comforting my heart. It’s very strange for me but nonetheless, it is happening.
Tim went on to say… “reflection on life can lead to tears over losses and crosses…let the tears flow. Don’t feel guilty or ashamed or weak in faith. Often those who weep most are those who see clearest. They see what life is supposed to be in this broken world, and one day shall be in the New Earth — and they long with an aching heart, that it would be, today…”
Dear sisters, are you experiencing losses in your life? Are there griefs to bear, sorrows that invade without a by-your-leave?
All I have to share for the soothing of your soul is this one simple truth:
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”—Psalm 91:1-2
Stephanie Dale Paul
Stephanie serves as part of the Addiction Recovery Team at America’s Keswick as Director of Women of Character. She has been married for over 30 years to Sesky Paul who is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. They have two grown children.
Her single focus in ministry at Keswick is to image Christ in grace and truth to wounded and hurting women, encouraging them to make Jesus the truest Lover of their soul and the One in whom all hope lies.