Saturday, June 30, 2012

lesson Two...

God understands your tears just as well as He understands  your words. After all, He gave you both.

If you have read anything that I have ever written, or talked in person or on the phone with me, you will know that it is rare that I am ever at a loss for words. Yes, I'm actually a shy person, but once you get to know me and the walls come down, the flood gates open and out come thoughts, dreams, jokes, laughs, and more.

There are times, though, when I can find no words to express the thoughts and feelings inside my head and heart. There are times when I find myself cradling broken fragments of memories in my fingers -- snippets of conversations replaying in my ears, flashes of faces in my mind, scenes of love and loss stuttering like an old film in front of my eyes -- those broken fragments are often hard to hold. A forgotten moment can have an edge sharper than a knife when it is brought again to light. Even with the times of joy mixed in, the bite of shattered hopes lingers longer than the reminisces of happiness. Finding words can be as difficult as finding peace.

I am a person who must express what I'm feeling and thinking in some way or another. My first choice is through words, be they written or spoken. I have to get things out. Not doing so results in sleepless nights or nightmares, and withdrawal from others, among other not so healthy coping methods. And so the times when I can't find words, when I can't express how I feel...those times are very hard.

Today has been a day of no words. It hasn't been a bad day by any means, but there were things festering inside of me that I was too afraid to look at, because I knew that if I looked, it would hurt. I pushed those things aside -- I've probably been pushing them aside for a few days. But those things will not stay buried for long. Soon I got too tired, and almost too curious, to not look. And I did.

It was one of those moments when I saw much of my life -- where I've been, where I am, where I'm going -- and it seemed as though I was nothing. No matter what, I'm not good enough. Yes, I've accomplished things, but I'm not good enough to be really worth something in others' lives.

I thought of the older man at my sisters' workplace who was fired shortly after he began working there because he couldn't do the work well enough -- he'd needed a job so badly.

I thought of the friend whose parents are upset at her for things she couldn't control -- she would have kept her word if her car hadn't broken down, and if she'd had the money to fix it.

I thought of all of the people who have lost homes in the fires, all of their belongings and possibly pets -- they couldn't forsee that the places they lived in would be in the path of a monstrous wildfire.

I thought of the girl who has become a good friend in a short amount of time, who got in some trouble with a boy and when she told him she was pregnant, he left her, and when she lost the baby he came back and told her it was all her fault -- she deserves so much better than that.

And then the thought came to my mind -- 'you are not enough. Your writing center job, your associate's degree, your high honors, your house, your life -- YOU -- are not enough to help any of those people.'

My heart aches for these people, and it aches more that I can do nothing to help them. It is a literal ache, one that hit me so hard that I doubled over and did the only thing I could do: I began to cry. I leaned against the wall for what seemed like a lifetime, crying and crying because of the pain I felt in my heart for these people and my inability to help them. And another thought came: how could I believe in a God who let things like this happen to people, especially to those who don't deserve it? And why will He not make me enough, when I have constantly tried to give everything to Him?

I then began to berate myself for worrying about things I can't control and for questioning the Lord. I remembered that everything happens for a reason, and it makes people stronger if they will learn from it. You shouldn't doubt, and anyway, you should be praying rather than crying, a not-so-kind voice said in my head. Mid-sob, though, I was hit by something that I'd never thought of before. I was so surprised that I stopped crying. And another voice answered saying, The Lord understands tears. He hears those just as He hears your words.

I was stunned. How had I never thought of that before? All of those times I'd avoided talking to the Lord because I knew that I would have no words to say and I would merely cry -- He gets that. He understands that there are times when I will be unable to speak, to voice the things that are inside of me. And it isn't just when I'm sad, either. He understands the tears of joy just as well as the tears of sorrow.

Tonight the pain I felt has not been assuaged very much. My doubts are not as prevalent, because I'm trying to step back and remember the "big picture principles." I still ache inside for these strangers and friends, and I will not lie and say that the tears have ceased completely. However, I do know that it is not weak to show the Lord my tears. He understands them -- He gave them to me as a gift, a way to express feelings when I cannot explain them through words.

God understands your tears just as well as He understands your words. After all, He gave you both.

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