Twenty-Six. Tears.

This post is long overdue. It’s about something I noticed at work, but the event happened a few weeks ago.

Anyway, for anyone who has, works with, or had ever been around kids, you know they cry for a variety of reasons. Usually (at work anyway) they cry for silly reasons like, “Wait your turn, let your friend play with it for five minutes.” or “Is it nice to hit your friends?” Sometimes they cry because they miss mommy and daddy, which is perhaps more legitimate than those other two (not getting their way or getting in trouble) but since you know they’re safe and all their needs are met, it’s not a cry that truly registers. And sometimes they fall or bump into something and cry from pain or shock.

But a cry from terror – now THAT registers.

We had a fire alarm go off just after nap one day and seeing some of the kids cry because they were scared was one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve seen in a long time. I almost started crying.

It made me think about tears, fears, strength and compassion in ways I’d never really thought of them before.

Particularly tears.

Tears are such strange things. According to Wikipedia there are three categories of tears. There are also different triggers for tears. And there are different interpretations of tears too – like social acceptability dependant on gender/age/situation. I don’t want to get scientific about tears though. The triggers are what I find interesting, as well as the benefits (or consequences) of crying.

A lot of people can tell who is crying by the sound. I found that while I can’t necessarily place a child with a particular sounding cry, the sound and the visual together indicate why the child is crying and elicit different responses – ones I don’t consciously control.

It reminded me of the most common reasons I might start crying (and I happen to do that a lot). Often I laugh too hard. Sometimes it’s because I’m watching some emotional movie or something. And other times I’m remembering something particularly sad, like the death of my grandparents. Rarely, I cry from the pain of my headaches/migraines.

Another reason I cry sometimes is from stress/anxiety. I’ll over-think things sometimes and start freaking myself out with possibilities whether past (could have/would have/should have) or present (what-ifs).

Whatever the reason for crying (though less-so with the positive reasons), crying has always seemed healthy to me because it’s a physical release of something you might be feeling and it can really help you heal or overcome whatever is bothering you.

If I hadn’t cried over my grandparents’ deaths, I might still be shaking on the inside to this day.

There’s a beautiful song by Laura Story called Blessings and some of the lyrics talk about tears:
‘Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
The ‘You’ she is referring to is God.

In the most challenging times I’ve faced in my life I often try to be “strong” and just talk through the problem without crying but alone in my bedroom at night, I can’t sleep, so I pray. I just lay it all out for God – who already knows what I’m going through but listens anyway – and I start crying uncontrollably. Then I feel better.

It’s amazing how quickly letting negative emotion or negative thoughts flow out with my tears can help. Crying can bring peace and calmness in very trying situations.

So I encourage you to cry out to God. Maybe you’re a man and you feel like “real men” don’t cry… Well to God, you’re another child of His and He sees your pain even if you’re not willing to admit it or show it to anyone else.

Time and time again my closest friends remind me that crying is healthy and it can heal. I truly believe that’s true. I also believe tears are more powerful than we give them credit for.

Anyway, I just wanted to share some thoughts I had about tears with you all – I don’t know if that’s something people ever talk about.

This seems like a shorter post than usual. That’s probably not a bad thing.

Remember He loves you and He can deal with your tears so cast all your troubles, worries, fears, problems and emotions at His feet, come to Him as a small child would go to their parent and cry until you feel better.

You can also cry from laughing too hard because joy is beautiful!

Thank God for the emotions He gave us and for the ways in which we can express ourselves.

So, as usual, I hope God Blesses each and every one of you abundantly.

PS: I GOT MY BELGIAN VISA! It came last week, no questions, no problems! I was a little worried – but more about that in my next exchange prep update, which should be my last one because at this point, I only have one step left (finding somewhere to live).

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