Last Sunday I listened to a pastor talk about this scripture. It is Ecclesiastes 3:1. He was talking about the church fixing their facade. He was also talking about the fact that he was leaving and someone else was taking his place. The church is going through lots of changes. Although when I heard him read the words, it meant something completely different to me. I love how God always puts me in the right place at the right time. He brought me to this church and I believe it is a place I can call my own. Two Sundays in a row I have found myself crying in church. I haven’t quite figured out why I cry. Nonetheless, God put me in this church because I believe he has a few things he wants to tell me. Sometimes I laugh in my head and think –“Wow, this pastor is talking directly to me.” How does he know what I need to hear at this exact moment? I don’t always get warm fuzzies when I go to certain churches. When I go to Holy Family Catholic Church it is just a job. When I went to Assembly of God I felt like it was a business endeavor more than a church. At other churches, I catch myself analyzing the sermons as a scholar of speech giving and teaching. I critique their organization and their delivery, completely letting the message go in one ear and out the other. But there is something different about this new church. It is called Grace Fellowship. Words can be so powerful and hold so much meaning. In the non theological sense, the word grace means to exhibit beauty and elegance in form. Fellowship can sometimes be described as a friendship or companionship. Symbolically, I believe this is the beginning of a beautiful new friendship with God.

Something happened today that got me thinking about all this. Why do I cry in church? Anytime there is something troubling me I call up my best friend Jack and tell him exactly what is on my mind. He has seen me in all my faults and weaknesses. We both share a vivid memory from a day four years ago, and he briefly mentioned it today. It was in my early college years and my depression was in full force again just as it had been in my Junior High years. I was wearing a black hoodie that day. I don’t like the color black and I don’t like hoodies, so that was an instant red flag to Jack that something was wrong. From the beginning he and I have been strangely in tune with one another’s emotions. I would help him through his bouts of depression, so he would return the favor. It was pouring and we were in his Jetta that he had at the time. I loved that it was raining. I am a huge fan of symbolism. Every time horribly sad things happen in movies it is raining. Tears and rain go hand it hand. So there we were in the Music building parking lot between classes, and simultaneously as the rain pelted the car, my tears stained my cheeks. For hours, I cried and talked and cried and talked without pausing to take a breath.  We’ve been best friends ever since.

I have heard people say that pain is weakness leaving the body, but then what are tears? I cry when I am angry. I cry when I’m frustrated with myself. I cry when I watch sad things on tv and in movies. I cry when I see other people cry. I cry when I hear beautiful music. I cry when I hear music with lyrics that describe the way I am feeling. Why do I cry so much? Do I just have too many emotions that I can’t contain? Tears must be an overflow of emotions leaving the body. When I cry in church it must mean that God’s love is so abundant that it is just too much to contain. Another angle I am exploring is that crying has something to do with vulnerability. I have been known to choke back tears. I am afraid to cry in front of certain people. Crying is a sign of weakness for a lot of people. I believe if I cry in front of certain people, I have exposed my soul completely. Although, I don’t mind exposing my tears and emotions to the people I trust wholeheartedly. Ultimately, if I can cry in front of someone, it must mean I trust them enough to expose my vulnerability to them.

Right before I found my church,Grace Fellowship, I visited another church by where I live. There was a women who sang ,very poorly, a song called Blessings by Laura Story. I got extremely choked up reading the lyrics floating by on the screen. Just as I have wondered is this pastor speaking directly to me?, I said, “Thank you God for using this woman as a vessel to speak to me.” The chorus went:

“Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise”

God told me on that Sunday that it is OK to cry; it is the only way I will heal. But how much crying must I do in order to heal? Will I ever truly emotionally heal? I keep telling myself that time will heal. It’s just another stupid cliché though. The second I feel like I am healing, I experience a clear relapse. My body doesn’t heal quickly. My bruises, scabs, and scars last much longer than normal. My immune system has always been weak. If there is something going around, I will catch it. If my emotions had an immune system, then it would be weak too. I am not saying that I am a weak person. Compared to most, I am pretty strong. In talking about immune systems, their main purpose is to rebuild was has been broken down. Being such a positive optimist my whole life, I had never expected to experience a break down such as this.

This scripture talks about a lot of opposites in this world. It mentions loving, hating, laughing, crying, living and dying. The whole point is lost if we just see this scripture as a list of opposites. The world experiences all of these things in perfect balance. We can’t have one without the other. God has shown me so much love and happiness in my life. In order to keep the pendulum swinging in perfect balance, He had to show me how to deal with pain and heartbroken too. I realized that I have never had my heart broken untill recently because I never let my guard down. Most people would, in this case, recoil and never expose their soul to anyone again. That is not me at all. I show vulnerability in church to God because he is a true friend. I expose my emotions to my earthly best friend Jack. I never realized I put a guard up in front of boyfriends until now. I shouldn’t act differently in front of friends as I do in front of boyfriends. This time will be completely different. I will let my guard down one hundred percent with him. I thought I was until today. How was I able to cry in front of Jack but not in front of him? Does it even really matter? So many things in this life just seem so menial in the eye’s of God. He see’s the big picture. I was never good at seeing the big picture in any aspect of the world. He sees my whole life and sees this stupid break-up as just a tiny bump in the road.  Most days that is what it is, but other days it swarms inside me and eats me up from the inside. It defines me. This is part of my healing process. Eventually I will figure out how to let God pour in a fill up the voids inside of me. He is the only one who can make me whole. Nothing of this earth will do. A time to heal; a time to break down and time to build up. We can’t have one without the other. I needed to break down. It is the only way I will be able to build myself up again.

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