3 Tears Are Normal
3.1 My Story
“I removed the tumor. The tests also showed it has spread to her lymph nodes. I removed thirty-four of them,” said the surgical oncologist.
I stared at her. She was slowly becoming out of focus as I became teary-eyed. I knew the initial diagnosis of Stage 3 Melanoma Cancer was terrible. I knew the Melanoma spreading into the lymph nodes was very bad. I knew this would kill my wife. Even though I was trying hard not to, I started sobbing.
The surgeon then said the words I needed to hear. She said, “It’s okay to cry.” She took me in her arms, and I wept.
With her four simple words, I stopped pretending to be a macho man, let down my guard, and let the emotions of the moment take over. Today wouldn’t be the last time sobbing would overcome me. I would cry many more times over the next thirty-four months. Even now at one year since my wife’s passing, the crying returns from time to time.
Remember, it’s okay to cry.
The Bible tells of Jesus crying when Lazarus died. The Heavenly Father cares about our tears. Today’s Bible verse tells what God’s word says about crying.
3.2 Tears are Normal
When you’re a caregiver part of accepting the hope available through Jesus Christ is realizing that tears are normal. Daily living with a chronic illness or caring for a loved one with a persistent disease or terminal illness will bring tears. It’s okay to cry. Even Jesus wept (John 11:35 KJV, “Jesus wept.”).
3.3 Bible Verse
Psalm 56:8-9 (KJV), “Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me.”
3.4 What the Verses Mean
Why would God keep tears in a bottle? The idea behind the keeping of “tears in a bottle” is a remembrance. King David, the writer of these verses, is expressing a deep trust in God. He knows that God remembers his sorrow. He knows God remembers his tears. King David also is sure the God will never forget about him. David is confident that God is on his side.
3.5 Pray Using Scripture
- Heavenly Father, thank you for making us where we can cry and experience the emotional release of the resulting tears. Teach me to understand and accept that my tears help me identify and help me deal with my feelings.
- Lord Jesus, thank you for letting me know crying is okay.
- Almighty God, it is comforting to know that you notice and keep track of my tears.
- I turn the sorrow concerning the chronic illness of my loved one and my ability to care for them over to Yahweh-Rapha (God that heals).
- I pray that my family and I would feel the freedom to cry out to you God and let the tears flow when the release is needed.
- I pray that my family and friends would be supportive, loving, and understanding during the times the tears flow.
- I pray I would hold on to God during these times without questioning and accept God’s comfort.
- Help me to have the confidence of King David, the author of these verses, and say with him – for God is for me.
3.6 Responding to God’s Hope
- Have you given yourself and your loved ones permission to cry? Remember it’s okay to cry. Share with your family members that there are times when you cry. Your sharing will permit them to shed tears. There are times when they need to cry.
- Remember that God will not forget about your loved one. He does not forget about you or the other caregivers. Thank God for remembering you and not forgetting you.
- What is the first concern you think of when it comes to caring for your loved one? Tell God what that concern is and remember, it’s okay to cry. Tears are normal.
Photo Source: Pixabay
This blog post is from the forthcoming book, “Caregiving: Biblical Insights from a Caregiver’s Journey” by Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.