For those of you of you who don’t know me well, I am the sort of person who wears their heart on their sleeve (CRIES EASILY), meaning you can always see how I am feeling. I have been like this my whole life! I didn’t really give any thought to this when I became a Christian more than 20 years ago and how God (who gave me this personality trait in the first place) would use it. This is my tearful journey thus far…
From day 1 when I first encountered God I have cried as I have felt His presence. I am it seems a ‘highly sensitive’ person and very sensitive to the presence of the Holy Spirit which can be evident in any church meeting, small group, prayer meeting, praying with someone and always during worship.
The crying has become a bit of a standing joke amongst friends and I can usually be heard asking the ‘Lovely Mr B‘ if you can tell I’ve been crying, which he invariably answers ‘no’ to! This on occasion has not turned out to be absolutely true, (bless him for trying to spare my embarrassment) but, the streaks of black on my face are embarrassing, especially when I try to talk to new people at church and encourage them that it’s a great church to be part of and that I’m not crying with sadness!
The thing is when I cry I don’t cry silent, ‘ladylike’ tears and it always leaves me with a swollen nose and red, sore eyes. You would think by now I would have switched to waterproof mascara, but I haven’t because it doesn’t wash off (there’s a clue in the name!). Increasingly the crying has been accompanied by some loud, breakthrough sobs, which I try so hard to hang on to, but sometimes the sobs have broken out! On occasion the noises have been most alarming when praying for people or trying to pray out during a meeting.
So, I hope you are beginning to understand that the crying is not something I have enjoyed and it has caused me a lot of embarrassment over the years and a lot of apologies to the person sitting near me, next to me, etc. Also, and not something you may have considered unless you are a crier yourself, the amount of eye rubbing I have done instead of gentle dabbing has taken its toll on the under eye area and I am increasingly buying a tissue with added softness for obvious reasons!!!
On reflection I feel the crying held me back for a long time because I have been afraid of looking and sounding daft in front of people, leaving me unable to pray out in church because it is hard to talk, let alone string a sentence together whilst crying. This has been the same when praying for someone because I knew I would probably cry and this might scare the person I am praying for and prevent me from speaking clearly to them. This left me feeling frustrated and not feeling like God can use me. Have you ever felt like that?
So what to do?
Over the last couple of years God has been speaking to me about the crying and I can say I have finally accepted that it is going to be one of the ways God will use me to help others. God has spoken to me about giving me a bigger heart of compassion and to stop questioning the way he has made me. Rom 9:20-21 has been particularly helpful,
Rom 9:20 ‘But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, why did you make me like this? Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
Since I have accepted and apologised to God for doubting Him, I have begun to embrace the crying. God being full of love and grace has started to really move in my life (now I have got out of His way) and set me on fire for seeing people experience freedom in their lives and for prayer ministry. I am increasingly overwhelmed with God’s heart and compassion for people which means when I am out (with the Lovely Mr B) I might spontaneously cry when God reveals his heart to me for someone who is needy in their body for healing, emotionally or physically. Poor Mr B doesn’t know what’s going on when I suddenly have tears running down my face! The problem is I haven’t known what to do either!
As I have grown in understanding how God wants to use me and why I get overcome with compassion, God has encouraged me that on these occasions I should be bold and pray for people, obviously only if they want me to!!! As I increasingly step out in faith God will step in and do what He does- to bring healing and wholeness to them. This was a big reason I signed up to do a course called TSM a couple of years ago and my reason for starting this blog (to encourage others to not hold back). The course has given me a place to grow in my relationship with God, fully understand my identity in Him and give me the courage to step out and do the ‘stuff’.
If there is anybody out there who has had a similar experience with crying, I would love to hear from you and how this has impacted you and how God uses you.
I can honestly say that I no longer feel embarrassed about crying and just want to be used by God in whatever way He chooses.
If you see me in church and I’m not crying then there’s a problem, other than that it’s all good!!!!
*This blog has in no way been sponsored by any tissue manufacturers.
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