When my college boyfriend asked for my hand in marriage, upon saying yes, I cried.
A few years later my first daughter was born, and I cried.
In time, I had another daughter and a son, and I cried.
When any one of my kids would scrape their knees, or feel hurt by a friend’s harsh words, I cried.
When one of them got cut from a sport they were passionate about, hearts aching with the sting of pain and rejection, I cried. For about a week.
The first time my sixteen year old daughter pulled out of the driveway in her new car, I cried.
The first time my daughter’s heart was broken by a boy, I cried.
When my husband and I trudged through difficult times, I cried.
When my husband and I experienced times of great joy, I cried.
When my daughter left for the school the other day, headed towards her very last day of high school ever.
I admit it. I’m a cryer. I cry when I’m happy, and when I’m sad. I cry when my heart is touched, and when I’m hurt. I cry when I’m mad, and I could even cry over a diaper commercial if it hits me at just the right moment.
I just can’t help it. I’m an emotional being. It’s just the way God made me. But despite what I’m facing, good or bad, I know that God made my tears and catches every last one as we are promised in Psalm 56:8 “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.”
God is probably looking around for a bigger bottle to catch my tears these days, because there have been lots of tear-filled opportunities. And more tears are ready to emerge at any moment.
Tears of joy. Tears of happiness. Tears of anxiety. Tears of unspoken fears. Tears of pride. Tears of change. Tears of gratefulness. Tears of trust. Tears of a love that is so overwhelming that I can scarcely hold them back.
Tears, as I watched my eighteen year old daughter stroll across the stage, smiling proudly, wearing her accomplishments around her neck as they cascaded down her baby blue graduation gown while accepting her high school diploma. A symbol of years of hard work and commitment, ending this season of her life.
When I consider the hole that will be present in our home when my precious Morgan moves into her college housing in just a few months, projectile tears threaten to burst forth. When I think about how much I will miss seeing her beaming smile every day and listening to all her ‘stories’ due to her love of talking, sad tears trickle.
But when I consider how God has promised to watch over her, and reassures me in His Word that He loves her even more than my momma’s heart ever could, I can’t help but cry tears of overwhelming relief.
I know I can’t keep her under my wing forever, although I would like to, but I know she will always be under God’s wings, because He resides in her heart.
What peace and relief it brings as I embrace God’s promise in Psalm 91:4, which says “He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Envisioning my baby girl snuggled gently under the mighty wings of a sovereign God, protected with sovereign armor and a host of angels swarming over her everywhere she goes, showers my heart with peace, and helps keep my fears at bay.
For all you moms out there who are walking this road right now; watching your child leave the nest and venture out into the scary world of college and grown-up issues, I know you understand. For all your moms who have already experienced the heartbreak of going to bed at night, trusting that God will tuck your child safely into bed again and again, I know you understand.
For all you moms who think tears need to be hidden, I want to assure you that tears are from God, intended to help our minds and bodies flush out our emotions. They are not a sign of weakness to be ashamed of, but a sign of humaness and love which keeps our hearts soft and tender.
Graduation has now come and gone, and trust me – I cried. An onslaught of tears. Some of which I thought might cause me a little more embarrassment than I had planned on, and definitely bring embarrassment to my kids.
But that’s okay. After all, I’m a cryer. And seeing my beautiful-little-girl-turned-incredible-young-woman embark on her God ordained future is definitely tear worthy in my opinion.
There are no better tears than ones shed out of overwhelming love and adoration, laced with prayers of promise, hope and joy.
Have you shed any tears lately? Do you believe God caught those tears in His loving hands?
How has God touched your heart with promise and reassurance lately?