I cried last week.
I really cried. They were large and wet tears. Uncontrollable, unceasing, snot-producing tears. And you know what…there were 10 other people in the room. I cried in front of people. 10 other women who listened to me. 10 women who LOVED me through my pain.
I told someone how I was feeling. I told a group of women my struggle, my burden, my thorn in my flesh. I was vulnerable. I allowed people in. Healing began.
That doesn’t happen very often.
I have a difficult time being real when it hurts. Protective mechanisms stripped down like a cored apple, left only with raw fleshly emotion. Heaving, hurting, suffocating emotion. It’s easier for me to smile through my pain. After all, I learned at a young age that “Attitude determines Altitude”. (I once had a T-Shirt that said that. The theme from a Basketball Camp I went to in 4th grade. Another mantra of mine ever since.) How could sharing hurts and heartache be a good thing? It is vulnerable. It requires trust. It is giving of oneself to another.
But as I listened to a bible study focusing on the relationship and coexistence of Joy and Anguish…my heart became involved. The reference verses were
John 16:20 – Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. 21 A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. 22 So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. 23
Now is your time of grief.
Now is my time of grief.
But there will be joy. God promises me joy at the end of this. I just gotta hold on and hold out. Keep walking. Keep trusting. Keep asking questions. Keep pursuing answers. A beautiful thing will be born from this time of grief, this time of anguish in my life. It is a promise that has been given to me.
During our prayer time at the end, requests were shared – Grandbabies with birth defects, a family pursuing adoption of two young children, a volunteering opportunity at Crisis Pregnancy Center. My heart began to pound out of my chest. As this common theme emerged, I felt God tugging at my heart to speak up. I knew it was my time. I have been in this bible study for 4 months and I have never been ready to share. Never wanted to share. I mean, was I really infertile? What if I got pregnant next month? Would they think I was a little crazy and weird for getting so worked up about it? I want to be perceived as having it all together…I don’t want to show them my weaknesses.
Not this day. Today I was to pour out my heart and soul to fellow sojourners in this life and pray that they would receive me. Their hearts welled up with emotion in song with my own. Tears were shed. Kleenex was passed around. And then they prayed, a most precious gift in the midst of my grief. I cannot imagine a more perfect display of love and consideration of another then having people pray over you. Hands upon my head, my shoulders, my arms. Rich, fragrant prayers of mercy and hope were poured out over me to our heavenly King.
I wept that day. I was vulnerable. I was also given a gift. Women offering to share my load through prayer. What greater treasure than this?