I’ve always been tough.
Maybe it was growing up in between two boys. Maybe it was being the middle child. Maybe I was born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline?
No matter where it comes from, it’s always been apart of who I am, how I function. Along with this toughness comes a lack of emotions — or at least, a lack of being able to identify and cope with them. If I’m not in my usual state of joy, it’s hard for me to dissect what I feel and why I feel it.
I don’t really cry.
At least, I didn’t used to. Unless I was physically harmed — like stepping through my brother’s fishing hook — the waterworks rarely happened.
The older I grow, the more susceptible I am to crying. It used to really freak me out. What is this water coming out of my face? Where did it come from?
This is how crying works for me: I have to be above an 8 on any emotional scale. So if I’m 8+ happy, sad or mad, tears start to flow (or at least trickle a bit).
When I saw 20+ people come to Christ in a church service, I cried. When I watched the end of Taken when (spoiler alert) Liam Neeson reunites with his daughter and she says, “You came for me,” I couldn’t help but tear up. When I hear stories about genocide and human trafficking, I almost blubber.
Jesus wept, so I can too.
I used to think crying was a sign of weakness, that if I cried, I was just being an average girl who was being overly sensitive. That’s completely untrue.
In John 11:35, perhaps the shortest verse of the Bible, it says, “Jesus wept.”
He mourned the death of his dear friend Lazarus. Though he later raised Lazarus from the dead, he still wept over the pain he felt and saw in Lazarus’ sisters.
Crying is not a symptom of weakness, but a symptom of being moved. It’s like we can’t bottle up the pain/joy/anger we feel, so it starts to flow out of us. It’s the product of being overwhelmed — whether good or bad — and not keeping it to ourselves.
So I’m okay with crying a bit more these days, because God’s really been moving through me lately. He’s frustrated me and given me joy, He’s protected me and tested me. I don’t have to feel weak, but know that I am strong enough to express my emotions.