The Discipline of Tears

I’ve been a mess lately.

An inside-out, gutted-open, blubbering mess. I haven’t spent this much time crying in a long time–a long, long, looong time. I’m not talking about a few tears here and there slowly and gently gliding ever-so-delicately down my cheeks. No, I’m talking about ugly crying–really ugly–as in slobbery, snotty wailing. Basically heaving my guts out until there just isn’t anything left to heave out.

It’s not been pretty. It’s definitely not been fun. And I can’t particularly say I’ve whole-heartedly embraced the process. But I am learning from it.

I’m learning the discipline of tears.

Crying as a discipline is a strange thought. But that’s exactly where I find myself in this season. The truth is most of the time I don’t feel like crying. So I’ve found myself avoiding it. Which really means I’ve found myself avoiding Him.

And that’s never a good thing.

So instead of avoidance, I’m learning the discipline of tears. I’m learning to confront the rampant injustices in this world rather than stuffing them or ignoring them. I’m learning to face what I feel deep inside rather than settling for the momentary relief of distraction or denial.

Really I’m learning to feel His heart at a much deeper level.

And that’s always a good thing.

It’s not easy. I’m still not doing such a great job embracing the process. I still run–for a moment or two anyway–but I can’t stay away for long. Because while this just might be the hardest thing I’ve ever done …

It’s also one of the very best.

A funny thing happens when I take the time to cry … I’m stronger. I’m healthier on the inside. I’m even happier–MUCH happier. In taking the time to weep with Him–in taking the time to acknowledge the things that are that never should be, and the things that aren’t that should be–I’m taking the time to feel what He feels. I’m taking the time to grieve over what He grieves over. I’m taking the time to love those He loves. Really, I’m increasing my own capacity to love without fear. Because being with Him and feeling His heart is what leads to true relief. It’s what leads to true revelation

  • revelation of His love
  • revelation of His faithfulness
  • revelation of His absolute goodness and sufficiency

Here’s the deal … He wins. In fact, He’s already won. It’s just taking a while to play out in certain areas. Those are the areas that break my heart–and His. But the losses–as real and devastating as they may be–are temporary. When I release the grief in my heart from the very real pain of this age and lean into His sufficiency, I begin to see (and feel) again from Heaven’s perspective. And I know, for real, that “our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

And then I cry again …

Because He’s good. He’s beautiful. He’s faithful. And I know beyond a shadow of a doubt ..

Love wins.

Always. Forever. For all.

Love wins.

And the revelation of that knowledge is worth any amount of tears.

14 thoughts on “The Discipline of Tears

    1. Thanks so much Susan. I almost didn’t post this so it means a lot 🙂 It’s definitely a process–learning to lean into the weight of His heart without coming under a bunch of stuff. Worth it, though! Thanks for your encouragement. Many blessings to you!


  1. Awesome. Healing rain! Thanks for sharing such an intimate and vulnerable part of your walk with God. When we let Him touch the deep thing in us, those things we aren’t even aware of ourselves, we come out the other end with more of His heart. As you said, He lets us experience things with His eyes of love and, thereby, deepening our shallow hearts. That’s what makes it worth it to me. There might be no crying in baseball, but there’s lots in our Father’s embrace! Yes, love wins! Amen.


    1. Amen indeed. And boy do our shallow hearts need deepening–especially mine . So weird that something can be so incredibly painful yet so gloriously good. Must be Kingdom economy 🙂 Blessings to you!


  2. Thank you for a heartfelt and honest article. It reminds me of what Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13. We grieve, but we don’t grieve like those who have no hope. Faith doesn’t mean you don’t hurt. Faith doesn’t mean you don’t cry. Thank you for that reminder. I just wrote an article about waiting patiently to be free from the pains and problems of this world. If you have a chance check it out:
    I hope it may give you some encouragement in your pain and tears. God bless!


    1. Thanks for your stopping by–I so appreciate your encouraging words. And great article–we really do walk in that tension between the “now” and “not yet”. So glad we know there WILL be a day … Blessings to you!


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