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At least I’m used to it

February 26, 2007

Over the last several months, I have become quite accustomed to crying. Previously, I simply wasn’t a crier. Tears were rare. Over the last year, however, this fact about me has completely changed. For a while, I was actually counting the number of days I DIDN’T cry because they were so infrequent.

In that time, my heart has been opening up in amazing ways. I feel more. I’m not as deadened and detached emotionally as I was most of my life. I feel everything more… both good and bad. It has been a tenderizing and a reawakening of my heart. I experience God more truly. I love more deeply. And I receive in ways that I could not before.

Had none of this changed, I don’t know what the last two weeks would have looked like. Perhaps I would have been more numb and detached. Perhaps I would have pushed the pain away and left it hidden and rotting somewhere deep inside… to be dealt with much further down the road in a significantly messier healing process.

Instead, I feel it. By the grace of God, I have lost those instincts that kept my heart locked down and “safe”. I still fight the temptation to shut down… but my heart is too alive now to let that deadening numbness overtake it again. And so I hurt a lot. I feel the pain more deeply than I ever knew that pain could be felt. And God meets me in that broken place.

In the last few days, it has been amazing, the things that have made me cry. Some of it makes sense–reminders and realizations of what I have lost. And then there are the tears that make no sense. I’m crying and I don’t have a clue why (apart from a few obvious guesses as to the general reason). I’m learning to be ok with that, though… not knowing.

Everything is different now that she is gone. Within the first hour of getting that phone call, I knew this would be true. Now I am experiencing that drastically altered reality.

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”is far more meaningful to me than a simple recommendation that we live in mourning over our sins because it leads to blessing. I am not going to try to completely shatter such an interpretation of Matthew 5 (…right now). However, I do admit that I am generally opposed to an if-then interpretation of the beatitudes. (Such mourning and brokenness is quite biblical, for sure. But I don’t believe that is the point Jesus is getting at in these words.) The beatitudes are blessings, not commandments.

It is a promise. It is a message of hope to the hurting and the broken. I am mourning right now. God sees it, and He says that I will be comforted.

Perhaps it is our general refusal to truly mourn that blinds us from seeing how profoundly meaningful and hopeful these words are. Perhaps those life-long habits of shutting our hearts down when it comes to pain have kept us from realizing our need for comfort. Perhaps a straight-forward interpretation of these words (those who are now mourning will be comforted) is generally meaningless to us because we don’t know how to mourn. Or we don’t realize how much we really are hurting (if we would allow ourselves to feel).

I truly believe that this is what Jesus is talking about in these opening words to the sermon on the mount. He is talking about the promises of the Kingdom. He is talking about the day when “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

They are the words of hope that give us the strength to trust Him and press into the commands that follow in the rest of those three chapters. It is the hope that allows us to truly persevere.

All that I can do right now is lean on His goodness and trust His promises. I know who He is… I know what He has spoken… and I know that it will come to pass.

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6 comments

  1. i thank God for you, Christine.

    “…we don’t know how to mourn. Or we don’t realize how much we really are hurting (if we would allow ourselves to feel).” — oh this is so true! i’m only able to mourn anything lately because i’m in such a jacked up state heart-wise myself and i’m so tender that everything just seems to deserve real emotion. we were created to have intense emotions–given the very emotions of God–and we suppress them because they scare us and make us vulnerable. to hear how God is changing you (and witness it in me as well) gives me great hope that in light of Christ and his sufferings, we can truly become more like him, even (and especially) in our emotions.

    i’m flipping proud of you. blessings…


  2. I was amazed when I read this. God was talking to me on this exact thing just a couple/few weeks ago. Not something like this, this exact thing!

    I have struggles with areas in my heart that haven’t been healed (from decades ago) and I never could find what I was missing. Then God showed me this passage, and He made it clear that I had never mourned in these areas. I see now that the comfort I have cried out for could not come because my lack of mourning. I guess holding in all that pain (in my case, trying to be strong like I was “supposed” to be) was denying my pain, and therefore denying my need for comfort.

    It is so awesome that God showed you this right now. I believe you are right; if you weren’t able to mourn now, in the moment, it could have festered until it caused more pain and was harder to deal with later. He is so faithful! Praise God!


  3. Dorean –
    That’s awesome… how God was speaking to you about this. I love that!

    Isn’t it amazing how we are taught that we are supposed to deal with things by essentially deceiving ourselves, that ignoring the truth of our pain rather than actually confronting it is considered strong?

    To me, this is similar to mistaking recklessness and stupidity for courage. Courage actually involves having a sober understanding of the risks and consequences and dangers involved and choosing to move forward anyway. It has nothing to do with convincing ourselves that nothing could possibly go wrong and blindly jumping in.

    Perhaps it’s a weird connection… but they seemed really similar in my head. 🙂


  4. Kacie –
    I look forward to our sure-to-be-soon catching up chats. I can’t wait to witness, up close, more of the fruits of what God has been doing in you in this time. I’ve loved the glimpses that are given in your blog. Yay for tender hearts!!!


  5. I don’t think it’s a wierd connection at all. I think it’s actually quite profound. Just thinking about it, isn’t mourning really an issue of courage anyway? I mean, it takes overcoming the fear that says, “If I start to cry, I might never stop. If I start to cry, my heart might burst.” I think you hit something very deep here…


  6. Hmmmm… very true. I think mourning really is an issue of courage.

    It’s hard to distinguish, sometimes, between the things I say that are borderline profound and the things that are just completely ridiculous. 🙂



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