tears: tapping into tears as a healthy way to live, love and pray

We’re delighted to welcome writer, poet, podcaster and nature photographer, Wendy L McDonald, as this week’s guest writer. She is speaking about the way God uses tears as messengers in our lives, especially when we pray for those we love. Over to you, Wendy…

Tears are messengers telling us to pay close attention. I used to be terrified to tear up in public. But a season of mourning helped me overcome my terror of being caught with tears streaming down my face.

For years, anger was my go-to emotion. I would rather get mad than feel the depths of sad. But I learned the hard way how destructive anger is when facing grief. When my father died suddenly, and without a medical explanation, my grief got stuck in the anger stage far too long. I took my mad out on God and stopped attending church. It wasn’t until our family watched a Matthew video series that my heart softened enough to crave fellowship again.

“The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.” –  Psalm 103:8-9 KJV

The next tragic test of my faith came when my only niece died during a relapse in her recovery from addictions. This time I cried out in agony and disbelief, “How can this be happening? It doesn’t make any sense.”

But because I already learned the lesson of how harmful it is to stay mad, I immediately told God I choose to trust Him despite the despicable circumstances. I knew He heard the multitude of prayers I aimed at heaven on her behalf. I also knew He loved her more than any mortal aunt or parent ever could. So I trusted. And when songs at church stirred my heart and begged me to praise Him in the depths of my sorrows, tears flowed freely because I refused to stay angry.

“Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?” – Psalm 56:8 KJV

Tapping into tears is healthy and helpful because it facilitates living in the moment. And nothing is more powerful than a praying parent who is tapping into tears motivated by a love as deep as the ocean. God’s love is deeper still, so He hears the heart cries of mamas and papas who desire the salvation of their offspring.

“The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” James 5:16 KJV

Anger isn’t bad. It’s if we wallow in it and what we do with it that determines if it is vile or of value.

If anger turns us away from God, it’s not good. If anger turns to tears of grief, and motivates us to press into the Lord with—and despite—our doubt and depression, it’s very good. In fact, if we say to Him, “I choose to trust You no matter what,” that’s as good as it gets. It’s an offering that pleases Him more than many offerings, because faith that trusts during trials is gold to God.

The two grief incidences I mentioned prepared my heart for a dark valley I walked through as a parent. I had to drive to places and talk to people I hadn’t foreseen as part of my parenting path. Fear, humiliation, and disappointment tried to rile up the mad in me and tried to stifle my tears. But my tapping-into-tears lessons stayed with me, and I cried into my pillow, cried during my prayer times.

I chose to trust God as our family walked through seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of troubles that tore into our hearts. And although I can’t share the details, it’s probably just as well because unspoken thorns in a parent’s side are more relatable to you if I don’t.

Fill in the blanks with your own moments of tragic phone calls and suspicious behaviors and you know the best thing to do as a Christian parent is to fall on your knees and pray for wisdom, power, and love to do the next thing.

God walked with me when I did the next thing. He placed people, books, and resources—I never imagined existed—into our lives so we survived a valley we would never have chosen if given a choice. But now that we’ve walked through even more valleys, I can say my trust muscles are stronger than ever and anger is mostly a distant memory because I remembered to tap into tears.

Valleys are part of being an imperfect parent of imperfect offspring on an imperfect planet. But praying parents are powerful when they tap into tears. I still tap the tear button because my parenting days aren’t over yet. But I’m at peace with it since I choose to trust my perfect Father.

“For his anger endureth but a moment; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” – Psalm 30:5 KJV

Have you mined the treasure of tapping into tears?

raindrops on petals
magnolia blossoms shine
I mine each treasure
tears flow as heartfelt prayers
for God’s love never gives up
~ wlm

Wendy L. Macdonald loves where she lives and enjoys photographing nature in her community on Vancouver Island. Besides writing and gardening, Wendy also enjoys hiking with her husband. She homeschooled their three children, and she believes years of reading classics aloud developed her love of storytelling. Her byline is: My faith is not shallow because I’ve been rescued from the deep. You can connect with Wendy on her website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

We’re linking here with #LLMLinkup and #graceandtruth

25 thoughts on “tears: tapping into tears as a healthy way to live, love and pray

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  1. Dear Wendy,
    What a beautiful post and a validation of our tears! I have also experienced anger but am learning that trust is so much better. Being a parent has stretched me in ways I could never have imagined. Things are not in our control anyway, but we realize it more when our kids are out on their own. I’m so thankful to know God is faithful and we can trust Him always. Thank you for sharing your heart here and reminding us that our tears are seen by God and that He will be with us and provide what we need to help us through the hard things. Blessings to you, Wendy!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Gayl. Amen to the truth: “Things are not in our control anyway.”
      Parenthood definitely stretches and humbles our hearts. I had no idea how strong love can be or how much it can hurt; but I love who my children are growing up to be. Trials and trip-ups teach us to trust God more. My own troubled past taught me to give grace upon grace to my dear family. God is good to use the bad stuff for our growth and for His glory–how amazing is that? How amazing is He!
      Blessings ~ Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Wendy,
    Oh thank you so much for sharing your heart, and the beautiful words of hope that the Lord has given you. It may not feel like it, but I believe that these tears given over to Him are the very doorways to His hope. This touched me so much: “And nothing is more powerful than a praying parent who is tapping into tears motivated by a love as deep as the ocean. God’s love is deeper still, so He hears the heart cries of mamas and papas who desire the salvation of their offspring.” I also was so embarrassed by my tears for so many years. Until the season when the grief & burden became so overwhelming, I couldn’t stop the ugly, face drenching tears from overcoming me at the most inopportune times. Sometimes He wants us to cry in the private times with Him, but sometimes He wants those tears to be seen and shared. Thank you for sharing with us here, as we come alongside each other. Blessings and love to you dear sister!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear Bettie. One thing I need to remember is that tears can be a call to prayer for those who witness them. I know I’ve privately prayed for people who shed tears in public. Love shares the prayer burdens of others. One day we may find out who secretly prayed for us and find out our prayers for others were answered by the One who counts and collects each teardrop.
      Hugs & blessings, dear friend ~ Wendy xo

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear Michele. I’m learning to take note of messages each unexpected tear inks onto my heart. I’ve uncovered words of loving encouragement waiting for me to read, write, and share. Sometimes I tear up while I’m out in nature as I sense His Spirit speaking through it. Creation has a lot to say about our Creator God when I’m still enough to notice.
      Blessings ~ Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  3. For years I tried to be the strong one. After hearing a musician say not to let the devil see you cry, I never did. when that dam of tears broke after a long time I cried for six weeks.Now I cry to God, He is the one who sees, I recently wrote a post about tears as well, thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Rebecca. Crying to God is the best kind of crying. I believe tears help clear the way for God to do a marvelous work of healing and grace in our hearts so we can share it with others. ❤
      Blessings ~ Wendy

      Like

  4. I love how you share your heart, Wendy. Tears are so cleansing, and I love the verse where we’re told God keeps them in a bottle in heaven. They’re so precious to Him. I think about the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and how Jesus wept before He performed that miracle. He loves each one of us so very much, but we cannot know it’s depth or height because His love is infinite. I remember holding my prodigal daughter’s stuffed lamb she’s had since a toddler and crying buckets of tears into it. How Leemie and I cried together! Would she ever be free of her sins and come back home to God and to me? Oh, yes, how she has come home to us! God’s saving grace has made her into a new creation, someone I don’t even recognize. Our lives are so closely intertwined in love now through the Holy Spirit. It’s truly a slice of heaven on earth, and nothing I desire compares to its joy, next to knowing my precious Jesus. Thanks for the sweet encouragement, dear sister. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Karen, for your encouraging and faith boosting words. I long for that “slice of heaven on earth.” In the meantime I praise God for the glimpses I see of it. Sometimes a battle is won one soldier at a time. ❤
      By the way, the verse you mentioned about Jesus weeping is the one that broke my barrier down; I cried after years of not crying when read that verse as new Christian.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, dear Shelli. You’re blessed to understand the importance of not stifling tears. I suspect it plays a part in why you’re a rich with compassion person. ❤ I'm blessed to know you, sweet friend.

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  5. Dear Wendy, what a beautiful post this is and what a vital message to take on board! I was very much like you’ve descibed here for years, bottling my tears inside, swallowing down the pain, holding onto anger and grief and finding very little release. I feared (and probably still do to some extent) that once I let go I wouldn’t be able to stop the flow, rather like Becky describes above. Yet God gave us tears for a purpose and we needn’t be afraid to cry when it is necessary and right to do so. Thank you for sharing your heart and gving us such a lovely reminder. It’s a message I need to hear and heed. Blessings and hugs! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for having me as a guest, dear Joy. ❤ It motivated me to dig deeper, to tap into tears. I've noticed that when something causes me to tear up–a song–a sermon–a poem–etc, it means I'm to pay close attention to the message flowing between my tears. What I find is His love and call to draw closer to Him in worship, thanksgiving, help, and healing. I love how personal our God is. He truly is with believers and in believers. No one compares with Him.
      Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Wendy,

    Your words here are so precious. Thank you for sharing from your heart.

    I am so sorry for all the pain you have walked through, but I am praising God for what He has birthed through it all. Even here with these words.

    May the Lord continue to open doors for you to share of His great love for His beloved children. You are such a gift in Him.

    God bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

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