Tears

Ben likes to tease me about a teeny, tiny, little white lie I told him while we were dating. He asked me if I would consider myself someone who cries a lot.

“Not at all. I hardly ever cry. Honestly. I’m a pretty even keel kind of gal.”

And to be fair, I didn’t cry that much in my 20’s. At that point I figured I’d done all the crying a person should do, and was moving on. I loved college, loved my little “after college” time, fell in love with a great guy, and considered myself in the “happily ever after” stage of life.

And then love opened the flood gates. Something about feeling so good also increased my capacity to feel other emotions on deeper more personal levels. So now, it really is quite a joke that I ever considered myself someone who cries infrequently. I cry a lot. More than a lot.

But, as quick as tears come for the pains and sorrows of others, I still do have a hard time crying for myself in front of others. I am a reserved person. I’m private. I don’t like to show people that I’m struggling. It’s embarrassing. It’s painful.

This morning though, a few tears managed to sneak out at Bible study. It was a very bad morning. The kids and I are very worn down after being without Daddy for a longish stretch and we were all pushing each other’s buttons. At one point I asked T5 to put on his coat and he said, “You alwaaaaayyyyyyyysssss say that!” and he proceeded to stomp out the door sans coat.

Right before I stomped outside after him, I managed to kick the door very hard, hurt my foot, and also scare the pants off my 3 year old. Once I took a deep breath of the chilly air, my temper cooled right off, but for the most part, the damage was done, and we all headed to school with scowls and heavy hearts. T5 and I exchanged apologies, but even after a nice hug and kiss, the feeling of having failed by leading us all into our various funks, stayed with me.

I arrived at Bible study this morning, barely. I hadn’t eaten. I was tense. I was tired. The plan was to grin and bare it, because Bible study is good for me – like broccoli and Metamucil. Then a friend asked me how I was and the chin started to shake and the tears started falling. Not for long. I didn’t bust out. But the damage was done. They all knew I was struggling.

I felt so ashamed. I should be stronger than this. Women all over the world are living through much more difficult things. This is nothing. I feel so ashamed for being whipped by something as little as this.

This is so God though. Even though I hate it, it feels spot on to recognize that I keep coming to the end of myself again and again and guess what? There wasn’t any more of me this time around than there was last time. I still need Jesus, every day. Even though I think I’m maturing, that I can handle more, that I’ll be able to sustain my own well being for longer this time, I can’t. Maturity is realizing you can’t. Maturity is turning to Jesus before you try on your own.

Duh. Double Duh.

Thank you Jesus. Meet me under the afghan at 8:05. I won’t be late. I know you won’t. Miss you. Love, Jess.

6 thoughts on “Tears

  1. dana says:

    jess,
    thanks so much for sharing that. I also struggle with pretending that everything is fine when it really is not. I really related to what you shared, I have gone and am going through some very similar feelings lately. Thanks for encouraging me to turn to Christ and stop trying to fight battles by myself. (because, as you said, duh-I won’t win without Him).

  2. i know what you’re saying — i feel like there are so many other people out there (even close friends) who have things so much harder than i do, so i have no place to complain. yet the days can get hard… my philosophy, too, is that no one cries alone in my presence, so even reading your blog got my ‘windshield wipers’ going as i blinked fast enough to keep reading. wish i could be there to give you a hug and let you know you are not alone and you don’t have to be super-mom. what a testimony that you are only as strong as you are because it’s Christ’s strength in you.

  3. ness says:

    I’m sitting here thinking about this. I do the same thing, diminishing my own hurt by thinking about the hard things other women face. But I just want to take a minute to affirm that it IS hard what you are doing. And the open ended-ness makes it harder, so you can’t really get used to it…you just get through another day, another week. I wish I could take you out for coffee or send you a pint of ice-cream and a pot of soup and homemade bread….maybe not necessarily in that order : )

    Hugs to you far-away bloggy friend.

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