Several years ago, I completely lost the ability to shed tears. Having gone through some rough patches… oh, let’s be honest, it was all out trauma! Having gone through some trauma, I just couldn’t cry. Not in sadness, not in fear, not in joy… NOTHING.
At first, it seemed like a blessing. There’s nothing worse than a snot-nose woman, I would think to myself. Tears were, after all, a sign of weakness, right? Isn’t that what everyone says?
Well, having been through the wringers of emotional paralysis, I can assure you, they are not!
When You Lose It All
I’m sure there is power in testimony. The book of Revelation tells us that we overcome by the Blood of Jesus, and the power of our testimony. So I believe that. I’m just not ready to be out with all of mine. I think in some places, I simply haven’t healed enough to speak about it, but I know I’m getting there.
Anyways, at that point in my life, I had lost it all, or at least I considered that I had. I was not yet back in church at that point, I did not live a consecrated life, and I paid little attention to the realm of the spirit. I basically just did what I wanted, lived like I wanted, and ultimately, paid the price for satisfying the lust of the flesh.
At that time, I couldn’t see a way out. I was depressed and EXTREMELY suicidal. I attempted suicide twice, but God intervened each time. Miraculously.
I remember sitting, at one point, on the edge of my bed with a .357 Magnum barrel pressed against my left eye. I was calm, and just hoping that I could muster the strength to end everyone’s problems by removing myself from the equation. No, I wasn’t selfishly attempting to get out of my OWN problems. I literally thought I WAS the problem. At that point in my struggle, I felt like the enemy was the desire to live.
When There Seems To Be No Purpose
I couldn’t “see” past what I was going through in those days. I was stuck in a mud hole. That’s all I knew. At that point, I couldn’t recall the Scripture that says, where there is no vision, the people perish. In fact, at that point, I had no idea how to use the Scriptures at all. They were only a “story” of what I knew to as the truth (limited though it was) of God. That mysterious figure I had so desperately wanted to know all my life!
I was just basically “going through the motions” of life, I assured myself. Not offering anything of use to anyone or anything. I lived a desperate life, hating even the oxygen I was “wasting” in just getting up and LIVING. I worked a mundane job that would replace me inside of 24 hours if something happened. It was not a hopeful situation. It didn’t matter. “I” didn’t matter!!
So I just stopped crying one day.
To me, crying signified loss, fear, and insecurity. These things, I no longer wanted in my life. Some part of me still cared, but not a fiber of my being saw any way OUT of where I currently WAS at the time. And my “caring” meant that something would eventually let me down again. And everything would once again come crashing down. When the “end” came.
No Tears Does Not Equal Peace
For some reason, I had antiquated the lack of crying to mean there would be more peace. Well, it didn’t work like that after all. In fact, not having tears, not having those emotions functioning properly, was more like a prison. I feel like, if I wrote volumed, I still couldn’t explain that. But believe me, it felt just that way.
After losing my tears, I didn’t feel BETTER, I felt WORSE! Almost like someone who had lost their soul! But what is a soul after all? It’s the “mind, will, and EMOTIONS”. See, now it starts to make sense.
I wanted to rid myself of the hate, fear, disgust, sadness, and overwhelming suicidal tendencies. Instead, I lost everything else too. The yin versus the yang, for a more pictorial statement. Oddly enough, with the disappearance of those tears, I also saw pretty much every emotion I had, good or bad, completely leave me.
There was only sheer loneliness and utter despair.
The Long Road Back
Setbacks seemed to be a thing that was common in those days. One step forward didn’t mean three steps back. It meant falling into an abysmal state of despair, repeatedly, as if there were some cruel witch with a voodoo doll of me, tossing me around for fun. I seemed to cling to the idea that if I could just “DIE” all that would end.
Somehow in the midst of all of this, God spoke to my heart. At first, I didn’t realize it was Him. It seemed more like a “last ditch effort” to try something – ANYTHING – that might “work”. So I halfheartedly prayed. You know how those prayers start out….
Lord, if you’re listening….
Jesus, if you’re really out there…
Lord, if there’s really any reason for me to not kill myself….
Lord, if you’d just SAY SOMETHING TO ME!!!!!
It was all quite surreal, looking back on it. I managed to not blame God, but it certainly seemed like He didn’t want anything to do with me. But then, He did the miraculous.
He let me SEE MYSELF for who I really was, and for who I had been.
We Either Let Him Choose Or…
Our God is a gentleman. He won’t force Himself onto the scene of our lives. When He created us before we were knit together in our mother’s womb, it wasn’t a robot He had in mind. It was a living, breathing, emotional creature that would live to bring honor and glory to His Name.
Now… having said that, or rather, understood that from where I was, I began to see the picture unfold clearly. I was no longer looking through a dirty window, I was starting to see the film scraped off and the Holy Spirit rose in me to reveal His Truth. Having cast away my own life, He was willing to take it back and restore me something else.
It was as if He had said, Okay, so if you don’t want your life anymore, give it back to me.
And so I did.
The Old Me Vs. The New Me
It was a weak attempt at first. There was too much of the “old me” in the way of what God was trying to turn into the “new me”. It was a constant and daily release at first, of my own will, towards His.
He began to show me how I had not honored Him from my heart, even when my lips confessed His Name. What vanity! What selfishness! How long had I lived my life, claiming to know and serve Him, while not being a Godly wife, a Godly mother, a Godly friend…?
Once I began to see how my own choices had set me outside of His protective covering, it was like a slap in the face. It changed the way I prayed. And it changed the way I saw my future. It changed what I believed the outcome to be.
But I still couldn’t cry.
Tearing Down The Flood Walls
Sometimes, we have to be open to allow the Holy Spirit to do a total remodel on our inner self. That’s where I was. I had strayed so far from my first love, I wasn’t even sure how to go about getting back there. It was time consuming. It was frustrating. But more than anything, it made me realize that my tears had not been a hindrance, they had been a help.
I was even led to the place where we are told that God bottles up our tears! But why? (was my first question). Why would He do that? Why would our tears mean anything to Him?
There are still a lot of things I don’t have concrete questions to, but I do know that we serve a God who believes in restoration. Even when we feel like we’ve “gone too far” or given Him too many reasons to be done with us! He is like the father of the prodigal son who left and then came back. He’ll run to us – LEAVING THE 90 AND 9 – and receive us back with joy, as if we had been dead, but were alive again! He will clothe us with dignity and honor, offering us a place back where we belong. And He will call those nearby and initiate a celebration of our return!
HE LOVES US!
Oh, that I could somehow open the eyes of those who see no worth in themselves. Those that feel like I did. How I wish I could make people see how truly important they are in God’s plans. How satan’s desire is to demolish any glory God could even try to put in their lives! Without being close to the Shepherd, the sheep are a walking target. The only way to avoid all that the enemy has waiting to crash on our heads is stay NEAR to the One who loves us more than anyone else in the world.
I Finally Got ‘Em Back
When God brought my tears back, it wasn’t as shocking as I thought it would be, to be honest. At first, they still had no salt. I don’t know, but there’s probably some scientific explanation for that. But they came, nonetheless! And with them came the revelation that we HAVE a heart. Not just the fleshly thing that keeps us animated and moving forward. A HEART!
I find it very hard to explain now, having come through the LITERAL valley of the shadow of death. It’s hard to put into words how low a person can really go, and how suicidal thoughts aren’t always the same as what people say they are.
“Awareness” couldn’t have saved me. In fact, the only way someone would have even been AWARE in the first place is if I had told them. No one knew… I had it all hidden very well. There were no signs. I wouldn’t allow there to be signs. For me, if there had been a sign, it would have been too late!
No, it was God and God alone that captained my ship when I walked away from the stern! I am forever grateful that He saw something in me worth saving. And I will live my life glorifying His Name! I will live my life proclaiming the GOOD NEWS OF THE GOSPEL! I will live my life telling how great and awesome He really is!
Do you know Him today? I mean REALLY know Him? If you don’t, please start finding your way back.
You have no idea what rock bottom is until you lose your tears.