Monday, February 15, 2010

Reaping Joy


Life is full of ups, downs, turns and twists. We never know what is on the horizon for our lives. Why not fully embrace life and live for the moment since we have no way of knowing how many moments we have left to live anyway?


Living fully is the core purpose of The Live Love Laugh Club. Our club is about women passionately following Jesus, moving toward the destiny God has for each of us. It’s so exciting sharing our lives with one another!

The most exciting part of the club is seeing the progress God is making in our lives. Already, breakthrough is happening in such magnificent ways. Addictions are being broken, negative thought patterns are leaving us, and we are experiencing more freedom!

One of the women in the club that has a dream to work with hurting adolescent children, has recently seen the dream begin to unfold into reality. She is moving at a steady pace into her destiny, and God is providing in miraculous ways!


Another woman in our club is stepping out into her destiny by accepting a leadership role that God has called her to.

The greatest breakthrough for all of us is: Simply believing that God is able to make all things work together for good for us as we love Him and live out our purposes for Him.

My heart is overcome with gladness as I celebrate life’s journey with my sisters in Christ. Tears well up in my eyes and heart when I hear the triumphs that are happening in their lives. Experiencing victory in another person's life is as sweet as if it is my own. Joy overcomes me as I see women defeating darkness and living victorious lives!

At our last meeting, I gave each of the ladies a small bottle with a scripture attached to it. The verse was Psalm 126:5: “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” I gave them a bottle as a reminder of the joy that comes as a result of shedding tears. I shared how the gift of tears is the very thing that draws us to the heart of Christ.

Our broken state is where we experience His love in the greatest way. I encouraged them to draw close to Jesus in their sad moments and let the tears flow.


Along with the tear bottles, I gave the ladies a copy of an article I wrote about tears in 2008. I would like to share the article with the readers of The Live Love Laugh Club Blog:


The Gift of Tears

I am a crier, and I am glad that I am. But I haven’t always felt this way. Somewhere along the way of growing up, I latched onto the idea that crying symbolized weakness. When I was a child, I cried easily. I was eventually labeled the “Baby.” Some people put it in a nicer way, saying, “You are so tender-hearted.” What I heard in my head was “I am weak, and I can’t handle anything.” I often wondered, “Why can’t I be like everyone else?” I carried this way of thinking throughout most of my life until God revealed the truth to me.

God used an ordinary day to show me something extraordinary about tears. It began when an unexpected event kept me from leaving on time for an appointment. With great frustration, I was driving my car – swerving around corners, stopping and going in an aggressive way. For me, this was way out of character. Within a few minutes, I was thinking “What am I doing? I have never acted like this!”

The frustration melted away as I began asking God why I was acting this way. He took me back to the decision I had made to stop crying. A few months earlier, I had made up my mind that I was strong, and I had grown out of the crying phase. I was going to handle life like “A Soldier!”

In reality, my heart had become hardened. Instead of processing my sadness or frustration, I had begun shrugging it off. It made me feel strong and tough. I didn’t like what I had seen in myself that day. Is this how I want to be? Do I want to be edgy and impatient, allowing my emotions to control me? No—definitely not.

I am very thankful that I tried life without tears, so that I could see for myself how necessary they are. Tears are a gift from God to cleanse our souls from the sorrow that touches our lives. Tears are an expression of our deep emotions that otherwise would be unfelt.

Tears of joy are just as necessary as tears of sadness. One time my husband and I had a brief separation to sort through our marital strife. I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. When God intervened and we reunited, I cried for weeks. Night after night, I would lay awake weeping until I fell asleep. The joy in my heart was so great that tears were the only way for it to be released.

It feels like I have cried enough tears to fill a large boat. I don’t regret that at all. I cry often, I cry over sad things...happy things…exciting things. I cry when I pray. I cry during movies. Sometimes I just know I need to cry, so I plan what I call a programmed cry. I turn on my Christian music, and listen to a song that helps me to draw close to Jesus. Then I wait for His embrace and let the tears flow. There is nothing more healing than to let God’s Spirit envelop my heart and savor the gift of tears.

Psalm 126:5

"They that sow in tears shall reap in joy." KJV

Psalm 56:8

"You number my wanderings: You put my tears into your bottle. Aren’t they in your book?"World English Bible

Father,

Thank You for the wonderful gift of tears. Thank You that I don’t have to carry pain, sorrow, and heartache inside me forever. Thank You that I can express my deepest emotions through tears. Help me to always embrace Your gift of tears and reap the joy that comes through crying. Amen.

May we all, as sisters in Christ, embrace the gift of tears and never stop reaping joy!

2 comments:

Julie said...

Amy, this was beautiful. I've cried many, many tears.
I often think of how many gallon jugs God must have sitting aside in heaven, holding my tears...

I didn't use to cry.... didn't know how to let my emotions out... now I cry easily.....

These last few days have been ridden with tears. I know Jesus gathers each and every one... and I am comforted...

Love ya!

Amy said...

Julie,

May Jesus keep His comforting arms around you as your tears fall into His hands.

Love you!
Amy