Here we are at the end of January already. January has flown and tomorrow we will be in a new month, and a new holiday.
As I look back on the month I found that for my family it has been a difficult one, perhaps even a bit dark. Oh, not dark as in depression dark, but dark as in hard. We’ve had to press into God a little more, into family a little more, and to be even more real with each other.
We said our final farewells to two family members this month and in each case it wasn’t an easy one. Losing anyone from your life, your family, is never an easy thing, and if it wasn’t for God I think this month would’ve looked, and felt, a whole lot different.
Reflecting back, I am thankful for tears. Yes, tears. I don’t think there is anything more cathartic, or healing than tears. They are almost a sacred act, in the right context. They help release hurt, pain, and paradoxically are also harbingers of joy. Jesus wept when life was hard, so there is no shame in eye leakage; if He can do it, so can we.
Tears are precious, and God captures every single one that is shed. So when it’s dark, and you’re lying in bed and your chest hurts so bad that you can’t breathe, just let those tears come. God knows, and He weeps with you.
You keep track of all my sorrows, You have collected all my tears (Psalm 56:8; NLT)
Because of the copious amounts of tears that have been shed this month, I am also ever so thankful for Kleenex. I don’t cry pretty, and I’m not sure I know anyone that does. Kleenex, is the answer to prayer when you’re a hot mess and your eyes and nose are leaking copious amounts of fluid. Jus sayin’.
I am grateful for breath. When life is hard, breathing can become hard, and you have to make yourself pause and try to catch your breath. So very grateful for the next breath. The breath that helps to ease to tension. The breath that brings a small sense of normalcy to a tough situation. Breath brings life and so I encourage you breathe my friends. Just breathe.
Hugs. I love hugs. This past month there has been much hugging. Hugging for comfort. Hugging to say hello. Hugging just for something to hold onto, an anchor in a storm. They are a point of human contact that can do so much.
Smiles and laughter, also made their way to our thanksgiving table this month. Despite all that had gone on, and all the pain, smiles and laughter played their part, and played it well. My friends, is there anything more beautiful than that first brave smile, and chuckle that comes after the storm of tears. I think not. It’s like watching the sun break through the clouds.
It is those very tears, hugs and smiles that show the inner strength of a person. Strength to let go. Strength to push forward. Strength to take the next step. Strength to stand, breathe, and smile despite the pain. So thankful for the strength that can be laid hold of, the strength that comes directly from God as you lean on Him.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand. (Is 41:10; NKJV)
My friends, what have you been thankful for this month? What has sustained you? I would love to hear from you.