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It was the date written on the whiteboard in his ICU room. It was the goal date we’d set for him to come home from the hospital to us after winning his battle against Covid-19. But instead, on December 17th, 2020, we laid my precious Daddy’s body in the ground, as we tearfully surrendered our hearts to celebrate the entrance of his soul to his long-awaited, glorious home in Heaven.
This wasn’t the outcome I expected. After fighting through such a challenging year with kids in online school, while completely reimagining my business and ALL the other struggles, I thought we were in the clear from this one thing. It was almost 2021. I really thought we’d made it through the fight to protect ourselves from the virus. Right as I was shoring up the strength to fight alongside my sister Kim in her new breast cancer diagnosis. I was completely blindsided by the sudden and unexpected loss of the man who loved me like no other.
Though my faith has not been shaken, my life certainly has.
Kim made it through her grueling treatment and she has begun the journey of healing. The kids have returned to school, in person. (THANK YOU, TEACHERS!) By God’s grace, this business has survived and I’m filled with SO much excitement about our future and our upcoming Girls Trip. But I’ve yet to experience a day that my tears haven’t soaked a tissue (or 10).
The tears just keep coming.
Sometimes I even laugh out loud when the waterworks start again because I don’t know how in the world I’m supposed to type or read or function with my eyes so constantly blurred with tears. It’s like my heart is just so tender and open that every word in my morning reading time pierces my core. Every memory of Dad’s love that crosses my mind brings the flood. Every new “first” I unexpectedly encounter without him in my daily life triggers the flow.
But they’re not all tears of sadness.
Even when I receive a kind word from a friend that wasn’t even intended to be profound, tears leap from my eyes. I can be mid-prayer of blessing over my boys when my whole face starts to tingle with the warning that the tears are on their way.
In fact, these days, they mostly feel like tears of longing. They are tears of longing to see Dad again. Tears of longing for the restoration of the broken places in my life. Longing to make sense of a year of such loss that will likely never make any sense. A deep longing to leverage ALL the pain into the wisdom I know pain can bring.
Then, one day, I read these words:
“Some situations seem irredeemable. The pain and loss run too deep. Encouraging words feel empty when our souls seem void of life. In these times, all we can do is bow low and process the pain with him. It may seem hard to believe at the moment, but God is absolutely astounding when it comes to healing hearts and turning tragedy into triumph.
These devasted places of pain will become rich soil where tears turn to seeds and become nourishing fruit for others.”
~ The Vision, Brian Simmons and Gretchen Rodriguez
For me, this was a “lightbulb” moment. In an instant, I had a visual representation of the purpose of the tears. My tears are NOT in vain. They are not a senseless waste of life force seeping from my eyes.
My tears are seeds!
They are seeds falling on the fertile soil of my open heart, longing to learn. I’m watering them in with the wisdom I’m fervently seeking in God’s word, in books on healing, and in the faces of the friends I trust. The tears are seeds planted deep, growing roots, budding and sprouting out in the wiser woman I am becoming. The woman who is filled with longing to share everything I’m learning along the way.
My tears are planting a garden in the wilderness for future generations.
As a result, I refuse to let them be wasted. I am deeply committed to the process of transforming all the pain into wisdom. I’m determined to keep the soil fertile by keeping my heart open. Dancing with joy, roaring with laughter, intentionally connecting with the ones I love, and filling my heart with thanksgiving will be the echoes of my battle cry. Yes, even amid the tears.
Life is hard.
After all, what an unimaginably difficult year and a half it has been for so many of us. I have no doubt that you’ve had more than your fair share of struggle. More than your share of tears. We had no idea ALL that 2020 would hold. From the onset of a worldwide pandemic and quarantine to so much death, social unrest, destruction, the heightened political intensity, war, and so much judgment over personal decisions, and a virus that continues to ravage our families in a million different ways.
We had no idea the pain, unrest, and disorientation would last this long. We all thought surely we’d be through it by now. And I believe we’ve truly only just begun to understand the deep and lasting impact it’s made on all of us.
Your tears have inevitably fallen, too.
I hope this little note from my story is an encouragement to you. I pray it’s a guidepost along your journey to remind you that while you might not have control over the circumstances in your life and the pain they cause, you get to choose what you will do with it. You can let it wreak havoc in your life, let it fester into judgment that lashes out, or you can determine not to let your tears be wasted. Choose to believe each fallen tear is a seed, watered in with wisdom. Decide today that your tears will plant a garden of hope that will produce a harvest of wisdom, love, and joy for generations to come.
When your tears become seeds, you get to choose what you’ll grow.
I’m praying for blessing over every single one of your tears today.
They will not be wasted.
to more love,