Tears are messengers telling us to pay close attention.
I used to be terrified to tear up in public. But a season of mourning helped me overcome my terror of being caught with tears streaming down my face.
For years anger was my go-to emotion. I would rather get mad than feel the depths of sad.
But I learned the hard way how destructive anger is when facing grief. When my father died suddenly in 1998, and without a medical explanation, my grief got stuck in the anger stage for far too long. I took my mad out on God and stopped attending church.
It wasn’t until our family watched a Matthew video series that my heart softened enough to crave fellowship again.
Psalm 103:8-9 KJV says: The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.
A Faith Test
The next tragic test of my faith came when a young family member died during a relapse in her recovery from drug addiction.
This time I cried out in agony and disbelief, “How can this be happening? It doesn’t make any sense.”
But because I already learned the lesson of how harmful it is to stay mad, I immediately told God I choose to trust Him despite the despicable circumstances. I knew He heard the multitude of prayers I aimed at heaven on her behalf. I also knew He loved her more than any mortal person ever could.
Choosing to Trust
So I trusted. And when songs at church stirred my heart and begged me to praise Him in the depths of my sorrow, tears flowed freely because I refused to stay angry.
Psalm 56:8 KJV says: Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book?
Tapping into tears is healthy and helpful because it facilitates living in the moment. And nothing is more powerful than a praying parent who is tapping into tears motivated by a love as deep as the ocean. God’s love is deeper still, so He hears the heart cries of mamas and papas who desire the salvation of their offspring.
James 5:16 KJV promises: The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Anger isn’t bad. It’s if we wallow in it and what we do with it that determines if it’s vile or of value.
If anger turns us away from God, it’s not good. If anger turns to tears of grief and motivates us to press into the Lord with—and despite—our doubt and desperation, it’s very good. In fact, if we say to Him, “I choose to trust You no matter what,” that’s as good as it gets. It’s an offering that pleases Him more than many offerings, because faith that trusts during trials is gold to God.
The two grief incidences I mentioned prepared my heart for a dark valley I walked through as a parent. I had to drive to places and talk to people I hadn’t foreseen as part of my parenting path. Fear, humiliation, and disappointment tried to rile up the mad in me and tried to stifle my tears. But my tapping-into-tears lessons stayed with me; I cried into my pillow and cried during my prayer times.
I chose to trust God while our family walked through seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years of troubles that tore into our hearts. And although I can’t share the details, it’s probably just as well because unspoken thorns in a parent’s side are more relatable to you if I don’t.
Fill in the blanks with your own moments of tragic phone calls and suspicious behaviors and you know the best thing to do as a Christian parent is to fall on your knees and pray for wisdom, power, and love to do the next thing.
God Provides for Praying Parents
God walked with me when I did the next thing. He placed people, books, and resources I never imagined existed into our lives so we survived a valley we would never have chosen if given a choice. But now that we’ve walked through even more valleys, I can say my trust muscles are stronger than ever, and anger is mostly a distant memory because I remembered to tap into tears.
Valleys are part of being an imperfect parent of imperfect offspring on an imperfect planet. But praying parents are powerful when they tap into tears.
I still tap the tear button because my parenting days aren’t over yet. But I’m at peace with it since I continue to trust my perfect Father.
Psalm 30:5 KJV reminds us: For his anger endureth but a moment; weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
I’m nosy-to-know if you’ve mined the treasure of tapping into tears?
I’d like to close with a tanka poem:
raindrops on blossoms
pink primula petals shine
I mine each treasure
tears flow as heartfelt prayers
for God’s love never gives up
This is an edited edition of a blog post I shared in 2018. It’s no longer available elsewhere, so I decided to share it here. I hope it helps praying parents feel less alone. Since this is such a personal post, I chose images of my garden.
Blessings ~ Wendy Mac
If you enjoyed my picture-scriptures, be sure to follow my Facebook page for Mon-Sat posts of them: WendyLMac
16 thoughts on “Tapping into Tears: #Praying Parents”
Thank you, Wendy! We are in a season of tears over some choices our children are making. You are always an encouragement!
Thank you, dear Norma. Hugs. I’m grateful God is always at work, even in the messy middle of our lives. His love is the ink that will eventually pen our happy ending.
Most definitely relate, dear Wendy! Been down many an unexpected and grief-filled path. My tears have been a means of prayer when the words don’t come. And every time, I feel Him drawing me near. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. Such a great reminder of His everlasting goodness! Blessings to you and yours!
I agree; tears make marvelous prayers, dear Marisa. Thank you for reminding us God draws near to the broken in spirit. Hugs & blessings.
I love this post, Dear Friend. I am so thankful that God has allowed those tears to be markers for us, but yet He does gather each one for us also. What a compassionate Father we have. Thank you for re-posting this here; it’s such a great word to be reminded of again. And I love your gorgeous primulas! Thank you for bringing a bit of spring time beauty today too!
Thank you, dear Bettie. I like the idea of tears as “markers.” They highlight moments that might have missed if tears hadn’t marked them. Blessings as we wait for spring. I heard a robin singing this evening; another gift from God. 🙂
So much of this beautiful post really resonated with me even though I’m not a parent. Like you said, we can all fill in the blanks with our own hard or tragic moments as we let the tears flow and allow those trust muscles to grow stronger with the passing of time. I read just last week that tears release endorphins, and thought how fitting it is that our Creator designed it so. I’m with you – May we continue tapping into our tears and feel the calm assurance of His presence in our midst. Blessings! Misty M.
Thank you, dear Misty, for such a good point about this being applicable as a universal truth concerning “our own hard or tragic moments.” Yes, it’s not just about parenting. It’s about life. The tough stuff.
What a generous and thoughtful gift that God included endorphins with tears. He is a good Father in so many ways we’re not even aware of yet.
Blessings to you too, my friend.
Thank you so much, dear Wendy! This is so helpful and so full of His heart and love for us and what we are walking through. Love and prayers!
Thank you, dear Deb. I’m glad God is ours and we are His so that we never walk alone.
I got really good at tapping into tears after my marriage ended. Jeremiah 29:11 saved me, along with the tears that led me to God’s love. Now, I can use those same strengths to deal with my adult children. I love what you wrote about your trust muscles growing stronger than ever. It’s a good reminder that the more we trust God’s plan, the better we get at trusting the One who loves us all the best. When I trust God with my loved ones, I have more energy to focus on my own path. Thank you for the encouragement!
Dear JoAnna, thank you for sharing a testimony about the power of “trusting the One who loves us all the best.” Yes, when we trust, it leaves us with more power to live a godly life.
Blessings, my friend.
Thank you! <3
Thank you, dear Theresa. <3
We are so blessed because we know where to turn when a season of tears comes…
We sure are blessed, dear Gracie. Tears seem to clear the fog between us and God. He uses them for good. <3