Beautifully You – Kristin

Today’s Beautifully You story comes from Kristin:

I remember that day in September like yesterday.   The year was 1990 and I was only seven years old.  Confusion and heartache lurked throughout the atmosphere of our home as I watched him pack his belongings.  The man who I adored took my brother and I to my room, got down on his knees, and told us he was leaving our mom.

I will never forget watching through the window in disbelief and sorrow as he pulled out of our driveway that day…

As the years went by, the heartache of my parents divorce remained, and as a young girl it became increasingly difficult to show emotion as thread by thread my heart was spilt in two.

Even though externally I shed hundreds of tears, internally I pushed pain further and further away in an effort as a child, teenager and young adult to move past my pain. It became easy as I grew into an adult to bury my wounds, and though others would see me as a deep feeler, I found it more simple to ignore my personal struggles. And eventually I found strength in refusing to show emotion.

Fast-forward twenty years later, thinking that I had grown past my pain. I was a wife and mother with a full life, but though from the outside it seemed I had risen above, the truth was that I had grown numb.

I remember facing challenges in life and family and telling myself things like: “Get over it”, “be tough”, “don’t cry”, “stay strong”! I ignored my emotions and smiled through my pain.  I channeled that little girl time and a time again, who instead of feeling, would toughen up and stay strong for everyone around me.

That is until one evening at church.

I remember we had a guest speaker in town.  During prayer I stood stoically looking for some kind of emotion to connect to the words he was speaking.

He walked around praying for people and eventually I could feel him in front of me. In a gentle, grandfatherly way, he leaned over to me and said, “I feel like you’ve always had to be tough.  Circumstances have caused you to build up a wall around your heart and you’re afraid to face the pains you’re experiencing”.

As he spoke exposing the very condition of my heart, I dug my feet into the floor and inside my head I shouted and pleaded with myself, “DON’T CRY Kristin”!

Without a second thought, this sweet man wrapped his arms around me and gently said, “It’s okay to cry.  You’re released from the responsibilities that you’ve had to carry.”

Despite all my pleading, tears began to slowly stream down my face.  I fell into his chest and wept like a child, as God whispered, “Kristin, it’s okay to cry!”

I had become a professional suppressor, but He was gently pulling back the heavy curtain of my past to show me that crying wasn’t a sign of weakness, instead it was a sign of His strength in my life.

In that moment I was released from the weight of my past and current pains. In this mans arms I wept as I laid the burdens of my life out to the Father. I could feel the Lord moving through my body and softening the hardened places of my heart.

Through that season I discovered the verse Psalm 126:5. The verse says, “Those who sow with tears will reap with joy.”  And today I can say that these words have become a mantra in my heart.

We believe we out grow the bad things that happen to us. We believe we can out smart them and hold them at arms length away, but today I want to tell you that it’s ok. You don’t have to ignore the bad and wrong things that have happened to you. You don’t have to think it’s ridiculous to feel. Instead, I want to simply ask this, when was the last time you laid down your “strength” and your defenses? When was the last time you allowed yourself to “sow in tears” that you might “reap joy”?

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