I don’t even have to be watching that sad puppy commercial, or the one with the grandpa who wants to play with his kids, I hear the swell of the cello or the soft tinkling of a sad piano line and I already feel the tears poking at the corners of my eyes. They get me every time! Never really happened before I had kids but ever since that first positive pregnancy test line I have been crying at kids movies and commercials.
But the strange thing is I cry less often at difficult real life moments. Like when saying goodbye to a loved one. I feel the sadness deeply but I rarely cry or if I do it is only a small amount. I have often times been embarrassed or frustrated at my lack of crying and even tried to “fake” or try to make myself cry because I wanted so badly the outside to match the emotions inside. I have kicked myself multiple times over the years over this and wanted to change it so much. I never thought it was something in me that God designed with a purpose.
Recently I was contacted by Abel Speaks, they are an amazing ministry that helps serve families who are expecting a life limiting diagnosis of a baby. I recently partnered with them to photograph or serve as a doula for families going through this particular journey. Mark, one of the amazing staff at Abel Speaks, told me that he was reached out to by another ministry called Embrace Grace. Embrace Grace is a ministry that helps encourage mothers to choose life and Christ. They had a young mother who had been going through their program who’s baby was expected to pass away. I jumped in my car and started praying. I prayed all the way to the hospital and again in the waiting room.
I prayed for the baby, for the parents, the family, the doctors, but I also prayed for me. “God please keep my hands steady, please keep me from crying.” I knew this wasn’t my journey or my grief and I wanted to not add anything to the environment but simply to capture their journey. I laughed internally because I thought, “Well you always tend to cry at the dumb things and not the real things anyway.” And I paused and felt a hug from my heavenly father along with a whisper, “I do not make mistakes”.
All these years I have been struggling over this part of me and feeling it was a weakness or a fault. And here it was exactly what I needed to serve this family. I made it through the whole 3 hours I was with them and only felt the tears well up twice. The first time was when this brave young mother whispered to her daughter, “It’s ok, you can close your eyes now.” And then the second time as I prayed a blessing over the baby and placed anointing oil on her small forehead. Those tears I reigned in with a deep breath and carried on my work.
It is an experience I will never forget and I am forever changed by bearing witness to this family’s journey.
There is something in you that maybe you despise or even just are irritated by. my encouragement to you is that maybe there is a reason that it is there. God does not make mistakes. Our flaws and nuances can all be used for a plan and a purpose. Nothing is wasted.
You are not a mistake.