“You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” ~Psalm 56:8
College is a very unique period of life, a little time capsule of saying goodbye to sweet adolescence and embracing the new changes of adulthood. We slowly let go of our parents and begin pushing toward dreams and aspirations of our own. However, with every changing season, we welcome a time of growth and that time’s accompanying growing pains. Life’s big moments have a way of catching up to us, grabbing our hearts and refusing to let go until we acknowledge them, and many times, that acknowledgment comes in the form of salty little tears.
It has become a societal norm to wipe them away, blink them back, and hide our faces without coming to recognize their significance. However, if a moment is large enough to invoke such emotion, I think it’s important to recognize. The Lord knows the times we cry, the tears that fall, and how many have fallen between our eyelashes.
Tears of Sorrow:
Heartache. Hurt. Hard times. We cry tears of sorrow when our hearts mourn something we have lost. Sometimes we say goodbye to someone we love, as they move on to another phase in life, another person, or their heavenly destination. Our tears fall for the love of those who we have lost, either physically, emotionally, or mentally. They fall out of empathy, compassion, and sincerity. We cry out of hurt, for our body, for our mind, for our spirit. Despite the hurt that accompanies each salty drop, we were given the blessing of emotions, to feel and understand things around us and respond with authenticity.
Tears of Joy:
Blessing. Overwhelming gratitude. Good times. Sometimes we cry from an overwhelming amount of happiness. These tears fall at the sight of welcoming a newborn baby, witnessing the ceremony of a newlywed couple, or welcoming a brother or sister into the body of Christ. Life’s big moments are marked by tiny drops that trickle down our faces. We cry from beautiful memories just as much as bittersweet goodbyes.
Tears of Laughter:
Other times we are blessed to have good friends in our life that bring about the best sort of laughter that leaves your stomach aching, your lungs gasping for air, and your eyes letting go of happy tears. We laugh and laugh until our body responds by sending tears to ease the emotions.
Take captive the thoughts and emotions that accompany these big moments. Each tear is a blessing and a gift, even when they teach hard lessons of love or loss. Remember, our emotions are precious, even Jesus wept.
When life’s memorable moments come and little tears spring into the corners of your eyes, do not hide them away from shame, embarrassment, or retreat. Rather embrace them as they fall down your cheeks and make a memory of the emotion that caused them to fall. Some teach lessons, others teach loss, but all show the love God has given his children to experience in this beautiful world He created.