To Cry or Not to Cry

Please take a moment to view the above video (stop watching at 1:16).

Good. Now you have an appreciation for my perception of myself when I cry. Ridiculous. One peculiarity that you should know about me is that I HATE to cry. I’m not just talking about “I-get-red-in-the-face-and-I-don’t-want-anyone-to-see” or  “I-wimper-like-a-hurt-puppy-and-I-don’t-want-anyone-to-hear.” No, I feel weak when I cry. Vulnerable. Exposed. Ashamed. Most of all, I hate crying for no reason, crying in sports, and especially crying in public.

This past weekend I participated in a leaders’ retreat through my church at the Grove Park Inn. There is always something special that goes on when all 400 leaders get together. Everyone is bought in to the teaching, skits (yes, there are hilarious skits at adult retreats), and especially musical worship. At one point Friday night, I began to cry. Not tear-roll-down-my-face-in-a-graceful-movie-like-way. Nope, this was big, fat, rolling, uncontrollable tears that eventually turned into uncontrollable heaving sobs. Great. In a room full of 400 people, all of whom I respect tremendously, here I sit/stand sobbing uncontrollably. If I had a top 10 list of things I never want to do, this would be on it.

Later, once the time of worship had ended and I regained control of myself (mostly), I reflected on what happened with some of my close friends. We laughed, shared a vulnerable moment or two and moved on. Deep down I was still a little upset that I was so weak, pitiful, vulnerable in front of so many people. When I discussed the issue with my mom she immediately said, “Taylor, stop. You need to stop seeing crying as a weakness. God was drawing you to Himself in a legitimate spiritual way, through the prayer of others, and you were resistant, resentful and you see it as a weakness. That is not OK with God. You need to start praying for an attitude change. Stop trying to be superwoman.”

WOAH. I was crying before she finished talking. Talk about a call out! But you know what? She was right. As much as I hate to admit it, God used that experience to humble me, draw me near to Himself, and bring me into deeper community with other people. Why should I resist or resent that?

To be honest, I still don’t want to change my attitude. I (mostly) hope that day comes, but I think I made a baby step forward this weekend in being able to see some good in my vulnerability and tears. Thanks, Mom. I guess the challenge is how do I move forward from here.

Do you have people who know you well enough to call you out? How do you pray for a heart change when you don’t really want your heart to change?

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6 thoughts on “To Cry or Not to Cry

  1. Blog stalk. Seriously. I love it. Thought provoking procrastination at it’s finest. 🙂

    But for real. We should probably have a conversation about this whole topic/that night at the retreat at some point.

    You’re awesome and I love hearing (reading) about what the Lord is teaching you!

    • Thanks Katie! I’m glad your procrastination was thought provoking at the very least. I would love to talk with you any time, I have been thinking a lot about this so let me know when you’re in Greenville (or I can come out to Clemson sometime)!

  2. At first, I thought that was you in the video. 🙂

    Does it make you feel any better that a 35 year old guy was crying that night, too?

    Or that last year during the college mission trip, there was a discussion about crying, and Mary Daum asked me if I cried much. I (honestly) told her, “Almost every day since I moved to Allendale.” (That was when I was there about 2 months.)

    • haha thank goodness my crying has not gone viral…yet. It does make me feel a little better that other people were crying too-I’m sure most people did not even notice me (which is how it should be). I think crying is going to be the new norm in my life and I’m working to be OK with that. Thanks for sharing your story!

  3. Pingback: I am my Mother’s daughter. « justaylored

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