My tears don’t just matter to God. They are precious to Him. Psalm 56:8 says that they are precious enough for Him to catch every single tear I’ve ever cried in a bottle, and I’m sure by now He has several bottles just for me.
That kind of love is overwhelming for me to think about. He has held every single tear I’ve cried. He has held every tear that Jesus cried! God has already written the story, and He knows why Hannah died, but because He loves me, my tears are important to Him. Even when I’m being petty and childish, and my tears aren’t justified, He still loves me enough to collect them, too. Who else could ever love you this way?
The Monday after Hannah died, Zach and I met our families at the funeral home to make arrangements for Hannah’s service. Soon after we got there, my dad handed me one of his handkerchiefs. In just that day, that handkerchief held the tears of seeing my daughter’s casket for the first time, meeting with our Pastor to plan her celebration of life, and picking out the sweetest outfit I’ve ever seen for her to be buried in. I carried that same square of fabric with me when I went shopping the next day to find a dress to wear for her service. In the dressing room, I cried into it thinking about how unfair and cruel the whole day was. It was with me at her funeral. And, I’ve carried it with me everyday since.
It’s in my bag every time I leave the house. It’s caught a million hidden tears that I’ve cried in my car on the way to work, while I’m sitting and visiting with her at the cemetery, and even in the restroom of a store when I see or hear something that makes me think of her. It’s covered in makeup and mascara stains, but I can’t bring myself to throw it in the wash. As painful as those tears are, I can’t stand the thought of just washing them away. That piece of fabric is the bottle that I use to collect my tears.
It’s really easy to feel alone in times of sorrow. I’ve even been guilty of trying to explain how I’m feeling to Zach and getting frustrated because I can’t find the words, and I’m sure he doesn’t understand. Even today, he stopped me and said, “You don’t have to explain it. I feel the same way.” But that’s how Satan works. He convinces us that no one – not even our God or our husbands understand the pain. It’s just not true. God knows exactly what it feels like to endure the death of a child; He sent His only Son to die on a cross so that we could have a relationship with Him. If anyone knows the pain and sorrow and grief of losing a child, it is God.
I have to be honest though. Knowing this and believing this in my heart doesn’t make everything ok. Hannah’s death is still painful, and I think it will be for the rest of my life. And, God knows this. I have a peace in my heart that I know where Hannah is and that I’ll see her again soon, but it’s not a band-aid that makes the problem go away. Humans have human emotions. And, our feelings and our tears are precious to God because He loves us so much. And, it doesn’t make anything better, but it does make it a little easier to endure the storms of this life.
***For more commentary on Psalm 56: 8 -11 and what our tears mean to God, please click here!