“Jesus doesn’t love you if you cry.”


Deborah:  I grew up in an extremely dysfunctional family. I wasn’t allowed to listen to music, watch animated movies, or basically like any food or activities that my father did not like. I was often told that if I asked for help I was bothering people, that I was stupid, and that a “good guy” would never like me so I would have to settle for a “bad one.”

I’ve gone to counseling for awhile and with God’s help, I have begun to heal in many ways. However, there was one thing that I had not been able to do and that was to let myself cry. Crying when I was young was dangerous and was always met with the words, “Jesus doesn’t love you if you cry.”  Intellectually, I knew this wasn’t true and that it was okay to cry but it didn’t feel safe. I had taught myself not to cry for so long that I wasn’t sure if I could. It was as if the tears were broken.

Last night, I was at the concert in Gadsden, AL, and I began to feel emotional as I listened to dad jokes and as Matthew West talked about being a girl dad. Memories of my childhood and the things I was told began to pop into my mind. Still I did not cry. I sat on the front row wondering if anyone could tell that I was fighting tears. Then something changed. John 3:16 was read and everyone was told to insert their own name. As I was fighting tears, I was saying the words “God loves me.”

Suddenly I didn’t just know that intellectually it is okay to cry, I knew it in my heart. God loves me even when I cry. During the next song, I felt something on my face and I reached up and there was a tear. For the first time in probably thirty years I was letting myself cry and I felt safe while doing it. I am not who my family told me that I am. I am a child of God. I am safe in his arms and loved when I’m happy and smiling and even when I’m sad and crying.

“Suddenly I didn’t just know that intellectually it is okay to cry, I knew it in my heart.”

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