“Hannah was in deep anguish, crying bitterly as she prayed to the Lord,” 1 Samuel 1:10 (NLT)
A few weekends ago, I was an emotional mess. For two months now I had been in this faith fight in my marriage, a fight I never thought I’d have to face. I never would’ve imagined myself in this position; and, as a praying wife, I thought I had the bases covered. But God had other plans. So, every day, I’ve been praying, declaring over my situation, reading my devotionals, getting into the Word, listening to sermons, and spending time with God. Literally, anything and everything I could do to feed my spirit and maintain my sanity. Honestly, if I didn’t have God, I would’ve lost my mind a while ago! Because, let’s not forget, that while we have our personal battles, we’re also all STILL fighting this pandemic battle.
So, I’ve been grateful for the ability to not let my feelings dictate my actions and to put my emotions in check. I mean this is, after all, how godly women handle it, right? Still…there’s a fine line between not letting your emotions reign and just dismissing them altogether. And, on this particular weekend, that line became a complete blur. As the reality of my circumstance settled in my mind, I couldn’t help but break down and cry! ALL. WEEKEND. LONG. And, although, the crying sessions came in spurts; they were really long spurts.
I cried myself to sleep on Saturday night. I cried in the middle of the afternoon on Sunday. Then, I cried again on Monday morning in the shower. Tears just flooded my face. I couldn’t control them, I couldn’t stop them, and (if I’m honest) I didn’t want to! They were tears of grievance, and a wailing rose up in me from the pit of my stomach through my eyes and lips. But, on that Monday morning, as I wiped my face (again) I heard in my spirit, ‘cry if you must.’ Tears flooded again as God liberated me and I praised Him and made my declarations through the tears.
And, then Holy Spirit reminded me of Hannah. Hannah, Samuel’s mom, who grieved because she could not birth a child. Every year, when they’d go to Shiloh to offer sacrifices to the Lord, she’d weep and refuse to eat as she sat at the table with her husband, his other wife, and their children. How painful that reminder must have been for her! But on this particular year, she went to the temple and verse 10 says that she cried bitterly as she prayed. She didn’t just cry and she didn’t negate her feelings. She felt sad, lonely, bitter, angry – no emotion was denied. But neither was her faith in God – because while she cried, she prayed!
Feel your feelings, beloved! Hannah didn’t bypass her feelings, she let them all out and coupled them with her words in prayer. And, I can’t imagine it was an easy task – to pray in spite of how she felt. But, in verse 19, the Bible says that “the Lord remembered her plea!” Sis, I don’t know what your circumstance is, I don’t know what you’re grieving right now; but here’s what I know: as you’re going through, cry if you must! Don’t deny yourself a single tear! Don’t apologize for any of it! Cry if you must – as you pray.