When I was in my early teens God impressed upon my heart that there was a deep amount of compassion within me. At the time I could not grasp what He meant but I knew it was important to loving others.
Merriam-Webster defines compassion as: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.
I would never have been able to fully understand this dictionary definition at the age of 14. However, 9 years later I am able to have a better understanding of how this kind of compassion can be played out in my life.
Growing up I did not play well with others.
I didn’t and I knew it, I wanted to be liked and to have friends. Yet, I wasn’t socially skilled enough to understand that not everyone wanted to be controlled by me.
“So what you’re saying is… fun cannot be forced? Interesting…”
As you can imagine this brought a slur of emotions that I was embarrassed by. In my mind I needed to be strong about everything; school, athletics, emotions, practically anything under the sun.
This carried on until a couple of years ago when I began to question myself…
If God has placed a heart of compassion within me, why do I shut down and out feelings? By keeping myself from vulnerability who does that help?
I was deceived, I thought in order to be considered strong and confident by those around me I would have to defy what the world mocks of women, emotions. Ultimately in my mind that meant crying.
Not wanting to be held down my anyone’s standards in the past couple of years I have been working on, oddly enough, crying.
Rather than shutting down my emotions to keep up an image, if it’s coming I just let it go.
I’ve had to learn that it’s ok to be weak, I cannot be strong all the time. This is why we have God. So that the joy of the Lord can be our strength.
Scripture after scripture entails us that we can rely on the Lord to get through circumstances we are encountering.
We know that Christ is our example for how we should live and even the scripture tells us that Jesus cried (John 11:35). I have found that in the past 12 months I have produced more tears than I think I have my entire life. And guess what? I am very ok with it. I have been able to express how I feel towards God better by getting it out and just crying. As awkward as that can be for me, I have been able to grow in my walk with Christ.
The ones you cry with are the ones who know you best. You’ve let down that wall of insecurities and by being vulnerable you have grown.
What this boils down to is not only being honest with others but being honest with yourself. When you’re hurt, evaluate it don’t ignore it. Is that pain justified? If so, what are you going to do about it?
Regardless of my ‘pains’ here on earth, I have found that even if they are justified according to the world’s standards… they’re undone by the fact that my life is not my own but Christ’s.
“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”