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So I Guess I Cry Now

By Michelle Mayes
In Hope & Healing
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I believe that I have cried more this year than the past two years combined.

The thing is, I’m not a crier. Ask my therapist; I don’t cry. No matter the heartbreak, loss, or disaster my eyes will stay bone dry. Even through monumental high points in life I can’t seem to shed a tear. I make the joke that I have so many walls up around my heart that God himself would need to circle around it seven times, and blow his trumpet, for the walls to come down. Well, to my surprise, I have started to hear the trumpet.

The Lord has been doing a lot of work in me the past year and a half. As many of you can attest, the last year has been wild to say the least.

My work life has included: losing a job to COVID, being unemployed, gaining work again, and then coming to terms that the Lord wanted me to quit that job and wait on him for my next move.

My volunteer life has included: helping start back up the Living Grace Group at Irving Bible Church, being a Young Adult Presenter for NAMI North Texas Ending the Silence Program and participating in Prison Ministry again.

My personal life has included: the ending of friendships, the beginning of new friendships, the loss of Annie our family dog, creating amazing memories with my family, wanting to hurt my family after all of us being quarantined together, an ever-changing sense of personal identity, and the decision to go back to school.

My mental health life has included: crippling anxiety, severe depression, suicidal ideation, a copious amount of disassociation, loss of sleep, anger, fear, the realization I needed to start therapy again, and an increase in my workout classes as a way of coping with my emotions.

Also, y’all, I have so far survived a pandemic, COVID-19 (that sucked), and the biggest snowstorm Texas has ever seen.

This all has happened in a year and half.

No wonder I can hear God’s trumpet blowing at my heart. I’ve had to learn to lean and depend on him in ways that I never expected. In the loss of all that was normal, in the loss of routine, God was/ is the only constant. I have relied heavily on Ephesians 1: 4-5 (thank you Lysa Terkeurst):

“Even before He made the word, God loved me* and chose me in Christ to be Holy and without fault in His eyes. God decided in advance to adopt me into His own family by bringing me to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.”

*You changed to me for emphasis

I constantly needed the reminder this past year and a half that my life still had a purpose amidst the chaos. That God was still good and still in charge. In my quest for these reminders of truth in our crazy world, I began to change. The walls around my heart started to fall. A lot of work still needs to be done, but I feel like now I am better positioned to receive God’s call on my life than I have ever been before. And yes, this realization came when I started to cry.

What about you? What has your past year and a half looked like? Have you clung to God? Have you lost God, and are you in need of finding Him again? I believe, for the first time in my lifetime, I can say that every person in this world has been affected by the last year and a half. No one has come out unchanged in some way. We have all experienced a great need for hope and a great need for healing.

Y’all ready for the plug….

Irving Bible Church has an amazing Hope and Healing ministry. I can truthfully say that “a variety of safe places to find freedom and get help” are available weekly. The Living Grace Group I facilitate is a support group for those of us living with a mental health diagnosis. This group has helped me keep my eyes on Jesus especially during the past year and a half. Whether we met on Zoom or in person, I was able to talk with individuals who knew and understood what I was going through. They always reminded me that I wasn’t alone. For this I will always be grateful, and it is my prayer that everyone will find a community that not only points them toward Jesus, but allows them a safe space to heal, grow, and even cry.

There are 13 groups offered through Hope and Healing ministries at Irving Bible Church. You can check them out at irvingbible.org/hopeandhealing.

The past year and a half was one for the record books. If you are like me, no part of your life has been untouched, and walls that have stood so high for so long have started to crumble. Don’t miss out on the work God is doing in your life, and if you would like a group to walk through that with you, please know there are many of us who would love to grab hold of your hand and walk. You are not alone.

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