It’s been fourteen years since she passed. I didn’t expect the tears this year. In fact, I was a bit surprised at them. Even though Mother’s Day is still a bittersweet day for me, the passing years have lessened the heartache. Maybe I’ve gotten used to missing her. Or maybe the heartache has been with me so long, it’s just a part of me now. Or maybe I see and hear so much of her in me, it’s as if she’s still here. I don’t know.

But what I do know is this: I miss my mom.

I don’t know why particularly this year, but the emotions came rushing in unsuspectingly. Bill and I were eating dinner on Mother’s Day eve, and I can’t remember what we were talking about. But, suddenly my mind filled with thoughts of Mom. Of how much she has missed in fourteen years… the kids graduating high school and college, Alissa’s wedding, never meeting Morgan, the birth of her great-grandchildren, Zach’s work and moving adventures, how her flowers have bloomed beautifully in my garden, how her family has grown, our tandem biking adventures, seeing the legacy she left. The list didn’t end. There’s so much she’s missed.

Tears flooded my eyes.

I Didn't Expect The Tears After All These Years

I didn’t expect the tears.

Yet, just as quickly as those thoughts appeared, thoughts of thankfulness came rushing in. I’m grateful she has missed the painful moments in life, in our family, in this world. I’m thankful she didn’t have to experience this pandemic or the derecho in August. Which then led to my thoughts turning to the reality of where she is. Maybe God spared her of the sometimes-awfulness of this world by taking her home when He did. There’s nothing awful in heaven. She’s in no pain now. Thankfully, she is safe in the arms of Jesus. Hallelujah!

That truth comforts my heart. But I still miss her. I miss her laugh, her smile, her quiet demeanor. I miss spending Saturdays with her, shopping with her, gardening with her. Oh, how many times I’ve thought, “I wish Mom was here to experience this.” Or, “I wish I could ask Mom what she would do.” Or, “How did Mom … (do this or that)?” No one knew me better than Mom.

Losing a mother doesn’t happen in a moment. It takes years to appreciate the impact of what’s gone.

Lisa-Jo Baker

But, still, I didn’t expect the tears this year.

Because I haven’t shed them in a very long time. I’ve become acclimated to life without Mom. I’ve forced myself to keep living day-to-day, through God’s grace, knowing one day I’ll see her and Dad again. And maybe part of it is, I haven’t let the tears resurface. Could it be I’ve stuffed them down for far too long?? No matter, as a result, I couldn’t stop them.

Friend, maybe you didn’t expect the tears either this year. On Mother’s Day, or on your loved one’s birthday, or at Christmas, or on the anniversary of his or her death. Or in the middle of an ordinary day. But, those tears appeared anyway.

Tears aren’t a bad thing, however.

No. Actually, tears are cleansing, they remind us we are human, and they help us remember the depth of love.

There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”

Washington Irving

After all, even Jesus cried. And, I often cling to the comforting truth of God collecting our tears in His bottle.

You’ve kept track of all my wandering and my weeping. You’ve stored my many tears in your bottle—not one will be lost. For they are all recorded in your book of remembrance.

Psalm 56:8 TPT

So, even if we didn’t expect the tears, He sees and records each one of them. Thank you, God. Friend, your tears are certainly noticed by God, Himself. In other words, He loves you and cares about what you care about.

You are not alone in your tears, my friend. God sees you and He cares. And, I do, too.

The tears may be a surprise to us, but they certainly aren’t to God.

Just as we trust Him in our everyday, we can trust Him also in our tears, in our grief, in our mourning. We can also cling to the hope found in Jesus.

He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

Revelation 21:4 ESV

But, until that day, will you pray with me?

Father God, You are good. There is none beside You. Thank You, Father, for never leaving us nor forsaking us. Thank You for always holding us close. Lord, You know our situations, and consequently, You aren’t surprised by our emotions or reactions. When the unexpected tears come, we know You are with us. We ask for Your comfort, Your strength, Your peace, and Your grace. Help us to see the tears through Your perspective. Help us to be mindful of the love behind the tears of grief. We trust You in it all. We trust You in our tears. And we love You so very much. Thank You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The tears have dried, and we’re two days past Mother’s Day. I took flowers to the cemetery today and placed them on Mom and Dad’s grave. I thanked God for them, their love, and yes, for the tears of missing them.

Much love to you today, friend,

I Didn't Expect The Tears After All These Years
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