When our tears are good for us.
Last month I was in Colorado visiting my parents and I saw something that brought back a flood of emotion. It stopped me in my tracks and I wanted to share this experience with you all.
Somewhere deep inside the belly of this overstuffed Pooh Bear are the buckets of tears I cried for my sister.
Pooh was one of Breanna's highly anticipated Christmas gifts in the Winter of 1997. Her face lit up with delight when she opened that giant red box from the Disney store. I never understood her obsession with a Disney character that was meant for toddlers, but she didn’t really care what I thought. And that was just another reason to love her.
Pooh was her companion. She didn’t really play with him so much as use him for a pillow, dress him up with jewelry, and cuddle up next to him on a cold night. Most of the time, Pooh sat on her bed, tucked in the corner. I pretended to hate that bear, but deep down I thought he was pretty cute. The bear was about ½ her size and it was hilarious to watch her walk around with it.
My sister died the Spring after she got her Pooh Bear. When I came home from the hospital, I went into her room and saw Pooh sitting on her bed staring back at me. Suddenly, I loved the bear. I took him in my arms and hugged him something fierce. For a few minutes, I screamed and cried into his big, soft belly.
There was a golden chain around his neck that had another little golden Pooh bear hanging from it (go figure). In the next few months, Pooh became my companion. Every so often I would go into her room and give Pooh a tight squeeze and cry hard, trusting in his giant belly to muffle all the sounds. Then I would sit back and pick up the little golden bear hanging from his neck and rub it between my fingers.
Now when I see the Pooh bear he reminds me that our tears are good for us. I know he holds all those bitter tears inside his belly. Crying into that bear always made me feel a little lighter and I understand now how important all those tears were in my healing journey.
And this is such a beautiful reminder of how God sees all our pain, sorrow, and sadness and writes it in his book. Never to be forgotten.
"You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book."
Our pain is important to him and he will be faithful to meet us there until the end. I shared a story on my facebook page yesterday that highlights this simple truth. I hope you will check it out!
Pay attention to your tears and don't be afraid to let them out every now and then. These tears could be the key that unlock joy and freedom in the midst of deep sorrow and sadness.
After all, I'd say he looks pretty happy to have carried around my tears all these years. Thanks Pooh!