So, planning a wedding is all about flowers and dresses and cake and invitations and…birth control. Yikes. I was a sensitive person before bc entered my life (read: crying during The Notebook or An Adoption Story) but after I began those horrid little pills, I became a hyper-emotional person (read: crying because I don’t have milk). They took it to a whole different level. In the summer before we got married, my first bc pills were under the name of Femcon (which sounds like a 1980s robot). The first month, I functioned as a normal human being but then they got me. A girl ran right into the back of my car on University drive in College Station and basically ruined my life. According to the “new” Beth, this woman’s crappo insurance agent was Satan and she was out to ruin me. My sister came for a fun little visit where I cried at least once a day and got angry enough to flail my arms and want to hit things. I kept on like this until May of 2008, when, at my sister’s graduation, I cried when the fiddles started playing the background music for the audience to enter the auditorium. My thoughts (and Alex’s) were, “Enough is enough.”
I ran screaming (and crying, of course) to the nearest doctor, begging for help. She changed me over to Yaz (which has trendy, upbeat commercials- nothing like Femcon, which is for old ladies). While Yaz has been much better to me than dirty old Femcon, I still have my bc days. After work, I will walk in the door, throw my lunchbox and purse in the air, and burst out into tears. Usually, my little psycho session lasts about 10 minutes. I just need to get it out and then I’m fine. I am still in the process of learning how to control my attitude when the bc strikes, but it’s a long road.
Switching gears to something more male friendly, we probably say “It’s okay to cry” to someone at least 3 times a week at my job. You see, I work in a school with students who have been victims of domestic violence. Many of them have never been able to show their emotion (or they face the consequences) and subsequently, they are so tightly wound when they get to us that they cry over nothing (literally). Part of our job is to let them unwind and help them express their emotions in a healthy manner. It’s funny to me how unique that situation is for kids, because once we send them back into the real world, it’s back to pretending like nothing is wrong.
Maybe it’s American culture (“Don’t let them see you sweat”), but most people have a really hard time expressing their feelings to others….which is really crazy, considering there’s a lot of heartache and sadness going on. Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a place where people who are burdened by the world could come and be sad or angry or furious in a safe place?
One of the things that I found stifling about the “church” culture was an expectation that everything was “okay”. Except for a few select people, your answer to the “How are you?” was “Fine”. If you share anymore than that, people got uncomfortable and tried to get away from you ASAP. I think part of this mindset is that we are told to be “joyful” in all circumstances but that teaching has been warped to mean “Fake it.” Maybe it’s just me, but sometimes joy takes a few days.
All this to say that God doesn’t expect us to be joyful robots, who can’t express anger or sadness or frustration. Countless people in the Bible are shown at their weakest points- when they’re sad or angry or in despair. God doesn’t deny us our emotions, so why should we?
Therefore, from this day forth, if you feel like crying because
you got a purple dice instead of a green one or
you have to wait 30 minutes to drink nasty Strawberry Soda from Fiesta because you just went to the dentist or
I told you not to hit your sister or
you miss your mom or
you can’t draw a dinosaur perfectly or
you saw the ASPCA commercial or
because the Biggest Loser is a tearjerker or
you’re watching Up! and it’s the saddest movie ever or
any other reason
I say to you, “It’s okay to cry.”
Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, for I will give you rest” (Matt 11:25). If Jesus will take you weary and burdened, then I will too.