One evening a few years ago, I sat around a table with friends. One friend had always been an encourager to everyone around her. Countless times she had specifically spoken helpful words to me. But, on this evening, my usually strong, well put together friend let down her guard. She began to share from a deep place of vulnerability, about her mistakes, fears and things out of her control. Tears flowed down her face. The rest of us sat in silence, a little taken back. I had known her for years but learned so much about her in those brief moments. I felt a sensation of being comforted, a feeling of not being so alone in similar struggles. As I left her home, it was apparent she had encouraged me in that expression of vulnerability on a much deeper level than any words she had ever spoken to me. It wasn’t that she cried, even though that was unusual for her, it was that she let us see she was much like each one of us around the table. We had always respected her strength and often feared she had more of it than us. On this night, we still recognized her strength, but it looked much more like what it looked like in each one of us.
To my special needs mom friends, I see even more how we can give such a gift to each other by being honest and authentic. Not that we don’t keep privacy boundaries to honor our families, but we shouldn’t hide behind an “I got this” mentality. Most of us “don’t got this.” Oh, we may have a fleeting under-control moment, but it is fleeting, and other not-so-controlled moments will come. With our trusted circle of people, with other special needs moms and with ourselves, we should let our strength be reflected in authenticity and honesty.
Tears Can Talk
Most encouraging words go unheard,
We let the enemy continue to steal,
kill and accuse.
We let well-intended words fade away.
But, that day, you had something we could use.
Tears opened your heart in a fresh way.
What flowed out wasn’t a funny or empty muse.
Your painful honesty had much to say.
A deep need in your eyes spilled down your face.
You’re like me I could hear and see.
Now a different, more honest you,
could make for a different, more honest me.
The story on your red, wet face,
spoke to me about God’s grace.
A grace I couldn’t argue was only for you,
but one I forget is for me and others too.
God in love reminding me He took my place.
Feeling our pain, baggage, and insecurities,
we can trade for seeking His face.
Your tears so raw, looking for relief,
authentic encouragement I found in your grief.
Like a reflection of my needs and own false beliefs, but-
What is true for you is true for me.
We must choose His eyes to see!