Esther: Day 11

Tears of Deliverance

by

Today's Text: Esther 8, Psalm 147

Then Esther spoke again to the king. She fell at his feet and wept and pleaded with him to avert the evil plan of Haman the Agagite and the plot that he had devised against the Jews.

- Esther 8:3 -

I don’t like to talk about crying.

Here’s the thing. I feel like I cry too much. I don’t know who set that mark for me, the mark that says “this amount of crying is allowed, but THIS is too much.”

But I worry it’s too much.

I just FEEL so many things. And when I feel, I cry.

As for the poor souls who have to deal with my crying, they are almost certainly confused by it. But for me, personally—I know what my tears are saying.

Sometimes, they are saying I am tired. (But also, dear friend, let’s quit using that as a coverup for our emotions. Just a thought. Moving on…)

Sometimes, my tears tell me what hurts.

Sometimes, my tears are because I’m angry.

But a lot of times, my tears tell me what matters.

Author Emily P. Freeman says to listen to your tears—instead of feeling ashamed of them—because they tell you where your heart is:

“Tears are tiny messengers sent from the deepest part of who we are. They whisper – here is where your heart beats strong. This is a hint as to what makes you come alive.”

When I look at this moment when Esther approached the king, I wonder if she knew how much that conversation mattered to her before she began to cry. Or, did her tears do for her what they do for me? Did they indicate to her how deeply her heart was affected?

Sure, there was fear (What if the King gets angry and kills me?), but more than that, I think she may have realized right there in that moment that God had done a deep work in her heart on behalf of her people.

Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that she was telling Mordecai she surely wasn’t the right gal for the job. And now here she is, weeping it says, concerned for the Jewish people.

Esther cried because her heart was moved. According to what we know in Scripture, Esther made the obedient choice first, and then her heart followed. And it followed in a way that most women can relate to—in tears. Her heart followed her into a moment that required courage, knelt down with her in front of the King, and spoke through her tears.

Esther wasn’t ashamed of her tears, at least as far as we know in the Bible. She wept. Openly. She wasn’t afraid of what her heart needed to express because she believed that God had made her on purpose, for THIS purpose.

Maybe instead of feeling embarrassed by my tears, I should start to trust them. Maybe my heart needs more permission to speak. Maybe my tears are signals to me of what matters most. Maybe teary moments on behalf of others is exactly what God uses to soften hearts. Just like an old dried out sponge, nothing brings softness and usability like a little water.

Jesus cried because He trusted what moved His heart. He cried when Lazarus died because pain and death and loss matter. And it is Jesus’s favor before God that gives us permission to do the same—permission to have soft hearts that speak up for others.

When she let her heart speak, when she wasn’t afraid of her tears, when she wasn’t ashamed to feel, Esther helped rescue her people.

Freedom came at the cost of her tears.

I don’t ever want to forget that.

 

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  • Honestly I feel like this missed the point. Jesus intercedes for his people the way Esther does. It’s not about whether you feel free to cry, or express your emotions. Disappointed by this study and also the tag line picture that goes with it.

  • What God has decreed, will happen. His word never returns void. Again today humbled by his grace and mercy.

  • Rachal T.

    My tears remind me I have an intense amount of passion for something. And when my situation cannot be moved, I give it to God. When I pray in the Spirit, I cry. My tears overflow and after the prayer, my heart is full and my emotions are refreshed. I’m learning the Lord doesn’t always change my circumstence, He changes me.

  • Thank you for our tears Lord!!!!

  • Stephanie Michelle

    I’m usually not an emotional person but this Devo really brought me to a place of realization. I don’t pay attention to when I cry because I just try to shut everything down. I don’t like being that kind of vulnerable…. I think this was the beginning of a new journey for me. Thanks Annie!

  • Jesus tears were much more than for Lazarus. He knew he could raise him. His tears were for the brokenness he felt because of the unbelief of the Pharisees. Their unbelief broke His heart. Do we have that brokenness for the unsaved?

  • You have no idea how much your comment has encouraged and strengthened my soul today! Glory be to our great God!

  • I think the fact that Esther had been fasting adds a huge element to her sensitivity to have God’s heart for His people. Fasting puts everything in God’s hands by saying, “I need You, God.” It makes us physically and emotionally weak so God shines more brightly through us. What a battle rages in me about food. But God is more powerful! The more we seek Him, the more we find Him. And He will be glorified.

  • Myself, I don’t cry often, but when I do…oh lawd.
    I am struck by the journey God took Esther on. She went from doubting that she could do anything to change the fate of the Jews, to a mighty woman filled with belief and faith in the power of the God of Israel! We get to see her heart change to: That God=Her God , using her, compelling her, favoring her! I am believing God to do the same in my heart and the hearts of HIS people! Spirit fill us and compel us to act on behalf of your beloved children. To even ugly cry, if it be Your desire!! So we can see Your hand, experience Your power, because your Will does not depend on my works….amen!

  • I was on the verge of tears before reading that. And the waterworks began half way through the devotional. Thank you for the reminder that our tears are the physical response of something much deeper below our surface. God places the cares and pains on my heart because he cares about them too. Thank you… Just thank you for this reminder. I don’t have to be ashamed of my constant crying for my women’s group in Africa or for my young girls in El Sal. My heart breaks for them and I weep constantly. I think this may be a sign of the Holy Spirit working instead of an overly sensitive person (which I call myself).

  • Notice that Esther cried at the kings feet, what a great example! Shouldn't we sit and cry at our King's feet? Giving Him our tender hearts, fears, sorrows, etc… instead of hiding our emotions or believing the lies from satan of hopelessness and despair.

  • I cried this morning– this makes me feel much better about it.

  • Whitley Griffiths

    I loved this devotion. My mom always told me ” tears water the seeds that have been sown” some times crying allows your heart and head to understand what matters and that results in growth.

  • I love what she said about who decided what the threshold is for TOO much crying! God gave us emotions for a reason! Ask long as we don’t let our emotions control our actions, we’re good! Great devotion!

  • I am learning to be vulnerable to know it is ok to cry. I tear up in all emotions but hold them bad from rolling down my face and I am glad I read this. I am working on letting the go and this allows the thought of no to subside away.

  • What a powerful message of boldness and vulnerability in love…through tear.

  • I needed to hear this as well, for I too am a “crier”. Thank you for sharing your heart, and encouraging us to pay attention to our tears – something I will be doing more of.

  • Milah Jean

    I needed to hear this!! Allow my life I’ve been a “crier” and it seems to have always made people uncomfortable. I know it’s because I feel so deeply and care so much. Thank you for sharing this. I am learning not to stifle my tears and just let them fall freely. AMEN!!!

  • My freshman year in college I had to read a book called windows of the soul by Ken gire. When I met my, now husband, and we started dating, I think I cried a bit, maybe alot, and he didnt always get it being the oldest of two boys. But I remember telling him one time that my tears were just washing the windows of my soul. He liked that and understood it. I loved this study, as I too am a cryer. ; )

  • Amazed at the realization that many of us are moved to tears, often. I won't be ashamed of feeling deeply anymore.

  • I don’t cry very much and I am not sure why. I do not see tears as a sign of weakness at all, I just don’t cry easily. Reading these comments has made me wonder why. My heart cries but my eyes don’t.

  • I too speak my emotions and what makes me come alive, through my tears every day. I've felt the pressure to not cry so much or so often, so this was a comfort to read! In my prayers I also get moved to tears and many times they help me to enter into a whole new level with God. I find myself at times sobbing but I am grateful for that depth that He is bringing me to.

  • I don’t really enjoy crying, but if God can use my tears to touch others, wow is it worth it! This is a good reminder for why God often and randomly touches my spirit and moves me to tears.

  • This passage hit home for me. I’m a crier. I cry in joy, sorrow, happiness and pain of others. Especially that. Movies, commercials, anything…sometimes I feel like a live wire. Succeptable to any given circumstance or thing…and I could never understand why, and I’ve always been ashamed and questioned this until today. And then this “listen to your tears—instead of feeling ashamed of them—because they tell you where your heart is” ~ Tears are tiny messengers sent from the deepest part of who we are. They whisper – here is where your heart beats strong. This is a hint as to what makes you come alive.” I’m a compassionate person. I love help others. Whether it is in deed or in prayer.~ This has blessed me so! Okay…now I get it. Thank the Lord for this revelation through the word and for the teachers of your word! Have a blessed day my beautiful sisters in Christ!

  • Brooke McGlothlin

    I'm not a cryer, but the other day I found myself unable to stop the tears as I recounted a moving experience to my group of close friends. After reading this, I see those tears as affirmation from the Lord that the vision in my heart is really the one He's put there. Thanks, Annie.

  • Bethpchuck

    So beautiful and timely. The Lord has been showing me this very thing. Much freedom is happening. He is so good.

  • I’ve been learning this lesson over the past year, and this devotional crystallized it so well for me! Several years ago, I was so far from God that I wasn’t affected by preaching or Bible reading. I rarely cried, or if I did, it was because I was being selfish. Now as I’ve spent the past year growing closer to God, I feel like I’m crying all the time! I’m a weepy mess in church, listening to music in my car, even doing this SRT study! And I love it! I love knowing that God has softened my hard heart and made me pliable enough to cry genuine tears again!

  • loveHimso

    My tears are signals to me of what maters most… Ok I hate to cry…I mean I really hate to cry. I used to feel it was a sign of weakness. So in fact…I never cried. Never. I kept most of my emotions hidden because I was too scared to share them and they never seem to matter anyway. But God has opened my heart to be able to express emotion. So now I cry when I’m sad of course, when I’m really mad or sometimes just because I’m having a hard day. I’m still embarrassed by them. What I know now is that my tears matter to my Father. Every single one. There is not a tear that falls that He is not concerned about. Allowing your heart to feel will sometimes lead to happiness but other times there may be sadness. I’m convinced that it is better to feel something than nothing at all…good or bad

  • Is anyone else here NOT a crier?? I always feel left out lol. From a little girl I somehow believed the lie that crying makes you weak. Fast forward 15 years and I cannot cry, even when I feel things deeply or feel like my heart will burst in pain. But Jesus understands my heart- the pain and the struggle or emotion that I can’t muster up in tears are still KNOWN to Him. Thank you Lord.

    • Antimony

      Hey Jess. I’m not much of a crier. I don’t cry from sadness or emotion or happiness. The only time I cry is sheer frustration! Sometimes I feel weird about not crying … like at a funeral! But we all feel pain differently. It’s ok :)

    • DLS
  • My favorite so far – I cry a lot for happiness, sadness, anxiety, fear … but now I will remember – my tears are following my heart, what really matters – pay attention! It is ok to feel and to cry — Me and Jesus have some things in common and that carries me right now!

  • This devotional reminds me of possibly what Mary Magdalene’s heart showed when she was wiping Jesus’ feet with her tears, “There was a sinful woman in that town. She knew that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house. So the woman brought some expensive perfume in an alabaster jar. She stood at Jesus’ feet, crying. Then she began to wash his feet with her tears. She dried his feet with her hair. She kissed his feet many times and rubbed them with the perfume. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? When I came into your house, you gave me no water for my feet. But she washed my feet with her tears and dried my feet with her hair. I tell you that her many sins are forgiven. This is clear, because she showed great love. People who are forgiven only a little will love only a little.” Then Jesus said to her, “Your sins are forgiven. “Jesus said to the woman, “Because you believed, you are saved from your sins. Go in peace.” (‭Luke‬ ‭7‬:‭37-38, 44, 47-48, 50‬ ERV)

  • Gema Muniz

    Tears allow us to expose our soul , at least that's how I see it. I love it when we get caught up in praise or in prayer and we start to cry. I personally think is the best feeling, I feel like I'm having an intimate moment with God and he can truly see me for who I am. I wish more people would find this intimate moment with God, since in my church when someone cries they feel like they need to console them. I don't get this action from my church, don't they understand that tears don't always mean sadness? sometimes it means pure thankfulness or just pure passion. Let's allow ourselves to come into God's presence with an exposed heart through our tears. God bless you sisters!…

    • Hesaved83

      Gema, great post! :) I love that intimate connection as well! My church do not interrupt the tear moments of praise to our Father God. I’m so blessed and thankful for that opportunity to freely worship the Lord! I believe the opposite would be distracting…stay blessed sister!

  • VeronikaRae

    I cry so much latley. I cry because I am lonley. I cry because I struggle to believe. I cry because I want God to turn change my heart. I have gotten so bord with my life lately and lonley, and have spent years chasing new jobs, new churches, new experiences. I try and fail and feel like I haven’t grown or changed at all. I want passion but feel cold. Like a statue crying.

    I know about God, but I just really want a changed heart, one that beats believing.

    Thank you for these devotionals,that make me cry because my heart is seeking Him.

    • Mary

      Praying for you VeronicaRae. Loneliness is a difficult battle. I pray that you feel Christ's love today.

  • Tears have been a sign of weakness to me, I fear letting others see that I don’t have it all together. I fear getting too emotionally attached that I will be drawn to tears. But yet, that is how God calls us in all our openness and honesty to have that truthful honest relationship with him just as Esther broke down with the King.

    We are in the midst of the adoption process and are one of three possible families for a little girl. My emotions are all over the place, but I am trying to hold it together…not to get too hopeful, yet I realize God knows and can handle all the raw emotions I have and more! Thanks for this reminder today!

  • "Esther made the obedient choice first, and then her heart followed. " This is SO powerful. As I am trusting the Lord with my marriage and God returning to the center of it, I realize sometimes I may not feel like doing things, but I must be obedient and the feelings will come later. I need to trust God. I need to not question when he tells me to love or affirm my husband when I feel like he should be doing more. I just need to make the obedient choice first like Esther did!

  • M.Nicole

    For me, I seem to experience most of my tears during a certain time of the month (if you know what I mean). It's like all the things I've dealt with or felt the entire month culminate at that specific time—and then the tears flow. Outside of that time, there are sometimes when I really (REALLY) want to cry, but I've somehow mastered holding back my tears; not wanting to seem overly sensitive. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that shedding beautiful tears unto my God might be one of the best ways to really share with Him my heart. Not my words, but my unadulterated tears of pain, joy, sorrow, expectation, fear, etc. Thank you for pulling this element out of the scriptures. Just what I needed.

  • “Tears are tiny messengers sent from the deepest part of who we are. They whisper – here is where your heart beats strong. This is a hint as to what makes you come alive.” TRUTH!!! I love this. Spoke to my soul this am. Bless.

  • Sisters, please pray for me today to have wisdom in the actions I need to take. I want to be obedient to the Lord, and sometimes its hard to know when to wait and when to act…
    Reading about Esther's obedience and how she "made the obedient choice first, and then her heart followed", makes me question… I am acting out of fear or obedience? I really don't know… and I just want to follow the Lord and His will…
    Esther had a long period of waiting before acting, but how do we know when to act? I am seeking the Lord for His answer…

    • Fari Fabara

      Katie I’ve been in your position SO MANY times that I can’t even count them, I find myself in it right now, I will pray for you :) trust Him, trust that He will make His will known no matter if the world and your reasoning makes no sense, at least that what I keep reminding myself! Have a blessed day!

    • Taime'

      Hey Katie, read the word, seek wise counsel, fast and in prayer ask God to prohibit or enable your action…give God the glory. Praying for you in this place!

  • Will pray for healing for you this morning.

  • So sweet to be reminded that it’s ok to show our hearts to others this way. It’s a strength and not a weakness.

  • unspeakablejoymccoy

    This is my favorite one so far of this series. I don't cry often enough as I was taught growing up that I needed to hide my emotions and keep on smiling. I need to realize that it's okay to cry and let it out more. Instead, I bottle things up which creates anxiety. I am sad about things but I fight the emotion to let it out. "Maybe my tears are signals to me of what matters most." Thanks Annie!!!

    Blessings, Carrie http://unspeakablejoymovement.blogspot.com/2015/0

  • smithwendy62

    I think about the tears that I have shed in times of stressful situations, when rather than spout from the mouth, tears have erupted. When I have felt personally attached or misunderstood and needed time to think before talking tears have given me the time to gather myself. They maybe looked at by others as a sign of weakness but Esther demonstrates that can indicate strength!

  • So thankful this morning for the reminder that tears are OK! Love how you put that tears show us what matters.
    Twice now I have burst into tears when learning that good friends were pregnant with their second (or third) child. I am happy for them. I truly am! The sad tears came without thought.
    I will be 34 this year. I am trying to follow God by following my husband who says it’s not time for kids quite yet. But it’s hard. It’s hard to have constant reminders of babies (I mean, they’re everywhere!!) and not know when our time will come. It’s not easy having an unfulfilled desire in your heart that has been there for years. There are even tears as I write this. Praying that God helps me focus on what I do have instead of just crying over the unknown that stretches out before me.

    • Katie_K

      I will be praying for you today! I am a bit younger but in a marriage where my husband wants out and has long put off having kids, because he's been unsure of us for quite some time. I definitely get the battle that comes when those you love are having babies – so much joy for them, but so hard not to be a little sad too, wondering, will I ever get there? God knows the desires of our hearts, and He has a plan. Don't lose hope in that :)

  • I believe,that God gives us the language of tears. Jesus loves more deeply than we do and He wept. I want to learn this foreign language
    that when I feel deeply it is my outlet, truly, so that others know I am alive and that who ever or what ever the tears are over may see what matters to me. I have tears over messages given for Jesus, songs that moves me, LOTS and Lots. I feel them when I think of others.
    Thank you for She Reads Truth. Love to all who read the word of God.

  • This study is perfect for me at this time in my life. May I ask those of you that feel led to pray for me this weekend as I ask God for wisdom. My manager has been bullying staff, among other things. I don’t know what to do. My heart tells me to speak up to human resources. But fear grips me. I want the injustice to end, but fear paralyzes me. Lord are you asking me to speak up on behalf of myself and my coworkers?

    • M.Nicole

      Hi Ruth; definitely praying for you. Take some time to look up as many scriptures as possible on fear and justice. His words will confirm what he would have you to do. Remember, God has not given you a spirit of fear but of a sound mind. Be blessed!

    • Taime'

      Praying

  • This really made me stop and think about what I cry about. I can see now that these things are things that really mean so much to my heart. Thanks for this perspective, SRT! Happy Wednesday!

  • pbfloyd5757

    So thankful for this. There is hardly a day that goes by that I do not cry. Tears of thankfulness. Tears of grief. Tears of worry. I cry on the way to work….on the way home from work…driving to the store….as I lay awake at night praying….while studying….during worship & hearing the Word of God preached. So much so, if a day goes by & I DON'T cry, I think there is something wrong. Lol. I have stopped wearing mascara. What's the point? Am I an emotional mess? Or just growing less hardhearted? I don't know, but God knows. And I know He loves me whatever the reason for my tears. Maybe this is the new me. :)

  • Interpreting scripture is so hard for my black and white brain. While trying to find Christ in this passage, I wasn't thinking tears. I was seeing how the seal of the sinature ring was going to save Esther's people just like Christ on the Cross saves His people. I don't think, in a hundred years, I would have seen this passage about tears — leading it to Christ that He "cried because He trusted whet moved His heart".

    I like it when a devotion causes me to think, because now I'm going to have to read a few commentaries on this passage…

  • Beth Warner

    Oh such obedience and trust,how I want this too. Sisters I ask for prayer this morning, I’ve been going through some tough times the past 4 weeks dealing with this darn cancer. I haven’t posted many comments although I’ve read most all of yours. Please pray for my heart to continue to obey and trust that I’m right where God wants me. Some days are easier than others. God Bless you all, and thank you so much. Xo

    • Linda

      Praying for you today Beth! May God Bless and comfort you!

    • Ruth

      Praying that God supplies you with peace and an assurance of His presence and work in your life!

    • Connie

      Will pray for healing for you this morning.

    • Taime'

      Praying for you today Beth Warner

    • Kendall_S

      praying for you Beth…. :)

    • Jess

      Thinking of you and praying lovely lady ❤️

    • Onfaith

      You were really on my heart yesterday Beth. So I thought, I would search you out thinking surely you had left a comment somewhere. I am still praying for you. I hate to hear that things are so difficult, but I do hope that you are feeling God with you. I hope and pray that at least you have peace today and that you see each day as it comes knowing full well, God has not left or forsaken you friend! Sending cyber hugs and continued prayers for you! ~ B

  • “Esther made the obedient choice first, and then her heart followed.” – This is the lynchpin in the story of Esther that I have been struggling to find. Earlier this week, I wrote; “Some days there are things God asks of you that you aren’t sure you can do, at least without breaking. Trying to find the courage to trust that even if I break, He can rebuild me and likely better than I was before. But to choose this type of offering, this sacrifice of myself. I’ll need help Lord. I’m self-protective above all things, can I really overcome this part of myself? Will I? Fear is my enemy.” My heart was not in it, but I knew what I was being called to. And while I’m still struggling to walk this road of obedience I’m encouraged that my heart doesn’t have to be in agreement with my will. He is meeting me where I am and I know my heart will follow.

    • Beth Warner

      Love this,,,thank you!

    • Christina D.

      Becky your words are so strong and spoke to my heart. “I’m self-protective above all things, can I really overcome this part of myself? Will I? Fear is my enemy.” Wow what truth you have spoken. Thank you for sharing as I needed to hear that’s

    • Jenny Raymond

      YES!!

  • This could not have come at a better time for me. I had our third child on November 1st. Unlike with my other two, I cried every day for a month straight about returning to work. I'm back at work now (I teach), and while I'm not crying daily, I usually have a good cry on Sunday nights. I've been asking myself if something is wrong with me, because I didn't feel this way when I returned to my job with our older two children. And I'm happy, oh so happy. My heart is full, our family is complete. But I still turn into a hot crying mess.

    But I haven't been really listening to my tears. How they are telling me that my family, my children, are what matters. Yes, I'm still at a point where I have to work. There is no getting around that unless I completely empty my retirement account. But I'm pursuing part-time and job-share opportunities with a renewed fervor today. Opportunities that will allow me to still do what I love in educating children while also allowing me 4 additional hours with my sweet children at home too.

    Thank you for reminding me to listen to my tears instead of thinking something is wrong with me. Because nothing is wrong with me.

    • Christina D.

      Melody what a beautiful illustration of listening to your tears! Praying that you will find the perfect job opportunity that meets your financial needs and your desire to be with your children more!

    • Taime'

      Sister please have your hormone levels checked as well. It is possible your tears are revealing a chemical imbalance or exhaustion as well.

  • Wow, Annie. That was a beautiful interpretation of this passage in Esther. Thank you for sharing your heart on Esther’s obedient submission to what the Lord was asking of her.

    Sometimes, I think, if we don’t hear the “Hallelujah Chorus” when the Lord asks us to do something, we can doubt that it was He who gave the invitation. You reminded me, however, that Esther’s obedience ushered in a beautiful move of God through a nation and through a heart. Her humility to lay down her life with a “Yes,” even when she might not have understood, is what opened the gates for the Lord to change the course for Israel.

    We say yes, Lord. Do it again. Do it in us. We are willing to live laid down lives.

  • "Just like an old dried out sponge, nothing brings softness and usability like a little water." I am a crier, and the older I get the more I cry. I love the statement that our tears show our heart. I cry when I am sad, I cry when I am excited, I cry when I see accomplishment on the face of those who didn't think they could, but did, I cry when I am happy, etc. These days I cry over my grandson. The love I feel for him is just overwhelming some days.
    This study of Esther has brought out so many emotions and truths for me. As I said before, it is not my first time to study this book, but I have drawn an abundance of truths this time that did not speak to me before. I like the way, God gives us new insight each time we study his word.
    Have a blessed day sisters.

  • Candacejo

    Tears are a language God understands! So thankful that He cares, listens and is ever-so-patient with our weeping. He wept, the Bible tells us He did before He raised Lazarus from the dead. We don't know if He was weeping over the death of Lazarus or because of the people's lack of faith, etc., but He DID weep. I must remind myself He has experienced all of the trials in this life that I will experience. Every test, every situation, He is aware and has been there, done that. He overcame the world so that we might do the same, in His name, with the Comforter abiding.

    May I let Him abide in me today and when the tears fall, as they did yesterday so freely, I pray I will take the time to say, "Here Lord, these are Yours, cleanse me, refresh me and strengthen me through my tears."

    Blessed Thursday, sisters! ♥♥♥

  • Thankful for this message. I am a college student majoring in Biology and lately I have been overwhelmed and somewhat discouraged. I am taking a professor that could be a valuable resource to what I would like to do after graduation which is research in marine biology. However, the course has been a challenged, SHE is extremely challenging! I expressed interest in wanting her assistance the first day of class (and I really want to impress her) but my last assignment was not up to standards. She was disappointed and knew that I am capable of better. I cried. I wanted to hide and not show my face! That is what happens when I feel I could do better! Reading this message made me realize that crying shows how passionate I am about this concentration and that I want to do the best I can!

    • Taime'

      Joy ah , each assignment you complete should be done for the glory of God. Keep that as your goal. Then, you will be putting your success where it belongs. Your professor gained her position as part of God’s order in the world. Give respect where it is do but do not give HER undo authority over your future.

  • Chelsea C.

    As I have grown closer to the Lord my tears have increased. I used to be so guarded with my emotions. My first visit to our new church feeling the presence of the Holy spirit in this place I wept and continued to do so at every service that month. God broke through years of walls around my heart with those tears. Since then my tears are definitely a gauge of what my heart is feeling. Just a couple weeks ago I was at church and they were showing a video of a young mother in our church talking about trusting God while she has terminal breast cancer. Right now my beloved aunt is going through breast cancer after a long battle with colon cancer and my father's body is failing him in his early fifties and all diagnosis point towards a rare and incurable cancer. I thought I had been dealing with this all very well until that mother's story began. Tears flowed freely as my baby slept in my chest. God made me acknowledge my fears in a place I feel most at home and He broke me in a way I desperately needed. Tears to me now are a release from trying to be too strong and carry too much. I was created with great empathy and emotion and trying to bottle that up only denies the Lord's great design.

  • “You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book. (‭Psalm‬ ‭56‬:‭8‬ MSG)”

  • Beautiful. Let me not be afraid of my tears, Lord!

  • Melanie @ Carmel Moments

    Beautifully said. My tears do indicate what my heart is feeling. Sometimes it’s feeling overwhelmed with gratitude. Sometimes it’s feeling overwhelmed with frustration.

    But it always indicates that I need a pause moment to just breathe deep and mellow my heart and turn to him for His unfailing love.

    Happy Thursday friends!

  • I loved the devotional today , I cry often, for myself and others and have been told to stop crying and get it together , but I realize that tears are a reflection of the heart and often serve the purpose to clear out our heart vision Like the rain removing the dust from our car window .

  • I love how she pointed out that Esther obeyed with her heart and then the rest of the emotions followed. I know others pointed this out as well. I think a lot of times if it doesn't feel right or the situation looks too much for us. We allow satan to deceive us into thinking we can't handle it. Esther listened to wise counsel and sought the counsel of The Lord and stepped out in faith and obeyed. I pray I more like her and less like myself. And when the emotion did come she was not manipulative with it. Sometimes we use emotion to control people in our lives. Esther was just honest, and and I love her story!

  • thelittlelaurents

    I am SUCH a crier. The littlest things can make me shed a tear. I love your line: "I feel like I cry too much. I don’t know who set that mark for me, the mark that says “this amount of crying is allowed, but THIS is too much.”"

    I feel the same way. I always find myself trying to hold back my tears…for the sake of "what's accepted". Thank you for this reminder that my tears are there for a reason and that "what's accepted" is, and should be, different for every woman. :)

  • Tears speak, they can insight anger and even puncture walls. I've noticed that as I age, my tears increase. I suppose the reality of understanding more sets in and they just become silent partners in our experiencing life.

    I remember the first time I realized this was different for my middle child. I took for granted that we all cry, but it's just not the case. Some not only don't, they can't. Like all babies, she cried, she was a calm infant and quiet, but she still cried those life saving tears. As she grew, that changed, tears weren't often there, but anger certainly was. I was a young momma confused. It became more about helping her than understanding her. So connecting that she only cried when she was in trouble, angered or pyhsically hurt was something I missed until she was older. (I know, I'm slow) – I was weeping at my mother's funeral, in the same room with my mother's body and I noticed my daughter's eyes were on me like a hawk. She had just been playing with another child, but here she had no expression. Now I know that young children don't understand death as we do, but more often than not, as is my experience, they can sense the situation and understand there is something bigger going on. My daughter did not. She looked me square in the eyes as I sat and asked me (after so much conversations), almost aggravated, "Why are you crying Momma?" I briefly explained that I was crying because I was sad. Sad that my mother was no longer living and I was going to miss her, that I already missed her. She looked at my mom, looked at me and walked away. It was that moment I knew this was different for her. I knew with Autism, emotions would look different, but I never considered what this particular emotion would actually look like for her. Fortunately, as she has grown, with the help of Godly people and therapies, her heart based tears have increased. Something I never knew I'd be thankful for. It changed crying for me. I can't imagine not being able *to* cry. How it would feel to have emotions so bottled up, so mixed up inside you that not even one tear fell. She still has to process things and think over things, but I see the changes in her. Her anger has lessened, her staunch opinions in emotions have cooled a bit and she recognizes tears as an opportunity to gauge a situation.

    For us, God understands tears so greatly that He has even given us scripture over them. They aren't something we should shame ourselves over and they aren't something we should manipulate. They *are* necessary and important expressions of our heart, they soften us and allow us to connect to others in a unique and genuine way. They are the heart speaking! ~ B

    Have to add that as I hit submit, I had to laugh, my eldest came running down the stairs crying tears of joy over SAT scores of all things. She is a good cryer, in all things. She used to think it a curse, I need to make sure I share otherwise! :)

  • All I’ve wanted to do this week is cry. So many unknowns right now in our little world. I stop myself every time, but maybe I don’t need to. Jesus wept, I can weep. My heart is so full of love for my little guy (& husband too!) that sometimes it overflows and comes out in tears. I gotta stop holding back! And stop fearing! Esther rocks! She is BRAVE! Love her!

    • Onfaith

      Definitely don't hold back. I think that sometimes crying can be such a cleansing experience. Hope unknowns become knowns very soon for you. I know the frustrations in that. I will be prayerful over it for you as well! ~ B

    • MNmomma (heather)

      I need to work on not holding back….I have tears often for "little things" (commercials, things kids say/do, etc) but when it comes to the big, scary things in life, I tend to hold it all in…..so afraid to let it go….I need to stop holding back!

  • My mother used to call my tears, crocodile tears, when I was younger…I would cry at any given opportunity…for want, lack of, for attention, you name it, there were tears…

    Fast forward some years ,now a young mother…a single mother, the worry of where the next meal for my child would come from, warmth on a cold winters day…wanting to be a good mother…I cried…in good times watching them achieve something for themselves, I cried…playing the tail end of a donkey in the school play ..I cried….first boyfriend, looking so beautiful as a bridesmaid, I cried….when she was called home, I cried and still do, you are right, Annie F. Downs……. Love and tears walk hand in hand…you cannot love, and not be moved by a situation…to be honest, if you have love in your heart, there is potential for tears..I don't believe it is just for your own situation either…I watch those ads and I have tears…I read some of our stories and I have a hurty heart and tears..
    Back to 1 Corinthians, 13:2 says I may have all the knowledge and understand all secrets, I may have all the faith needed to move mountains….but if I have no love, heart, tears..I am nothing…slight paraphrasing…towards the end…

    Love.. heart …tears …All good…All God..

    Thank you so much Annie F Downs for this today…a great reminder that we need our hearts softened to be open to what moves us to tears …and hopefully like Esther, to act on it as God would have us do…God Bless you..Annie, as the psalm says ..you have collected my tears…, at the rate we are going, we probably have oceans named after us…lol..

    Happy Thursday, this surely is a day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it….with love, with heart, with tears….for what the Lord has placed on our hearts, and loves…Amen..xxx

    • Onfaith

      "Love and tears walk hand in hand" – so true. I didn't really understand this until I became a mother. Sure I still cried, but the emotional connection of why I cried wasn't realized until kids. I notice as I get older, I cry more. Weird. Just yesterday my 9 year old was asking me about something in the car and she mentioned a moment her teacher started crying over an injustice in the world and as I was trying to explain I started crying. Additionally, my oldest, getting ready to go into her senior year, yup, tears. I can understand exactly what you're saying here T! "Love… heart… tears… All good… all God." Love it! ~ B

  • thisgalsjourney

    Wow, this was so timely. Especially as I had an unexpected time of tears in the car this morning, but you’re exactly right: they showed me where my heartbeat truly is. God is so very kind and gentle with us, is he not?

  • Philippa Brooks

    "Esther made the obedient choice first, and then her heart followed." Thank you Annie for this gem of truth, in a beautiful devotional today. To me, Esther's crown of beauty will always be her obedience. From a young girl following the direction of her uncle, right up until this moment of risking her very life in front of the King; Esther was obedient to the call of God on her life. She wasn't led all along by her emotions of fear, impatience, inadequacy or pride, but she made herself to be available to be used of God – even despite how she felt! As women, God has given us a broad spectrum of emotions (I can hear my husband laugh as I write that) and they can be used so wonderfully for His glory; when we place them under the truth of His Word and in line with who we are in Christ. I so relate to this sentence, because I knew as a 19 year old that God wanted me to be a missionary to the unreached people groups of the world, but I felt so incapable, so inadequate to do anything for Him. However, I wanted with all my heart to obey God and so I took the leap of faith and followed Him, one trembling step at a time. I write this today from a little house in the jungle of the Philippines where we (my hubby and 2 kids) have lived serving the Lord for the past 10 years. Do I feel any better qualified for this role? Absolutely not, but God has been so faithful to us each step of the way. What I gave up to Him in so called "sacrifice", He has returned to me with joy and grace overflowing. And the tears always flow, when I look back and see the goodness and the faithfulness of God in my life. I am amazed and humbled that He would allow us this privilege of letting our lives be used to tell others about Him. So dear friends today, we can all be Esther's wherever the Lord has placed us, or called us to in this world. It isn't some high and lofty idea to be used of God – it is our humble duty to obey our Father in Heaven. He is so good, so faithful and His will is always our safe place. (tears) Love to you all today. Philippa. xx

    • Lys_in_RO

      Philippa, thank you for sharing what my heart was struggling to put into words. The idea of Esther’s obedience first and then her heart following also struck me most from this study.
      I’m also blessed by your story of obedience. I’m starting my 3rd year serving The Lord in Romania (planning to be here for life, or until God calls me elsewhere.) God asked me to come to Romania and serve the uncreached Roma and the orphans. I came out of obedience, but my heart soon followed. Most days I still feel inadequate and incapable. Some days my heart cries at the struggle. But I also know the faithfulness of The Lord. I have experienced the joy and grace overflowing that you mentioned. Oh what a wonderful Lord we serve!!!
      I always thought I related more to Ruth in my journey to a new culture, but I’m realizing in Esther I also find a sister in the journey.

      • Valanne

        Praying for you too sweet Allyssa. What a beautiful sacfrific you have offered to the Lord–may He comfort your heart when you are homesick for home…~Val

    • MNmomma (heather)

      So perfectly worded……thank you!

    • Valanne

      Philippa, thank you for this glimpse into the journey the Lord has called you too. I will pray for my "jungle SRT sister" and the continued work that the Lord has planned for you in the Philippines. ~Val

    • Sarabeth

      “As women, God has given us a broad spectrum of emotions (I can hear my husband laugh as I write that) and they can be used so wonderfully for His glory; when we place them under the truth of His Word and in line with who we are in Christ.” This is beautiful! And something I need to remember. Too many times my emotions go everywhere and I forget to alone them with what the Word of God says. I love that this devotional pointed out that Esther was obedient before she felt like it. Just beautiful!

  • Stephanie

    Sitiing in the bus and reading this study had almost made me laugh out loud! I can relate so well to the crying part and people beinh really confused because of it! Thank you for the study, it made me think…

  • Courtney C.

    I am so grateful for this Esther study. It's come just at the right time in my life. I, too, cry often. I believe my tears do represent what I really care about, what fills my heart.

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