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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

The Crying Room

 



Uncertainly Emma entered, pushing the door open slightly. She could see women everywhere, mostly middle aged and elderly, some younger -- leaning against the walls, stooped over benches, sitting alone. Tears were everywhere, in every form -- soft sobs coming from all corners of the room. Sniffles, sighs, sadness.

Despair hung in the air -- Emma could barely breathe through its thickness. There was no hope here! Why were the women all so silent, so solitary? No one was speaking, no one was comforting -- everyone was stooped over with sadness, as bearing a heavy burden that no one could lift.

There was standing room only, and she began to feel choked, smothering from the heaviness that hung darkly throughout.

There was a lady in a uniform standing nearby. Emma blinked unbelieving…was she some sort of door monitor? The lady seemed to be in charge, yet aloof. Emma ventured closer to her, and asked in a hushed voice,

"Excuse me…I'm not sure I'm in the right room…"

She spoke to Emma without even looking her way. "Why are you here, ma'am?"

"Well…I'm not sure…I have been having some family issues, you see -- and the well-dressed man said I should come in here...?"

She nodded determinedly, but still without looking into Emma's eyes. "Children disappointed you, have they? Turned from God? Is your husband breaking your heart? Have you felt some sadness over hard times in your life?"

Her tone of voice was so…impersonal.

"Well…yes...I mean, I've been having some problems, and…"

"Then you're in the right room. Find a corner. Cry it out. Don't bother anyone else. No one wants to talk about it anymore than you do."

Obediently, Emma walked to the corner with the least women standing around. She certainly didn't want to bother anyone, but she wasn't sure she wanted to be left alone, either.

She stood for awhile, looking around. Tears began to trickle down her face as she considered her own problems.

Every sadness, every dashed hope, every unexplainable trial came to her mind as Emma considered her own life history. She could feel her own shoulders drooping, like everyone else's in the room.

Stop! She told herself. Think about something else!

She looked around. There were no windows. Darkness was all around. So, she decided to strike up a conversation with the woman next to her. What could it hurt?

"Ummm…hello…I mean, how are you? Well…I, uh…can I help?"

The woman stopped moaning and looked Emma's way. Then, she looked up toward the lady monitor.

She looked back again at Emma and hissed, "Leave me alone! Can't you see I don't want to talk about it?!"

Emma moved away from her, embarrassed. She nearly fell over another woman, who was stooped over on the floor, rocking back and forth. Suddenly, Emma felt the need to hold her. The strange woman was in so much emotional pain.

Gently, Emma put her arms around the woman. But her whole body seemed to cringe at Emma's touch. Her sobbing came in deep choking sounds. Emma quickly moved away from her.

From the opposite corner, she felt someone watching her. When she looked into the woman's face, the woman looked away.

What is it with these ladies, thought Emma. Why does no one want to look at me, or talk? She inched over to the woman, hoping she would speak. Emma glanced again at the lady monitor-she was busy with some paperwork.

"Hello…er…how are you? I noticed you are looking around the room. I thought maybe, we could…well, talk to each other."

The woman briefly looked into Emma's eyes, then she looked away. Her face was tight with dried tears, and she didn't even attempt to smile.

"What do you want to talk about?" she whispered.

"Well…what is this place?" Emma whispered hoarsely back. "Why is everyone so sad…so private? What has happened to them?"

"Shouldn't you know?" asked the woman suspiciously. "You were sent here, weren't you, by the well-dressed man…?"

"Well, yes actually, but…"

"So why were you sent here?" she asked.

"I'm not really sure. The well-dressed man saw my joylessness, and asked me a few questions, and then he sent me here. He doesn't even know me. Why would he think I would want to come here?"

"Can't you see? This is where all women want to come who have that deep sadness."

"Why? What has happened?"

The woman sighed. "The same things that have happened to you, I guess…things you don't understand…bad things…unfair things…things you never wanted to happen."

"You mean…all of these women are angry?"

"No," she responded dully, "the anger room is next door. This is the crying room…you know, where you feel the sadness-when you first start to accept those things that have happened to you…when it first breaks your heart…"

The woman looked away. Emma sat down, trying to understand. The lady monitor was looking her way, so she put her head down.

Life had been hard to understand lately. As Emma sat thinking about the past few years, she felt that despair returning. Her teen-aged children had been rebellious, her husband had been distant…non-believing…and then, he had died. She had worked so hard to provide a good home for her children -- she had such high hopes for them!

But worst of all, they just didn't share her faith. She had hoped so much that they could all attend church together -- that all of them could become believers and live a life of joy and peace and faith. Oh, how she wanted that!

She frowned. Actually, she wanted what her friend Joy had.

Joy's family all went to church. Her children loved her and respected her. Her husband was alive...he was an elder in the church, and served in so many different ways. He was such a family man. It just wasn't fair!

But Emma loved Joy. Joy was such a nice friend…Joy and her perfect children, her perfect family…Joy and her perfect life...it was just that Emma had tried so hard! Emma had not been a church-goer when her babies were born. She had embraced Christ soon after that, though, as she realized how important it was for her children to know Him.

Emma had been faithful! But Joy caught all the breaks. Where was the fairness in that, after all! All the bad things happened to Emma. Why wasn't she good enough to have a life like Joy's?? She thought God had loved her…she thought God had promised to care for her…!

A shadow crossed over the carpet where Emma was sitting. She looked up and was startled to see the lady monitor frowning down at her.

"Ma'am, perhaps you've misunderstood. You're in the wrong room."

Emma nodded and stood up. "Yes!" she exclaimed to the lady monitor. "Yes! I'm sure you're right. I'm not supposed to be here…"

"That's right," nodded the lady monitor matter-of-factly. "The Bitterness Room is across the hall."


Have you ever visited The Crying Room? Admittedly life is hard. There are many sadnesses that threaten to overcome us, and overwhelm us, and consume us.

Crying can be healthy; sadness can be a normal feeling in life. Indeed, Solomon tells us that…


There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven;
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn…
and a time to dance…
Ecclesiastes 3

 

So what exactly is The Crying Room? It's a room for dwelling…it's not a healing room -- it's a room set aside for self-pity, remorse. The private ones are the most frequent visitors to this room. Most of these people are afraid to share their feelings -- they are most comfortable, and even prefer, to be alone -- to wallow in the sadness's they have encountered in their own lifetimes -- the injustices, the indignancies, the hurts. It begins in turn to shape who they are -- to form who they will be.

This is how the enemy (the well-dressed man) would keep you -- in a solitary place -- a dark place of growing resentment toward the Creator. He waits until just the right moment to invite you there, then provides just the dark place needed to "cry it out" and remain in your tears. He will even continue to remind you of how sad you really are -- how sad you should be…

Are you there?

I've been there.

Around fifteen years ago, Ken and I traveled to Bangkok, Thailand, to pick up our new, beautiful, one-year-old son. We were there for 2 weeks, as we completed paperwork, interviewed with the Thai government, and spent time with our precious new gift. In our hotel room each night, I would watch him as he fell asleep. I wrote down my first impressions of him, my goals for his life -- my hopes and dreams as I watched him. I knew God had given us a great gift.

As he grew, I began to realize he had special needs. I felt so inadequate as his mother! But I persevered, and was overjoyed one day when he crawled up in my lap and sighed, "I smell…my Mommy."

 

I was sure God would heal certain issues in my son's life, and that as he grew, things would get better.

They didn't.

Soon, we were going through psychological testing, emotional testing, and birth history. The discoveries we made broke my heart. I felt the weight of sorrow and sadness engulf me! I visited The Crying Room, more and more frequently.

One day, on a Saturday morning, we joined with an older couple to pray for our son. They knew of our struggles and wanted to wrap their arms around us through prayer and support.

As we knelt to pray, the older woman said to me, "Lygia, you are engulfed in sadness! Where is your joy? Has this problem consumed you?! Are you being ruled by your emotions? That is sin! Jesus must be foremost in all your situations. He certainly has a plan! Let it go! This sadness is sin -- joy is a choice! Choose that joy!"

At first, I felt insulted! How dare she rebuke me, when I was going through such a hard time! How dare she not feel sorry for me! How dare she not feel my pain…didn't she know all I was going through?

But as I began to pray, God began to reveal her words as truth to my heart. I was indeed allowing the enemy to keep me in a dark place -- a place of hopelessness, joylessness, and it was leading to bitterness…

I began to choose joy. Oh, it wasn't easy. It still isn't at times. Allowing our son to go to a place that could better meet his needs -- acknowledging that our home is no longer the best place for him…choosing to let him live somewhere else, where some are better-trained to give him the care he needs…knowing that our son might become bitter toward us and not understand what we had to do…? Well, that is deeply sad. Bitterly hard. Do you understand? And even now as I write, I feel the deep sadness and tears come freely.

But I will not stay there. I will not dwell in The Crying Room. The joy of the Lord is my strength! Therein will my hope be renewed, and my thanksgiving to God will be fresh, as I rejoice in what God has planned -- for my precious son, and for the rest of the Lovelace's.

Here are some of the thoughts I wrote to my son, so long ago in that hotel room, in Bangkok, Thailand…

 

My sweet new son! How beautiful you are! I can't believe you are really here,
beside me, in this hotel room -- and you are my son!
I cannot wait to see what God has planned for you. I know that His plan for you
is one that will prosper you…that will grow you…that will be the best for you.
Oh, how I love you already! I will always be…
your Mommy...

 

So come out. Come out of The Crying Room. Have you been there a long time? Step out of your self-pity…Choose joy! Embrace God's plan! Receive the growth that God has planned for you through this sad, even unexplainable situation.

 


And we know that in all things God words for the good of those who love Him,
who have been called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28


Over the next few weeks we will follow Emma's journey -- as she moves from The Crying Room to rooms of bitterness and anger…and beyond.

Choose joy!

 

A joyful heart is good medicine…it makes the face cheerful!
But a broken spirit? Deep heartache? It crushes the spirit, and dries up the bones.

…taken from Proverbs 15:13






 

 

 

Copyright © 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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