“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save; He will take delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
What do you say when someone has described their battle with depression after having been sexually abused as a child? How do you respond to someone who obviously loves the baby they carry in their womb, but has decided to put their baby up for adoption? How do you quell the anxiety of someone who has been stalked by various fears for most of their life? As time passes I am increasingly humbled at the privilege of being entrusted with the stories of the women I counsel and have thought many times about making a little plaque on the wall in that says, “Tears Welcome Here.”
Most of the time we try to hide our tears, perhaps not wanting to appear vulnerable. Personally, I avoid spilling tears because I always end up looking splotchy and there is never enough Kleenex to handle the gooey part of crying. (Pride is definitely at issue here!) However, I believe that tears are a God-given means of helping us release the tension that has been carried within, so I encourage tears when they appear in the Counseling Room. In fact, tears can help to underline the depth of a clients internal struggle, yielding clues as to the best approach in trying to help.
As I was thinking about writing this entry I was grateful to find Zephaniah 3:17 mentioned in a Lenten Devotional:“The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save; He will take delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”
What a precious reminder that no matter how large the burden we carry, we are never abandoned by our God! The beautiful picture of assurance given in Zephaniah presents God in tender relationship with His own . . . saving in trial, delighting and quieting in His love, celebrating in song those who call on His Name! The picture in my head is done richly in oils and pulses colorfully with life and song ~ life is hard but God is worthy of our trust!
There are no pat answers for the problems of most of the women I counsel, but there is perspective and hope to be gained as we (having dried our tears) look to the Scriptures and to our God of Hope. We rarely look at Zephaniah 3:17 in our first session, but I am thinking it would make a fitting companion for my “Tears Welcome Here” plaque . . . what do you think?