As yet another retreat comes to an end, the volunteers spent time reflecting on all that God has done through them and in the midst of them throughout the week. As they process and share, there are many tears shed, and with them comes the remembering that tears can be a gift.

There’s a great blessing in sitting with an attendee as she shed tears for the first time in a long time as she allowed God to melt the protective shell she had built around her heart.

There are tears of joy as a volunteer speaks of how God has done a transforming work in her by allowing her to come alongside these global workers as they process and grieve. The transformation that takes place when you come to the realization that you don’t have to fully understand another woman’s experience in order for God to use you to empathize and care for her.

There are tears of understanding when both attendee and volunteer share the concerns and cares they feel in common as mothers…wives…sisters…daughters…friends. Though the global workers and the volunteers are unique in where God has called them to serve Him, they share a deep bond because they are all women of God. Regardless of what stage of life we are in, as women, we are called to come alongside one another to encourage and uplift. God allows us to share in His holy work when we use our gifts and time to serve Him simply by listening and caring for the women He has called to bring His good news to other nations.

There are tears of humility when we realize that God has used our seemingly ordinariness in powerful and effective ways. When He brings us to a place of deep communion of face-to-face, heart-to-heart fellowship.

In the same way that God uses a summer rain to bring refreshment and growth, He often uses tears to release burdens and bring healing. In order to thrive, there must be rain.

©2018 Thrive