Tears Water the Soil of Our Hearts

A natural crier, I often wish I could stop up the tears that seem to come so easily.

Yet maybe it’s the tears we shed that water our parched hearts, preparing them to receive the seeds of growth God plants.

Maybe it's the tears we shed that water our parched hearts, preparing them to receive the seeds of growth God plants. Click To Tweet


Nineteen Years of Crying

It seems I’ve been crying since the day my girl was born.

My third child, I cried for the miracle of new life, and I wept for my first girl.

And then I cried …

  • When Rachel quit breathing at a little over a month old.
  • During the long nights of apnea monitoring.
  • Through exhausting days of nursing and pumping to give my tiny treasure, whose cleft palate wouldn’t allow her to properly drink, the best nutrition.
  • While undertaking the grueling job of getting her to drink following her cleft repair.
  • When we heard, “lifelong disability.”
  • When she said her first word and took her first unaided step, both around her 4 year old mark.
  • Marking each school year of growth that always ended with greater discrepancy with her peers.
  • When Rachel attended her first dance in 8th grade at the insistence of her friend Kenna. Not only did Kenna and her friends invite Rach but they welcomed her as one of them, helping her do her hair and making it a golden night.
  • After the call I received informing us that the senior class had chosen Rachel to be on the Homecoming court.
  • The night she was crowned Homecoming Queen!
  • When the surgeon informed us after nearly 7 hours of surgery that her vascular transplantation went wonderfully.
  • The afternoon Rachel walked across the stage at commencement flanked by two friends to receive her diploma cover and the applause from her peers and the audience.

Tears of joy, sorrow, pain, frustration, relief, overwhelming gratitude: I’ve shed them all during this girl’s 19 years of life.

Purpose To Our Tears 

And there’s two things I’m certain of concerning those tears:

1. They will continue and

2. They’ve watered hearts, helping to produce growth in the lives of many, perhaps most of all, me.

So don’t fear the tears you’re compelled to shed. After all, every heart needs to be watered to grow.

Don't fear the tears you're compelled to shed. After all, every heart needs to be watered to grow. Click To Tweet

Happy Birthday, Rachel

I couldn’t be more blessed to celebrate the life of this daughter of mine.

A daughter in name, but so much more, a daughter of my heart.

Happy 19th birthday, Rachel! This world is far richer with you in it.


“You Yourself have recorded my wanderings. Put my tears in Your bottle. Are they not in Your records?” Psalm 56:8

Reflections: What growth have you experienced in your life that were watered by the tears?

I'm so glad you're here to walk with me through this messy but glorious journey called life! Please consider sharing this post with your family and friends. And don't miss a single piece of encouragement! Sign up to get every post in your inbox. It's free, and you'll receive free gifts just for signing up. Oh, you can unsubscribe at any time.

Yours in grace ≈


I am a blessed wife, mother of four, and follower of Jesus Christ, celebrating each messy day through His grace. I write, edit, and speak as God leads.

Posted in Daily Living, Disability/Special Needs
  • Beautiful post, Julie! Happy Birthday, Rachel!

  • Cecelia Lester

    Julie: I understand about your tears. Mine were slightly different but still they were tears. But, God understands our hearts and responds to our tears in ways that only He can. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RACHEL.

    • Yes He does, Cecelia! Thank you for that wonderful reminder.

  • Bettie G

    Dear Julie,
    Thank you for this beautiful post today! I’m sharing this with a friend of mine whose own special needs daughter has her Birthday one week from now. Happy Birthday to Rachel!

    • I’m honored you’re doing so, Bettie! Thank you. And a very happy birthday to your friend’s daughter.

  • Maribeth

    Happy Birthday to your daughter Rachel. What a beautiful and heart wrenching post, Julie. Cry on……..our hearts need more growth.

  • Vickie Fetterman

    When my 20 day old grandaughter lost her life followed by my youngest son being charged with taking her life. Yes, murder. We knew this was untrue but it has been a grueling uphill battle for myself and youngest son. I have never known this kind of pain. God had and still has a beautiful plan.We cannot fathom the treasures He has in store. I have been forced to throw myself before my father and rely completly on Him. I cannot fix this no matter what my mama heart desires. Thank you dear Julie for your heart and ministry for a loving reminder He cares!!

    • I’m so sorry, Vickie! How difficult that must be for you. Our only hope in this crushed and broken world is our Lord. May you feel His comfort surrounding you. Prayers and hugs!

  • This is a beautiful story, Julie. Thank you for sharing it. My own tears are watering my own heart as a young person I know walks away from the Lord. (Despite months of pouring into her. 😉 Love is always worth it.)

    • I’m so sorry, Betsy! That is incredibly difficult to watch happen. Praying for her and you. Thank you for your faithfulness to her and Him. Yes, love is always worth it!

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Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's BLESSINGS to get lost in its HAPPENINGS. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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