February is, allegedly, the month of love. However as I sit, writing in my notebook, composing my thoughts for this blog, my tears are falling and wetting the page.
I’ve tried to keep my head up and not get “too emotional,” but for me, this so-called “LOVE-month” is just a reminder of love gone. Not just love gone wrong. Gone. Entirely.
On February 6, 2016, I was a 36-year-old, blushing bride.
Today, I’m a 40-year-old single mother of a four year old, and, try as I might, I can’t stop myself from feeling the reality of how different my life looks, compared to the one I thought would be mine.
The thing is—I don’t like feeling this way. I hate it.
The truth of the matter is I’ve spent a lot of energy in the years since my divorce avoiding the pain of the loss. I’ve pushed past and around it as much as possible. Telling myself that I didn’t have time to be sad or to really feel the hurt. I think some part of me has also worried that if I ever did allow myself to feel it all, I might be swept away by the raging current of heartbreak and disappointment, leaving me feeling out of control over my emotions, which would be good for no one.
When my tears began to fall tonight, I tried unsuccessfully to stop them and mute my emotions.
But something happened when I decided to let go and stop trying to control it all.
As the tears began to freely flow, a sense of healing and comfort flooded my heart. I soon recognized it as the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit met me there in my sadness, making His presence gently known without rushing to dry my eyes and “make it all better.” Instead, He came as the Comforter and simply sat with me as I cried. (2 Corinthians 1:3-4.)
I spoke no words as I wept, but I felt seen, heard, understood, and known.
It reminded me of my childhood and how sometimes if I was sad or crying about a matter, one of my parents would gather me into his/her arms and say something like, “There, there, it’s OK, baby. Go ahead and cry. Get it all out.” This then relieved me of any shame that I might have felt for being in such a state.
Sometimes, after hearing those words, I’d find myself crying even harder, and I’d realize there was a lot of pain within me that needed to get out.
Tonight was no different.
When my heart heard the Holy Spirit say, “There, there, My child, let it all out”—the protective dam covering my heart and emotions broke, and I began to feel.
The disappointment, sadness, regret, feelings of betrayal—all of it began bubbling up within me, overflowing and releasing in the form of tears. The Comforter wrapped His arms around me and sat with me in my pain. He did not rush or judge me. Instead I felt Him listening to my heart’s cry. He gathered the crumbling pieces of my broken heart, gently molding and kneading them together, creating within me a new heart. He began healing me, deeply and in places that I’d not granted Him access to. I needed to break.
Maybe you’re like me this month, trying with all of your might to be strong. Tonight, I found healing and freedom in my breaking. Most importantly, I know the Holy Spirit is present as our Comforter.
I’ve decided that the rest of this month, when I find myself triggered by some cheesy Valentine’s Day commercial or social media post and I’ve had just about all that I can Valen-TAKE, I give myself permission and space to feel what I feel and to mourn what was lost. I’m also going to fight the urge to protect myself by going numb and having a heart of stone.
Though it may seem tempting when I’m hurting, numbing out only keeps me from feeling godly love—the kind that covers, redeems, and heals. I want my heart to be malleable and tender so that God can continue His healing work within me.
I’m learning more and more every day that there’s no shame in my pain. It’s not something to be stifled or hidden but something to be laid at the feet of Jesus.
I’m praying that if these feeble words of mine have resonated with you in any way, you’ll join me in this.
February can be a hard month on us single girls, sometimes. However, the other eleven months can be too.
Let the tears flow if need be and find yourself in the comforting arms of our Heavenly Father. I promise you not one of your precious tears will be wasted. (Psalm 56:8-11)
Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Elicia Brown now resides in Nashville, Tn. where she works as a professional vocalist, song writer, and vocal arranger.
She worked as a performer at Walt Disney World in The Voices of Liberty and as a featured soloist and Vocal Director in JOYFUL: A Gospel Celebration of The Season for nearly 15 years before relocating to TN.
A member of the Beth Moore/ Living Proof Live Praise Team for nearly 16 years, she’s also spent her life in various ministry roles. Currently she’s a Worship Leaders for Christ Church Nashville and previously served for 10 years as Worship Pastor at New Beginnings Church in Orlando, FL.
A teacher and speaker with a passion both for Women’s Ministry and Racial Reconciliation, When the Pandemic hit and effected the music industry, Elicia started a Talk Show called, “What’s Goin’ Down w/Lici Brown” where she goes LIVE and discusses various topics with her viewers.
You can catch her talk show, “What’s Goin’ On” as well as follow her Music Ministry by subscribing to her YouTube Channel, @Elicia Brown Music and following her on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using the same handle.