When in Doubt, Cry

Photo by Flickr user: Sara

My mom’s second chemo happens today. “They” say that’s when patients might start losing hair.

A couple days after her first chemo, I was with my mom, sitting at the foot of her bed. My sister had just come home from work and came in to say hi. She asked my mom how she was feeling and my mom’s only answer was tears. My tears followed and my sister hugged our mom and turned her face away so that I was the only one who could see her bubbly smile replaced with pain. My sister inhaled deeply and I could see her willing the tears that had just started to form away. She turned back to face my mom with a smile and somehow continued on being upbeat.

Later on, I told my sister that I didn’t think she needed to hide her tears from my mom.

I’ve been very thinky lately, with all these serious circumstances and high stakes happening in my world. And, some of the questions I’ve been mulling over are What am I supposed to do? How can I help? What do I say? What do I not say? Am I doing everything wrong? What would I want? What does my mom want?

My conclusion to that flurry of answerless questions is Uh…I dunno, plus nightmares.

Here’s what I do know. There have been a handful of times that I felt extremely loved and the top moments that come to mind involve other people crying.

One of these moments happened recently.

Over Christmas vacation, Brandon and I were double-dating with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Because they are beautifully Jesus-like people, they asked us what we wanted to see God do in our lives in 2016. I mean, who asks that?

When it was my turn to answer, all my thoughts got jumbled up and I just started blabbering about painful life stuff. My mom’s cancer…a confusing relationship with an estranged family member…What did I want to see God do? Heal everyone? Fix everything? Give us peace? Use our pain? Come back in the clouds and make it all go away? All of the above?

I can’t remember all of the kind, undeserved, uplifting words that my sister-in-law and her husband poured into me that night, but I remember Lauren’s tears. She was actually crying…real tears…over my pain.

“Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15

God was loving me through Lauren’s tears that day.

Happy tears work, too. When my babies were born, my sister, Aubrey, was the crier. I received so much love in all forms when I had my girls – texts from friends, flowers from my mom, my favorite salad from my sweet Jenni. All of that was amazing. And I remember each gesture, but Aubrey’s tears are the highlight. She was so overwhelmed with love for my babies, she cried. And her love for them was deposited right into my soul.


Then, there was the time my organs were exploding. Well, not all of them. I’ll go into the details of that another time, but in 2010, I had a ruptured ectopic pregnancy – screaming, gore, blood transfusions, etc. All of the drama left me with a broken heart, the loss of my first baby, and a body that couldn’t really move for almost a month. Brandon’s parents jumped on a plane and came to help us. His dad, Mike, scrubbed my kitchen floors (I will never forget this because they never before or again sparkled as they did that week), and his mom, Susan, did…everything. Trays of snacks, folding laundry, even offering to bathe me. But the stand-out moment was when she came into my bedroom to find me crying. I was angry with God. Really angry. I was, as Anne Shirley would say, “in the depths of despair.” Susan loves Jesus. She knows the Bible. She could have said, “How dare you be angry with God.” She could have said, “You can try for another baby.” But, she didn’t do any of that.

Anger spilled out of me as tears, and I think I said, “I just don’t understand why…”

And she grabbed my hands, hard, and her eyes met mine and she was angry, too. Not in the immature, selfish way I was. But, in the right way. And as tears rolled down her cheeks, she said, “I don’t either.”

And we sat and hugged and cried for a long time. In that moment, I wasn’t even sure if I still believed God was good, but I knew I was loved. I couldn’t see that God was loving me through Susan’s tears yet, but He was.

Now, I’m sitting in this unfamiliar valley beside people I love, watching them suffer, knowing I can’t fix their pain. But, I can be with them in their pain. I can cry, and let them see it and when they say “I don’t know why,” I can say, “I don’t either.”

Maybe God will love them through my tears.



19 thoughts on “When in Doubt, Cry

    1. Gricelda Gomez Hoots

      Yes when in doubt cry thank you I will never look at tears the same way this has touched the depth of my soul love ya sis and know that we are praying and crying along with/for you

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ivette Rossi

    This was absolutely beautiful!!! Please know that the Rossi’s are praying for your mom and for your entire family….and I have to admit that I write this to you with tears in my eyes!!! God is good!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica

    Scarlet this was beautiful and so so true. I can totally understand where your coming from when it come to loosing your baby as I myself lost my first baby boy. I was angry as well but at the same time all I can say to myself is God has His reason and I just don’t know it yet. Many things have happened since then and I have a few reasons of why and I can’t thank God enough. I didn’t smile I barely ate I didn’t even want to take picture or partake with my family and the babies of my family or friends. It was harder than i don’t even know what. But God carried me out and He was there the whole way and even now. One this I wish I would have thought of them was how awesome is it that the first thing my son saw was the eyes of God!! ☺️☺️ Your amazing!!


  3. Lucy A

    Scarlet this was do heartfelt and beautifully written. My close friend is going through the same with her father and I feel God will speak to her through this message. God bless you and your mom. My prayers are with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Helayne Wessel Brittle

    Once again, sweet girl….. you have put your life and your soul into these beautiful (and REAL) words that just “say it all”. It was so very amazing being with all of you at the magical family wedding this weekend! I love you and my brother and your mom and your sister and your husband and my sweet grandnieces so very much – YOU ARE NOT ALONE, REMEMBER THAT

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie Sastoque

    Hi Scarlet,
    I just learned about your mom a few days ago. I will pray for her and the family. I read your blog and I just can’t put it in words how much they touched me. Faith moves the hand of God. God has the power to do anything He wants to do. In His name your mom will be healed. We love you Scarlet.


  6. Hi Scarlet,
    I totally agree with you. Sometimes the most faith-filled thing we can do is cry–in God’s arms and/or in the arms of a loved one.
    I love your family and miss all of you. I’m standing with you and proclaiming miracles over your mom. And… I hurt with you and don’t shy away from asking, “Why?”
    Hugs, blessings and continued prayers.


  7. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer in November of 2015 and we’ve been fighting this battle silently ever since. Thank you for being a voice. Let those tears flow, both in solitude and with your mom- they have the ability to heal many emotions along the way. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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