Totally Free MinistriesAugust 2012
In This Issue
"Sometimes I Cry"
Ministry Update

Dr Carol Letterhead 
Dear Friend, 


           don't know where the idea came from that strong people don't cry. Or that good Christian people don't cry. But both ideas are wrong!


            Most of these letters talk about something positive - hope, joy, encouragement, love, purpose. And I believe we can live there a great deal of the time. But not always. We live in a world where tears are real. Sometimes the line between joy and pain becomes blurred. Sometimes the tears flow and we're not sure why. And sometimes tears take the place of words as the only way a truly broken heart can express itself.


            Sometimes I cry. And I'm sure sometimes you do too. If not, you're missing something! So gather your courage, and let's talk about crying. And we also have some great things to share with you in the Ministry Update section at the end of this letter. So keep reading.


Carol Tanksley
Totally Free Ministries

TFM Logo
"Sometimes I Cry" 
     - Tears can be a Good Thing 

Don't You Cry!


           Just a few months ago a good friend's mother died, and now the doctors say his father has only a short time to live. But there's a problem. His father comes from a Christian tradition where showing negative emotion such as fear or grief was a sign of weakness and lack of faith. And he's struggling now in the face of his own impending death. It's not that he's afraid of dying itself, but the emotions are uncomfortable. And it's hard for his family to have the conversations they really want and need to have at such a time.

Man in grief  

Psychologists and doctors will tell you that weeping is a normal and healthy response to loss and pain. Although everyone responds to loss differently, refusing to acknowledge and express grief can lead to significant physical and mental illness.


The death of a loved one is usually considered at the top of the list of circumstances that cause us grief and pain. But there are many others. Loss of a marriage, failure at something you believed was important, trauma or hurt from other's words or actions, unhealed pain from the past - those and others can tear deeply at our souls.


This past weekend I was with a whole group of ladies who were crying. And it was a beautiful thing. I was part of a conference that addressed domestic violence. Some wonderful presenters discussed the many dimensions of this type of trauma, and then the ladies were invited to share their personal stories if they wished. Many did, often with tears. Some had experienced trauma as children, some as adults. Some were now having to deal with their own children's experience of violence, and their own feelings of guilt in the process. So yes, there were tears!


What else but crying can do justice to such deep experiences of pain? After any difficult or painful life experience we often first respond with something else. But when tears do come healing has begun.Woman Crying


Crying may make us uncomfortable, but it is perhaps the one best thing we can do at those times. And it's not just women: men who are able to cry are healthier, happier, and much easier to be around!


Tears in God's Eyes


             If you study the Bible at all, I encourage you to look up "tears" or "crying." The Bible has a lot to say on the subject. There is a time to weep and mourn. (Eccl. 3:4) Jesus Himself wept! (John 11:35) One day God will wipe away our tears and there will be no more crying. (Rev. 21:4) But until then, there will be tears!


            We sometimes think being godly means being stoic. But that's not the picture of God we see in the Bible! There we see a God full of passion, love, hate (of evil), joy, and pain. We see a God who hurts when His children hurt, who weeps over broken relationships, who puts all of heaven on the line for people He loves. If we ever questioned the Father, Jesus demonstrated that He really DOES know how we feel. (Heb. 4:15)

 Woman Grieving

            A former classmate of mine believes we have a much harder time with death and dying than we need to - because of our theology. If we could somehow see God as mourning with us perhaps it would be easier, or at least healthier. Yes, God knows the end of the story. And we do to. But He made our human heart to feel, and He feels with us.


            Much of the greatest art, literature, and music was created out of pathos - deep painful emotions that simple words express so poorly. David the Psalmist wasn't afraid to cry, and neither should we be. The safest place to go with our strong emotions is to the One who created us, and Who cares most about us. He's big enough to handle it.


Singing out of the Pain


         So what do you do when things are bad enough that the only thing you can do is cry? Three things to think about: 

  1. Get emotional. We are emotional beings. Burying the anger, grief, or pain only sets one up for worse problems later. There are appropriate times and ways to do so, but go ahead and cry or whatever you need to do.
  2. Move on. As Solomon said, there's a time to cry. (See Eccl 3:4) No one can tell you how long to stay emotional. At some point it's time to move forward. That doesn't mean you don't miss your loved one, or have wounds from being hurt. But you make the decision to go on living.
  3. Take God with you. Knowing God doesn't prevent the hurt. It doesn't make it automatically go away. Sometimes you do all the right things and you still cry. But take God with you in all of it. He's promised to always be there.

    Don't miss the benefits of crying. Tears wash the windows of the soul.


            Yes, sometimes I cry. Sometimes you do to. And that's OK. One day God will wipe away all tears from our eyes.


            Until then, don't keep God out of the places where you cry. He wants to be there. Won't you let Him?


            Here's a portion of the lyrics from Sometimes I Cry. Sometimes music says it better than anything else.


Sometimes I Cry 
I look the partWinter trees 
blend in with the rest of the church crowd
I know the routine
I could list all the bible studies in town
watch christian TV
I know all the preachers...their cliches
been born again, without a doubt I know I'm saved

But sometimes I hurt and sometimes I cry
sometimes I can't get it right
no matter how hard I seem to try
sometimes I fall down
stumble over my own disguise
I try to look strong
as the whole world looks on
but sometimes alone I cry

I try to look strong as the whole world looks on
but sometimes alone I cry


Until we talk again, In Christ's Love and Freecom,

Dr. Carol Tanksley 

CLT Signature

Ministry Update          


               I really enjoyed being with the people at PromiseLand Church this past weekend for their conference on domestic violence. As much as I enjoy our radio program and these letters, there's something special about seeing people face-to-face, shaking their hands, sharing hugs and tears. If you have an event that you would like Dr Carol to be a part of, let us know. We'd be glad to try and make it happen!


Just this week we have heard from folks in North Carolina, Michigan, California, Alabama, Texas, Ontario Canada, and more. We are so grateful that these letters, the radio programs, and the online resources are making a difference. If something from these resources has touched your heart in some way, please let us know. Your comments, phone calls, or letters mean more to us than you know.


The Dr Carol Show is continuing to grow, and we are most grateful. Our program is now truly coast to coast! You can check for updates on when new stations are added. We'd love to have you join us, and be part of the program. And in the next few weeks we will be adding XM/Sirius Channel 131 to our Weekend Edition lineup.


And if you want to hear some great music that moves the soul, don't forget Al's Gospel Express Show. We've been hearing from people all over the country who are making this a regular part of their day. You can listen too at


Do visit our website regularly, Helpful links, articles where you can comment, and more, are constantly updated. God is opening doors for the expansion of our radio program faster than we could have ever hoped for. And this expansion takes funds. If God speaks to you to do so, we would be so grateful for your financial support. You can send your tax-deductible donation to the address on this letter. Or you can donate online through our website.


            And now, I pray that you feel God's comforting hand in all the places where you hurt. May you open every painful wound to His healing grace. May you know the strength that comes after the tears, and may none of us miss the joy that comes in the morning.

Final thoughts  
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