I came across a beautiful word today that I felt needed to be spoken out loud.
Rolls off your tongue, right? Lol. It’s a lovely Greek word, meaning comfort, but breaking it down really got me going. It also means to call alongside. It’s actually formed by two root words. Para, which means beside or near, and kaleo, which is to call by name. When I read these definitions I immediately thought of my middle child.
Yesterday morning my eight-year-old daughter got upset. She had planned to spend the night at her grandma’s. She had packed a bag and made a plan in her mind. See, the night before she had gone to MeeMo’s, but when bedtime came she missed her mommy and daddy. Of course, I had gone immediately to pick her up and bring her back home. The following morning she felt remorse for her premature departure from the sleepover, and to solve her feelings of failure at being a big girl, she had planned a do-over. When I dropped the bomb that a second slumber party wasn’t in the agenda, she took it hard.
I wanted to be frustrated over her tears. I tried offering consolation that another opportunity would arise. I tried to tell her she had nothing to prove. I tried to explain my reasoning for saying “no,” but nothing was working. Finally it hit me.
“Come here,” I said, and then I took her into my lap.
I let her cry. She had made a plan, grown excited for it, and then felt the disappointment over it not working out. She needed to feel that disappointment, spill her tears, and receive comfort. Don’t we all?!
It’s OK to be sad
The reason this incident with my child came to mind when the word “parakaleo” left my lips is because of the wonderful parallel we can find in our walk through life. So often we experience times of grief, sorrow, disappointment, and plenty of situations that don’t work out. In those times we can almost feel guilt over our feelings, especially when others aren’t understanding, or become frustrated with us, expecting us to move on quickly. Yet in actuality we simply need the time to let out our feelings, grieve, cry, scream, and most importantly, be held.
Thankfully we have a Heavenly Father who calls us by name. He beckons us to His lap, to weep as long as we need. He is always near, beside us through every heartache, and endlessly understanding of our grief and discontent.
Unlike me as a parent, our Heavenly Father doesn’t grow frustrated over our emotional outbursts, no matter how irrational they may seem. So whatever may be causing you sadness today, understand that your Poppa is always near, ready to hold you close, and wipe your tears.
When you feel guilty for your sadness, think of my little girl, and remember that God sees you the same. He knows when we need to cry.