"Cry for five minutes. You get five minutes a day. Then get yourself together because you got things to take care of! You gonna be alright."
My big sister gave me some real advice. The pain I was feeling was real. I just got off the phone with my soon to be ex, and he was being so difficult about something I asked him earlier that day.
"But he's so mean!" I shouted back at her. I was sitting in my car looking at the trees. I was about to head in to work when tears started to flow from my face. I was devastated and hurt someone who you though loved you can be so cold to you.
"Yeah, well he's like that. Get yourself together before you head in. You gonna be alright," she said.
I got it.
This was her post-many years-divorce coming out. Maybe it was what she wished someone had told her in her divorce. Or, maybe it was exactly what she did and found out worked in real life. Either way, it was a defining moment. I did have to take care of life outside of divorce. I still had a job. I still had ministry. I still had parenting. I still had a business. I would have loved to sit in bed and cry a good cry for 24 hours to gut everything out. But realistically, I couldn't.
Truth is, we experience all kinds of hurt. Hurt can definitely cripple us if it latches on to us. The want to feel is too real at times. Some days I wanted to call in to work because mentally I thought I couldn't do it that day. Some days I wanted Dallas to retreat to her own side of the ouse because I thought I couldn't parent that day. Some days I wanted to quit ministering because I really thought I couldn't do it anymore and needed a break. Some days I didn't want to wake up to life because I thought I could not go on.
But on the days I thought I couldn't, I cried for 5 minutes and toughed out the day.
With the help of the 5 minute rule, I had closet, bathroom and car cries for the times I wanted to feel. Feeling is real. Tear ducts are real and are made to be used. But the miraculous strength that carried me through tough times, helped me on my darkest of days.
God knows every loss that is set before us. God also equipped each and every one of us with everything we can do to overcome and live through the loss. As we are crying, the tears are set out as prayers to God.
If you want to cry, it's ok. That means your human. But always remember you have stuff to do. So by the bootstraps continue to handle your business and remember you always have: 5 minutes.