Let’s Talk About the Ugly Cry

This post is part of series this summer dedicated to my friend Chrystal’s new book, She’s Still There. The book’s official release date is August 8, and as a member of the book’s Rescue Team, I will be posting nuggets of wisdom related to it throughout the summer. This post is all about the last time I did the ugly cry, which was not too long ago. To find out more about Chrystal or her new book, visit her website here. #shesstillthere

I’m learning to own my story and have the courage to speak up. Even if my voice shakes, His power is made perfect in my weakness. Even when I didn’t think I was ready to talk about something, I’m here to tell you all about it. And y’all, it’s ugly and raw, and while I knew I was going to write about it eventually, I didn’t know that was going to be this weekend. Here. We. Go.

It was the last day of school for the 2016-2017 school year. As with any other school year, the last day is crazy. There were class parties and field days and snacks and drinks that needed to be purchased and delivered to the school. Jada’s 8th grade graduation was that night and she was giving the student speech. We needed to fix hair and makeup, calm her nerves, and orchestrate how the wardrobe change from the graduation to the formal dance was going to happen. Morning drop off went well, drinks and snacks were delivered and I made it to work on time. One hour into my workday, I got a call from the school nurse. On the last day of school. Tyra was ill and needed to be picked up from the school, because the last day of school is not exempt from things such as a fever and vomit.

Once I got her home and on the road to recovery, it was time to start preparing for the graduation festivities. By the time CJ made it home, he mumbled something about his grades but because we were in the midst of the graduation preparation, it went in one ear and out the other.

Graduation happened and in the blink of an eye, I became a mother of three high schoolers.

I’d like to introduce to my three high schoolers.

After graduation ended,  I had the chance to settle down and review the final school papers from the year. One letter in particular caught my attention. At the top of the letter in bold black letters were the words INFORMATION ABOUT CREDIT RECOVERY. For those of you who don’t know, credit recovery is the official term for repeating a course that has been failed. Once I reviewed the final grade report, I noticed that one of my kids failed not one, not two, not three, but four classes this year.

While I was disappointed, I was not surprised. I knew this was the direction we were headed in. Earlier in the year, I did everything I could do to facilitate tutoring sessions, study hall attendance, and provide support at home. I spoke with all the teachers throughout the year and knew what the problem was.The child in question just didn’t want to do the work to be successful. The failing grades were not based on ability, they were based on a lack of effort. For this child, if there was a lack of interest in doing something, it didn’t get done. Therefore, for four classes, not much got done. Even if your mother is a writer and teaches writing at the local community college; even if your mother speaks, reads, and writes Spanish fluently. You can still earn a failing grade in Spanish and English and other classes. It can still happen to you.

Enter the ugly cry. The moment I realized that all three of my kids were no longer babies. The moment that knowing despite my intervention and my assistance, a child who doesn’t want to be successful won’t be successful. And to be totally honest and transparent, the thought that it is now summer break and our plans for camps and jobs and such have to drastically change within the next two days because of credit recovery, and I had no idea how this was going to work.

Tweet: From @twillisbestshot, The ugly cry is okay. It’s more than okay. It lets God know that you know just how much you need Him. #shesstillthere

Tweet: From @twillisbestshot, The ugly cry is okay. It's more than okay. It lets God know that you know just how much you need Him. #shesstillthere

So I sobbed. And I sobbed some more. When I finished sobbing I went to the bathroom to wash my tear-stained face, and I caught a glimpse of the shirt I was wearing.

Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Romans 12:12

When I felt like I was losing everything in a moment, God’s word brought me peace. Even though I didn’t have all the answers.

Our family is about three weeks into summer break now. I wish I could say it’s been easy and I’ve used the last three weeks to develop our plan. I wish I could say I have all the answers. But I can’t. While we aren’t completely sure how this will all end by August, I can tell you this:

  • My ex-husband and I have committed to looking past our differences, communicating more, and working together to figure this mess out. We even became friends on Facebook.
  • Our family (including the child with the failing grades) has entered into an intense time of prayer, fasting, and meditation to specifically seek God’s wisdom on our next steps. This book (ad), No More Excuses has played an important part in helping the child learn to accept personal responsibility.
  • I gave myself permission to talk about it (or not) and cry about it if I want to. I’ve realized that it’s okay to not be okay.
  • I am okay with not having it all together and figured out now. Three weeks in, I know more than I did on June 2. But I still don’t know everything about our plan.  It will be August before than happens and that’s okay with me.

This is my story and as much as there are things about it that I don’t like, I am owning it. Because I am worth the truth.


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