Book release post for Jeannie Kendall,
Jeannie Kendall explores the value of tears in the Bible and in our lives today in her new book Held in Your Bottle publishing this September with Authentic Media.
There are a myriad of tears shed by various characters in the Bible. What might we learn from them about what it means to be fully human?
Whether we are crying tears of regret, loss, gratitude, or anger, the Bible says that God holds them all in his bottle. We can draw comfort from the fact that no tear goes unseen by him. Jeannie Kendall explores a rich variety of emotions in her new book Held in Your Bottle. Modern-day testimonies are related alongside a retelling of a relevant Bible character’s experience of the same emotion, and then honest and insightful reflections help us understand the issues raised.
‘Our emotions are as God-created as our bodies and minds. As such they are to be celebrated, not feared or suppressed.’
The book’s inspiration came from an unlikely source: Jeannie saw a collection of photos of tears taken under a microscope from Rose-Lynn Fisher that showed that tears cried in various circumstances looked very different. ‘Looking at the extraordinary variety started me thinking about my own journey with tears as well as the wider complexity we share as people.’
The title comes from Psalm 56:8, which in some translations reads that God has collected our tears in a bottle. Jeannie says, ‘It has been my privilege in my previous roles as a counsellor and then minister to be with people who are deeply distressed and I have sometimes quoted the verse to them, as a way of helping them see their tears are not something to be ashamed of, but rather are precious to God.’
Jeannie’s own relationship with tears has by her own admission been ‘ambivalent’ in the past, mainly due to her upbringing, when it was just not the ‘done thing’ to cry. Learning to be more in tune with her emotions brings an authenticity to the book. What Jeannie has come to realise is that tears are both important for our wellbeing and to God. She says ‘Sitting on my emotions has never done me any favours, and I don’t think that is unique to me! I truly believe Jesus was the most truly emotional person who ever lived, because his emotions were as God intended. He cried – sobbed – at times, as I explore in the book. Learning to recognise and express our feelings in an appropriate way and a safe setting, including with tears, is part of God’s salvation – wholeness – and because he loves us so completely our emotions and tears really matter to him, so much so he collects each tear.’
Jeannie Kendall hopes that readers will find new ways to look at the Bible stories, learn more about their emotional lives, but above all, find out more about how much God understands and loves each one of us.
Held in Your Bottle will enable you to look at the Bible in a fresh way and help you better accept and understand your emotional life.
Bio for Jeannie Kendall
JEANNIE KENDALL is a Baptist minister, who has served in two churches and has extensive experience working within a pastoral and counselling setting. She is a former Spurgeon’s College president and currently teaches on the Pastoral Supervision course.
Held in Your Bottle: Exploring the Value of Tears in the Bible and in Our Lives Today by Jeannie Kendall was published on 10th September by Authentic Media, 9781788931717, £9.99, PB.
Join us on September 29th at 9am PST for the Facebook Live session with Christine Sine and Lilly Lewin. The recording will be available on YouTube later today if you cannot join live.