I’ve been waiting to write this because I’ve been waiting to see if this waterworks of tears I’ve come into ownership of in the last two months would stop.
I thought it would be a phase – you know, hormones or something – but, we’re so far past that being an option that it must be time to embrace it, live it, and learn from it.
More or less, I’ve been weeping from day one of 2015. I’ve even started keeping a list of causes that fill up this well of emotion into overflowing right out of my eyes: from the heartache of friends to 21 martyrs, a full heart after a Monday night dinner to the season finales of my favorite shows (Gilmore Girls, Parenthood, Downton Abbey, to name a few), having the opportunity to go to Africa this summer to Sunday morning church. I’ve wept from an overwhelmed heart and an underwhelmed heart. I’ve wept on the way to work, during work, on Amy’s couch after work, while eating, when I wake up, and when I go to sleep. It’s all inclusive at this point, but it’s nowhere close to a resort.
I’m learning to accept it. I’m like Sarah on Parenthood – my eyes are permanently misty – but I haven’t always been such a weepy person. People say that a lot, so just call me a statistic, but more times than not, I’m the one making jokes in serious moments because I can’t handle the pressure of emotions or because my brain is constantly working – song lyrics, quotes, movie references. I’ve learned that laughter is healing. Sarah knew it in the Bible, I think, because she dared laugh at God and then named her son Isaac: laughter.
Since we’re two months into this year, I’ve come to terms with the fact that these tears can’t stop, won’t stop.
I have the honor to stand beside some of my best ladies in their weddings this year – to celebrate them and what God is doing in their lives. It is a blessing and a huge transition as life changes and moves forward, fluid like a creek over rocks and around turns. There is ebb and flow to all things.
It would be easy to just count the losses – the money I have to pay to make all these things happen, the little time we have left before the move happens to one place or another – but this is a sweet, sweet time. A time to mourn, yes, but also a time to celebrate. A time to see the blessings of the last seven or eight years with these precious friends and to laugh at the irony that we all ended up right back here in Rome after graduation, rather than spread to the far corners of the earth like we’d originally thought. No, little Rome cradled us for just a smidge longer and taught us how to be adult friends, the ones that really last. You see, people say that your college friends are the ones you’ll depend on for the rest of your life, but I think college is just the beginning. Learning to live outside campus life, late nights, and homework-driven insomnia with a community helps you understand how real life relationships function.
I will weep over the loss of how things have been, but I will also weep at the potential of what’s to come.
In the midst of all this, I’ve realized that tears create a sensitive heart: these very emotions and feelings, good and bad, are worth the weight in the place of a calloused heart. In these few months – transitioning the church, marrying off friends, watching life change – everyone is right here for just a minute. There have been several moments where I’d love to just press pause, take a mental snapshot of the smells, the feels, the looks, the heart postures, and remember this for the rest of eternity.
That’s what I’m doing. Savoring the little moments. The sweetest moments in my life are the small ones, especially ones with the world-changing people: coffee dates with new moms I haven’t seen in a while (who understand independence to a fault), discussions with veterans of the system who have a passion for changing the lives of children here, the sound of snow falling, waking up too soon to hear the first birds of spring, hugs after unplanned talks in front of the fireplace when you’ve found someone who understands your heart and you spend half the time just saying, “YES. THIS. YES.” I leave all of these – the quiet moments and the loud ones – with a fist-pump heart, and sometimes fist-pump hearts just cry.
I measure my life in seasons and transitions: childhood, high school, college, the Race, culture shock, and this one:
2015: The Year of Weeping