There are days when the weather is cold and my skies are gray; when I'm feeling vulnerable and raw from some recent, difficult situation.
In those days, present circumstances and voices from the past mingle to make it feel like the weight of everything that has ever gone wrong in my life is threatening to crush me.
Childhood hurts, adolescent mistakes, adult heartbreaks all pile on these thin shoulders and bend me over until I look 100 years old instead of 37.
All the people who have spoken words of discouragement and condemnation to me resurrect from their tombs in my history and speak again, even more vilely.
All the wrongs I've endured, all the unfair treatment, all my own errors and the apologies I have had to make crack open the scars they formed in my heart and bleed anew.
In those days, I cover my eyes with my hands and let the tears flow freely.
Then I do the one thing I have learned will keep all that explosion of grief from turning my heart bitter and hard:
No, I don't really just pray.
I pour, I expel, I purge.
On my knees, I let Jesus have it all.
It is too heavy, too dark, too...much.
A few minutes later I'm still crying.
Just as hard.
Ugly, wracking sobs.
And I still feel as heavy and bent over.
But what is crushing me now is the relentless weight of all the beauty He has created out of the ashes of my life:
The infertility that turned into adoption.
The mistakes I made which turned my heart towards compassion and empathy for others.
The pain that pushed me to deeper, more meaningful relationships.
The rejections that taught me to forgive freely and to understand grace.
The losses that showed me how to love better and hold on more tightly.
And my heart is then thick with thankfulness it can't contain within itself.
So I continue to spill, to pour, to return.
But this time in praise, not sorrow.