The Breakdown

It happened in the bookstore. I had chosen a comfy chair in a semi-hidden corner. I wanted to just enjoy being with the books. I love to look at them, stacked high all around me. So many stories, each one a different example of someone’s genius, but also a representation of something tangible created by nothing but words.

I love words. I love books. And I needed solitude.

I thought sitting with the books would somehow make me feel better. I was looking for comfort in words.

I believe God created the world with words, and gifted us with words, and that the power of words is one way that God lives inside us.

In the quiet corner of the bookstore, in the solitude, the words turned out to be overwhelming, and the tears came.

They just started rolling out. Big, round, wet, hot, tears. They turned my eyes and cheeks red instantly. They poured out of my nose as thick, slimy snot. They drenched my face and dripped off my chin, landing in tiny splashing puddles on the pages of the book in my lap. When I thought it couldn’t get worse, suddenly my shoulders shook, every inhale made a quiet, high pitched hiccup or a loud gurgling sniffle. I couldn’t stop.

It was an ugly cry.

There was no chance of hiding it. There was no way I could bite my booger covered lip and quietly escape without drawing attention to myself. I couldn’t even sit in that chair in that quiet corner and not draw attention to myself. So I cried.

I cried for my Grandma, who is alone and confused and would dearly love for me to sit and visit with her for hours, but I just don’t feel like it sometimes. I cried for my daughter, who sits in my bed reading books with me and watching movies for hours some days, because sometimes I just don’t have the energy to do anything else. I cried for my husband who had to wear a dirty shirt to work that day because sometimes I just can’t remember to get the laundry in the dryer. I cried for my friends because I ignore them and hide from them most of the time. I even cried for my dog because I haven’t walked her in months. And I cried for my law degree, because even though I act defiant about it, it breaks my heart that I am not called to be a lawyer. I cried for my future, because I have absolutely no idea what it holds.

I cried the ugliest cry, about all the ugliest stuff. In a corner of a bookstore.

I was looking for comfort in words, but God gave it to me in tears. And he didn’t care how ugly it got.

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