Sometimes You Just Have to Cry It All Out

There are days and there are weeks — and there are days that seem like weeks.  Stories told one by one that fill the tank of one’s soul.  I love the stories — I live in the stories.  My heart stretches with the story and grows with  new understanding … new compassion .

Some stories bring  so much  joy,  filling  the spaces of your soul until it bubbles all up inside and all you can do is laugh.

When  I hear  our grandbaby laugh out loud  just because she realized she was standing up without holding on, my heart gets joy-full and it  bubbles right  up, spilling over with laughter too.

As I talk through Skype  on our computer  to another  grandbaby far away and she  asks me to read a story to her or make  her blueberry pancakes — but be sure to let her pour the syrup — a big, huge place in my heart fills to the brim with love and it spills right over into deep “Nana happiness” !

Oh and  the other grandbaby — almost 2 — when he  calls me by name  and leans  as close as he can to the computer screen just to give his Nana long-distance kisses  while Skyping — I fill up and melt right over the top like chocolate syrup over warm brownies !

But what happens to your heart when you hear other stories  …stories of a single mother walking more than an hour  just to get her children  to their well-baby check up …just because she “would do anything for her children”! …or stories of another mama with  a heart as big as Texas,    loving on others without a mama in view …and that single parent who  tells his story of desperation to find resources while  trying his best to be a good daddy to his boys, 2 with special needs …  or the call from my hometown telling of a fire — one didn’t survive; the rest of us  struggle  to survive the grief .  And when you break bread together one day  with a homeless friend — happy to have found shelter nearby — only to find him unconscious and needing shelter in a hospital  a few days later …  the heart begins to fill with a different  kind of emotion.

Guilt. Overwhelmed.  Deep sadness.  Ache. Pain.

And sometimes you just have to cry it all out.  

The heart and soul fill up with a mixture of love and grief and anxiety and pain and when all that stirs together in your soul, it just wells up in tears as the body bubbles up all that can’t be fixed or controlled …all the injustices , the things that aren’t fair, and the things that you feel no one should ever have to experience.

You pour out your heart like water before the Lord! You cry out to Him and to those closest to you.  You agonize in your soul over your actions and your responses to the needs.  You look to others  to come alongside and pray Heaven down on these stories and you engage in the  community and cling to them through the mess that has bubbled over all around .

You hold each other  as she  prays that God will breathe life into your friend whose body lays unresponsive and you hold on to the words of  this song the Holy Spirit whispered to her   …

Jesus, I feel You near me 

Your hands giving life to my body 

Your spirit healing life to me 

Holding my heart in sweet security

(“Hands” by The Benjamin Gate)

And then …the miraculous happens and  light seems to break through.

And God whispers life on the walk  up the mountain…

And the little one spontaneously throws her hand up  as if in worship to our Father Who holds the universe in place…

And a little child  leads us into truth and a pure heart of worship!

And my soul — it begins to well up with hallelujahs to the One Who knows each name by heart and sees the pain , the hurt, the injustice, the deepest needs, the anxieties, and  those without the love of a mother or father.  The heart has stretched and the stretching hurts.  But He says we are made for this moment …these stories …this healing.  The safety of my bubble was really an illusion after all.  We are all part of this story — the really-good-news-story !  There is hope !  There is Life !  There is Truth ! Jesus paved the Way with His own life — spilling His blood out for us and the tomb filling up with Life 3 days later — the Song of the Redeemed !

We hold hands in our living room and pray to the Father in Heaven .  He is close to the brokenhearted and knows well what it’s like to be homeless and mistreated and misunderstood.  His mercies are new every day and His compassion never runs out.  I know He’s working and some day my faith will be clearly seen as His Kingdom in  Heaven is poured out on earth.

And when you feel you’ve cried it all out and the soul feels empty, God fills the space with what we need most — His presence !  He will fill us with joy in His presence and show us the path of life  ! (Psalm 16:11)

We’ll find our song through the tears.

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.  Psalm 126:5

And my soul wells up …with hallelujahs !

And my soul wells up with hallelujahs

Oh praise Him all His mighty works
There is no language where you can’t be heard
Your song goes out to all the earth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah 


(by Kathy Troccoli)

Would you read another great story ?  …tears … worship :

Joy Waters Martin

My kids tease me sometimes that my definition of a situation going well is often described as, "It was 'life-giving' " -- meaning, it may have had some conflicts or uneasy moments or stress but all in all , something about it breathed life into the situation and the people involved...something of the heart was moved in a good direction. I'm all about LIFE ... life with my husband, life with 4 adult children, their spouses and 8 grandchildren (to date, that is :), life in our home and life in a wild adventure we tend to label "ministry". In reality , all of these categories mesh together to make up the "organic me". Relational , redeeming and restoring are some of my favorite words and they give life to my soul as I walk it all out with Jesus Christ, the Giver of all life. Profile Photo by: Melody Martin

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  1. Paula Shook

    Oh, how I miss you! I just love the way God is working through you!

  2. Dianne Hunt

    Joy how this touched me.In the four years that our little Noah moved to heaven there have been times when I think the tears will never stop.In these four years tho and the suffering I have come to know Jesus in a new ,deep way.You are so true in God filling that empty space with his presence,I am a witness to that! I love the way God has reconnected us ! The words He gives you has been used to bring encouragement and hope to my heart and life! Thank you.

    1. Joy Martin

      I can’t imagine that pain Dianne — losing your little Noah. Thanks for sharing ! Love you , friend !

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