I sat down to dinner at 9:30pm last night.

To a bowl of rice krispies and almond milk.

I took a deep breath and my eyes filled with tears. For being the first day back from vacation, it was kinda a doozie – like a bad Monday sneaking up on your Tuesday.

Tears built all day but never spilled.

I woke up Monday morning honestly saddened over the end of a holiday that felt like paradise and escape, in all the right ways.

I wrote an article before lunch that was deep for me emotionally, pulling from some old places, and it bubbled emotion in me that those first-day-back-from-vacay blues already had simmering.

I read this post about being a teacher from Jen Hatmaker and my teacher heart, the one the still lives in me and still missed being in the classroom a lot of days, could barely take it.

My basement fills up more and more every day of college student paraphernalia as summer has arrived and the gals are just storing away their goods until the fall. So I said goodbye to a few until their junior year brings them back to this town and the second half of their college careers.

And then for some of my other college students who are walking through hard seasons – big choices, heartbreak, change that they don’t know how to handle, I feel like a triage nurse just trying to keep the emotional bleeding from getting out of control.

I almost cried as I finished Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons Monday afternoon because it is one of the most beautiful books I have read in a long time.

And so, at the end of the day, when all this had built up and because I am me and I have been me for almost 33 years, I cried into my cereal, as one hand held the spoon and the other held my head.

I cried because some of my favorite humans who are also like family who are also seniors in college are graduating and the change that will bring to my life is more than I ever expected. And I feel the loss so deep that I can barely breathe when I think about it.

I cried because on the last day of the month all the finances for that month come in and go out and God allows me to practice faith and trust a lot in this area.

I cried because the war for our hearts never end when you are a believer, and I’m watching as people I love dearly are in the spiritual cross-hairs and can hardly stand under the weight of it. I cried because I know it doesn’t end. I cried because the enemy of our hearts doesn’t play by any rules and it sucks.

Trust me, I know Who wins in the end, but it doesn’t make the day to day battling pain-free.

I cried as I read 2 Corinthians. Not for my life, but for the lives of those I love that are feeling it.

We are hard pressed on every side, 

but not crushed;

perplexed, 

but not in despair;

persecuted, 

but not abandoned; 

struck down,

but not destroyed. 

I sing it over them as I pray. I feel it in my bones.

If you feel that today too, trust the Word of God. You are not crushed. Those you love will not live in despair. You are not abandoned. You, your people, your heart – they will not be destroyed.

Amen.