I am a heart on my sleeve kinda gal. Always have been, always will be.

I cry easily and oh-too-often. I cry when I’m sad, cry when I’m happy, cry when I’m angry and cry when I’m overwhelmed.

I seem to cry at church, a lot. Sometimes a hymn will remind me of a loved one who has passed away, a prayer will strike a chord in my heart or a sermon will resonate with me and the tears will flow. If I can hear my Dad singing during an old hymn, the tears instantly flow.  I’m often so overwhelmed with God's presence that tears flow down my cheeks.

I cry when someone tells me a touching story about their lives. I cry when I share a piece of my heart with another person. It fills me with waves of sympathy, empathy or gratitude and these emotions often manifest in the form of tears for me.

I cry every single time I hear a testimony or share my testimony.  And at church camp when we used to sit around the campfire and have "testimony night", I basically was thankful for the dark and big hoodies...I cried the entire time.

I’ll cry watching the final episode of a favorite TV series. I cry every single week when someone goes home on American Idol. And I cry at nearly every episode of Little House.

I’ll cry during a movie I’ve watched 245 times, at the exact same spot, and will continue to cry for the next 100 times I watch it. PS i love you...Beaches...The Notebook...Steel Magnolias...Marley and Me...big fat tear fest.

I’ll cry listening to a song. Sometimes it's because of the lyrics, sometimes the melody. Sometimes it's because of a memory the song brings to the surface. Music is so powerful - a song can truly bring you right back there.

I cry every single time I hear Taylor Swift's The Best Day. Jade and I have coined that our song and it creates buckets and buckets of tears. 

I'm a photographer and attend many weddings.  I cry every time the bride walks down the aisle and at every single father/daughter dance.

I’ll cry as soon as I hear someone else crying. After the first sniffle, hear a catch in their voice or after I see the first tear I am done. It doesn’t matter if I know you, doesn't matter if I know why you're crying...I’m just here to silently cry along with you.

And since I’m laying it all on the line...yes, I cried when Dumbledore died. A more accurate statement would be I was a complete sobbing mess at that part in the book.

I’ve always been a crier. When I was a little girl I cried when I watched Winnie the Pooh because Eeyore was so sad. His sadness made me sad for him. And I cried. I cried watching the Muppet Movie when Miss Piggy was mean to Kermit. She hurt his feelings and his sadness made me sad for him. And I cried.

My tears have absolutely no filter. It doesn't matter who I’m with, who I’m talking to or what I’m doing. As soon as I feel that little catch in my throat I know the flood gates are about to open.

For years I’ve been horribly embarrassed and ashamed of my tears. So many times I’ve prayed "Lord, please let me make it through this without crying". It never fails though, the tears always flow. And in the end, I’m left embarrassed that I couldn't hold myself together.

Then one day, while reading an online blog, it hit me. Maybe these tears are my ministry.  Maybe these tears are my spiritual gift.  I can weep with those who weep, mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who need it. Maybe my tears can keep them from feeling foolish for their tears.

God gave us these emotions and tears for a reason. He built me this way. He knew long before I came along that this girl was going to be a crier.  God knew about every tear I ever shed. If your emotions, whether it be sadness or joy, are strong enough to bring tears from your eyes then they don't deserve to be stifled. God can use anything we surrender to Him. Laughter and tears. Joys and sorrows. Victories and mistakes. Strengths and weaknesses. We minister to others best when we offer our true selves, as we are, not waiting until we've cleaned up our act or dried up our tears.  Right now, leaks and all.

I guess what I’m trying to say is...

Hi. My name is Amy. I’m a crier. And I’m officially embracing it.

Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
Psalm 126:6