Give Yourself Permission to Cry

Sometimes we need to let ourselves cry it out... Crying is good for us. Crying is healthy. It’s a natural stress reliever, in fact.

When was the last time you gave yourself permission to cry? I mean really, really cry?

I used to be a crier. As a child I had a super sensitive heart that God filled with compassion.

Not only did I cry at a skinned knee or when someone hurt my feelings, but I also cried when I saw another child in pain—or even at the thought of someone being wounded.

I didn’t just cry. I felt. I felt deeply.

God has gifted me with empathy for others. I took the Scripture about “rejoicing with those who rejoice and mourning with those who mourn” quite literally.

And tragic movies? I could never, ever make it through one without at least a handful of tissues!

When the film Titanic released, I was 16. I sat through the epic drama not once but twice.

When Rose let go of Jack’s hand and let him fall into the cold, murky waters, I stood up in the theater and let out a wail.

“Jack! No! No, Jack!”

In stark realization of where I was—I attempted to stifle my cries, which really didn’t make things any better, as my muffled tears turned into heaping hyperventilation. 

When my friend escorted me to my vehicle, I flung my head on the steering wheel and sobbed.

Permission to Cry |

It wasn’t just for the characters Jack and Rose. I was crying for all those people who lost their lives—or lost their loves—in the true Titanic tragedy.

But then…a few years back…I stopped. 

I went through something painful that has the opposite effect of any other hurt I had ever experienced.

My dreams shattered. 

And it numbed me.

I bottled up my feelings and with it my tears.

I grew cold. For the first time ever, I cultivated hardness. I let a tough shell build up around my heart. 

That one trial morphed into postpartum depression and just general overwhelm of being the mother of three kids four and under.

She Needs to Give Herself Permission to Cry |

But even in the midst of depression, I found it strange that, for the most part, I stopped crying.

Whenever I had a small glimpse of my former soft heart, I buried those emotions deep inside and told myself I was simply being strong. 

At times, I couldn’t even sense God’s presence.

But something’s changed within the past year or so. I’m dreaming again. I’m living again. And, yes, I’m even crying again. 

My 16-month-old daughter’s middle name is Joy. When she was born, I asked God to give me joy again. And through my tears, He has done just that.

Last Sunday, in worship, I let it all out. Instead of ignoring the fact that there are people hurting all around me, I cried for them.

As we sang “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” my thoughts flew to our family friends who have received the dreaded malignant brain tumor diagnosis earlier this week.

The family already experienced the sudden, tragic loss of their teenager daughter—my dear childhood friend—in a car accident 14 years ago.

Woman Raising her Hands in Worship through tears |

Through my tears, I cried for this family. Through my tears I worshipped my God, who has only their best—and my best—and your best—interests at heart. 

What is it for you, dear reader?

What do you need to cry about today?

Have you been bottling up your tears, numbing your heart and harding your emotions?

Are you tired and weary and just grasping at the wind to make it until bedtime?

Are you or a loved one battling an illness? Is your marriage rocky?

Have you lost a baby or have your dreams been shattered? Is your future uncertain?

Have you experienced a loss so great that you must pinch yourself to make sure you’re still breathing?

Crying is good for us. Crying is healthy. It’s a natural stress reliever, in fact. 

Even Jesus wept.

One day, there will be no more tears. HE will wipe them all away.

But for now…

Give yourself grace. Let your heart be filled with God’s grace. Let Him hear your prayers and see your tears and grant you joy that only He can give.

And give yourself permission to cry. 

What do you need permission to cry about today?

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  1. Danielle says

    Thank you for posting and sharing your story. I always think it is brave when someone reveals a painful part of themselves in an effort to reach someone who may need to hear it. I am thankful that when I would sit and rock my daughter while we both cried for hours on in during my postpartum depression that my God had placed a man in my life who did not blow it off as “baby blues”. My husband allowed me to cry, sometimes sobbing for 4 hours or more. It was the deepest feeling of grief I had ever experienced. All I could do was sit in that rocking chair and stare out the window wondering why a strong woman like myself could not “pull it together”. But then, one day after I just embraced the crying was when I started to heal. I gave myself permission to cry, permission to be weak, submitted to God to help me through it. As women we don’t talk enough about those “dark” thoughts we have when going through this. Maybe had my family or friends told me I would have thoughts that were just crazy for a caring mother to have, it might have helped. Anyway…thank you for this post. Best wishes for 2014. Love your facebook page and blog.

  2. says

    This post has touched me so deeply. Our culture teaches us that we have to suck it up, man up, toughen up and everything else except LOOK UP! Giving ourself permission to cry isn’t weakness, it’s dependence – crying out to God who is our source of strength and hope. Thank you so much for sharing your compassionate heart with us and for reminding us that through our heartfelt cries to the Lord, He can bring peace and healing. And He can use our broken heart as a tool for healing others hearts as He comforts and heals our own! (2 Corinthians 1:3-5)
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  3. BetsyJo says

    I so needed to hear this today. I woke up to find I have started to have another miscarriage during the night. I am nearly inconsolable today. I can’t seem to stop crying. But, I haven’t told my family or friends what I am going through. This will make 6 miscarriages in 8 years.
    I often wonder if I would prefer plain infertifility to this? Would it be easier to go through if I never saw the double line on the test? If my body didn’t start making changes only to reject and then change back? It’s physically and emotionly painful. Again.
    And this time I’m crying it out. I’m allowing myself a day on the couch to really, really cry. And im asking God to take away the hurt and pain. To help me to move on. And to be the best that I can be at this time in this place.

    • Amy says

      My heart broke when I read your story. I am so so sorry you are experiencing the loss of an sweet baby. I am currently going through the same myself. This is my first. I found out two weeks ago that I was pregnant with identical twins and they were both in heaven. I am still waiting for my body to go through the process. It is heartbreaking and pain I never knew I could feel. I wish I could hug you and let you cry. My prayers are with you.

      Love in our gracious God,

  4. says

    This really, really resounds with me, Erin!. I went through a valley of depression during my fourth pregnancy, and it last for nearly two years. I thought I would NEVER feel “normal” again, but by the grace of God I have found such a place of healing and freedom. When we found out we were expecting our 5th baby in 2012, I wanted to use “Joy” as a middle name if the baby was a girl. God blessed us with another son, but he is still a tangible gift of joy in my life!

    One of the things I have always appreciated most about you as a blogger and a writer is the beautiful way in which you relate with others. I so enjoyed reading this post, Erin! It truly gave me a glimpse into your heart.

  5. says

    Lovely, and very timely. I recently went through a period of depression and am just getting out of it. Sometimes crying is a good release.
    I was always oversensitive to everything around me and cried very easily. I used to try so hard to stifle my tears so no one would know they had hurt me.
    I once prayed and asked God why he made me this way. I had a dream and in it I was surrounded by darkness. I could hear wailing and crying from people lost in the darkness. Then I heard a cry so profound it made me shudder. It was like a mother crying over a lost child.
    When I asked what that cry was, I was told it was God’s heart crying for the people who were crying out, but not to Him. They were in pain and tormented but either didn’t know to turn to Him, or refused to.
    I guess I shared that because our sensitivity is a God given gift. It is for us to know better the heart of God himself, and what makes Him cry.
    God bless you for this post
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  6. Mandy says

    Wow. I could have just about written this myself. Its so strange how God works….I was just thinking about this the other day. I used to always cry at the drop of a hat. Whenever I saw someone cry, or like you, watch a movie such as Titanic or Family Stone or something like that, I want to weep. Since my son was born almost 2 years ago, I have buried that side of me to be the strong mommy. I can’t let him see me cry. I cant let the world see me cry. I strive to be the strong one. The one who works 40 hours a week, comes home and cooks and cleans and takes care of my son and crash into my own bed around midnight then get up the next day and do it all over again. I hear on the news about children dying, people with cancer, babies being born prematurely and dying, someone experiencing a great loss in their life and I stuff back the feeling inside of wanting to weep for them. I feel myself growing numb, not knowing how to cry but you have just shown me that its a God given emotion and that he blesses some with it to cry for those who cant cry themselves. Thank you. Thank you for being so honest and open. Thank you for sharing your stories and your real life obstacles that you have overcome.

    • says

      Thank YOU for sharing, Mandy! I break that the Lord will “open the floodgates” of healing for you as well. I so get that “strong mommy” feeling! I do think that has something to do with it! Be encouraged today!

  7. says

    I do that too. I cry at the drop of a hat. Yes, God blessed me with the very easy ability to cry. And that verse in Romans 12 is one of my most favorites. Maybe this is why. I, unlike some, have the ability to truly mourn with those who mourn. I feel, deeply, for lives long lost like in the Titanic tragedy. If I just think about standing on the beach at Normandy….. But I still struggle with my own urge to stifle the tears when they come, too embarrassed of what people may think. But our God knows that this world needs the strong people alongside the criers. Thank you for posting this!
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