Crying the Ugly Cry

611e17c99808fd14ff20c15f269e9156(photo credit Proverbs31 ministries)

Sometimes we want to ugly cry. Sometimes we need to ugly cry.

Sometimes we want to ugly cry and can’t.

The ugly cry is the loud crying of the soul, by the groaning of the Holy Spirit.

“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” Romans 8:26

Lately I’ve wanted to cry the messy,ugly cry. I mean, have you ever noticed how much better we feel when we can “let it all out”?

I want to let it all out, I want to let it go, but something is holding me back. I’ve gotten close a couple of times to being able to ugly cry, but I stop myself every time.

What is holding me back from crying the ugly cry that I need to?

Perhaps I don’t let it go because I’m afraid of losing control and not being able to stop. Or maybe I’m ashamed of crying and I don’t want to cry because I feel that I have no reason to cry.

Here’s the thing, as long as we live in a broken world there is a reason to cry.

We cry for the one who mourns the loss of loved one.

We cry for the children who are victims of abuse.

We cry for the poor, needy and the ill.

We cry for all of the pain and suffering in this world.

We cry for those who can’t cry for themselves.

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

We cry because we feel and we feel because we love.

“When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.  “Where have you laid him?” he asked.“Come and see, Lord,” they replied. Jesus Wept. 36 Then the Jews said, “See how he loved him!” John 11:33-36

We don’t cry because we are weak, we cry because we are strong.

Strong in the power greater than ourselves. Strong in the victory promised to us by the cross. Strong in the promise of eternal life.

We can cry in strength and we can cry in weakness.

We cry because we can’t do it on our own, and we cry because we don’t have control.

As we cry our tears wash over us a sense of release and freedom.

Release from the thoughts that we should know better. Release from the thoughts that we should do better. Release from the thoughts that it is up to us in the first place.

I’m in need of an ugly cry because I’m tired of feeling  all of this pressure that I bring on myself. I’m tired of trying to live up to my self-imposed expectations.

I’m ready to have my tears cleanse me. I’m ready for my spirit to express my awe for Jesus by the tears I shed.

I’m ready for my tears to seal my redemption.

Friends, I invite you to join in crying the ugly cry with me. Let us mourn for those in need and have our heart break for what breaks our Fathers heart. Let us not be ashamed to cry, but cry in the strength and the power given to us by the Holy Spirit.

” And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18








9 thoughts on “Crying the Ugly Cry”

  1. So true: “As we cry our tears wash over us a sense of release and freedom.” When I found myself finally really grieving with tears flowing I had people getting all worried about me, trying to get me to lean into strengthening Scriptures…what they failed to hear me try to tell them is that this was a good thing…and it still is because grieving comes in waves…I’m learning to let it come…When I do is when comfort is ushered in, precisely because I come before God and others as myself.

    I recognize the struggle to release the tears though…often we need God’s help to do so (sounds like writing helps you with this, as it does me too). Thank you for these vulnerable, but life-giving words.


  2. This is such a beautiful post Stephanie – I too, hold myself back from crying – for many of the same reasons you articulated.
    Your sentence “Here’s the thing – as long as we live in a broken world – there is a reason to cry”, is profound!
    We all sooo need to give ourselves permission to “cry the ugly cry” and let
    “our tears seal our redemption,” as you so poignantly remind us.
    Thank you.


  3. As someone who has a good ugly cry fairly regularly, this was affirming and lovely. I always think my cries are good for my soul! Thank you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

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