I Need My Tears

I don’t like to cry in public. Maybe a single a tear or two is comfortable. But I don’t like to have a full-on breakdown in a crowd.

It feels so out-of-control.

But when I’m home? And especially if I’m home alone? I let the tears fall as they please.

Tears are cathartic. They cleanse our souls and heal our hearts and reboot our emotions once our eyes empty them out.

Tears aren’t just for women though. Or for children. Seeing a grown man cry is powerfully moving, although more rare.

This below is written by a man, a tender man, a super-intelligent man. If you listen to The Liturgist podcast or Ask Science Mike, you already know Mike McHargue and what an extraordinary human being he is.

Mike says in his book, You’re a Miracle (and a Pain in the A**),

“One week, when she asked me what stopped me from crying, I paused for a moment, and then told her the truth: ‘I’m afraid that if I start, I will never stop.’

I think that’s how lots of people feel about their feelings. We’re afraid that if we get sad, angry, or afraid, those feelings will overwhelm us, and we’ll shatter.

But that’s not how feelings work. Our feelings aren’t here to break us. They’re here to help us—even heal us.

Our feelings can be powerful, especially when we repress them for years or decades. But when we let our feelings happen in response to events in our lives, they don’t crash over us like a tsunami. No, they wash over us like the kind of warm, gentle waves I played in as a kid on Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches. Feelings are meant to have a wave action. They naturally progress, crest, and recede.”

2020 steamrolled onto our planet with a furor, packing quite a punch of strong emotions. I’ve cried a lot the past few months. About continuing racial inequalities. About spiking covid cases. About once-again frustrating political tensions leading up to an election.

It’s not over yet. 

I need my tears. God gives them to me on purpose, for my good. I’ll use them. 

How about you?


Have you had lots of emotions in 2020, too? Do you cry easily? Or hardly ever? Share in the comments

My thanks to Net Galley
for the review copy of I’m a Miracle

18 thoughts on “I Need My Tears

  1. Martha Jane Orlando

    Oh, Lord, Lisa, I’ve been on a roller coaster of emotions these past several months, and yes, I’ve done my share of crying. Tears are cleansing both physically and emotionally. If we keep our emotions bottled up, we are only hurting ourselves and our health.
    So, when your next crying jag comes over you, just know you are not alone.
    Blessings!

  2. blankLaurie

    Wow! What a powerful post!!! As a person who has been crying a lot lately (sometimes while out for a run), these words hit me like a ton of bricks. It does feel good to let it all out. I’m going to have to read this book!

  3. blankBarbara Harper

    I don’t like to cry in front of people. I am not sure why. I don’t think I’m overly vain, but all my crying tends to be ugly crying, so maybe that’s it. 🙂 But I do cry in private and appreciate the release and cleansing it brings. There’s been a lot to cry over this year. I’m thankful God sees our tears and that Jesus shed his own while on this earth.

  4. blankJoanne Viola

    Yes, I cry easily and often! I am so grateful to know our tears so matter to Him that He saves them in a bottle. May we let our crying bring the release and healing we need, especially in these days we are living.

  5. blankSteffanie

    This was REALLY good. Gave me a total different viewpoint in tears and the waves dealing with the grief in my life. I’m having to learn to “cry it out” and leave it in God’s lane as much as possible. I can’t carry the load alone. Thanks for sharing.

  6. blankSusan Shipe

    If I need to cry – I cry – don’t care where I am!!! But I find myself crying less these days.. I think at almost 70-years old I realize that ultimately God is in control and I am (finally) allowing Him to do what must be done. With Kingdom being the goal!!!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Just to clarify (and correct me if my clarification needs clarification, ha), crying and faith aren’t on opposite ends of a continuum. Many strong faith-filled believers cry easily; many atheists may not cry at all. And every possibility in between. I don’t see crying as an indicator of our faith or lack thereof.

      As a sidenote, I’ve read that the older women get, the more content they are. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I like that thought. 🙂 I think it could correlate with your point about faith: the more we mature in faith, the more we can relax about having to control things ourselves and rest in God instead. Thanks, Susan.

  7. blankJerralea

    You know, I’m not afraid to cry but I do rarely cry. I don’t know why, unless as Susan Shipe said, the older we get we realize we don’t have to cry because God is in control. And He has proven Himself faithful.

  8. blankJennifer Smith

    I grew up being told I was too emotional (and there may have been some truth in that…) but for years I have worked hard (too hard) to keep my emotions in check…controlled. For the most part, stuffed or ignored. It is so interesting to think of our emotions as being helpful to us. Even our tears. So interesting….

    Great food for thought – thanks!

    1. blankLisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Susan! I know we’re both Enneagram 5s so I felt it was safe to add that. 🙂 I appreciate you, friend. I love your heart for God and for hope.

  9. blankSuzette K.

    Yes, I’m crying more than usual. I come from a stoic stock, but I guess you could say I’m the emotional one of the family. This year has brought many changes, and they aren’t done yet. Oh! and the virus came too. I stuff a lot of it down in front of other, but I’m like you, in that when I’m along it’s ok to cry.

  10. blankKaren Friday

    Lisa, I love this post so much. There have been a few times I was overcome with tears in public or at a church service. But like you, at home, there are many times I wonder if I’ll reach a point to be all cried out. It is a healing and cleansing of my soul and heart.

  11. blankJean Wise

    Steamrolled in is a great phrase and yes lament away. I cry with my words but rarely let the tears roll, For a while, I thought something was wrong with me but accept it now as jus the way I am. Tears or no tears – this year will long be remembered with an avalanche of emotions.

  12. blankLaura Thomas

    I have to admit, I’m not a crier. Anywhere. But on the rare occasion the dam bursts—well, let’s just say it’s A LOT. there are definitely benefits to letting it all out! ❤️Stopping by from #graceandtruth

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