That Time I Couldn’t Stop Crying

Sometimes your healing journey signals for your attention in ways that take you off guard. Like the time when I just could not stop crying. 

At first, I didn’t know what to do with these constant tears. My focus was on trying to experience freedom from constant anxiety, panic attacks and OCD spirals. At the time, I didn’t see how the crying was actually related to the healing of those issues. I found myself feeling so vulnerable and emotionally weak. 

From my perspective, I thought everything was collapsing. I thought I was losing it. In my mind, this was it. Mark DeJesus was headed for a final collapse. 

Little did I know that this was actually the season that would open up for a dramatic rebirth for my whole life. 

But in the midst of it, I didn’t know what to do with these moments where I would sob like a baby. 

Tears would come rushing to the surface before I could stop them. (Isn’t it interesting that quite often our first response to tears is to hold them back?) I would be sitting in a staff meeting, only to excuse myself, because I’d have to go into the bathroom and cry for a minute. I’d look in the mirror and think to myself, “What is wrong with me? DeJesus, get it together!”

I would be driving somewhere in my car when I would have to pull over to process the tears that seemed to erupt out of nowhere. In the middle of a movie, I start crying over the simplest of events. 

I had no reference for what to do with the emotions that rose up. I didn’t see a lot of men process crying in effective ways. My first response was that something was clearly wrong with me. Little did I know that the tears flowing was “everything right” with what my heart needed to experience. 

As I shared this experience with a friend of mine, he basically gave me the feedback of, “Let the tears flow. Don’t hold them back. Let your heart heal.”

As leaned into that thought and allowed myself to feel what I was feeling, I began to realize that this flood of tears was a healing and grieving process for my heart. I had years of pent up and unhealed wounds that needed to be addressed. My mental health battles were a signal that deeper issues of the heart needed to be healed. 

You can suppressed as much as you want or try to deny the issues that need to be grieved all you want, but at some point, matters of the heart will get your attention. 

Many people look at their moments of tears with contempt, seeing an emotional response like that as flawed. Some medicate it away and never simply allow their hearts to process the pain, emptiness and sadness of life. 

Masses of people never cry. They cannot remember the last time they cried. Years of attempting to live emotionally bulletproof are now catching up to them. 

What doesn’t get healed through tears will come up in other areas. We’ve got to see crying as a signal that our heart needs to process through something. Don’t ignore those signals. Tears can be one of the best ways for your heart to become tender, open and vulnerable to the healing that is available to you. 

Many people have made vows, saying they will never cry again. They have made agreements that crying or showing emotions is bad. Others are afraid of tears, fearful of what they may feel as they allow themselves to heal. So they avoid it as much as possible. 

The problem is that they end up with pain that gets locked up deep down inside. Then they wonder why they are snapping in anger for seemingly no reason or finding themselves numbing out a whole lot to some kind of addictive habit. 

I remember talking with a church leader who was in the middle of an emotional crash. He began to share with me the details of his struggle, when suddenly, a wave of tears began to pour out. Clearly, a moment of grieving and healing was available to him. But as quickly as the tears poured out, he initiated an emotional dam to block the flow. You could tell this was his mode of operation, to keep himself from addressing the issues of his heart that needed attention. 

There have been times where the tears that flowed in my life came about to help me process some very difficult and challenging experiences in my life. Although the tears may not have brought me a list of answers to everything I was going through, I felt a connection to God and comfort from His Holy Spirit that gave me the strength to go through what I needed to face. A power filled my heart to overcome. 

Many people talk about a “good cry,” but there is real truth to allowing yourself an expression of tears. Open up your heart and let the healing flow. Allow yourself to feel the pain and let God meet you in it. 

I let the tears flow. And I will never be the same. 

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