Christina Patterson is a wife and stay-at-home mom with a passion to encourage women in the love of Jesus Christ and the truth of God’s Word. When she is not folding laundry or playing blocks you will find her with her head deep in her Bible or a commentary. She holds her masters in Theology from Liberty University and is the founder of Beloved Women, a non-profit providing resources and community for women to truly know who they are in Christ: His Beloved. She blogs at belovedwomen.org.
Have you ever had an ugly cry?
It’s that cry that catches you by surprise. It happens when you’ve been holding in your emotions and trying to keep it all together.
Maybe you’ve been working hard to support your family and don’t have time to process your emotions because emotions ain’t going to pay these bills.
Maybe you think you don’t deserve the time and energy it takes to give yourself space to breathe. Or you don’t think you have the right to feel the feelings that are going on in your heart.
Maybe your situation that warrants an ugly cry is so deep and painful you have decided you just don’t ever want to go there. Because as you already know, life can get overwhelming messy, crazy, complicated, hurtful and most of all U.G.L.Y.
The thing about the ugly cry is it does not care about how you look, what you’re trying to do, or how hard you’re trying to keep it together. It just comes when it wants to; unwanted, unannounced, and you guessed it; ugly.
My last ugly cry was in the kitchen trying to prepare the kids afternoon snack. I had made it through a majority of the day holding in my feelings of insecurity as a mom, frustration about what I hadn’t accomplished, and pressure from feeling like I was doing both too much and not enough.
At the same time, I know I am beyond blessed. I have a loving husband, beautiful kids and I stay at home and work on my dream job. So with all these emotions bubbling up inside me I didn’t think I had permission to to feel anything negative. But here’s the issue; I did.
I was drowning in doubt about my dreams, insecurity as a mom, and fear about the future. All of that covered with a smile and a quick “I’m fine”.
However, at the kitchen sink I decided to take a quick breath and tell myself it was O.K.
And that’s when I broke.
Because there I was lying to myself. It was not O.K. And I couldn’t control it anymore. The harder I tried to stop crying the more I cried. So I just let go and went with it. I got some paper towel from the counter and let it all out for about 10 good minutes while the kids watched Daniel Tiger. And then it was over. I gave the kids their snacks and we went on with our day.
That night however, something felt different in my soul. I felt lighter, freer. Things didn’t change but all of a sudden I could breathe. There’s something about just being honest with yourself that may not change your situation but it sure makes the burden lighter. And I was reminded, it’s O.K. not to be O.K., no matter how ugly it gets.
I want to encourage you today to take a deep breath and love yourself enough to tell yourself the truth about how you’re feeling about your current situation, even it it’s ugly.
Especially if it’s ugly.
Then give it to God and see if He won’t take that ugly and make it into something more beautiful than you imagined. Isaiah 61:3 tells us:
“Provide for those who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.” (NIV)
There is value in being honest with yourself, others, and of course God because when we give God our ugly, He gives us His peace.
I encourage you to take the time you need to breathe at this year’s Beloved Women’s Conference. This one day event is filled with dynamic speakers, fun entertainment, breakout sessions and more to help you refresh your soul, enjoy your life, and empower your purpose. Click here to register to receive early bird pricing (that ends TOMORROW!!!) before this event sells out!
Now I’d love to hear from you Beloved. Please comment and let me know when and where was your last ugly cry?
P.S. Shout out to Chrystal Evans Hurst for today’s writing prompt that inspired this post. Chrystal is a wife, mom, and author of “She’s Still There: Rescuing the Girl in You“. As a part of her “She’s Still There” rescue team I’ve had the chance to start reading the book and I’m loving every word. As a stay-at-home mom who often finds herself lost in motherhood I am in need of rescuing from time to time. Needless to say, this book was right on time. If you’ve had a recent ugly cry or are also in need of a rescue I highly suggest checking out her book here!