More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5: 3-5
Yes, menopause can really, really stink! But check out that verse! Did you see that? We REJOICE in our sufferings. Whoa!
You got it – I am writing about menopause again today. Yes, I am going to continue to write about it for some time. Because that verse up there? Well, it is TRUE!
I have to admit, I have not been rejoicing much with this menopausal crazy in my life. It’s hard to do so when you feel like – YUCK! This stuff is way more pervasive than I ever imagined. At this point, I feel like what I thought it would be like at the age of 80 or 90 – and I am NOT kidding!
Yes, I am praying for the Lord to help me to endure and change my attitude. I woke up today and just decided that I can’t make it go away, so I must press in and ask God to bring me through it. I am asking God something very specific here, along with the “normal” stuff I ask Him to teach me through any trial:
1 – Will you help me to remember all of this so I can point out the positive and the hope for others going through this? Will you give me your clear voice to tell other women that there is light at the end of menopause (I have to believe there is) and that it will get better? Most of all, will you help me to share with them, with myself, that there is YOUR light right now while we are in the thick of it?
You. Are. Here.
2 – Will you help me remember the Serenity Prayer, Lord? I find it so hard to surrender, yet keep trying. You know what I mean, right? We can’t just give up on trying to take care of ourselves; your temple, our body. But we must surrender the expectations or hoped-for results ultimately over to you and focus MORE upon what you are teaching us in this now. Help me to do that, Lord. Help all of us to do that, whether we are dealing with the crazy convoluted mess of menopause or something else that has and continues to just rock our world. Help us step through each day one step at a time. Help us to abide in You and YOUR love and YOUR strength. Help us to trust and love you more and be who you are in us despite the thorns in our side.
In the meantime, I am not giving up, friends. After much prayer, I have come to the conclusion that even if I don’t feel like it, I am going to pour myself in to being open minded and trying new things. I am not going to focus too much on the end result of these things I am trying in order to feel better, but just step – just try stuff out with the Lord’s approval each and every step of the way.
Here’s what I am doing now and why:
The standard, “just exercise, eat right, get enough sleep” stuff is NOT cutting it! It’s time for extreme measures, and that actually now makes some sense to me. You know, there is NO WAY to pinpoint what’s going on with menopause, figure out a solution, and just stay there and all will be good. It has a life of it’s own and it changes on a whim. We have to change along with the “change.” I find it funny it’s called the change, as it is a million billion trillion little changes that are going on all at once to create a big change.
Thank God that HE never changes!
So….I am doing a bunch of stuff now and it seems (after a few weeks now) to be helping some of the problems, but certainly not all of them. I am doing a detox (two weeks long) made especially for women to get the digestion right. I am doing some intermittent fasting (only twice a week, and not a full fast) to create calorie confusion and get the adrenals, the metabolism, the digestion working better. AND, I am doing an entirely different eating program on the rest of the days per week….shaking things up a bit.
Menopause may try to trick us, but two can play that game!
I have added weight training and yoga into my week along with my cardio, which I have reduced to shorter spurts, versus the longer and endurance-producing ones. Those longer ones are good when your body isn’t full-on stressed, but actually don’t help much when you are where I am at.
AND…are you ready for it? Along with massage once a month (not near enough, but it’s expensive) I am getting ready to try accupuncture for the first time for the joint pain. THIS joint pain has been the worst part for me over the last six months. It’s almost to where I feel I can’t function normally any longer. I feel hopeful. But again, my hope is in the Lord more than anything else. I feel He is asking me to step, let Him do the rest. I must stop resisting having an open mind!
I want to be someone who can say to other women: “Guess what? It does get better! And guess what? Everyone is different, but if you are determined and prayerful, you can manage better until you reach the other side.”
I think we can be better than ever, but we don’t have to wait until “it’s over.” What if it never is over (fully)? I had to wrap my heart and mind around that last night with God. Am I going to just lay down and let my life be permanently “paused?”
Paul didn’t do that when he was in prison and carried around that thorn in his side for so long. He found contentment where he was at, but didn’t stop being hopeful in Christ.
I’m not one of those “name it and claim it” types. But I do believe God can and will do anything He sees fit for His glory and good. It is within the realm of possibility that He wants to heal me and make me more energetic and vibrant than ever. And it’s also very possible I will carry this physical thorn in my side until I go home to be with Him.
The key is: Am I going to allow Him to work in me through it all? Am I going to be more like Jesus even when it’s hard? When I am angry, feeling panicky, getting hot flashes, night sweats? When my elbows and joints in my hands and arms and feet feel like they are about to crack? When it hurts to even walk, but I have to muster up something within to exercise through it? When it costs money to try to take care of myself when I really don’t want to spend it? When I need to think of others and not myself in the face of something so pervasive it feels like it is consuming me?
The list goes on and on, I can assure you.
Remember: We are allowed to not feel good about it sometimes. But we still can rejoice that God is doing a mighty work within us – even when our bodies feel like they are falling apart.
Look at the work done on the cross, friends. Look at what was done there. Jesus’ body was beyond broken there. Then He was filled with all the dark and sin of the world for a time before He rose again. And I KNOW – I just KNOW, because He tells us so – He is more vibrant than EVER!
Yes, we are going through the change – daily. If we press in and abide in Christ, it is good news that we are changing, friends. It’s a daily process. It’s a continual gift. And we must remember that we can rejoice even when we don’t “feel” good.
I don’t think Jesus pretended to be happy up on that cross. I don’t think that he showed the world, “hey, buck up and do it with a smile.” But I do think that he willingly endured what He knew was the Father’s will….He didn’t complain, even though He didn’t like it (to say the least). He STILL forgave to the end. He STILL showed love and mercy to the end. He STILL remained pure and – GOD – to the end.
He still is our perfect and our mighty God.
And HE needs no changing. So he has all the room, power, might and love in the world to work in and through us while we DO change – a LOT!
Turn your expectations over to God, especially when it comes to your body if you seem to have no control over it. But not your hope! Never your hope!
Our hope is in HIM. Nothing can take that from us!
Our bodies belong to Him. I glorify HIM and not my flesh. But I will do my best to take care of that temple. If it feels like it’s falling apart, I am going to remember how beautifully Jesus was put back together when He rose again. He didn’t fall off that cross like a lump of nothing to remain that way forever – no way! And neither will we.
But we must nail our flesh to that cross with Him – daily. And if and when we feel we can’t put one foot in front of the other, He will tell us whether to stop and rest or keep moving, as hard as it is to do.
He will tell us.
Nope. I am not going to let menopause define me. THAT is what the Lord is doing in me right now, friends. He is challenging me to remain true to Him and make certain that who He is in me is what defines me.
He IS changing me. Is He changing you or is menopause doing that?
Become free if you aren’t, friends. Become free not from the pains and hardships, but from all the darts and arrows of the enemy that try to trick us into being defined by our circumstances.
Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY!
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20