None of us like menstruation. It’s not nice when you’ve got something like a hangry parakeet clawing through the good ol’ uterus wall; kinda feels like you’re the stomach contents of a sewer rat. So how do we deal with this?
Well, punching your annoyingly in-the-way brother, venting your inner volcano on your parents through the lava of mid-menstrual expletives and arguing with all of your friends constitute a good start…
No. Nononononono. As women, we’re stronger than that. And you know why? Because of ‘Christ who strengthens’. That’s the only reason, Ms Stomach-Contents-of-a-Sewer-Rat.
When pain claws through our very being, we can ‘soar like eagles’. We’ve been ‘knit in the womb’, we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’, God has ‘sent [us] and known [us]’, He sent his ‘one and only Son’ to die for us.
I’ve been married to the wonderful Joshua Hawkes for six months now. He’s an amazing man. But it’s not always easy to be nice – not even to the best non-divine in the world. Believe me, there have been days where I’ve lashed out, grumped on him and neglected him selfishly on my period.
I am human after all.
Breathe those words in. Inhale them in their entirety – ingest the full meaning.
We are human. That means that we are the ‘image’ of God. We are ‘created by him and through him’. We are his daughters.
It also means that Jesus has been – and is – in his incarnate being just like us. Cliché verse, but girl you need it, so I’m gonna say it whether you like it or not: ‘For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin’ (Hebrews 4:15).
And Jesus is still on the right hand of God ‘interceding’ for us as the ‘one Mediator between God and man’. Isn’t that amazing.
Jesus was manifested as a man in his incarnate form. So he didn’t suffer the pain, hormonal imbalance and discomfort of periods. But unlike the males in your life, whether they be a father, brother, uncle, grandfather, friend, boyfriend or husband, he truly understands your situation.
Not like the abovementioned lovelies who may try so hard to comprehend our situation, Jesus really can and will suffer next to you. After the famous Great Commission in Matthew 28, Jesus made a significant promise: ‘I am with you always, even to the end of the age (the world, or time)’.
Woah. Reread that.
Jesus hasn’t only fulfilled his promise to send the Comforter (the Holy Spirit) in his physical absence from this Earth, He’s also promised to remain with us.
So next time you feel alone, misunderstood, yuk, angry and down during your period, don’t vent this into the people in your life.
Tell you what, I’ll let you in on something. As I’m writing this, my uterus is crying out in pain. I’m having to take breaks every few words because it’s so acute. But focusing on how I can honour God through this frustrating and trying experience (in so many ways ahhhh) is helping me.
It’s directing my focus away from the pain, the period, myself, in essence – and towards God and others.
Which in this instance, at least for me, is helpful. Not focusing on the problem which is unsolvable, and redirecting your attention to other issues that can be solved.
Like the washing-up, if you can; or hugging your mum or friend if they need it and are there; or just smiling when it’s so hard.
I don’t think this is escapism. I think this is re-direction. Understanding the problem is there, but partially solving it by acknowledging the larger picture, if that makes sense.
Ultimately, too, the larger picture that we share our brothers and sisters in Christ, is heaven. Consider that for a moment. One day Christ will ‘wipe away every tear’; He, the only one who truly understands us, will be with us forever; there will be no more pain, or fear, or discomfort.
All will be well because of what Christ has achieved on the cross.
So remember where you’re going, sister.
Your path lies heavenward.
And it’s not just a hormonal fantasy! It’s a reality in our Lord.
So stay strong.
Because not only are you a massively strong woman, brave and bold – the source of your strength means that you will always succeed.
You are and will always be, undefeated.
In the end Satan and pain and death and hurt and tears and negative emotion will be defeated.
And good will triumph.