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Through the Peaks and Valleys (or should I say freezers and furnaces?)
Posted by Barbara Smith (BWSmith)
This message was originally posted on
Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web

Wow -- was it flabbergasting to read your header! Quickly, let me turn you over to our Father who loves you & knows you better than I. And let me give you a BIG hug and some comfort right now, because I have been through the peaks and valleys (or should I say freezers and furnaces?) of menopause.

Menopause is a strange and wonderful experience. Our bodies are shifting into the gear that will carry us toward our "exit" from this world into the world our Father has been planning for us from eternity past. When our cycles shut down, our "shell" reminds us how impermanent our lives are. Every woman's body is as unique as her soul is in God's eyes and while I can -- and will -- make many sweeping generalizations about coping with the physical fallout of "maturity," I urge you, dear reader, to get that checkup. However, check your lifestyle and your worship and mediation and obedience which may be exacerbating the symptoms of your body shutting down.

The symptoms of menopause and pre-menopause are often sleeplessness, weight gain and unexpected bleeding, bloating, hot flashes, mood swings and even skin eruptions. We often do not "look" sick, but we hurt. Others who live with us, who have an abundance of testosterone, don't always understand especially if they have seen some of our less than stellar performances ;0) I hope you have asked your husband to pray for you and with you. (See James 5:13-16) Maybe he needs to hear what your Dr. has to say about the physical dimension of the change of life? *Don't listen* to "helpful" people whose mouths run when their knees should bend!

These symptoms are unsettling because each is a "test": an unpleasant "cross" that pops up often during times that are already challenging. These are "thorns." Pills that alleviate these unpleasant symptoms are not automatically wrong or "unspiritual," any more than taking chemo or antibiotics, or wearing glasses automatically shows a lack of faith in the Great Physician.

Sometimes, though, our symptoms can become an excuse of indulging our emotions and slipping into sinful responses. Adolescence, menopause or any illness is never a "pass" for Christians to misbehave. This is why we need to flee to *The* Cross so that we can bear the crosses of our daily afflictions -- and die to our own responses to suffering. None of the side affects of "maturing" are life-threatening, but they are JOY-defeating.

So, dear reader, I urge you, that as you seek medical counsel, turn your eyes upon Jesus, and tend your soul, for that is eternal. Listen to praise music if you can't read the word meditate upon the Cross feed upon HIS word, and do what the Drs. say to take care of your "shell." Sleep, eat and exercise to preserve your body's well-being for the season God grants you but you aren't taking it with you! (Unless Christ comes today) The weaknesses of our bodies remind us of our need for the Savior Paul knew his body's limitations and knew the sufficiency of his Savior. (See 2 Cor. 12:7-10)

** If bloating or hot flashes afflict you like thorns, remember the crown that Christ wore so that you might have a way of escape.

** If weight gain or spotting unnerves you, praise God that your body is shutting down on schedule and you have a hope and a future that can never be taken from you!

May I direct you here to consider Habakkuk? The prophet said: "Though the fig tree should not blossom, and there be no fruit on the vines, {though} the yield of the olive should fail, and the fields produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold, and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the LORD, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' {feet,} and makes me walk on my high places. For the choir director, on my stringed instruments." (Hab 3:17-19)

Can you see how to personalize this and apply it, dear reader? Though my body no longer bears life, though my strength and abilities diminish, though my heart aches and my emotions torment me, Yet I will delight in the LORD, I will boast in the God of my salvation. The Lord GOD is my health, and He has made my soul like that of an agile young woman's body who can go great distances! This is my song and I will sing it by HIS grace!


© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
Permission is given to reprint any of Barbara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and Web site address.

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