And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
When I entered my 40s, I had no idea that my life was about to be turned upside down. In the very private family in which I was raised, no one talked about such things as “the facts of life.” What I learned, I learned at school, from friends or simply by experience. As I turned 40 and began having odd symptoms such as memory loss, occasions where I could not speak intelligently, could not remember people’s names or had unexplained worries or anxieties, I sincerely thought I was losing my mind. I guarded my condition carefully and covered up my flaws thinking that if anyone knew they would have me committed. It was a source of fear and frustration as I attempted to maintain my normal life. Coping skills worked to a point, but I was never really sure that it wouldn’t all come crashing down on me. Until in a fleeting conversation with my mother, she let it slip that the women in my family often enter perimenopause at an early age. Relief flooded over me as I realized that what I was experiencing was normal. I was not completely nuts. After research and several attempts at finding a doctor who would listen to my complaints, my fears were laid to rest with a few simple tests and the help of a kind and compassionate nurse practitioner. From that time, I have made it my goal to help other women in my life know what is happening to them or what will come in a way that is not scary or intimidating, but that can prepare them so they are not left laying in bed at night sure that any moment they will be sent to the loony bin. It is amazing how many women I encounter in my everyday life who when prompted confide the same feelings I once had. We all hear about hot flashes and night sweats, but not many people realize what havoc hormones or the lack of them can play with your mind and emotions. It is just not something we talk about. Yet every woman at some time will go through this phase though not all to the degree that I did. It made me wonder, what else do we not talk about? As much as I want the women around me to be relieved and know that they are normal, even more so, don’t I care about the comfort and satisfaction that can come from giving your life over to God? That they can have a Savior who will take them to heaven when they die, but also that He came to give them life more abundantly in this world as well? Life doesn’t have to be full of fear and anxiety even if your hormones are out of whack. The God who created us, even those persky hormones and the doctors who can help treat them, has everything under control if we just depend upon Him for guidance and wisdom.