I’m sitting in a circle of single women, all in their early to mid-twenties except for my co-leader and me. We’re reading Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst, discussing our emotions and how to deal with them in God-loving/self-loving/other-loving ways. Well, how can a group of women have discussions about emotions without bringing up the topic of . . .
Yep. That’s what I nicknamed them last night as we were howling with laughter, sharing our own personal stories of the Jekyll that comes out of our hides each month leaving us with out-of-body experiences wondering, “Who IS this beast living in my skin?!”
Now, I’m giving fair warning here to readers who might be offended by some slightly off-color vocabulary . . . READ ON AT YOUR OWN RISK . . . OF ACTUALLY LAUGHING!
We discovered that occasionally some most unusual words slip out of our brains and through our lips during certain times of the month. GASP! OK, call me carnal but when I heard our dear former Sister (yes, she was a nun and she is a DEAR!) talk about her road rage when her body is estrogen starved, I nearly fell off the couch and the rest of us raised the roof a few inches, I’m sure.
“This guy was driving behind me on I-94 and I got so PISSED OFF because he was tailgating me! So I slowed way down to tell him to get off my BUTT and he pulled out and passed me on the side! I was SOOOO mad!” (My tape-recorder brain got every single word of this!)
Let me describe this darling young woman when not in the grips of horror moans. She’s tall and blonde and lovely—inside and out. Extremely introverted and intelligent, her quiet demeanor and always wise words are a blessing to our group. She’s one of the most tender-hearted women I know and there is no doubt about her devotion to God. All the more reason why we howled with laughter, witnessing a side of her we’ve never seen before. And she got us all going, sharing our funny stories.
Isn’t it wonderful when one woman will break the ice with real, paving the way for the rest of us to lighten up a bit? I felt like I had just slipped into a hot bubble bath after a long, hard day.
So we all shared our struggles with PMS and hormone fluctuations. We asked the hard questions about how to manage and still feel loved and still be loving when we feel taken prisoner by our bodies every month.
We’re an educated bunch who reads so we know exercise and nutrition helps minimize symptoms. We know about estrogen and serotonin and how they affect mood. We know how to care for ourselves and all of us do. But still—we just want the cycle of swings to STOP!
Could ANY good come from such horror moans, we wondered?
We’re just one group of pilgrims progressing who meet and share real and try to find our way through sometimes dark passages of life—in our cases, every fourth week! We’re just one group of women who love God and wrestle with difficult questions, like WHAT THE HECK DO WE DO WITH HORROR MOANS? We don’t claim to know all the spiritual answers. But we do know a few truths and we agreed last night . . .
God loves us no matter what. God is greater than our horror moans. God is greater than our body shifts and mood swings. God doesn’t love us more three weeks out of every month.
We are fearfully and wonderfully made!. Bridget, my co-leader, reminded us of this scripture, emphasizing the word FEARFULLY. More laughter! Anybody?
So we finally concluded that we live under God’s grace and that His grace is sufficient for us always, all days. We can give grace to ourselves and to one another because He gives us grace first. We concluded that we believe God is strong in our weakness. We decided to rest in these biblical truths. And the most beautiful truth we realized?
Weakness causes dependence and dependence is a GOOD thing when we can run freely to a dependable God. We need. Plain and simple.
We are NEEDY.
We are not self-sufficient.
We NEED grace.
We NEED to know we are not loved any more or less because of how we behave or how we think or how we feel. God’s love does not fluctuate like hormones. He is constant and we can rest constantly and confidently in Him, no matter what our horror moans.
I leave you with these truths for reflection this fine fall weekend. Shall we extend grace to one another since God has so richly lavished His grace on each of us? Shall we pray for grace to love ourselves as God loves us, helping calm our horror moans and seeing them simply as an opportunity to lean into the God who desires to comfort and be for us what He already is . . . all-sufficient. If we can calm in the knowing and receiving, perhaps we will be better able to love others as God loves us?
I do believe.