31 Mar How Living with Period Pains Shaped My Faith
As a Christian girl growing up, talking about pain and struggle was not normalised. I got my period very early on in life. I remember when I told my mother about it for the first time, she cried. Because she faced period pains struggles her whole life and was so crippled by them. And now it was time for her to explain to me how the rest of my life will look like. And from that day, every month I experience this excruciating pain that I don’t think words can ever fully express.
What has been the most difficult part of my journey was my understanding of God as Healer, versus the pain that comes back every month without fail. I have full faith that God can heal; however, I could not understand why he doesn’t make my pain go away. And because of my lack of understanding of the grace of God and how it fits into my life and my purpose, I felt ashamed.
I went into a dark and unpleasant place. I allowed my mind to worry about my fertility, my future, and if I will stand a chance in the corporate world while living with chronic pain. This was certainly not a place where God wanted me to be, nor was it a place where I believed I belonged. But this was the reality of my life at the time. I couldn’t tell anyone, not even God; because for some reason I thought it was my duty to protect the image of Christ. I didn’t want to bring reproach to God and the gospel.
The very thing that was meant to free me, I had misinterpreted it so much that it began to oppress and exploit me. I was taking it upon myself to protect Christ and His movement. Who did I think I was!? Christ doesn’t need defending, He was born to defend me. I knew this truth, but I hadn’t fully comprehended it and applied it to my life.
“The Lord saves the righteous and protects them in times of trouble.” – Psalm 37:39
If there was one good PR moment that could have protected the image of God was at the cross. Christ could have stopped the whole event and called the press to come and witness Him turning this PR nightmare around. But He didn’t, at least not before what was meant to happen had happened.
Then one day, a light bulb switched. I remember saying to God, “I will not lose to this. I am tired of feeling like this but this feeling will not absorb me no more.” I had to decide to shake off the trauma and find my place in the gospel. I decided to be transparent with God and those around me. I began to speak about what I was going through, and simultaneously speak about my hope for complete healing.
I am keeping my hope in the Lord and His goodness. And I take time to remind myself and anyone who feels sorry for me that God is with me. So even in this pain, I will hope and wait for my Father the PR Maestro to help me. But as I wait, I will be real, honest and raw.
“As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more.” – Psalm 71:14
I chose to give this all to the Lord and begin taking ownership of my healing. It was time to put my feet to my faith. I decided to pivot from protecting the feeling that was tormenting me to sharing and communicating about my struggles. It was a decision that I made for myself.
“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will be joyful in God my Saviour.” – Habakkuk 3:17-18
March is Global Endometriosis Awareness Month. Endometriosis is a condition where tissue similar to the type that grows inside the womb starts growing elsewhere in the body. The body will try to get rid of the tissue but because it has nowhere to go, it can cause a lot of serious pain. The signs and symptoms of endometriosis are varied, if you know of someone who is experiencing period pains, pray for them and advise them to see a healthcare specialist.
Period pains have been identified as a key symptom of Endometriosis. Experiencing this form of pain every month can lead to depression and other mental health disorders. Although there is currently no cure for Endometriosis, you can manage the symptoms through hormonal therapy and pain medication. If period pains are affecting your mental health negatively, it is important to reach out, get help and support.
There is currently no cure for Endometriosis. Every day I choose to depend, trust, and hope in the Lord. It is not easy, but this hope has lifted me up and helped me find my Joy!.
From time to time, Cup of Faith receives guest posts from people who would prefer to contribute to the blog once-off. These authors may choose to stay anonymous or may have their name featured in the post itself.