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The “M” Season

It sounded so old. And it sounded frail. I didn’t even like the sound of the dreaded “disease” they kept mentioning: “menopause.” I thought surely only wimpy women gave into the symptoms I heard about as we sat on the front porch of my grandmother’s house that Sunday afternoon. As an eight year old, I was confident that when I reached “that” age, I wouldn’t cave to such silliness.

If those precious “old” ladies could’ve read my mind . . .

Hot flashes . . . surely that was their imagination . . . mood swings . . . get a grip . . . depression . . . (sigh) these women need to get a life . . . is this all they can talk about?

Of course, now I realize that what I thought of as “old ladies” then wasn’t really that old!

I’ve always called it the “M” season, because I hated that word: menopause. 

I’m wondering whether the Father graciously looked down on such an arrogant little girl, sitting amongst the “old ladies” on her grandmother’s porch, and in compassion, He determined that a good dose of the “M” season was exactly what she would need in about forty years! Yep, that “M” season has definitely brought me to my knees in ways I would never have imagined.

But I’ve had to accept the fact that the “M” season has snuck up on me and as a dear friend frequently reminds me, “Anything that causes us to need God is a good thing . . .” right? 

This season has caused me to “need God” in a way that I’ve never needed Him before. It has brought a new sensation into my life: fear. Fear has never been much of an issue with me . . . but something about this strange terrain brings with it this new enemy.

It is funny to think about “fearing” this season of life . . . but on some of my worst days I’ve literally “feared” I’d never sleep a full night again, feared I was losing my mind, feared I’d never return to “normal.” I’ve feared that the dark shroud might reappear, and I’ve feared the changes that come with this process. But I’ve found no matter how strange this new terrain grows, no matter how unfamiliar this territory . . . my faithful Companion hasn’t changed.

I may be changing, but thankfully, He isn’t! 

[box]“The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1)[/box]

I’ve clung to Him like never before through this crazy, mixed-up feeling, hormones-out-of-whack season, and I’ve found that He is that same faithful, constant Companion that He was when I was an arrogant young girl on my grandmother’s porch.

And this is why I don’t fear . . . because although I’m changing—He’s the same

Tomorrow I’ll explain why I refer to this season as the “other side of womanhood,” but for now, I’d love to hear from you . . .

Are you there? Have you entered the “M” season yet? Are you hurtling toward the “other side of womanhood?”

What challenges have you encountered and how are you dealing with those?

3 Comments

  • Sarah

    Hi Kim,

    Where do I start? I am actually towards the end of my “M” season according to my bloodwork. However, my body and it’s many symptoms have not gotten the memo yet. This season hit me like a ton of bricks. Never expected to feel such overwhelming physical and emotional symptoms. The worst part of my journey has been the anxiety and the insomnia. There have been many nights over the last four years that I don’t sleep the whole night. Other nights I may sleep on and off for a few minutes waking up with my heart pounding and my body so hot and sweaty that I have to get up and sleep with and ice pack on my back.

    I have had many night where I would cry out to God in tears wondering why He would not just let me sleep. I would say to my husband that if one of my children begged me to help them sleep and I had the power to do it, I would put them to sleep instantly. So, why doesn’t my Heavenly Father help me sleep! Yes, I said that! Sleep deprivation makes you do and say many strange things!

    I can honestly say that Menopause and all the other changes that typically come during this time in a woman’s life such as empty nest, aging parents, college tuitions, etc. has been very tough. It effects who you are and the way you feel about yourself and how you look at other people. You begin to wonder if you were a good enough parent as you watch your kids go into the real world. You wonder why your husband has changed so much and why everything he does is so annoying. By the way, have you ever researched the amount of women who file for divorce while in menopause? Very interesting statistics.

    Menopause is a battle. I cannot take Estrogen so I have had to fight by eating better and exercise. Thank you for sharing and letting me know that I am not alone in this fight!

    Sarah

  • Kimberly Wagner

    Hello Sarah ~

    I can relate to so much that you shared. This indeed is a challenging season on many fronts, but none of the “suffering” is meaningless; God does have a purpose. Perhaps the one lesson He is most wanting me to learn is what Paul expresses here:

    But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

    Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:7–10, 16–18)

    Thanks for sharing your heart. Let’s pray for each other!