Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul. – Horatio G. Spafford
I spent over a year wondering what was wrong with me. That persistent sinking feeling in my chest just wouldn’t go away. My nerves felt like they were consistently on the outside of my skin. The mood swings that possessed me would have frightened Darth Vader (ask my family).
I prayed, cried, repented, sang, prayed some more…and cried some more. I suffered from on-going fatigue and anxiety. After lunch I felt like crashing for the day. Teaching my children took every ounce of energy I didn’t have. Reading to my children (which is something I loved to do) was so draining that it would nearly put me to sleep. And when I tried to skip pages, they noticed.
My memory had gotten so bad that I Googled “Early Signs of Alzheimer’s.” When my children said, “But, Mom, we did ask you if we could eat ice cream before dinner,” I began to believe them.
I was always so cold, even with my electric blanket! Winters were hard for this displaced Texan, shivering here in the Midwest! I was always checking the thermostat, sure that my husband had adjusted it while I wasn’t looking (not that he would ever do such a thing – ha!).
At night, after I had been under a pile of blankets trying to keep warm, I would suddenly wake up, hot and perspiring. So, I would throw off the blankets, only to be chilled to the bone within a few minutes. Shivering, I would crawl back under the blankets again in an attempt to get warm.
I was brought to tears by the smallest things. One day, I would spend the entire evening struggling with a sense of hopelessness or irrational anxiety, and then wake up the next morning wondering “what was wrong with me last night?” My moods were so strangely “up” or “down” that it was almost like being under the influence of a drug. At the smallest provocation I would face overwhelming feelings of sadness, anger, ugliness, or failure. Was I going crazy? No, but I sure felt like it!
“You number my wanderings; put my tears into Your bottle; are they not in Your book?” (Psalm 56:8)
I had other physical symptoms that doctors couldn’t explain: Dizziness, hair loss, itchy skin with no rash, headaches. Sometimes dramatic scenes of dying from some strange exotic illness filled my sleepless nights. Maybe I was just getting old, or perhaps I had some sickness I would suffer from for the next 20 years until some brilliant doctor discovered a cure. Or would I feel like this for the rest of my life…until I died?
Finally, while in California in 2009, I visited a friend’s integrative doctor, had some tests done, and began my road to healing. I didn’t have a dreaded disease and I wasn’t going crazy (at least not any more than normal). The fact was that my adrenals were shot, my thyroid was sluggish, and my hormones were out of whack. Later, I also found out that my body couldn’t tolerate wheat. I had other issues, but they were all related to these key problems. It all began to make sense. We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made, and we’re designed to be in balance. Finally, by God’s mercy, over the next few months I began a natural regiment of healing.
“Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” (Lamentations 3:32-33)
God is so faithful. He answered my prayer…His way. He helped me to better rely on Him while I traveled that deep valley; then He slowly and naturally led me out.
It is important for women of all ages to become informed about their health. Hormones have an amazingly powerful influence on our bodies and our emotions. Learn how your body works – and learn to pay attention when it isn’t working properly. Pray and find a good integrative doctor in your area; someone who will work with you in controlling your own health naturally. – not just mask or numb the symptoms. You don’t have to feel crazy.
Click HERE to read more about my Life After Exhaustion.
Still, it is important to remember that hormones aren’t an excuse for sin. PMS and Menopause are nothing new. Remember, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)
Consider what Nancy Leigh Demoss has to say about the right and wrong way to view emotions:
When we wrestle with out-of-control emotions, it is easy to conclude that emotions are inherently sinful or wrong and should be suppressed. We need to remember that being created in the image of God means we have the capacity to experience and express a variety of emotions. God exhibits a spectrum of pure emotions, including joy, delight, anger, jealousy, and sorrow. And He has designed us to be able to feel and express many different emotions in a why that reflects His heart and brings glory to Him.
The problem is not that we have emotions-they are a gift from God. The problem is that our emotions (unlike God’s) are tainted by the Fall. The challenge is to let the Spirit of God sanctify us in the realm of our emotions so that they can be expressed in godly ways.
I know of no tool that the Enemy uses more effectively to lead us as women into bondage than our emotions. He does so by causing us to believe things about our emotions that just aren’t true.
The Truth is that, due to our fallen condition, our feelings often have little to do with reality. In many instances, feelings are simply not a reliable gauge of what is actually true. When we allow them to be tied to our circumstances-which are constantly changing-rather than to the unchangeable realities of God and His Truth, our emotions are prone to fluctuate wildly.
If we want to walk in freedom, we must realize that our emotions are not necessarily trustworthy and be willing to reject any feelings that are not consistent with the Truth.