A grandmother once told me about how she suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of her first baby. She didn’t know what was happening to her. No one had told her to expect this. No one assured her it was normal. No one offered comfort or counsel. They just didn’t talk about things like that back then.
But hormonal challenges are real. PMS, menopause, postpartum depression—whether mild or severe—are honest to goodness trials. It is no use being pseudo-spiritual, thinking we as Christians are immune to such temptations. Better to humbly acknowledge the frailty of our human condition. Better to remember, as God does, that “we are dust” (Ps. 103:14).
But God “knows our frame.” He’s counted every hair on our head and knows the exact level of every hormone in our body. He made us this way. And not as some kind of cruel joke; but rather, so that through our weakness, His power may be “made perfect.”
Yes, the hormones may be raging, our feelings may fluctuate and our body may have worn out. But God’s grace—that comes to us because of what Jesus accomplished on the cross—is real. It is not a myth or a placebo. His grace is real. And it is more powerful than any out-of-whack hormones in our body. It is, as God told Paul in 2 Corinthians 12, “sufficient for you.”
Unpredictable hormones may be the proverbial thorn in our side. We may plead, as Paul did with his ailment, that God would take away this trial. (I admire Paul’s self-control in only pleading three times!) But often, God has other plans. He wants to position us so that the power of Christ may rest on us.
Therefore, let us be content in weakness. Not that we don’t do what we can to alleviate the symptoms. We should avail ourselves of the common grace of naps and vitamins and paper plates and a shoulder to cry on and even a doctor’s visit, if necessary. But our hope is not ultimately in these things. Our salvation is from God. Our hope is in His power that is sufficient to see us through.
So let us boast.
Let us tell other women of the grace of God that is sufficient. Sufficient to enable us to get a handle on our feelings. Sufficient to help us rejoice. Sufficient to cause us to grow. Sufficient to empower us to do the next thing, to sow in tears and reap in joy.
Today, women are much more educated than that grandmother about the reality of hormonal challenges. But we, as Christian women, should testify even more loudly of the grace of God that is real, the power of Christ that is sufficient.