Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Quarter Pounder? Yes, Please - I'll Take Three...And a Pizza Too

Well, readers - it's that time again where my mood swings are at skyscraper height and my tears are mixed with angry spit.  "What did you say to me?" I say with squinted eyes and a low tone in my voice as my husband says he loves me.  "Just what do you mean by that?" I angrily retort to his naturally fake words of kindness.  "Would you like me to rub your back?" he again tries with fear in his eyes.  Through a cold stare and piercing eyes I'm able to bring him to his knees in prayer - "God, just get me through this one week," I can hear him beg.  Does this make me proud? No, but I have to admit that it's comical (comical at a later time of course) when I try to imagine what he must be thinking while he watches me morph from a loving wife into an evil shrew .  Or, is it? Maybe I shouldn't let my mind wander to what I know must be his thoughts of tying me up, throwing me in a closet, and duct taping my mouth for a week, but I guess as long as he brought me food and water, I would actually be okay with that, which brings me to the topic of my gluttonous ability to transform PMS into a temporarily happy time. 

Although I try to convince myself each month that I'm not suffering from PMS, the looks in the eyes of my husband and child tell me another story.  As I hear them whispering "she's going crazy again" amongst themselves when I'm not looking, I quickly turn an angry gaze to face them.  They immediately deny any such talk and scurry out of the room, heads bowed.  "And don't come back!" I yell to their backs.  So, it seems this isn't the month that God delivers me from that evil witch who overtakes my mind and body for over a week at a time each month.  So be it.  I've discovered a way to be more patient as He does.

During each bout of monthly crazed and irrational mood swings, I pray for God to show me a way out. He has delivered me through so much worse and I know I can one day be free from PMS too.  Well, the beautifully frustrating thing about God's methods of deliverance is this - deliverance comes through walking in the fire, one hot coal at a time.  For instance - if you're struggling with impatience (which I have and still do) then God will repeatedly put you in situations that cause you to exercise patience.  Whether you exercise it or not determines how far forward you move away from the problem.  We don't get patience by purchasing it at a local supermarket, though that would be a-w-e-s-o-m-e.  Instead, we develop it over time through determination and perseverance.  God has already given it to us as a fruit of the Holy Spirit dwelling within us (Galatians 5:22), but we have to learn how to develop it. Well, the same goes for our other struggles.  As I struggle each month to utter kind words, keep my rage at a minimum, and show love when I don't feel like it - I see God putting me in situations over and over again that make my flesh want to rip someone apart as it battles my Spirit wanting to walk in love.

For instance, last night in a church setting I nearly forgot that I was in a church when I felt inclined to tear someones head off.  A person with whom I've been in conflict lately said all the right things to cause anger and dissension to well within my emotions.  As my tongue tried desperately to yell obscenities in the person's direction, God quickly reminded me I was in His house and that even if I wasn't, I'm not to yell any such things to anyone.  Teeth gritted, I collected husband and child and left without satisfying my antagonistic flesh.  Well, it was shortly after that when I knew God was offering me an opportunity to move forward.  Each time we walk in the Spirit and not the flesh, we're progressing, PMS being no exception.  If you've ever noticed, battles usually get harder before they get easier, and I'm in the "harder before easy" stage of being delivered.  "Well, PMS isn't a problem God can deliver us from.  It's just a natural part of life for women," you may say.  No, it's not.  Though it seems to occur naturally, it doesn't have to totally screw our life and emotions up for 12 weeks out of the year.  I don't like who I turn into when I'm experiencing PMS and I know I don't behave how God wants me to behave, so that tells me I can be free - it just takes faith.  Matthew 9:29 tells us the following: "According to your faith will it be done to you."  Well, God tells me right there that my faith is what determines whether or not I can walk in freedom - and I choose to believe through Him that I can.  I've seen Him move in bigger ways, and He'll move in this too. 

So, while we're walking through the fires, I decided to make the burn a little less painful.  Have you ever wrestled with cravings and then gotten mad at the world when you opt for sticking to your diet?  Everyone around me usually pays with their good mood when I'm pms-ing and opt to stay on a diet's painful track.  Well, yesterday I had enough strife going on inside of me, so when I got hungry for fast food (which I almost never eat) I decided to go ahead and eat it.  Though I wont divulge just how much I ate, I will say that for awhile, I completely forgot about how moody and irritable I was!  So, I urge you all to order the utterly unhealthy pile of fast food when you need to.   I don't recommend doing it every time you're feeling bad, so please don't misunderstand!  I'm simply saying that if you're fighting a hundred demons in one day and you want to eat junk food once a month - let yourself do it without feeling guilty. 

When you're in the fire, don't be surprised if you feel the burn, but take comfort in knowing that as the burn scorches against you it's melting away the impurities that lie between you and a closer relationship with God.  God never promised us an easy walk;  He did, however, promise us the strength to endure.  It doesn't matter whether you're trying to overcome a monthly bout of PMS or a drug addiction, or something else - God is faithful and will never leave or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5) during our times of affliction.  What you can do on your end is enjoy the journey as He leads you through it - even if that enjoyment comes once a month in the form of quarter pounder with cheese, a slice of pizza, or a bowl of ice cream (for those wondering, no, I didn't eat all that!  I'll never tell what I ate!)

Learn to see your times of trial for the opportunity they really are.  We grow the most when we're walking through the fires!

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