It’s the time of the month once again. PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) keeps me on the edge of my seat. I feel easily irritated and a bit more sensitive. Back in the day when I hadn’t been aware of its symptoms, I often wondered why I would suddenly feel irritable for no reason at all. Maybe this is why some people call PMS, the “crazies,” how hormonal changes can cause emotional disturbances in women. I used to deny that it happens but it is reality. Whether we like it or not, bodily changes that women undergo do have its effects. So when this time of the month comes around, it would be nice if we could put up a poster that says, Beware PMSing, Keep out of Danger! Hehe.
But seriously, I am sad because had I been aware of its effects on me before, I would have kept my emotions in check and there wouldn’t have been many casualties, or unnecessary hurts over little things because of these hormonal changes.
Brothers, when your wives or girlfriends have PMS, this is the time to be extra sensitive or more understanding with the women in your lives. Don’t worry ’cause it only lasts a few days, a week at most. So a few days before your wife gets her monthly visit is the time to be more loving and extra understanding. Believe me, it will save your relationship and avoid unnecessary fights. 😉
Fortunately, by God’s grace, I am more mature now, more aware of what happens to my body and my emotions during PMS time. Believe me or not, it keeps me on my knees. Because I don’t want to hurt people unnecessarily by sudden outbursts of emotions just because I feel a bit irritable. Such is my weakness. And I actually asked the Lord why women have to go through PMS or hormonal changes that make us unreasonable sometimes? I wished that God would take away this weakness of mine.
But it is this very PMS that keeps me close to God. It reminds me of what St. Paul said after having asked God to take away his own weakness three times but got this famous reply instead:
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
I realize now that my weakness keeps me dependent on the grace of God to be kind, to choose to hold back my tongue when I want to say things that I might regret later, to choose to love even when I don’t feel like doing so because I do not feel well. Only by God’s grace!
Indeed, my weakness is my saving grace because it keeps me close to the Lord and helps me to be like Him amidst suffering and pain. It gives me the opportunity to be more loving even when I don’t feel like doing so. But with God’s grace, all things are possible. This is the truth.
More on humility and the value of weakness
Last week, we talked about what humility is and what it is not. True humility is walking in the truth — the truth of who we really are. We acknowledge our strengths and are thankful for them because we know they come from a Source and that He deserves our deepest gratitude.
True humility does not only stop in acknowledging our strengths but also in accepting our many weaknesses. We should also be grateful for them because they keep our feet on the ground. They keep us humble. Proverbs 16:18 warns us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” Thank God for our weaknesses which protect us from pride.
When we are humble that’s when God’s grace abounds all the more.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” St. Paul learned to accept and even be glad for his weakness, realizing that it is when he is weak that he is strong, because it is then that Christ’s power rests on him. He received the grace he needed. His weakness made him depend on God and kept him close to the Lord. His weakness gave the space for God’s power to rest in Him. It is the cracks in our hearts and spirits that is the opening for God’s love to enter. Thank God for our weaknesses.
At this point, I want to give the page to someone who talks about the value of weakness/brokenness so beautifully, it deserves to be shared many times.
Here’s an excerpt from Bro. Marc Lopez’s book, Hit Your Life’s Reset Button: You Can Start Again Today.* I pray it blesses you as much as it has blessed me.
Guidepost 29: Live the Truth
“If you remain in my word, you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – Jesus Christ, John 8:32
“God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength. It is the broken alabaster box that gives forth the perfume. It is Peter, weeping bitterly, who returns to greater power than ever.” – Vance Havner
There is a myth that in the 15th century, Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, who reigned during the Muromachi period of Japan, had a damaged tea bowl repaired. Japanese craftsmen ingeniously joined the broken pieces together by mixing powdered gold with lacquer resin. The results were astounding. The broken tea now appeared more beautiful than its broken state. This artistic ceramic repair technique is known as kintsugi or golden joinery.
None of us is spared from being broken. That is why we all have a personal identity. Deep negative feelings we have about ourselves result from painful experiences. It we hide it, we run the risk of making the damage worst. But if we accept it and surrender it to God “like the clay in the hand of the potter (Jeremiah 18:6),” God can restore us far more than we could ever ask of imagine.
Bo Sanchez, Catholic evangelist and author, explains, “We are all wounded. But wounds are necessary for His healing light to enter into our beings. Without wounds and failure and frustrations and defeats, there will be no opening for his brilliance to trickle in and invade our lives.”
Our brokenness allows God to replace our broken ceramic chips with gold!
Oftentimes we are reluctant to take our place, to step up, or to stand up and be counted. We feel unworthy to talk because our walk teeters. But in God’s hands, our brokenness blesses. Our pain allows us to listen, to understand, to empathize. Our shortcomings humble us and increase our reliance on Christ.
To live the truth means to acknowledge your brokenness. To accept your personal identity. To be aware of its influence in your life. And to know what it really is — your shadow. This means it will follow you for as long as you live on this side of heaven! In moments of partial light or darkness, you will see it. When you forget who you truly are, it appears. When “dark” circumstances tempt you to lose faith, it emerges. But you need not fear it, hide it or avoid it. Because it is simply what it is — a shadow. It isn’t you! When you press reset, when you bring it to the light, it disappears! (Ephesians 5:13)
To live the truth means to courageously take your place and be who you truly are — to live as a child of the light. (1 Thessalonians 5:5)
As you constantly live from your spiritual identity, you will see God’s grace working through you. The greater the surrender, the greater the results. On some occasions you will “walk on water.” From speaking to 10 people, you will preach to a crowd of 10,000. From a debtor, you will become a lender. You will be the head and no longer the tail. (Deuteronomy 28:12-13) If you are not careful, your shadow will sneak in and delude you into believing that you are “the light,” you are “the provider,” you are the “wisdom.”
Awareness of the truth of your brokenness will protect you from pride as St. Paul reminds us, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) So remember, you are not the light but the bearer of the Light. You are not the great one; you are the reminder of God’s greatness.
To live the truth means to acknowledge that you are complete, not because of you, your efforts, or your accomplishments but because of Christ. Apart from Him, you are nothing. (John 15:5)
Each time you forget who you are, press reset.
Proclaim the truth: I am God’ beloved, complete in Christ.
Take your place.
Courageously live the truth of who you are.
*Marc Lopez’s book, Hit Your Life’s Reset Button: You can start again today is available on Kerygma Books and Amazon.