This month’s word is “spirit” and all I could think of was Hillsong’s song Oceans (Where Feet May Fail). It kept playing on a loop in my mind, especially the lyrics;
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
Over and over again it played. I couldn’t shake it so why not write about it?
Last year I took on a new project, new group, new adventure. It’s called Days for Girls International. Our local group, Days for Girls Limerick, Pa, which somehow I ended up leading is one of those things I stumbled into and I had no idea my feet would wander there. We make reusable/washable menstrual hygiene kits for women and girls around the world. You can follow the link for information about what this organization is trying to accomplish.
Most of the time I lead this group by the seat of my pants and really, lead is probably not even the appropriate word for what I do. There have been many times I’ve just wanted to give it up. Let someone else do it. This organization has got it under control. They don’t need me. And that’s when I’ve felt like God has sent me a cheerleader, someone wanting to get involved, or a big batch of donations, unsolicited.
But more importantly, it has caused me to really stop and think about menstruation for myself, as a woman. I grew up in church and I’ve always thought of menstruation as the curse. Maybe, you’ve read it or heard it mentioned as THE CURSE. A result of Eve’s sin that lead us all down this doomed path of having a menstrual cycle every month for what seems like a very big portion of our womanly lives. I saw a post about the positives and celebrating our womanly cycles instead of the dread. I realized maybe, just maybe I had bought into a wrong thought pattern.
So, I decided to take a closer look and go back to the original source, the Bible.
Here’s what I found out. The Bible says cursed is the serpent above all the livestock and wild animals. You will crawl on your belly and eat dust. There will be enmity between you and the woman. (My interjection here – Yes, I do not like snakes of any kind!) To the woman “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing: with pain you will give birth to children and your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you.” Adam, the soil is cursed and there will be painful toil all the days of your life. This is a quick paraphrase but you get the gist. You can read all about it in Genesis 3: 14 –19.
To my surprise, not once does it say that God cursed women to menstruate. It says “greatly increase your pains in childbearing” and the other thing about husbands. I’m not a Biblical scholar and I haven’t been to seminary or studied Hebrew or Greek and I’m not going to claim that I know God’s thoughts but maybe, just maybe I had some serious wrong thinking.
I examined the possibility that perhaps God created women to menstruate.
Just think about it. Menstruation means we’re healthy. We have hormones that regulate our bodies. We can get pregnant and give birth to the next generation. These are just a few of the plus sides of menstruating. There are various articles online you can read about all the positives of menstruating.
I feel like I’ve been a little deceived all these years. As a woman, I’ve carried around this subconscious shame and guilt every month that I thought went all the way back to Eve. A shame and guilt that didn’t allow me to talk openly about the processes my body goes through. I’m still not sure where this came from but I now have a different way of thinking and I want to pass it on to others, first women and then men.
As a woman, I need to start celebrating menstruation and stop labeling it as a curse. I want to make a positive change for the young women of this world, to assure them that menstruation is a gift and not a curse. I applaud all the women that went before me and realize that having access to female hygiene products is not a given. Thinking of the struggles of the older women in my life and all the taboos they faced around the subject of menstruation and their bodily functions, I’m humbled!
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.
Menstruation, blessing or curse? Thoughts?