Biblical Perspectives on Raw Topics: Help for the Hot Mess of PMS and Periods

Biblical Perspectives on Raw Topics: Help for the Hot Mess of PMS and Periods

Taylor:

Welcome back to Coffee and Bible Time. This is the third blog based on our four-part series on our YouTube channel and Podcast on biblical discussions over raw topics. If you have not read our first two blogs, you should check them out. The first one was on overcoming the guilt of sex before marriage. The second one is walking through a lifetime of mental health struggles. And in today’s blog, we’re going to be talking about how to handle emotional outbreaks due to hormones or PMS.

Before we get started, we wanted to quickly shout out our devotional membership. We have an email devotional membership that you can join where we give you guys a devotional every single week that goes in-depth through the Psalms, right now. It’s $7.99 a month. We deliver it right to your email, and we also give you access to a Facebook group that’s filled with friends who are all discussing what you learned in the email devotionals. Anything you want to add?

Mentor Mama:

I just made a post, so it’s fun.

Taylor:

Great! Just to start off, I feel like it’s important for us as women to talk about this because every area and part of our life needs to be under the reign and control of Christ, and that includes what’s going on inside of our body. What’s happening physically and looking at our lives holistically in terms of our relationship with Christ is so important. So, we are just going to delve in. Mentor Mama, is my mother if you did not know this, and she has witnessed my own personal hormonal journey, and I’m excited to hear about your story. So tell us what has been your own personal experience with hormones and PMS symptoms?

Mentor Mama:

I can tell you this. It’s not fun! But I think it is part of the female cycle, at least for some of us, and at least for me, I feel really irritable during that week before my period comes, or I should say came because I’m already in menopause now but before, I would just be so I easily irritated. I would cry at the drop of a hat and quite honestly, I think I had kind of emotional outbursts where I said a lot of things before thinking through what I was going to say. How about you, Tay?

Taylor:

Well, I guess I’d say for me, first of all, I really relate to that. My own personal struggle with PMS is I have it bad and I know not everybody does. Here’s the thing, it doesn’t even have to really necessarily be PMS. I can be pretty moody. Would you say temperamental?

Mentor Mama:

Not necessarily. I don’t think. What I can say is that it’s definitely increased during that time but otherwise, I don’t think you are all the time, no.

Taylor:

Listen, I know how to ramble for hours and hours. I don’t really know what to say other than when I experience PMS, my own personal symptoms that I experience heavily are definitely ramped-up anxiety. I’m in my head so much when I’m PMS-ing the week before my period, and I get pretty hopeless and I feel a lot more symptoms of, I think depression. And of course, I’m irritable to other people, but I think what I feel the most is the heaviness of what’s going on inside of me.

Mentor Mama:

And one thing I think we both forgot to mention was the need for chocolate.

Taylor:

Oh!

Mentor Mama:

We’re talking about a major need for chocolate.

Taylor:

No, there is a major need for anything that’s a carbohydrate. So talking about your personal experience of hormones and PMS in your life, what was that like in marriage?

Mentor Mama:

Quite honestly, I don’t know how your dad put up with me during all those years, because it was really hard, but what I think made it even harder than it had to be was that I was very private about everything and it just wasn’t something that your dad and I talked about. I was not proactive in telling him what I was going through. In fact, I definitely tried to hide it and it’s completely impossible to hide when I’m a crazy person!

Taylor:

Everybody else can see it.

Mentor Mama:

Yes, but like for me, I would deny it like at times, which is really bad, but as I matured, I can tell you that I realized that if I just would have told him or had a calendar that had my menstrual cycle on there and what week was PMS so that he could have a vision as to what was coming. I think that would’ve been a lot more helpful. It’s safe to say that there were some rough weeks during those years in my life.

Taylor:

The good thing about telling somebody that you’re going through a hard time emotionally, you don’t even have to be going through PMS. It could just be that you’re having a hard time and you need extra grace. If you tell somebody you’re going through a hard time, you’re giving them an opportunity to extend to you the extra grace that you need. That’s what I feel like you were able to teach me because when I’m going through PMS, I say it. I tell them, look, I know I’m on the verge of this. If you so much as step one foot closer to me! Tell everyone your idea of improving PMS communications and what that looks like in terms of people’s faith as well.

Mentor Mama:

This is actually kind of like a super silly, crazy thing that I thought of, but when all three of us, meaning Ashley, Taylor, and myself were all experiencing PMS issues, I thought to myself, you know how when you go to a doctor’s office and like above the door, there’s like this little thing that swings out with a colored flag on it? I was just thinking we should have these above each of our doors. All three of our bedrooms are in close proximity upstairs, and I was thinking, okay, during PMS week you put out the yellow flag like you don’t have to have a big, heavy conversation about it, but then we all know what’s maybe going on and then when you’re actually having your period, then put out the red flag.

Taylor:

Okay! And, I said, absolutely not!!

Mentor Mama:

Yeah, she said, absolutely not, but I know it sounds so silly, but I remember one time Tay, when you had been sleeping for like 14 hours and everybody’s asking, is Taylor okay? Don’t you think you should go check on her? And so, finally, when we did check on you, it was because you were on your period and I know for me, I used to sleep a lot of extra hours.

Taylor:

Oh yeah, napping and all of that.

Mentor Mama:

Right! See? So, we wouldn’t have had to wake you up if you had had your red flag out but that said, it’s just improving the communication, which I think is what’s most important.

Taylor:

Did you feel any shame involving PMS or like opening up about that?

Mentor Mama:

Yeah, so I did feel really bad that I would turn into like this ugly monster.

Taylor:

Well, I’m just going to say this. I think that culture has perpetuated this idea of women being monsters, especially during their period and I don’t think that’s true. It’s not to a large degree, your fault that you’re experiencing those emotions. What you do with it is a different story, which we’ll get to, but at the same time, I don’t know, I just feel bad when we perpetuate this narrative of us being monsters, it’s actually kind of insane what the body goes through. It’s really beautiful in a lot of ways that periods happen so that you can eventually have kids and your body’s preparing for the next cycle. It really is a beautiful thing that doesn’t always have to be looked at negatively, but at the same time, I get what you’re saying.

Mentor Mama:

Yeah, I was really saying it from the context of the shame part, because that’s how I felt inside. I felt like, ugh, why do I turn into this crazy person? Why am I saying things that are hurting people? So, it’s not really something that I ever felt comfortable with. I never talked to my mother about it and I didn’t really talk to your dad about it. I didn’t think he would understand, but now in retrospect, I think that I definitely should have, and it would have helped, and then I wouldn’t have had the shame because it would’ve made sense to him.

Taylor:

Right. If you open up about this around a safe person, the shame is eliminated, I think, but keeping it in makes it harder.

Mentor Mama:

I also think you can be a lot more proactive as a couple. Like if you know it’s coming, you could be praying about it.

Taylor:

I’m going to read this quote that I found from an article discussing PMS. We found several articles that were good and we’re going to have them linked. But this is based on the verse in Galatians 5:16 that says, “but I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” The quote says, “it’s important to realize at that point that we are still responsible for how we act. Jesus did not tell us to love our neighbor only when we feel like it. He gave us a powerful example when He showed grace and mercy even while hanging on the cross. Nowhere does the Bible tell us that we can be mean just because our hormones lead us in that direction. In fact, Scripture promises that we are not controlled by our flesh if we rely on the Holy Spirit.”

Taylor:

Now I’m just going to say that was really convicting for me because I think that it’s so easy to make hormones an excuse. I do it. Oh, my hormones are making me mean and snappy, just get over it. Or I can just say whatever I want and have a free little hall pass because my body’s making me do it. When in reality, Scripture tells us, you need to walk by the Spirit and not gratify the desires of the flesh because when you’re going through hormones and PMS, when you lash out or give in, you’re giving into your flesh, because that’s what the flesh wants. I can tell you what my flesh wants—to strangle Ashley. It does! It’s saying Taylor, do it! Inch a little bit closer!

Mentor Mama:

And I wanted to strangle you the other day.

Taylor:

Oh, that’s true. I’m experiencing PMS as we film this.

Mentor Mama:

Perfect timing!

Taylor:

It is perfect timing. Aside from hormones, you have to walk by the Spirit and not gratify the flesh. Every day of your life, no matter what you’re going through. And so, I just think that’s really convicting. So, did you ever feel convicted by the way that you acted and how did you let the Holy Spirit work in those difficult times?

Mentor Mama:

I think sometimes it’s actually really hard to discern between if my body is just taking control over this, versus whether am I doing this willfully, and I think it’s really important that if there’s a moment in time where you do have an outlash, just because it happens, I think what’s important and what is the power of the Holy Spirit is convicting you, saying, you need to apologize because you were a little bit out of line and I actually think that’s something that you’re really good at. Oftentimes, you’ll come back and say, it might be that night or maybe the next day, but you’ll say, I realized I was just a little bit out of line. And I think that is a good way of the Holy Spirit working inside us. I also remember doing various Bible studies over the last 20 years and I feel like, in a lot of those Bible studies, it convicted me, and the power of the Holy Spirit worked in reminding me through Scripture, for example, that I should guard my tongue. So, maybe a Bible study would be coming up about that and it would alert me and maybe draw me to be a little bit more cognizant and try to guard my tongue during that time of the month. Or sometimes it might just be Jesus saying, Ellen, I love you unconditionally and this is hard for you, but that doesn’t mean I love you any less, and so, you’ll get through this each month. And really just as you said, if you try to think of it in a bigger scheme of things, obviously having the periods can produce children and that’s just such a beautiful thing.

Taylor:

What would you suggest to families who are going through this?

Mentor Mama:

What I really would stress is communication. I think that really starts with the mom or the wife making sure that your husband knows what’s going on. What does your menstrual cycle calendar look like? Have a conversation about things that you’re feeling and things that you may do and that you may act out during PMS. Explaining that, to the best of my ability, I am going to try to restrain myself or acknowledge that I may be a little haywire. I think it’s also opening up communication with your children, and I’m not just speaking of girls. I think it’s important for the young men in the household to also know that this is real so that when they get into a relationship at some point in time, they can be understanding.

Taylor:

They should be understanding of their mother going through it or should be understanding of their sisters going through it.

Mentor Mama:

Yeah, that’s a great point! So, I think that would be number one, but I also would say that that’s not really a license though, to be mean and crazy, and unloving. I think you have to kind of draw the line between those two things, but, if you can also just pray about it, and ask by the power of the Holy Spirit to help you. I think also too, exercising and trying to eat right is helpful. If you can balance the chocolate and the vegetables, I think that helps too.

Taylor:

Thank you for those words of wisdom, Mentor Mama. What’s so great about this series is that you are able to speak so much wisdom into it because these are all things that you’ve gone through and I love that we, as your daughters, can kind of share that with you and experience that, and I’ll treasure these interviews forever.

Mentor Mama:

I just wanted to say one more thing, and I know this isn’t PMS-related, but it’s definitely hormone related. And that is, now I actually have been going through menopause, so that presents itself with a whole other set of emotional and hormonal issues and I think from having learned what I learned about PMS, that that actually has helped me going into this stage of life. Not that it’s necessarily made it any easier, but the whole principle, and I’ve told you guys a lot, about why I was crying or this or that, or things related to it. So I think kind of the same communication principle applies to that as well.

Taylor:

Absolutely. Whatever you’re going through, I think that Galatians passage can be applied. Whatever you’re struggling with in your flesh, you have to remember that you need to live by the Spirit. Easier said than done, but prayer is where we go back to the throne room of God and ask for His grace and His mercy, and His strength. So, I just wanted to leave on this other quote from one of the articles that we found that said, “every round of PMS is an opportunity to fix our eyes on a future where our whole being—body, mind, and spirit—will be finally freed from the effects of sin.” That really resonated with me and not even just for PMS. I do get PMS; I experience anxiety and depression and the feeling of being trapped inside my mind. I feel that every month, and it’s hard, but even aside from that, just everyday life, whatever trial that you’re going through, let it be a reminder of the future that you have in perfect peace with Christ and that this world is not our home. Amen?

Mentor Mama:

Amen!

Taylor:

Thank you for reading this blog. Be sure to stay tuned for our last blog in this series, which is going to be on (what topic)?

Mentor Mama:

How to be comfortable in your own skin.

Taylor:

Be sure to check out our email devotional membership for $7.99 a month. You get three days’ worth of devotionals that are in-depth into the Bible study. We want to see you there and interact with you on our Facebook group chat.

Mentor Mama:

Yes, definitely!

Taylor:

See you guys next time. Bye!

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