We could relate the epochs of time to the seasons of life. Springtime with its colors of greenery displays a parade of colorful buds announcing the appearance of life. The beauty of springtime allows raindrops to caress the petals of each flower bathing its leaves as the rain also satisfies the earth's horticultural thirst revealing the food of wildlife feeding the flowers of the field waking into gradual beautiful splendor. The warm morning's dawn amplifies the song of the cardinals competing with the melodies of blue jays, sparrows, and nightingales.
The fragrance of flowers swims in the air along with the smell of rain-showered grass, and an orchestral sound of birds singing with nests appearing among tree branches, proclaiming a new beginning. Oh how we welcome spring’s presence and its announcements, we enjoy them to the fullest!
Then Spring trickles into the heat of Summer with its majestic landscapes inspiring the need for admiration and a dedicated time of contemplation. The butterflies arrive in whimsical flight dancing through the winds to pollinate flowers with their dutiful bee companions. It is the season when you mostly go out to have fun, share family time and go on vacation to explore new endeavors. During the summer we try new challenges; discover new experiences and make new memories. The ambiance of visible beauty, synchronized sounds, buffet of tastes, warm-filled touch, and fragrant aromas thrill the senses. The sun embraces us under its illuminating glow, everything is beautiful in its time, because God made it good and wondrous; life is lived on the cusp of life. We grant ourselves the opportunity to enjoy and make ourselves known as the world itself decorates life in all of its luxurious entourage.
As we take into account the beauty of life, so do others from near and far. Although we see some flowers withering the presence of buds announces the birth of other flowers soon to sprout. Barefoot we go out to enjoy the grass carpet where each step emits the fragrance of its greenery. When you hear the thunder announcing the arrival of rain the prospect of getting drenched under the downpour incites pause yet with eagerness we basque in the warm rain carefree. Oh! How we enjoy the bounty of summer hoping it will never end because it is the most welcome and desired season of all!
Then autumn approaches, and the previous season's heat begins to taper off; then cool. The greenery of the trees begins to change into variegated shades where the leaves fall covering the dry grass and creating a new carpet of marvelous colors. We get a luxurious ride in kaleidoscope colors painting the landscapes of the season. You can no longer see the butterflies and the bees cease to visit and many birds such as the hummingbird undertake a journey migrating south in search of more abundant sources of food and a better climate.
The outdoors is no longer enjoyed as during the summer months because although the sun shines it has more of a tendency to hide cloaked behind the clouds and the lack of sunlight produces visible changes in nature. Wildlife makes one last attempt to gather their foodstuff for the winter before secluding themselves into their respective habitat for hibernation. Little is enjoyed of autumn because change is something not well received in retrospect.
You may be wondering why this article is about seasons. I use the seasons of time as an analogy to describe the journey of life. Spring in the lifespan represents a time of beginning where although we do not know much there is much to see and enjoy. I would relate those years from childhood to 20 years. This time is a time of wonder and discovery where the struggle is to learn Who am I? and Why am I here? Very little attention is given to the risks, dangers, and consequences which implies the need for counsel, instruction, and guidance. Summer is one of the best times in life when there are minimal to no ailments, the options are multiple and varied and the fountain of youth radiates into adulthood. I would relate those years from 21 years to 39 years. The beauty of love is vibrant and present as one takes care of oneself and receives recognition from admirers.
This article is dedicated to women who are in their own "Autumn" a change of life that has brought many new differences many of which are unknown; some unwelcome. This is for you who has looked in the mirror and no longer see the vibrant, happy young woman who once occupied the reflection in the mirror. Your face accommodates the signs of years lived, surviving adversity where the fatigue has begun to take notice. I write to you beloved that has recognized that your steps have slowed down, the strength you once had requires a little help from others. I write to you that you have looked at yourself with displeasure and although you have not audibly verbalized your disagreement with this season of life you internally denigrate yourself in your own thinking reasoning at what moment you will have to give up the value that you have left over as a woman. It seems that your body has taken control and you cannot stabilize the chaos of what is now known as "life." To you who question what else will come, I have come to remind you that your times are in the hands of the Lord his word says it clearly as follows:
My times are in your hand—Psalm 31:15 KJV1960
He who declared in Genesis 8:22: As long as the earth remains, the seeding and the harvest, the cold and the heat, the summer and the winter, and the day and the night will not cease. He is the owner of time and tells you today Give Thanks for your current day because everything has not been anguish, everything has not been suffering and you have much for which to thank the Lord. Today you enjoy more wisdom through experience. Today you enjoy more knowledge from having learned from the failures and successes of life. Today you enjoy the fruit of the womb of others, some of which are linked to you. Today you enjoy a new season with new challenges that will keep you in intrigue about what else the Lord has for you. The new changes you are experiencing are additional colors to your story the decorum of a life gifted by the Lord and you have become an expert in being you. The time of menopause is a difficult time for many women to traverse. It is a time when the joy of bringing life into the world has ceased. It is also a time when one suddenly realizes your place in the lifespan coming to a season that also brings its own formidable challenges.
It is during the transition of the "empty nest" that a woman is exposed to the question of current value. "What am I good for now?" The empty nest presents another sober reality; having to make peace with a new woman in a new era of life where you need to give yourself the compassion and grace of knowing "a new me". The prospect of meeting that new woman navigating through a sea of hormonal changes, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors is terrifying to many.
In this new journey of your life in this day and age, God still has a purpose for you! There are a lot of women who lack the warmth of a mother and need a woman like you to rise up into mentorship and teach them how to raise children, how to be a wife, and how to be a mother (Titus 2:3-5). Young women need to learn that their value does not come from their appearance or sex appeal but from the value of who created the person they are. In a world full of influencers who change the status quo every day contributing to vast confusion and frustration, a wise and virtuous woman rises to share sound wisdom serving as a blessing in the lives of those who are rising to their own occasion.
It is easy to surrender to personal criticism of the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, or extra pounds and difficulties experienced trying to control the signs of aging. There is so much turbulence experienced during menopause: hot flashes, exhaustion, insomnia, loss of strength, erratic mood swings, loss of hope, diminished or loss of libido, and unspeakable groans of sadness that convert a woman's prayer in the moments where she prostrates herself before God into the cry of Psalm 77:
I cry out to God; yes, I shout. Oh, that God would listen to me!
When I was in deep trouble, I searched for the Lord. All night long I prayed, with hands lifted toward heaven, but my soul was not comforted. I think of God, and I moan, overwhelmed with longing for his help.
You don’t let me sleep. I am too distressed even to pray! I think of the good old days, long since ended, when my nights were filled with joyful songs. I search my soul and ponder the difference now. Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will he never again be kind to me? Is his unfailing love gone forever? Have his promises permanently failed? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he slammed the door on his compassion?
And I said, “This is my fate; the Most High has turned his hand against me.” But then I recall all you have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. They are constantly in my thoughts. I cannot stop thinking about your mighty works.
O God, your ways are holy. Is there any god as mighty as you? You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. By your strong arm, you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.
When the Red Sea saw you, O God, its waters looked and trembled! The sea quaked to its very depths. The clouds poured down rain; the thunder rumbled in the sky. Your arrows of lightning flashed. Your thunder roared from the whirlwind; the lightning lit up the world! The earth trembled and shook. Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters— a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep, with Moses and Aaron as their shepherds.
Psalm 77 NLT
There come times when you reason with yourself thinking you are alone; when what you verbalize becomes incoherent groanings that only God himself can decipher. But the Almighty, Omnipresent, Omniscient God to whom you cry out understands the language of tears. He understands groaning expressions even when words are not sufficient enough to articulate the brokenness of your heart. Because he listens to your conversations and goes to work in things unseen and unheard by you, all that remains is to enjoy and delight in the walk of this life via the steps appointed by the Lord (Psalm 34:23) in His peaceful rest (Hebrews 4:9).
THANK YOU, LORD, FOR THE DETAILED COLORS OF MENOPAUSE!