Menopause: a sacred journey

We are comforted by God’s predictable rhythms. The sound of our breath in and out, the beating of our hearts. The waves crash against the shore and recede, crash and recede. Day after day the sun rises and sets, the moon waxes and wanes. But a woman’s monthly cycle inevitably comes to an end. From the time we are young girls hoping for breasts, we have owned this rhythm.

It is a bittersweet blessing. In our teens we dread cramps, bloating, and blood. As we become sexually active we hate how our cycle interferes with spontaneity and forces us to worry about contraception.

But as we mature, we realize that our menstrual cycle is a holy gift, a symbol of fruitfulness, of the fertile ground within us. And soon we become pregnant and grow and grow and bring forth new life. Bringing our children into this world is an unimaginable blessing.

And even after we stop having children, our menstrual cycle remains as a monthly reminder to us that we are fresh, in our childbearing years, that there is still a river of life flowing through our wombs. When that river runs dry, we feel sad. We miss the blessing of being a life giver.

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A prayer at menopause
Help me, God, to embrace life's cycle.

When my emotions fluctuate, steady me. When my body temperature rises, shade me beneath your cool, comforting shelter. When my spirit falls, lift me up, God; remind me that I am blessed, that I am beautiful, that I am desirable, that I am whole. When I find myself envying younger women, teach me, God, how to rejoice in the joy of others. Open my eyes to the abundant gifts that surround me each day.

I thank You, God, for making me a woman, for the beauty of youth, for the joy of marriage, for the miracle of childbirth, for the blessings of motherhood, for the beauty that comes with age, for the wisdom of my years.

I am comforted by Your predictable rhythms, God. Amen.

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