walking through the trial of hormones

baby #5: 5 weeks, 16 weeks.... oh, what a journey the first trimester is!
In the last few weeks, I've been feeling the truth of this verse:
Psalm 126:5
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
It seems like joy is so much sweeter after the tears.

I can tell you this: I don't have anything that would ever qualify as a great trial in my life. But being pregnant with four little kids and a husband was pretty rough for a few weeks in the beginning.

I felt terrible. From about the sixth to tenth weeks of my pregnancy, I was just longing for each day to be over. I felt so sick, but not sick enough to be on the couch all day. I didn't want to eat, I didn't want to move, I didn't want to lay down, and I didn't even want to read anything on the computer {that was the worst one!}. 

I remember somewhere around the 5th week, I realized I was starting to feel like a crazy person. Within 10 minutes time, I felt anxious, angry, and felt like hopelessly crying all at one time. It was such a drastic change from the week before when I felt normal, and I seriously couldn't take it. 

I cried into my husband's shoulder and told him that I felt really awful, and I was sorry I was so hormonal, and I was afraid it would be like this for a long time. Of course he was a sweetheart and told me that it would be okay because I was making him a little baby. Oh, that man. :)

I knew it was all because of the hormones, but it didn't matter: I still burst into tears again and laid on my bed and just cried. I prayed and begged God to tell me why in the world was pregnancy so hard if it was what He wanted me to do? Why would He make it harder on me if He wanted me to have this baby?

And why did He give women these hormones that felt like death and made you feel like a crazy person anyway? How does that help anything? What purpose do they serve? They just make me impatient with my family, cause me to answer in haste with anger and sharp words, and make me feel miserable all the time.

The answer came back quietly to my heart: 

Hormones only amplify what's already inside of you.

Oh my goodness. Aggghhhhhh. 

If there was no sin nature in my heart, the hormones wouldn't be able to make me sin. 

Which just made me cry all the more.

I was feeling so good before I got pregnant- I felt so joyful, growing closer to God, and things were going well. And then I felt like we were obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading to have more children, and then all of the sudden it felt like God wrecked me.

I just felt so confused. I knew He wouldn't give up on me- I knew He was still there, and that He wanted me here, but I felt so bad physically and mentally that I felt like I had nothing left to give Him.

Over and over I prayed for Him not to let me fall away from Him- to hold me close to Him, because I knew without a doubt that He would.

I knew that He wouldn't forsake me, no matter how I felt, or what I did, or how well I did or didn't pray. And I cried and cried and cried to Him. I was so upset.

I knew this was a trial that I had to walk through- it sounds silly, but for me, these hormones were a very real trial. 

I knew God was working on me- He was showing me what would come out so easily when I was pushed. He broke me over and over again. I felt like such a wimp. Oh, I was so very bad at it. 

It was such a hard time for me- I felt alone and tired sometimes, and sometimes He came close and gave me strength when I asked for it. He was never far, and I knew it. I didn't doubt He would give me the strength, but I didn't always ask for it, unfortunately. I was too tired, too upset.

It was so hard to walk through, but He didn't let me go. I don't know what His purposes are {and I still wish we didn't have to deal with hormones}, but I know for sure that God showed me more about myself when I was down like that, and that He was sanctifying me in that type of suffering.

He showed me even more just how much I needed Him and how hard life would be without Him.

He brought out all kinds of ugly dirt inside and then washed it clean.

And even better than that, He gave me back even greater joy after those terrible weeks were over.

It doesn't make sense, but joy feels so much sweeter after you have been through the sorrow.

It seems true of people who are walking through terrible pain and loss- that God supernaturally comforts you like He did my sister-in-law who lost her son two weeks ago today. It's like Spurgeon says: God comforts you in trials in such a way you could have never experienced if you hadn't gone through it

Seeing Christy's loss, and walking through those weeks of sickness and hormones, it's never been more true for me that His ways are not our ways. I don't think there's any way in the world we'd choose suffering to bring us closer to God.

But His plan is so much better than ours. And He doesn't leave us in our suffering- He sanctifies and cleanses us in it and then brings us closer to Him.

And while we can only experience part of His joy now, one day we will experience His glory in full. He is taking us through all of this, making us more like Jesus now, so that we can experience His full joy on that day when He returns.

Through these trials, it's like we are dying to ourselves- to our sin- to our desires, so that we can lose our life completely in Jesus. We've got nothing left of ourselves after they're over.

3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is youra life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4

And in losing ourselves like that, though it sounds impossible to our human minds, we have joy because we are His, and He will bring us comfort and will show us His glory in our trials:

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  1 Peter 4:13

For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2 Corinthians 1:5
Of course, my little trial was hardly one of great suffering compared to the trials of others, but God used it to open my eyes and draw me closer to Him- to show me how much I need Him and nothing else.

I just want to encourage you- if you are walking through hard things right now, He will not forsake you. Don't stop trusting Him. He is good, and everything He gives you is for a purpose, and for your good and His glory. You may not understand it now {you might even feel terrible}, but He will not leave you alone.

It's a promise, friend, and I've seen it happen in my life. 

Not only does joy come in the morning, this joy He gives you comes back sweeter than you'd ever imagine. He is that good to us. :)

Have you seen God redeem something that was awful and make it for your good? It's so good to hear testimonies of His faithfulness- especially when you are walking through it.

Have hormones been a very real trial at times for you too?


HISD_TechHD said...

Oh yes...I have really bad hormonal spikes right before a certain time of the month where I become a crazy lady. Stuff comes out of my mouth that is not very good at all. Thank you for your post, and just know you are not alone in this.

Janelle said...

OH joy, I just found your blog yesterday and I have to say it totally made my day. We are due at the same time! This post really helped me..just knowing I am not the only one who felt like she was going crazy. This is my sixth baby and I was the sickest I have ever been. I was in my bed the majority of the day for weeks. Being upright was a challenge and I prayed every day that I would have the strength for just one more day. My oldest, just turned fourteen Sunday, was such a blessing to our family during this extreme time. My ultrasound is in a few weeks and I am excited to find out what I am having. I thought your gender reveal was awesome and so did my hubby. So excited to follow you through this pregnancy.

Rachel Leigh said...

Oh Mandy how this resonates in my heart... Yes, Hormones make it very hard at times to remain gentle, patient and loving!!! I remember when I was expecting our daughter, I had hyperemesis gravidarum and I remember as much as I had wanted our baby, I cried and cried wishing that the pregnancy wasn't so horrible!!! And yes, the joy of the doctor saying "It's a girl!" was so amazing!!!! Bless you for sharing your heart.

Jesenia Montanez said...

You have no idea how much I needed this reminder. I've been having such a rough week (or weeks) and hit the point where I just want to shut down. I have to remember that God is there at all times and he will not forsake me. It's hard, but I know this too shall pass. Blessings to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post! I suffered through both of my pregnancies (only 15 months apart) both physically & emotionally. I was not very patient or kind during certain times and I felt really guilty about it. It's something I worry about when considering more children. I'm glad I'm not alone and thank you for your encouragement. :)

throughthelynds said...

i will tell you this: i have never been pregnant, but i have experienced some serious hormonal/health issues in the past. they are no joke. it truly does affect your whole being and, in turn, your overall sense of well-being and health. i learned so much about God being there in the midst of the yuck and battling through that time on behalf of me. it's real stuff, but God's presence was ever so real, too.

VoJo said...

Thank you, for this post today. I needed it so very much. I love your blog, it has blessed me so many times, and I adore reading about you and your family, and your walk with God. Thank you again for sharing!

April McLeod said...

I know "technically speaking" your trial wasn't as big or as bad as some other trials people face, but I see this trial as similar to separation from spouses/significant others... What is the difference between your spouse being deployed for a year and your spouse being gone for week on a business trip? If your spouse is gone, he's gone. The circumstances and length of time doesn't really change that. Obviously the two are different technically, but the emotions surrounding it may be very, in fact extremely, similar. I believe trials are the essentially same. Regardless of the "level" of trial, you often still have to work through the same issues, learn the same lessons, trust God in the same way...

Your trial was perhaps on a lesser scale than some, but it's no less real or important to God than other's trials/struggles. :) And He always brings His children through each and every trial.

I'm very glad you're feeling better, too! I'm so excited about this new little one! Praise the Lord!

JKje said...

I can relate to both of your questions.

I just posted on our pregnancy with our 2nd child: http://tutasfamily.blogspot.com/2013/02/the-little-miss-turns-1-her-story.html
It was incredibly hard to be told I either had miscarried her or I was going to. But, God is good! He totally redeemed the situation.

And, as for hormones… I have a thyroid issue. We know my meds are off when I am irrational and start to feel like I am a victim of my behavior and not the one in control of it. Unfortunately, my meds are off pretty often. My husband is getting really good at knowing how to approach me about my attitude being a heart issue or being a med issue. He's a good man. :)

Jenpal said...

So glad I found this today! I am having my first child and I am at 14 weeks now. My Hormones are all over the place and I too feel like a crazy person way too often. I have unnecessary tears (even though they don't feel unnecessary in the moment) and I have snapped at my husband and dog (for that matter) for no reason at all. I find though that just being honest about feeling hormonal with the people around me (minus the dog..haha) really helps with my marriage. My husband is the kind of person who likes to cure things with laughter, which is one reason I love him so much, however when you are feeling hormonal the last thing you feel like doing is laughing. This caused some frustration and tension between both of us for many weeks. After we talked many times he is trying to be more serious and understanding and I am trying to not be so serious about it all the time. Laughing at my own craziness not only helps me but helps my husband get through this, as well. For example, I might have a tantrum about nothing at all and I try to say, as soon as possible, " Wow! Who was that?, not me!" then I try to apologize as soon as I think to. I wish I didn't have to go through this but I am learning to be more patient and aware of how I am feeling, which has to be God working on me! Thank you for your encouragement and being a voice for those who are looking for some who is understanding what you are going through. :)

AmberRay said...

Thank you so much for this! I am pregnant with my 5th and have felt the same way. It has been a roller coaster and I even have some depression thrown in. I am feeling better now by the grace of God. It makes perfect sense about God showing us how much we need him. I have felt so guilty at times because I honestly feel so blessed to have another baby. I didn't want to feel the negative emotions especially anger and hopelessness. I really am excited and praise God for his gift. He is making me new. I also want to tell you and your family that I am very sorry for your loss.

Tori said...

Thank you for sharing this--I just found your blog recently and it's so refreshing, honest, real. Thank you!

Nellie Ison said...

I've never thought about the hormones just amplifying the problems that you already have in your heart. That hit me because I get pretty emotional a week before my menstrual cycle and I always just blame my short temper and my anxiety on that. It's an eye opener that I need to deal with that instead of blaming it on my menstrual cycle. Thank you for your complete honesty of this trail and the encouragement you offer through Christ.

Aimee Niblack said...

I had never thought of it before, but a couple years ago I did a Bible study that talked about the curse because of sin and how women would have pain in childbirth. It said that also encompassed pain from miscarriage, infant loss, etc. That really resonated with me since I've experienced that. Maybe the hormones, sickness, etc. is also part of the pain as well. Glad you're feeling better now though! :)

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a few months and really enjoy all you write. Congrats on the baby! This post really hit me hard about the hormones but I am now coming from a different viewpoint. You see I just turned 49 and I guess I am heading into the issues of menapause and I just had an episode this past weekend - where I was angry, sad, anxious and felt like I was going crazy all in one day. I know that this is now the season I am in but I so wanted to have one more child. Just remember when all is said and done you will have a beatufiul baby in your arms. I continue to ask God to help me through this time. I wish your blog was around a long time ago when I was younger - it is so wonderful and full of Love for the Lord. God Bless!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your posts for quite a while, and it helps me tremendously to hear you being so honest about what you are dealing with. "if there was no sin nature in my heart the hormones wouldn't be able to make me sin", so true, and such a hard thing to say, I really struggle with the nature of grace... although it seems quite easy for me to give it, receiving it is a little more difficult. I just want to be able to clean myself up for God, but he knows every broken, ugly thing inside me... and loves me anyway, and helps me anyway, and is there for me EVERYDAY, anyway! Your post really spoke to me today, and I just wanted to thank you for that!!

Mandy said...

Thank you for your encouragement- that is so true! God had a purpose for it in my life, even if it was small. :D thank you for your thoughts and excitement! :D

Mandy said...

Oh wow!! How cool is that! And you are having #6! :D how exciting! I am so sorry you were so sick! what a blessing to have your son supporting you in that! I am excited to hear what you're having! Keep me posted when you find out! :D wohoo for the 2nd trimester! :D

Mandy said...

Oh no! I'm so sorry you were so sick! I think the ultrasound made me feel even closer to my baby- and finding out he's a boy was so exciting and made me so full of joy! I am so thankful for our little blessings, and I know exactly what you mean. Thank you for sharing!!

Mandy said...

oh, girlie! I'm so sorry! I know that feeling all too well! He will take you through it, I know. I will be praying for you!!!

Mandy said...

Oh, that's such a great story!! how awesome that everything turned out perfectly, even after all the scares! And what a blessing to have an understanding husband! It makes such a difference, doesn't it? :D they're the best!

Mandy said...

Oh, how awesome! I know I want to be perfect too... it's so hard to get rid of that tendency isn't it? :D I love that God doesn't love us because of who we are, but because of His perfect son. It's such a relief that we don't have the ability to do it! :D thank you for sharing!!

JoyBelle said...

I have SO been feeling the same way. I feel short-tempered and ill and anxious and snappy and just plain old mean all the time. I've been making a huge effort to stop and think before I react, to not let my pregnancy and hormones become an excuse to be ugly to everyone around me. I have lots of shining moments but lots of moments where I just beg for this part to be over and to have my sweet baby in my arms so I can feel normal again. But of course no early baby - we want our little one to cook as long as they need before they're ready to be born. Just ready to be off the emotional roller coaster.

BTW my mom got my name from the verse you put at the end (and I was born in the morning): Weeping may last for a night, but joy always comes in the morning.

Joya Towne said...

"Weeping may last for a night, but joy always comes in the morning." I have to tell you that when I was pregnant with my now 2 /12 year old, I was so sick too. I just felt so depressed and I just wanted to be able to feel good and be happy about the precious life I was being blessed with! And the above promise is what kept me going. I remember well the mornings I would be driving to work, thinking "why???" and then the promise would run through my mind and I would listen to the Selah song "Hold On" over and over and it gave me so much comfort and I have the most beautiful healthy baby boy and I would do it over and over again.:0) I'm sending up prayers you get past this soon because I totally understand what you're going through!! You look beautiful!!

Joya Towne said...

JoyBelle - I just saw your comment and I had to tell you - Joybell was my nickname growing up:0) My father had cancer from the time I was a year old until his death when I was 8 and he always said I was his great joy. The joybells are ringing:0) Blessings on your pregnancy!!

Natasha said...

Wow! After scrolling down to add my comment, I'm glad to see I'm definitely not alone! I'm 15 weeks along with baby #4. My others are 6 yrs, 4 yrs, and 2 yrs. I'm homeschooling, potty training, teaching Sunday school, and working with the youth at church. Up until about 2 weeks ago, I thought I was going to lose my mind! I was exhausted all the time, felt sick, and was completely overwhelmed by the emotions and hormones. With my husband working nights and sleeping through the day, I pretty much feel like a single mom who doesn't have to work, and, I have to admit, I lost it a few times with my kids, which only made me feel worse. These stinking hormones definitely help to shine light on areas we need to work on... For me... It's my attitude and temper when I'm not feeling well or am stressed. Thank God He is a merciful and gracious God.

Nichole said...

Wow, I can so relate to so much of this post, except I'm in the "morning sickness and fatigue are getting the best of me" phase (with #5, as well :>) instead of that lovely second trimester! Thanks for sharing so honestly. I am thrilled to death about this baby, but every day is a battle not to just give up and let everything fall apart for the next couple months. But with four kids and homeschooling (during which I fall asleep almost every morning), I don't really have that option, and I want to somehow learn to be joyful (said after snapping at my kids for not napping and not letting me nap).

Anita Lauer said...

I'm perimenopausal and I had quite the temper tantrum on the day before my period this past month and I'm thinking "Wow,all that anger was already inside me...boy do I need to work on this!" It's terrifying really.

Mandy said...

oh, praise God! :D I'm so glad!

Mandy said...

Oh, you sound like me 4 years ago with all the ages of your little ones! I am in awe of everything you are doing! All that is so much really, and to be pregnant on top of it- you are a very strong lady! :) I'm so sorry you've been sick- I am so glad it's getting better for you too. It's such a relief to remember it's not forever! oh my goodness, it was bad here. I'm so thankful we have Him even when we are tired and sick- and He forgives us so easily for our sins! thank you Jesus!!

Mandy said...

oh thank you for your prayers! I think I'm definitely feeling much better these days and I love music as well! thank you Joya!! yay for baby boys!! :D

Renée V. said...

Oh wow!! I just found you through Pinterest and I can't wait to go look around your blog! I too struggled with hormones with my last pregnancy!! Actually I did with all my 4 pregnancies but the last one was te worst!! So much so that even though my husband and I both want more kids I sometimes feel too scared to go through that again! My fear is that next time it will be even worst! I'm a very happy woman and a very positive one as well but I'm just so moody!! Thank you so much for sharing this...

JoyBelle said...

Thanks Joya!