I have heard others refer to this gift as,” the curse, Aunt Flo, or even worse, the rag.”I can remember being in the 5th grade and having very little knowledge about the gift of womanhood. There was a girl in my class who unexpectedly got her very first visit from “Aunt Flo.” No phone call, no advance notice; Aunt Flo just showed up and literally flowed all the way down her legs and made a puddle on the floor around her feet. I wondered if this is why they call it “the rag,” because we certainly needed one. I can remember the terror and embarrassment on her face and the uncertainty on my teachers face as to how to handle this situation. I’m sure in her mind, at that moment this was indeed, “the curse.” I was so frightened I couldn’t wait to get home and tell my mom all about it. She then explained in detail the monthly menstrual cycle that I had only heard in code words from my older sisters; now all of those words made sense.
Well three years later, I received my gift of womanhood. I will never forget that moment, we were on our family vacation and it happened to be a road trip. When I told my mom, she for some reason was so excited. The one phrase I remember from our long talk was, “you’re not a little girl anymore, you are becoming a woman, what a gift!” I didn’t feel like it was a gift at the time, I felt awkward and concerned as to how I would stay fresh and clean during this monthly visit from “Aunt Flo.” I also had flash backs to my class mate in the 5th grade and wondered if this would prove to be, “the curse” for me as well. After my mom and I had our “gift of womanhood” talk, we get back in the car with my dad and my 14 year old brother and my mom makes the announcement to my dad, “our little girl is not a little girl anymore, she’s becoming a woman.” I wanted to instantly crawl into the trunk and disappear. This is still not feeling like a gift to me.
So when did Aunt Flo transition from the curse into “the gift of womanhood” for me? Well there were several occasions early on in my marriage when Aunt Flo was late, and oh boy when she arrived…it was truly a gift! I was so happy to see her. When my husband and I planned our second child, I was truly appreciative of the “gift of womanhood,” because now I could use it for the purpose our Creator intended, to bring forth life. (Genesis 1:28) What a gift!
As I moved past the child bearing years and had time to study some of the changes we go through as women, I learned a lot about why Aunt Flo shows up once a month and all of the hormones that she creates and leaves behind. It is these wonderful hormones that make us feminine. It is these hormones that narrow our waist and broaden our hips so that we can house our babies for nine months. Yes ladies our powerful, womanly hormones makes us automatically love and nurture our children and develop long lasting relationships. as I love the gift of womanhood because it makes us feminine and attracts us like a magnet to everything that is pretty; shoes, purses, earrings, makeup, fragrances and the list goes on. For without these hormones, we could not step into a 3-5 inch pair of high heel shoes and walk like a gazelle. (Men can’t do it) As I approach the time when “Aunt Flo” doesn’t visit as often, and I notice the subtle changes in my body I wonder what the next phase of my life will be like. I am not afraid because the initial “gift of womanhood” has allowed me to have three beautiful children that will always remind me of what the Psalmist said, “In a fear inspiring way, I am wonderfully made.” (Psalms 139:14)
So ladies…what’s the gift or womanhood for you? When and how did it show up?