So it has been four and half months since my last post, and you are probably staring at my post title wondering where am I headed with this, and why do I always bring up Vaginismus in every other post when that part of my life is supposedly behind me. Even though I haven’t posted in quite some time, in the past week alone I have received two emails and one Facebook message from women who are desperate for a cure from not just the physical- but the emotional, spiritual and relational drain that Vaginismus can cause. Each message that I receive, I long so badly to be able to get in a plane, fly to wherever they are located, hug them, hold their hand- and tell them that there is hope. So often, and rightfully so, their messages are filled with words such as confusion, doubt, defeat, tired, pain, frustration, loneliness. Oh the loneliness of this condition- it’s funny to me how sexualized our world is-how it is displayed all over the internet, television shows and in our shopping centers- yet as women we still feel shamed to discuss with our closest friends and family when we have a personal medical problem that needs to be addressed!
That is the main reason why I keep this blog going. My personal life isn’t really that interesting unless you want to hear the latest happenings of what we accidentally fed Crouton, or when Bennett got his latest haircut. I keep this blog up and going because I truly enjoy communicating and helping women who are enduring Vaginismus, and this blog by far as been the number one tool of connecting with women in the United States and around the World who have vaginismus.
So how did I get my title? Well, most people find my blog through a search engine, most often than not ‘Google’. WordPress, my blogging host, does not give me any information about the person viewing my blog (don’t worry- your identity is safe!) but does tell me the search words entered into the search engine site. The top vaginismus related search term is ‘Vaginismus blog’. When typed in, my blog pops up number two on the first page. I praise God for this and it makes total since why I receive anywhere from 5-10 emails/Facebook messages a month. I don’t know if this is the expanse of His ministry for me or if He desires it go further, but as much as I hate that women have this condition I don’t want them to hide in shame or fear anymore, or just simply resolve to live a sexless marriage. This is not His plan. Genesis 2:24 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” I believe this verse is not just speaking physically, but also spiritually, emotionally, mentally and relationally (is this even a word?). Vaginismus does not just halt the physical relationship of marriage but all dynamics of marriage. Therefore, I encourage and look forward to each email and message I receive and I pray that God continues to bless this ministry He has allowed me to have for this time and I pray it continues to grow in to whatever He desires.
Now, what do you think was my second most entered search term? You guessed it. “How Can God Allow Vaginismus”? When I was reading through all the search terms and saw how high up on the list this one was, it resonated with me and is what ultimately compelled me to write this post. Several years ago, it would have been me frustrated, angry and crying while typing in those words- too ashamed to voice them out loud but within the privacy of the internet I just wanted to know if someone else knew how I felt. Now I know it is other women, frustrated angry and crying doing the same thing and it saddens me that I physically cannot be in their presence to hug them and encourage them but I do what I can and trust the Lord to do the rest.
To answer this question, I really should let me husband- the brainiac, almost Masters accomplished in Religion who seems to know about everything in the Bible answer this question- and I might ask him to do so in a later post. But, I will answer it now, 3 and half years later after discovering I had Vaginismus.
This first part is hard to grasp, but it is the truth. Matthew 5:45 says “For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” I am just now coming to grips with this verse. Before marriage, I felt entitled to have the best sex life ever, due to my ‘pure life’. Through God’s love, especially within the past couple of months I have learned that I am entitled to nothing but everything that God has given me is a gift and I can praise Him for it- even this struggle of vaginismus and the loss of our first baby. God is still good-just because I am a Christian doesn’t exempt me from experiencing struggles- if anything they are the same or more so then those who do not know the Lord because we are targeted by Satan! “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” James 1:3-4
I lived a lot of the past year with bitterness toward God, asking Him why He took my baby and this very same question of why did He allow vaginismus in my life, and consequently back into my life. Yes, you heard me right. The all cured Carrie of last summer, once pregnant lady fell down hard when we lost our little one. I shut down completely. I shut out my husband intimately, therefore not having physical relations. I did not do the homework WTC told me to do. My anxiety returned in full force. Now before anyone gets any crazy ideas- let me get a few things straight. Was the treatment successful last summer at WTC? YES! (I’ll get to more of that in a minute, stay with me!) Then what happened??? I shut down my mind and body and all the former anxieties before WTC came back with a vengeance and I did nothing to stop it. I let my bitterness overtake me and I gave up. I felt I deserved it and that I was a failure. I resolved to once again living a sexless marriage- our one chance at having a child was lost and I was done trying. I felt I deserved to have an ‘easy’ marriage and an ‘easy’ sex life and if it wasn’t going to be that way then I was going to throw myself a pity party and just sit in it. So I did that for awhile and of course nothing got better.
Again, and I praise God for our wonderful doctors at WTC. Their passion for their profession and for their patients is so evident. They check on me every so often and asked how I was doing a several months back. I explained what was going on and they quickly told me not to worry, that they would get me back on track. They sent me what I needed in the mail and I tried to do it on my own but I insisted I couldn’t and just gave up within two days. A few more months go by and God continues to work on my heart, continues to show His love as well as Bennett continuing to show His love regardless of my inability to fully express my love. I also share within a trusted circle of friends at our church small group- scared that I will fail again but knowing that I need the accountability- and start again on the treatment process at home. The WTC doctors have been working with me these past few months and I am confident that I will be good as new in no time. They didn’t give up on me-in their words it was just a bump in the road and I had to remind myself of what I already knew, like riding a bike. And this time, I have done it on my own, with Gods help, at my home.
I recently read a book called “The Devil in Pew Number Seven” by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo- quite an abrasive title but a solid read. One of the quotes that really challenged my thinking was this “I needed God more then I needed to blame God”. When I reached that point, that’s when I was broken and ready to quit blaming God and everyone else for my pain, and ready to handle my challenges and burdens just God and me. Nobody else can do it for me.
So Why Does God Allow Vaginismus? I think it will be a different answer for each individual and it may change as time goes on. Sorry if you wanted a more theological answer- I have my husband post for that. For me personally, it showed me that my sin is no different then anyone else’s. It broke down walls of bitterness, pride and judgemental thinking I didn’t even know I had. It caused me to realize I am entitled to nothing on this earth. It has shown me that I have a heart to help women who are suffering silently. It has shown me I have a passion to help those who feel they have no voice. It has shown me that my husband is truly the man God has for me- that Bennett is patient, loving and selfless and I should never take him for granted. It has shown me God’s love and grace and that He gives me chance after chance even after I get angry and frustrated and question His goodness.
Psalm 34:17, 18 “The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them. He delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit”.
If you or someone you know is struggling with Vaginismus, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Also, feel free to watch our documentary video of our time spent at the Women’s Therapy Center.