Women in Religious Life/Thorn in the flesh

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Question
Hello and thank you in advance for your time. I am dealing with some serious physical challenges and I was reminded of how Paul asked God to remove his thorn in the flesh and three times God said no...

My question is this: Can a normal part of life (PMS/Menopause) still be a thorn in the flesh or is it just our darn sin that came on the earth that gets to wreak havoc on us ladies and too bad for us ladies?

I was thinking anything that causes trouble for me is a challenge and could be a thorn no matter what it is.

Yet, I am woman struggling with severe PMS issues possibly heading towards menopause. I am doing everything on my part with education, rest, supplements etc. but it is so incredibly difficult. I believe I can do all things through Christ but as of right now I feel hopeless. I know that God created us a certain way but quite frankly I feel like it's just flat out torture. I also think that trying to defy a biological fact of nature is pointless. I am a woman and that is not going to change. I have exhausted medicines and doctor and no help. I feel trapped. Then today I thought well, maybe this is my thorn in the flesh?

Feeling hopeless and wanting a Godly woman's insight. Please and thank you!

Answer
Excellent questions.  Scripture is not clear on the thorn the flesh, especially with Paul.  We are still left guessing to this day.  In my opinion, and I agree with you, anything can be it.  For example, I have a broken foot that's requiring me to use a cane to walk properly, perimenopausaul, and I can't have children.  With what you're dealing with, you're not alone, and keep enduring in the midst of it.  God bless you, sister.  Please let me know if you need anything.

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Dr. Elizabeth Mattke

Expertise

I can answer questions about women in ministry, possible obstacles and ways to overcome them in a male-dominated world. I am also provide insight on how to make the church a better work evironment; additionally, I will only answer them if they are in question format.

Experience

I have worked in six different Christian churches doing Children's Ministry. My positions included "Team Leader" to "Children's Minister." Furthermore, I have volunteered in the church for eighteen years in other areas, such as music, greeting, hospitality and small groups.

Organizations
Manhattan Christian College Alumni Association Fort Hays State University Alumni Association

Publications
“Greater Wichita YMCA Case Study on Servant Leadership” International Journal of Diversity on March 15, 2010 with Franklin Publishing Company “Employer Hiring Practices that Discriminate Against Women in the United States” Ethics and Critical Thinking Journal on June 15, 2010 with Franklin Publishing Company “Afford A Care Case Study on Situational Leadership” International Journal of Diversity on December 15, 2010 with Franklin Publishing Company "Grace: Why is it so Important?" Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Journal on September 15, 2011 with Franklin Publishing Company. "A Comparative Analysis of Subsitent Leadership in the Wichita, Kansas Area with Sonic and Five Guys Restaurant." Business & Law Journal. March 15, 2014 with Franklin Publishing Company. "The Time of the Gentiles." Conflict Resolution and Negotiation Journal. September 15, 2014 with Franklin Publishing Company. “Survival: A Memoir in Dealing with Rape and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.” (April 21, 2011). Chipmunka Publishing: London, England. "A PTSD Workbook for Rape Survivors: The Transformation from Grief to Forgiveness A Christ-Centered Healing Journey" (2012) Chipmunka Publishing: London, England. "Servant-Leadership and Grace: Changing one Person at a Time." (2013). Lambert Academic Publishing: Saarbrücken, Germany.

Education/Credentials
Atis International Bible College- Honorary Doctor of Theology (D.Th.) 2013 Atis International Bible College- Honorary Doctor of Christian Education (D.C.E.) 2013 St. Luke Evangilical School of Biblical Studies- Ph.D. Biblical Studies 2012 St. Luke Evangilical School of Biblical Studies- Honorary Doctor of Divinity 2012 Fort Hays State University- Master of Liberal Studies in Organizational Leadership 2009 Manhattan Christian College- B.S. Ministry and Leadership 2008 Wichita State University- B.A. Psychology 2007 Butler Community College- A.A. Psychology 2006

Awards and Honors
Runner up for Class President with the Citizen Police Academy- November 3, 2009 Debate Judge for Wichita Collegiate School on October 31, 2009 Guest Speaker for MCC with the WFPS Conference- October 17, 2009 “The Role of Women’s Rights and Rape” was the topic Taught Supervisory Leadership and HR Management- August 2008-December 2009 Put together online B.S. Biblical Leadership program for Manhattan Christian College- August 2007-July 2008 Dean’s Honor Roll at Manhattan Christian College online- Fall 2007 National Scholars Honor Society- January 2007 Chancellor’s List for excellent grades at Butler County Community College– Spring 2004 and 2005 National Deans List- 2001 Who’s Who Among American High School Students for excellent grades at Rose Hill– 1999-2001

Past/Present Clients
My past and current clients consisted of those that were children and families in the Christian church setting.

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