You know those moments in life where time stands still and you never forget something someone said? I remember this incident with clarity, and my hope is that all new moms or “new again” moms will remember reading this-if anything-I write.
I married David when I was 20. At the time I was running to get into shape, but by the day of our wedding I was very, very thin. I will tell you honestly, it was a mix of nerves and lack of confidence – his family is filled with beautiful people and quite frankly I was intimidated. So when I had Daly Kay at 21 years of age, I was more than anxious to get back into my size zero clothes, ASAP.
I was about two weeks post partum. Truth be told, I probably only had about an extra 10 pounds on me. I came into the bathroom murmuring about my stretch marks, and how I was miserable over my less than perfect shape…
My husband grabbed my face. Looked intently into my eyes. Said with the most definitive tone, “Those are not stretch marks. Those are MIRACLE MARKS. They are the marks that prove that the baby in the cradle over there came out of your body. Never complain again about the way you look…you are beautiful to me and I am the only one you have to impress.”
Folks, that is the way to look at life. Miracle marks.
Have a scar? It tells the tale that you survived the injury.
A few post baby pounds? At least you have a baby!
Wrinkles? So you laughed and spent days in the sun!
Stretch marks? You carried a new life into the world!
All miracle marks. All testimonies. All marks of beauty.
I will be honest and tell you that it took me another five babies after that to feel comfortable completely bare in front of my husband those first few weeks and even months post partum. Unfortunately, that means it took me 11 years to understand how completely he loved me no matter the shape or size I was. That did not stop my desire to be in good shape. In fact, it motivated me because I wanted to be a good example to my children and pleasing to him…but it was a long road of insecurity and self-deprecation until the day came when I realized the verity of his love and therefore my confidence was not based on just the size dress I wore, but the marks my body bore because of all those expressions of love…our children.
There is another One who has marks on his body because of what He chose to endure physically for you and I. Those are the REAL miracle marks. He bears those marks for all of eternity…I pray today, if you struggle as I did with your post partum shape, or lack of physical confidence in front of your beloved, please cast that care upon your Savior, and chose to look differently at those marks on your body. See them as miraculous, and then give thanks to the One who gave you the miracle of life in your child.