Because in so many ways my head is still a bit fuzzy on this issue, and I want to get it right when I write about it. I want to get it right because its big to me, its a battle I've been fighting, and still am in many ways, and because it'll be something many of you can resonate with. But I think its an area we can respond wrongly to, and I have responded wrongly too, and.... I'll just start, shall I?
Something bothered me last week; it was this...
I saw it on Facebook. At first, I had a little chuckle to myself because OH BOY do I know this issue! Two babies in 18 months has just about done as much damage to my body as its possible to do... I've had it all... and I've shed that tear.
Yet still it bothered me.
Pre-babies, I was never one to be hugely concerned with my self-image. I've generally always been pretty content with the way I looked... I never had an issue keeping the weight off; I could pretty much eat like a horse and it did very little damage. I had the usual girly wish-list - you know, "I wish my nose was a bit smaller" and "I wish my legs were skinnier" but in reality I was pretty content.
And then I had babies.
Two babies in a short space of time have taken their toll. I'm not gonna lie. Post-Heidi I've had to have physio to recover my "shot to pieces" (in the words of one midwife) stomach muscles and in all honesty, I will never look the same again. Yes, it knocks your confidence. Yes, you wonder if you're still beautiful to the Father of your children. Yes those insecure thoughts rear their ugly head from time to time... and yes, if I'm honest, I have shed tears about it.
But when I really stop and think, I'm so grateful for every single imperfection now. That last girl in the picture above should not be crying...
The stretched skin, the slight overhang, the realisation you are going to need a new wardrobe? They are the battle scars, the war wounds of our babies being carried and delivered. We have beautiful babies to show for it. The honour of motherhood. So many would long for the stretch marks and the little pot belly... so many would long to be fighting hard to lose their baby weight... so many would long to be asking the questions we're asking.
I could spend my time wishing I looked the way I used to. Wishing I could wear the clothes that I used to, wishing I could change in the swimming pool changing room without fearing a pitying look.
But do you know what? The way I look tells the story of our children. The wonder of what a body can do. The skin that used to be taught and firm now loose and stretched carried my darling girls. It is a wonder. It is a miracle. It is a God-ordained beautiful thing.
The scars and imperfections are beautiful because they proclaim the wonder of the human body and point to the incredible detail of the Creator God who designed it.
When we're feeling low about the way we look; if we're feeling insecure, fed up, sad about the state of our bodies post babies... lets remember the reason that we look the way we do. The scars are an honour. They remind us of the gifts we have. However much we sometimes think we'd love to look the way we used to, lets be honest... we wouldn't change it for the world.
I just wanted to share another post too... if this is something you are struggling with too, THIS post has really helped me...