Steamy, soapy water covers my body as Pandora plays outside the shower curtain. This evening I am in no rush and am just enjoying being.
I see the stripes across my hips; I laugh because they resemble crackling flames more than stretch marks. I kinda like them, actually.
Post-partum has been very kind to me. I didn’t know what my body would end up like, but thirty-plus pounds somehow disappeared and left me lighter…but stretched. Sadly pre-pregnancy muscle tone doesn’t automatically return, though, and the body I learned to love through miles of running isn’t quite the same any more.
But here in the shower, I’m not complaining. No, I’m just thinking.
The temptation to desire “skinny” flashes through my mind. It’s an idol and I know it. (If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time you’ll remember my battle with self-image and hating my stomach and the path toward anorexia.)
“Skinny” for me is an idol because it is something I seek fulfilment from apart from God. Please don’t take this post as a “She needs affirmation” plug–that’s not the point. The point is that I’m learning…still learning…that despite whatever thoughts you or I may have regarding the condition of my physical body, God’s concern is with the condition of my soul.
I don’t know about you, but for too many years I have made “skinny” a word synonymous with “acceptance”. It’s like I think that if I’m skinny then I can be accepted in life, and maybe someone else’s acceptance will conquer my own insecurities.
But really, it’s a nirvana I’ll never achieve. Even if my body wasn’t on the slow, natural road to decay, I will never be satisfied with anything outside of my acceptance to Christ. It’s literally impossible.
Having a child of my own has also aided in these realizations. I see my son, and to me he is absolutely perfect. I wouldn’t change a single fiber of his being, and it makes me wonder if that’s how God sees me.
So while I’m learning a love for my beautiful new baby that is deeper than I could imagine, I’m also learning that God loves me as His child far more.
And hey, they both love me despite my stretched muscles…