Last week I marked another birthday. I now have to check the older age category when I take surveys, have to think more about age spots than getting a tan, have to touch up my gray hair with mascara (a trick from my hair dresser), and have to reach for my glasses just to pluck my eyebrows. A mother never lived who could stop the passage of time or the process of aging. Mothering takes a toll on your body. For moms who had the opportunity to biologically carry a child, most bear stretch marks as evidence. And while our eyebrows may grow thinner with the passing of mommyhood, our stretch marks usually do not. Purple may fade to pink or pink to pale, but we carry marks with us as a badge of birthing babies. Have you tried to erase your stretch marks? Hide them? Deny them? Cosmetic options include oils, lotions and creams. Medical options include surgery or laser treatments. Fashion options include Spanx and dim lights. The world around us is full of magazines and Photoshop and reality TV stars, suggesting that scars of any kind are ugly and unwanted. Cultural standards of beauty don’t include stretch marks or sacrifices. But if we carry a child, there will be evidence. What if we embraced the evidence of God’s creative design within our womb?
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16)
- Stretch marks are signs of growth, of a miracle woven by the hands of God Himself.
- Stretch marks are memorials of change: physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally.
- Stretch marks provide evidence of seasons survived and sacrificed and celebrated.
To bear a child is to bear marks of change on our life. We are never the same in any way once we begin the road of motherhood. Bearing a life in our bodies certainly leaves stretch marks, but every mom bears the scars of a life stretched and changed in the process of becoming a mother. This isn’t to say being faithful means being frumpy. But God wants moms who strive for godliness over glamor. The measure of our beauty, moms, is not compared to the absence of the traces of physical change, but in the evidence of heart change. What if we embraced our physical changes, even our stretch marks, as beautiful reminders of God’s work in us? After all, it’s no surprise that our body is wasting away, but God uses the journey of becoming a mom to renew our hearts daily.