Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” (John 20:27)
Having scars and other long-term physical changes is a hallmark of pregnancy. Whether you have stretch marks, loose skin, a third-degree tear, or a C-section scar like I do, your body has been irreversibly changed inside and out by your 40ish-week journey to motherhood. But no matter how beautiful and sweet your baby is, it can be easy to look at those mama marks and mourn the bodies we once had.
"Why won’t my skin snap back?"
"What’s up with this stupid shelf above my scar?"
"Will I ever cough without peeing again?"
"Does my husband still find me attractive with this perma-pooch?"
I can definitely sympathize with some of those sentiments, but I was recently reminded of a different mindset. As we can see in John 20:27, Jesus’ body still bore the marks of his execution when He rose from the grave and visited His followers. These holes in his hands, feet, and side may have been ghastly to look at if you only focused on their physical appearance and the grisly Roman execution methods that led to them. Yet when you stop to think about what they signify—Jesus suffering in His physical body to give us eternal life—they suddenly become beautiful and a reminder of hope. With that in mind...
It's time to see the beauty of our mama marks.
While our changed bodies don’t pay for anyone’s sins and encase simple human women with human weaknesses, our motherhood-made scars and marks can be beautiful reminders of not just the joyful sacrifices we made to bring our beloved children into the world but also of the sacrifice Jesus made to bring us salvation. I gave birth to Judah via C-section (the picture above is from a couple of minutes before he was born), and my scar also reminds me of God's sovereignty over a really stressful 24 hours that began with me finding out I had almost no amniotic fluid and ended with our beautiful baby boy safe in my arms.
So even if you never fully embrace your many mama marks or stand confidently in the mirror calling your stretch marks “tiger stripes,” that’s okay! Choose to remember the beauty of your scars, God's sovereignty over your journey to motherhood, and that you’re in good company when it comes to letting your body be changed out of love for another.
Kristen Reed Belveal, a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas, is an author from Dallas, Texas. As a Christian, her faith heavily influences her writing and is the driving force in her life. Visit Amazon to discover her books!