I was a religious user of stretch mark cream with my first son when I was pregnant. I would lather it generously every day, remembering that’s what the store clerk said to do in order to see maximum results.
Then one day it happened. I saw my first stretch mark! Surely I had missed a spot, so on I lathered once again, even more generously in that particular area (which I can’t mention on the blog)
Then it happened again! ANOTHER stretch mark! And not just one, but many! They had plagued my hips, thighs and tummy!! This was impossible! I was following the directions for the stretch cream to the tee. How could this have happened?? They were growing on my body in rapid rate, even reaching my triceps! Seriously??!
You know what happened to my stretch marks? They’re still there. My memoir of birthing my first born and now my second. There they are in all their glory staring at me in the mirror as I get dressed. I imagine for a moment modeling for a skin care commercial and laugh! Even Dove would shudder.
Something funny has happened in regards to these menacing marks…. they’ve grown on me. I mean, I know they’ve GROWN ON me, but I’m talking about a beauty they’ve revealed to me. Every time I see them, I remember how far my stomach stretched to protect such precious cargo. I remember how my legs stretched and grew to be able to support my larger frame (ok, that’s not really a NICE memory, but you know what I mean). Without the growth of my hip frame, I would have toppled over! These stretch marks are constant visuals of the strain my body took to produce life.
hmmm….. What a beautiful, visual from God to remind me that as the body has to grow and stretch to produce life, so does life in general. Our lives have hidden stretch marks that prove we have conceived, pushed and fought for things that have deepened our soul and enhanced our faith. It was never more than we could handle, we never burst open, we just…. stretched and now we’ll never be the same.
It’s tension that makes us flexible. It’s pressure that deepens. It’s strain that produces growth.
Next time you see those stretch marks, don’t see the imperfection. Be reminded of what growth has taken place in your life and what beauty the stretch created in and through you.