As mothers, our bodies tell the stories of how we carried and nurtured our precious little ones in our bellies, or of how we laboured to bring them into the world. My own tummy is riddled with stretch marks. Serious stretch marks. It also bears the tell-tale faint scar and misshapen signs that an emergency c-section was the only way we could welcome our youngest into our arms.
A few months ago, as I looked at my tummy in the mirror, scanning it with my usual critical lens, the thought struck me:
Scars are beautiful.
My tummy is beautiful.
My stretch marks and physical imperfections are daily reminders of the sacrifices my body made to bring two beautiful, precious lives into the world.
I am scarred by love.
Jesus had scars. Plenty of them. But for the JOY set before Him, He endured the cross, and all that came with it, scorning it’s shame. Never had a trail of thought been more liberating! It gave me permission to not be ashamed. To see beauty in the imperfections. In the crookedness. In the mundane. The misshapen. In myself.
I am Beautiful. I can say that because He says that about me.
I moved away from the mirror and scanned our living room. Toys strewn high and low. Toddler debris covering every surface. Cushions where shoes should be, shoes where shoes shouldn’t be. Breakfast not quite cleared, crumbs crunching underfoot. And in the middle of all of that, two little girls, happily playing, oblivious to my dissatisfaction with the mess.
And I realised that God loves me. Right here, right now. In the midst of my incompleteness and organised chaos, my mess at home and the mess in my own heart. He takes me and makes something beautiful out of me. He uses an imperfect, impatient me and uses me to bring Him glory. That to me is one of the great wonders of the cross.
When Jesus said, “ IT IS FINISHED” at the cross, He meant it! He’d laid His glorious crown aside for thorns and stripes, that I might be called His own. It struck me that He “finished” His time on earth totally spent physically, mangled and messed up by all that was unleashed on Him on His way to calvary. He finished it looking ugly and bedraggled and totally inglorious by the world’s standards. But I wonder whether in His Father’s eyes, Jesus had never looked more beautiful and glorious than He did then – bloodied and battered, the perfect example of love laid down for another, the perfectly imperfect blueprint for all others to follow.
His scars give me permission to see mine as trophies and stripes.
His scars remind me that love is costly and sacrificial, and that that’s ok.
His scars remind me that my Heavenly Father sees treasure where others might otherwise see trash.
His scars remind me that for the joy set before me, I can endure an imperfect figure, messy house, incomplete all sorts and unfinished lists.
I don’t have to be perfect. I just have to be HIS.
Help me remember that Father. Help me to see things as you see them. Give me your eyes, your lens on things. My own views and filters are too exhausting sometimes.
May I see what has been achieved, instead of constantly lamenting what has not.
May I see beauty in the ashes.
May I not waste time looking back as Lots wife did.
May I not miss the point.
May I run my race with endurance.
May I be scarred for your sake, and for your glory.
May LOVE leave its mark on my heart, my spirit, my life.
May YOUR gaze and eyes forever colour my perspective.
May I remember my promise to you now and always – ALL of YOU for ALL of ME.
Thank you for my tummy Father. And thank you for my scars. I love you. Lindsay x