Posted in Faith, Hope, and Love, Humor, Marriage and Family, Writing

In which I reflect on the beauty of scars

Everyone has them.

My father’s scars are not the physical kind you can see. I know they are there by the life he’s lived.

My son is all boy. His scars are many and will fade completely from the soft, new baby skin. He’s only two and has a whole lifetime to acquire more.

My husband bears the scars of one who has tasted death and returned to appreciate the gift of life. At eighteen, his life was forever altered by a massive car accident. His scars are my favorite part of his physique.

My belly and thighs are marked with the scars of a woman who has labored and bled and groaned in the pains of childbirth–and come out on the other sight victorious. The two beautiful children I carried for a combined total of eighteen months in my womb are legacies of my most precious God-given gift–the ability to sustain and nurture life.

My body is no longer the same as that young, curvaceous girl who walked down an aisle and said ‘I do’ to a man covered in scars. I’ve gained my own set of war wounds and I am proud to wear them.

I was not always so happy with the floppy skin and stretch marks. Every time I looked in the mirror, I was reminded of weight gain and morning sickness and the aches of pregnancy. I was reminded that I no longer bore full resemblance to the girl my husband married. I had curves in all the wrong places and skin that showed wear and tear.

I rubbed balms and salves into my ravaged skin, hoping to recover at least some of its former silky, smooth appearance. I took nutritional supplements that promised to make my pregnancy scars disappear–or at least grow less obvious.

My husband told me I was still beautiful–even more so because of what those scars told him–that I bore his children and carried on our legacy. I almost believed him.

The day I found out I was pregnant with my firstborn–a girl–a nudge from God gave me a passage of Scripture to meditate on for the rest of her life. Psalm 139 tells us that we are handmade by God, stitched together in our mother’s womb–beautifully and wonderfully created by a Sovereign Creator. Works of art, fit vessels for His service from the moment we are conceived.

It played over and over in my mind for days, melding into months, until my second child was born two years later. Like a melody that I couldn’t quite get out of my head, I heard His voice, singing those words to me.

I looked into the mirror the day after my son’s birth, tracing the scars and stretch marks, lingering on the softness of the loose, post-baby skin. Every nook and cranny, the tender, torn muscles, the spidery purple veins–it was all a beautiful, wonderful work of art, made in the image of a God who bore his own scars with joy and pride.

Image

I understood. I understood and I believed the song that He sang.

____________________

Posted in conjunction with Jill Savage’s Hearts at Home Blog Hop. Embracing imperfection and living in God’s grace is a never-ending lesson I’m learning with help from wonderful women of faith like Jill Savage and the Hearts at Home leadership.

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