But this year, as I’ve been creeping closer and closer to the 40th birthday mark, I decided it was high time to give my well worn, well loved body a little come-to-Jesus talking to. A motivational pump-up session, if you will.
In preparation, I weighed myself. I looked through all the clothes in my closet. I examined wrinkles and crinkles and freckles and scars. Then I mentally scrolled back as far as I could, pondering how I used to view my body. Childhood. College. Pre-baby. Pregnancy. Post-baby.
And what I discovered was how closely related my thought processes and patterns regarding my own skin have been reflected in my attitude through the years, impacting my confidence levels, even affecting how I have perceived my ability to fulfill the callings God has put on my heart.
Then right when I was getting to the good part of my little body lecture series, in walked three unwelcome friends: Self-loathing, Insecurity, and Guilt.
Self-loathing couldn’t get over the reality of that stretched out lightly scarred skin hanging around my waistline. The area my children lovingly call my Mommy Dough, touching it tenderly while speaking about it with unhindered childish awe.
Insecurity was too busy looking at the other women in my life to comment.
But Guilt. Guilt had plenty to say. Remember all those times we started workout regimes and didn’t finish them? All the fitness dvds. Books filled with smoothie recipes and healthy cooking tips. All that exercise paraphernalia crammed way far back in your closet gathering dust. Remember those??
I decided after such an unsuccessful team talk that something drastically needed to change. Something with my attitude. Something with how I regarded my body overall.
So I did a very scary thing. (Or at least scary for me.) After my morning shower yesterday, I stood looking at my body in the mirror. The whole thing. From my sopping wet hair to my naked toes. For 10 solid excruciatingly long minutes. No coverings. No contraptions holding things in place, reminding them of their original location.
And I cried. Because for the very first time I realized that my body is a storyteller. Telling a story of beauty. And life. And grace. A documentary of all God has done and is continuing to do. Giving me eyes to soak in His beauty. Lips to speak truth. A voice to proclaim His name and His holiness. Hands to serve. Feet to walk in His ways. And a body that has protected, nurtured, and carried little light bearers, leaving a legacy of love.
My body proclaims His handiwork to others! The masterpiece message. Why then is it so hard to whisper this message to myself? And why in the world has it taken me so long to listen?
So dear mom. Dear sweet beautiful brave mother. I ask as you glance at your reflection today, whether showered or not, whether doughy or not, that you look hard into that mirror. And when you do, I pray you will see the miraculous likeness waiting there. A glimpse of the Creator Himself.
For He is there. In fact, He has been there from the very beginning.