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From Cringing to Wonder

I sifted through maternity clothes today for loaning to a friend. Seeing three entirely different sets of clothing that a woman’s body can cycle through in a year’s time made me recognize the immense change that these vessels can handle. Each time my body has gone through this process, I found myself grappling with vanity and sinking into feelings of shame, disgust, and anger at the loss of control. Those same sensations began to well up inside me even today as I was sorting through these bins.

But stepping back, I was finally graced with a glimpse of the wonder and awe that these uncomfortable changes signify. In that moment, I was humbled by the miraculous gift of this transformation, and my heart aches for those who experience unfulfilled longing to care for a child. Body image is a relatively minor one of many catalysts for the visceral heartache that can arise at the sight of maternity clothes. Recognizing the reality of this fragile and miraculous process neither dissolves my struggle nor makes it illegitimate. However, it does begin to reorient my heart for the next time that I find myself cringing at pictures of myself at 8-months pregnant or 2-months postpartum, or catch a glance in the mirror of layered stretch marks and saggy body parts.

Slowly, subtly, the awe and gratitude begins to eclipse the shame — and the unchanging favor of a God who created this incredible cycle begins to overshadow the ebb and flow of self image.

Published by juliedavis1013

Wife of 1. Mom of 3. Daughter of the King.

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