I have heaps of stretch marks – on the back of my legs, the inside of my thighs, the side of my knees. They are everywhere. Where there is skin, there are stretch marks. I used to have acne too. I used to cry about these things while playing “All By Myself” in the background.
Okay, the last part was a joke.
But I would be so insecure about these things and I’d do anything and everything to hide them and heal them. I would look at other girls with so much envy in my heart, because their skins looked spotless. (Well, stretch mark-less). I used to think of beauty, value, and worth as something that you can only see on the surface. But they’re not. And I hope that one day, I would be able to teach my own sons and daughters (and sons and daughters of the King), that beauty runs deeper than skin.
That there is beauty that runs far beyond the surface of your skin. And that is the very breath of the Creator who left His own fingerprint when He created you in His image.
You’ve heard this story:
On the first day, God spoke light into existence.
On the second and third day, He created water and land.
And on the fourth and the fifth, He created the rest.
But He didn’t stop there.
The same breath that spoke the galaxy and nature into existence, is the same breath that created His masterpiece, His finest work of art.
He thought of you, breathed you into existence, and weaved Himself into your story one December night, so that you and I can be part of His story.
But He’s not going to stop there.
He is constantly and consistently refining you. He is perfecting your faith, molding you into the likeness of His Son.
Because He loves you.
Oh, you are so loved.
You are so loved that God wants to spend eternity pouring out His love to you. Because the love that you see and feel now is nothing but a squinted glimpse of the Father’s nature. A faint echo of Him screaming, “I love you. You are mine.”
Look at yourself, not with a mirror, but through the cross. Because when He stretched His arms, He felt agony with every fibre of His being (and I promise you, “agony” is only a partial explanation). But He also saw you, and He thought, “I love her. I will redeem her before she even knows my name.”
“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2)