I’m a woman. I had a baby. I have stretch marks. Cry me a river.

I don’t just have stretch marks. I have two to be exact.

I also have acne scars, birth marks, moles, a gray hair or two, and a myriad of other blemishes.

My previous “river” statement still stands.

Back when I was a teenager (and probably before, but as a teenager I found myself particularly insecure), I used to believe that those blemishes somehow took away from the beauty I possessed. And that the ones that lingered did so permanently. Like the “beauty” I could achieve had a threshold and those blemishes lowered that substantially.

Praise Jesus I don’t believe that anymore. And here’s why.

Our bodies are a canvas and “life” is the artist.

“Wow, life is a really crappy painter,” you may be thinking.

You’re wrong.

Because every day that we live, we gain something. Experience. Knowledge. Wisdom.

Every day adds something to ourselves, something that can never be taken away. Not by blemishes. Not by anything.

Furthermore, the blemishes that loiter our bodies are actually there for a purpose. To remind us of who we used to be and who we have become. And that in itself is inextricably beautiful.

I used to think that stretch marks were going to be super scary and nasty and that I would hate them for all eternity. After giving birth to my daughter, I can say with full certainty that I would not wish the disappearing of stretch marks on even the worst of my enemies. Because they are souvenirs of the arduous journey I took to bring my daughter into this world (okay, I watched Cupcake Wars and sipped cranberry juice for at least five hours of the whole ordeal, so maybe “arduous” is not really the right term). I actually kind of enjoyed the whole labor process, so they even remind me of a really fun time with my husband, my parents, my sister, my brother, and anyone else who was there that I forgot to mention. And by reminding me of all that, my stretch marks actually make my life more beautiful on a daily basis.

I’m proud of the woman, mother, wife, etc., that I have become. And the marks on my body show me every day how far I have come from the women that I used to be to the woman that I am now, and they remind me of the choices I made that ultimately led me here.
They remind me of how beautiful I really am.