One of the common complaints pregnant mothers have is trying to avoid stretch marks. I remember someone recommending a product you could rub on your stomach everyday to supposedly prevent those ugly lines that appear criss-cross your belly.
Some of you may know what I’m talking about. You may have had one child, but when you look in the mirror you see a maze of lines that remind you of a battle zone. For other expectant moms or women who’ve given birth, you may have been fortunate enough to end up with tiny crow’s-feet at the base of your stomach or on your legs. I’ve never quite figured out how movie stars never seem to get stretch marks. Perhaps the magic of expensive Hollywood make-up does the trick. And don’t mention sagging boobs! That’s another discussion!
Well, I’m here to tell you that something happens to the body while you’re waiting to give birth to that cute little infant! Nobody told you about stretch marks. You just wake up one day and discover that your body is no longer bikini ready! In fact, sometimes a one-piece won’t cover up all the ridges.
Sound familiar? For you ladies who have not given birth, don’t panic! It’s all a part of the process of preparing for birth. Contrary to the media air-blown pictures, stretch marks are more common than not. We could probably make a club of like-bodied women: “Stretch Marks Anonymous.”
Lately I’ve felt like I’m getting spiritual stretch marks. God is calling me out of my comfort zone and it doesn’t feel good. Not too long ago, I took a class at church called “The Jabez Prayer.” I’m sure I mentioned it to you in an earlier post. I remember praying, “Enlarge my territory.” Well, guess what! God was listening! In fact, He was listening all too well. You see, I had a vision and wanted God to bless it and bring it to past. I thought I knew where He was taking me, but I had no idea until He started messing with my expectations. Of course, none of us want to admit we have expectations that may not be exactly what God has in mind.
Once He started showing me how self-sufficient I’ve been, I started feeling the discomfort of my comfort zone being made uncomfortable. You get the point! It’s one thing to say “God is in control,” but what will be your response when He shows you just how much you have tried to be in control? The process is not pretty. In fact, there goes another stretch mark. They usually show up in the form of fear, anxiety, depression, anger, frustration, envy, feelings of isolation, to name a few.
Nobody likes to talk about those things, but they exist in a Christian’s life. They’re a part of the process of giving birth. Then what do you do when those stretch marks come? You press into our Father’s presence. You will feel vulnerable, but that’s just what He wants. It’s not an easy place to be, but it is necessary as He takes you to your next place. And there shall be a next place! You’re right where He wants you…safe in His arms. You see, you may want to know where He’s taking you. But He wants to reveal Himself to you in the process. Today, He is revealing Himself to me as Faithful! What is He saying about Himself to you?
God promises in Matthew 11:28- 30, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Don’t despise the process. It’s there that we find a new revelation of Him!