I look in the mirror post-shower and catch myself unraveling a story about what this body used to look like. Romanticized memories of sun-kissed skin, firm, fit, petite, and acceptable to the image the world calls “good” threaten to take me down a dead-end road of self-sabotage.
Some days these stories win. I take them on like heavy weights— carrying them to the grocery store, the park, and the kitchen. They become heavier as they work to steal my joy, my presence, my ability to believe that I was made in the image of God.
The world has worked overtime trying to give me language for this new body—ruined, needs to bounce back, too big, too much, not enough, never the same, and the list goes on.
These are lies. Every single one of them, lies.
The truth is, I’m starting to realize there is no bouncing back. What was can never be again, because my whole person has expanded in motherhood, parallel to the crescendo of my body.
My soul, my mind, my love, all of it has increased since accepting the invitation.
This body—this good, good body. She is mine, and I am hers. Miracles happened here.
Loose skin that reminds me how I carried three souls close to my own. Lines striped across the soft landscape of my stomach acting as a memorial to the acceptance of expanding the very essence of my being. Broader hips and a curvier silhouette—the honor markings of sustaining and comforting multiple human lives with this body given to me by an all-knowing Creator.
This good body invites me to more. More closeness with my Creator. More love to give and accept. More invitations to hold both grief and hope. More courage to show up regardless of image. More acceptance of my humanity. More moments of setting aside self to fully become who I was always made to be.
As the world continues to tell me that this body is not good enough—that I am not good enough—I have chosen to continue unraveling the story that I can hold both the what was and the what is yet to be, while I care for this good body. A body that is loved by an even greater Creator right now.
No, this body is not what it used to be. It is more. Radically and abundantly more.
Katie is a writer of poems and prose who believes in the power of words and shared stories. She desires to create a space where readers can safely feel and connect with themselves in ways they may not have been able to before. Her writing delves into topics related to mental health, identity, faith, and wonder. Katie lives near Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and three lively kids. Together, they can be found embarking wholeheartedly into each chapter gifted to them.