When my children were small and asked about the stretch marks on my belly, I would take their little fingers and tracing the lines speak of the evidence pregnancy left on my body. Each one knew the specific lines their precious growth brought to my body. The scars of remembrance belonged to us both. Each one would eventually ask the same question, “Does it still hurt, mommy?”
Funny I don’t remember the stretch marks hurting when they appeared, but I do remember the pressure of the skin stretching and my wondering if my body could expand any more.
As my children have grown, I find that the ‘stretch marks’ on my heart begin with a similar pressure…something being expanded, a mystery an aching sensation that asks, “What is growing inside?”
I woke this morning to one of many days that will leave yet another ‘stretch mark’ both of our daughters now live halfway around the world. Both are carving out their lives–new experiences, new relationships… the choice before me is can I accept and honor what is growing within? That being their mother is about not clutching and hanging on, but letting go, yet again, and allowing this new ‘stertch mark’ upon my heart…
This is not a new vulnerability nor a new sensation for me to experience, as a mother, it is felt each time I release their small grasp and encourage them to live facing the future. Believe it or not God did not created me as a mother – I was created as a woman, I became a mother. It is this “letting go” that continues to tutor me in how to lean into a love that is molding all of our hearts.
This slow band-aid ripping ache, reveals a vulnerable heart that feels a bit like pizza dough being thrown into the air…and needing to be caught. So with purpose I choose to engage with both the joy and grief of this season, knowing that both are precious gifts that my children continue to give me AND that as I grow my mother’s heart continues to be stretched and formed in new ways. I just want the hands that are flipping this heart in the air to be God’s….