“Will this be number three?” “Congratulations!” “How far along are you?”
Three joyful comments I have received in the last three weeks from sweet, ignorant passersby.
This is what a postpartum body can look like, folks! There are lots of variations. After five months, mine happens to be retaining its swell.
It’s not even a weight issue. I’m just…
… s t r e t c h y .
I’m like the hair-tie that snapped back into form after the first ponytail. Then a mite less following the second.
But after the third ponytail was unleashed, it forlornly declared, “I will never be the same hair-tie again.”
Fact: I look pregnant even though I’m not. Just in case the bulge isn’t obvious enough, my pre-pregnancy pants do not fit, so I’ve been sporting maternity pants (aka “pregnancy shapewear”) for an extended time frame. While I wait for the normal-human pants I ordered to arrive, what choices do I have when others notice my imperfections? I can think of three:
- Offense. It points fingers. Its focus is “they.” How dare they make such rude remarks! Haven’t they heard you should never say things like that? What a terrible human being.
- Shame. It doubts. Its focus is “I.” I am disgusting. I’m an embarrassment. What’s wrong with me?
- Confidence. It’s peaceful. Its focus is “He.” God made me. He loves me. Nothing else matters.
Being tighter in the mid-range would be lovely, and I could probably accomplish that with extensive workouts or surgery… but I don’t need a six pack to remember this truth tucked away in Zephaniah 3:
For the Lord your God is living among you.
He is a mighty savior.
He will take delight in you with gladness.
With his love, he will calm all your fears
He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Ahhhh….. that’s soooo gooooood.
What do you think I chose when three darling, smiling citizens offered those congratulatory pregnancy comments? Offense? Shame? No – I laughed. Hopefully in a way that showed those cherubs I didn’t even have to forgive them.
And honestly, I appreciated their delight for me, even though it was misplaced. People can be so kind.
So the next time anyone points out your flaw – whether with happy intentions or spiteful, and whether the voice is coming from the outside or within – remember the choices you have. Consider Who sings the joyful song. And choose confidence.
Love, Carolyn 🙂
Where are you choosing confidence today?