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I was exhausted, but I didn’t go to bed. I had just finished putting the youngest in his crib and the house was still and quiet with everyone else asleep. It was my time now. Being sleep-deprived, I knew better than to stay up late. However, metaphorically speaking, sometimes in motherhood, you have to choose between filling the gas tank or changing the oil. It was the oil change that I chose. I desperately needed some time to myself.

I sat up sideways on our oversized couch with a big cozy blanket. I pulled out the iPad and was ready to start binge-watching some non-cartoon TV shows. I was excited. A sigh of relief came just as I was about to tap the streaming app. But then a gentle tug to my heart said, “No, read your book.”

It was a religious book. A good book. But, I wanted to be entertained, not taught. Nonetheless, I closed the iPad and picked up the book I had checked out from the library. I felt that this was the Spirit telling me to read it, so I obeyed.

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I read for a short while and decided that was good enough. Surely I had proved my obedience, and I could now engage in some self-indulgent behavior. Again, I felt the tender whisper, “No, keep reading.”

Partially irritated, I continued on. I found myself soon reading a section about the miracle of bodies. Instantly, the tears flowed, and I felt a warm embrace envelop me. God wanted me to hear these truths.

This was an answer to a prayer my lips refused to utter. 

You see, after this last baby, I have had a lot of congratulatory gestures toward my belly. Not being pregnant anymore and with a baby clearly in view, these comments really hurt. But this hurt was more than just postpartum insecurity, it was an old wound that I worked so hard to heal. 

I used to be obsessed with my weight before having children. It was glued to my self-esteem. Before having my precious miracle babies I knew this needed to change. They needed to know how special they were, and I needed to set that example by understanding my own worth. Weight was no longer going to be my master. 

I gave it to God and worked hard to change my internal dialogue. It began with gratitude for my body and progressed from there. Years and babies later, I never felt more beautiful, not just on the inside but on the outside too. I was sure I was past this struggle of a harshly negative self-image. So, I ignored the well-meaning (eye roll) gestures and comments about my belly. I buried them deep down where I hoped they could just dissipate.

But those hideous self-descriptive words I used to use on myself started popping back into my mind. Despite all my efforts to brush them off and the many positive reassurances from my husband, I felt ugly.

And God knew it. 

Reading those words about bodies and feeling God’s love wash over the festering self-doubt I had, allowed me to see the truth. The truth of how divinely beautiful bodies are. Even mine. Crafted out of the image of deity and moreover, miraculously given the gift of bearing children, my heart had renewed resilience to how the world may see me. This body was a magnificent masterpiece of the Creator. I was able to feel the truth of my beauty again. 

RELATED: God Created Mothers; In His Image, They Were Made

Gratitude swarmed my thoughts for this gift of light and truth to help heal my hurt. I gave a prayer thanking an all-knowing Heavenly Father who gave me that divine reassurance that I am still and always, beautiful. Despite my best efforts to vanquish these unwelcomed thoughts on my own, He knew I needed encouragement in my internal battle.

Sometimes I forget, as a daughter of God, just how much I’m loved.

I receive such concrete reassurance and blessings in my motherhood as I care for these babies. This sacred mantle to raise these most precious spirits is not lost on me. But sometimes I forget that I’m a precious spirit too. Just as I succor these babies, my Heavenly Father rushes to succor me.

Not only am I a mother, I am a child of God too. He cares about my worries of self-doubt and future fears just as much as He ever did. All it took was for me to give Him just a portion of my quiet time, to recognize that still small voice as His prompting, and let Him in. 

Bodies are beautiful because God told me so.

Julie Jensen

Julie is a wife and mother of four little ones. She is a ranch-raised introvert and craver of the simple life. Faith is her anchor. Writing is her passion. juliecjensen.wordpress.com is her website. Spiritual Physical Financial Goals: My Journey of 30-Day Intentions and Journaling Is for You are her books. You can also check her out on Facebook here: Julie C. Jensen Author/Writer .

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