“I have found the one whom my soul loves.”
Song of Solomon 3:4
I remember it so vividly. I was seven months pregnant with our first daughter when I first saw it.
My very first stretch mark.
It was somewhere hidden, somewhere no one could ever see it. But it was somewhere that HE could see it; my husband. I’m pretty sure I seemed like a fool when I walked into work that day. I laid my head on my beloved co-worker’s shoulders and sobbed. And I’m also pretty sure that they looked at each other with empathetic eyes, and maybe they even smirked at each other a little bit, recognizing that I was so young and naïve to the changes that would soon happen to my body.
But as I cried, I didn’t just cry for myself, I was (hormonally) crying about what my husband would think about that stretch mark, about my changing body.
Years have come and gone since that fateful day; another baby I have been blessed to carry in my body, two moves, a new lifestyle and more love and memories than I can count. And with those years my body has changed even more. With those changes have come more doubt in myself. And if I am really honest, sometimes it has made me doubt if my husband will still find me beautiful or desirable. In my insecurities, it has caused me to unknowingly put my husband in an unfair position. And here’s why.
When we made our promise to each other over six years ago, we chose a verse to have as a theme through our special day that spoke to us. Song of Solomon 3:4 says, “I have found the one whom my soul loves.” Some days I have to remind myself of those words and just what they mean. When we chose to have one another for the rest of our lives, it was our SOULS that chose one another, not our bodies. When my husband looked upon my slim, trim figure with glowing skin in that white dress, he wasn’t just looking at me, he was looking inside of my soul, and it’s that same soul that he looks into today. And like my hips, my soul and my heart is bigger than it was that June evening. But he still chooses me every day.
While I am no longer a size 2 like I was on my wedding day, my heart is now bursting with a new kind of love for my husband that speaks for years of working on our marriage and growing together, and that is beautiful. And I don’t always have the time to do my hair just perfect like I used to, but I have two little bodies with heads full of hair that I get to give my love and attention to everyday, and that is beautiful. And most days I don a pair of yoga pants and snot proof t-shirt, but it makes getting dressed up for a night out with my man more special and important, and that is beautiful, too. And the marks on my skin and extra parts of me that are here today that weren’t there before is proof of miracles inside of me that we created together; two little people that God formed in my womb. Half of him and half of me, pieces of our souls walking around on this earth that we have the blessing of being their parents…. THAT is beautiful.
So when you start to feel that doubt creep in, friend, choose to remember that your husband chose YOU, not your body. He chose your soul to have and to hold for as long as you both shall live. And as parts of you grow, shift and change as you bring new life into this world and nurture those little people in your homes, your beautiful heart is being transformed into the soul you were created to be, the soul of a wife and a mom. The one that his soul loves.