When I look at my belly these days I see the marks of an experience or period of my life that has shaped my world at this moment. The single woman may look at her list of achievements and career climbing opportunities. For me these career steps or motherly stretchmarks have a sense of accomplishment attached, “I did something that I was made to do! I achieved and fulfilled the scripture to ‘be fruitful and multiply’.” Some part of me looks at these stretchmarks or the career achievements and I pat myself on the back, “I have truly lived.” I have something really powerful to devote my time, efforts, affection, money and service to –‘motherhood’ or ‘my job’. To truly be a good Christian woman I am to place all of my affection into being a good mother or a career climber.
I picture myself in Heaven; God saying to me, “Well done good and faithful mother & career woman. You have been a wonderful community citizen and example to your children. They have turned out to be very nice Christians indeed! Here is your pass to enter the golden gates!”
(Sound of cassette tape chews up)….
Then God’s voice booms, “My beloved daughter. You will not take your children with you to Heaven, or your job. I did not just require of you to fulfil the scripture: be fruitful and bare those stretchmarks. I required you to be marked with real stretchmarks… Stretchmarks of FAITH, SURRENDER and OBEDIENCE as a daughter of mine.”
Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. ”Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?”
Standing before the great King, my body and career trophies showed nothing of true real stretchmarks. What He saw was a distant daughter who chose to save her life and now had lost everything including a life of intimacy with Him.