Our bodies are supposed to change. When we were children, these changes were celebrated and praised. In our home, I track how much my boys have grown on their birthday every year. I pull out a Sharpie while the boys stand tall, and I make a little mark under their name on the pantry door in our kitchen. I write their age next to the little mark, and then we step back to marvel and celebrate how much their bodies have changed. “Look how tall you’ve grown. You are getting so big! I can’t believe how little you used to be.”
Because I see my boys every day, I don’t always notice the change. But it’s happening; they are changing and growing rapidly. It makes me wonder: How am I changing and growing every day too? Maybe it’s not in height, but change is happening. Did you know that trillions of cells in our body are changing all the time? Old cells are dying off to create space for new cells every day. Whether we see it or not, we are hardwired for renewal. Change is a constant part of our being, so it’s no wonder our bodies look different than they did before. We are being transformed every day.
Maybe you are suffering from a permanent change to your body and wondering if it’s still good. Maybe you have suffered from a lifetime of chronic illness or pain and your body feels very broken. Maybe you have never felt at home in the skin you’re in. As we rebuild our lives, perhaps it’s time to find new ways to welcome and embrace the things we cannot change.
Friend, I have no idea what it’s like to walk in your shoes. I have no idea what it’s like to endure the permanent change you are dealing with. I have no idea what it’s like to suffer from chronic illness or pain. But what I do know is that your beautiful, incredible body has carried you through so much. You’re still here. Your one heart is still beating strong. As you courageously face and embrace all the changes, may you know just how deeply brave you are.
You are rebuilding beautiful. Even if your body isn’t the same kind of “beautiful” it was before, beauty is still possible. It has been said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. And guess what? You are the beholder. You get to take a good look at yourself and declare beauty, even in the interior parts that no one will ever see. Your body is not a mistake. Your self-worth is so much more than your outward appearance. To love and accept yourself is to love and accept your body right now, just as it is. May you choose grace over and over and over again as you embrace your beautiful body through its ever-changing existence.
Kayla Stoecklein shares her painful story of rebuilding this Tuesday on LIFE TODAY. Excerpted from Rebuilding Beautiful by Kayla Stoecklein. Copyright 2022 Kayla Stoecklein. Published by Nelson Books, an imprint of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.