Beauty Marks: "The Al-Shama Shoe"

“Uuuugggh! Why?!” I scream as I lift my shirt to look at the side of my hips in the mirror.  

“What’s wrong?” asks my husband as he rushes into the bathroom. “Is everything okay?”

“No, everything is NOT okay!” I point to the faint stretch marks starting to form around my hips. “I’ve been using this darn oil that everyone recommended to avoid stretch marks, and nada!” I slam down the bottle of oil. “I've been doing everything in my power to avoid them.” I lean my hands on the bathroom counter and look down into the sink. I can feel my heart starting to race as I try to hold back the tears that are welling up in my eyes.

My husband puts his hands around my hips, leans down and begins to kiss my stretch marks. As he’s making his loving gesture, I have to admit, I begin to feel disgusted that my body is changing before his eyes. This isn’t the same body he made love to during our honeymoon nights in Punta Cana, or the body he once was able to fully wrap his arms around, or the body he could playfully carry into the bedroom after a romantic date night. No, this is the body of a woman carrying and nourishing another human being inside of her - one that she is at war with to control, but she can't no matter how hard she tries.

My husband looks up at me, wraps his arms around my shoulders and whispers, “You have new beauty marks, and I love them. It’s a constant reminder of your strength, selflessness, and love for our child. You’ve gone through so much - emotionally and physically - during these months, and you’ve fought through it. And what you’re getting ready to experience when you deliver this child is something you have the power to do, not me. You’re so strong and beautiful, scars and all.”

Umm...yes, I just fell in love with him all over again!

Nothing good in life comes easy. I know you’ve heard that before, but it’s true. You must be willing to fight for anything in life you wholeheartedly desire. Whether it’s pursuing a career, buying a home, becoming debt free, finishing a degree, etc., you have to dust off your boxing gloves and get in the ring. Many times, when you think you’ve got a solid plan laid out, life will throw you some huge blows and try to knock you out. But the pursuit of dreams is not for the faint of heart. You’ve got to be willing to throw yourself back into the ring, no matter how bruised or cut up you are. You keep fighting, you keep throwing jabs, you keep pressing forward. All the while you do all this with your end goal in mind to keep you encouraged and motivated.

Whatever journey you’re on, remember, you didn’t start to lose. You started to win. So, I challenge you to WIN IT! Trust me when I say that you will cross the finish line with heavy sweat, tears, bruises, and even some pain. But when you tell your story, your scars will be proof that every aspect of the journey - even the painful parts - were worth the fight! Embrace the journey and every battle scar that comes with it. This is what makes YOU who YOU are - and every mark is beautiful!

Every post is named after a fictitious pair of shoes (for now!). This post is named after Al-Shama, which means "a mark of beauty."