Brittany Lee Allen

Postpartum Bodies and Unordered Thoughts

Unordered thinking can creep in oh so quickly. If we’re not careful to take thoughts captive and discern if they have any truth to them, we will fall prey to the serpent’s lies. And it seems like women who are walking through the postpartum season are vulnerable targets for the enemy.

I’ve always been naturally thin. Girls in high school spread gossip that I had an eating disorder, though that has never been true. I love food. A little too much at times (which I guess can be a different type of a disordered eating). So when I found thoughts like “I’m so hungry, but I shouldn’t eat more spaghetti.” or “These cookies are why I’m still fat.” running through my head, it startled me. This isn’t who I am. I’ve never once in my entire life thought of myself as “fat.”

I’ve been scared to share this since being thin seems to disqualify you from being “allowed” to struggle with your postpartum body. But the truth is, when I look in the mirror lately, I struggle to be okay with what I see there. I hate the way clothes fall upon my belly making me look pregnant still. I have back fat for the first time in my life and I wish I could say I don’t care. But that would be a lie.

Yet, all of this is good, because it’s opening my eyes to a few things:
– how much my identity was in how I looked and feeling pretty in my clothes
– how quickly wrong thinking can pop up when you’re distracted
– how much I need to be on guard against temptation
– how desperately I need the Lord to help me let go of the things of this world + cling to Christ alone

I wonder if women struggled this way years ago? Long before magazines and pressure to look a certain way, did women think twice about love handles and weight gain after pregnancy? Or did they simply bask in the beauty of what took place in their body? That the Living God created a whole human using their womb as a vessel. That he spoke life there and in an instant new life was formed. Are not these stretch marks and added pounds and new curves evidence of one of the most beautiful things a woman’s body can do? Or rather what God has done through her body?

Yet we hold our babies in one arm while staring in the mirror at how our belly sticks out and shudder. Lord, help us to see things clearly—that though it can be hard to not recognize ourselves postpartum, we can rejoice in the work of your hands that so carefully shifted our bodies to bring forth life. Help us to remember that you too, bear the scars of life. The scars that brought us life.

I’m sharing what I’m learning in this raw season because I know I’m not the only one who has wrong thinking rear it’s ugly head from time to time. Maybe like me, you need this reminder to be on guard and put on the armor of God. If that’s you, I’m right there with you, sister.

Oh, and I ate more spaghetti because #nursing.

3 Responses

  1. Thank you for your honesty. I have been dealing with the same issues although for a different reason – breast cancer. I am almost done treatment and almost cancer free but the changes in my body have made me struggle too.

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