full to loathing: despising my postpartum body


One who is full loathes honey, but to one who is hungry everything bitter is sweet. 
Proverbs 27:7


Christmas has always been one of my most favorite times of the year. When I was a child, my whole family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, would come to stay at my family's house for the night. To see them, eat a big meal, and open presents together was the highlight of our Christmas break and the event my brother and I anticipated all year long.

My parents always had a tradition of letting us open one gift the night before Christmas morning. Our immediate family was the only one who had this particular custom, so all the aunts, uncles, and cousins would sit nearby watching while we unwrapped the first gift of the season.

One year, when I was about 10 years old, we gathered as usual in the living room for our Christmas Eve tradition. As my parents were getting the film and camcorder ready to capture the moment, my brother and I both sat in the middle of the brown, carpeted floor surrounded by our family. We were thrilled to find out what lay inside the two neatly wrapped presents in front of us.

My parents gave us the go-ahead, and the camera began to roll as we tore into our gifts. The expression on my face as I opened mine went from eager delight to sheer disappointment when I discovered that my present appeared to be... a package of socks.

I examined them more closely only to find that they were indeed, socks. Then, with the entire room watching- cousins, aunts, and uncles, I threw the package down in front of me, curled my lip with disgust and cried, "Socks!?!"

It was a moment I would be ashamed of for the rest of my life.

I'd like to think I've grown up since then, but I'm not sure I've changed much at all.

Today at 34, I look in the mirror at my postpartum body, curl my lip, and cry out with disgust..."Fat!!"

More than 20 years later, I am still despising the blessing of the practical gifts of God. Like the package of socks I was given to keep my feet warm, God gave me a body that works perfectly, grows a baby, and then delivers and feeds a child exclusively for more than half a year. But I want something else. Something skinnier, something less flabby; something I determine is better than what He gave me.

Just like the petulant 10-year-old version of myself, I loathe calling what I need a gift.

The reason? Because I am spoiled.

I am full and ungrateful.

Just like the 10-year-old who already had socks in her drawer, I have so many blessings and good gifts that I am blind to the fact that even having one healthy baby is a blessing, much less the gift of the perfect food He gave me for my baby to eat and grow.

What a sinful, wicked wretch I am.

Oh Lord God, please forgive me. I don't deserve your good gifts. Please turn my eyes away from worthless desires and make my heart clean through your Son who defeated sin and death and rose again. Thank you for salvation, for your love for me... for redeeming me while I was yet a sinner.






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