Love Letter to my Body: I Am Thankful

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Our very own Sarah Bessey wowed us with this letter to her body that spoke of love and gratitude. We’re so excited to share it with you and feature three other letters along this same theme.

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Dear Body,

Hello, lovely.

Isn’t it funny how it’s taken my lifetime to call you lovely? And mean it? And see it? And know it?

You’ve always been lovely, strong one.

It took me too long to notice.But here, now, let me just say it and then, like a prophet, let me believe it, and live into the truth of it every day: I’m thankful for you. And I love you.

I’m thankful for the freckles scattered, for how they speak of my summer days at a cold prairie lake, and my redheaded dad. I’m thankful for the bend in the bridge of my small nose, bent on a bunk bed frame. I’m thankful for the grey hairs stubbornly reappearing, and the decided line to the left corner of my mouth, I’ve always started to smile a bit crooked, and now it shows, bless you.

Thank you for the small scar on my wrist, from that time when it was scratched on a door handle, you remember that time, oh, yes, making out with that boy in high school, and the chicken pox scar on my left hand. Thank you for the ease of my skin and the stretch marks, thank you for these too-big-for-fashion breasts, they have satisfied the ones I love best.

Thank you for my height, rooted, and thank you for my arched eyebrows, I’ll give you a high-five and a good-on-ya because we’ve never had to pluck and that’s all on you. And thank you for this small pointed chin, and thank you for my hands, they are starting to look like Mum-hands, and I rejoice in their hard worn strength.

Thank you for my legs, for my womb, for my heart still pumping the blood of pioneers longing for a bigger sky. And thank you for my knees, how they bend easily, at last, to Creator, and thank you for these eyes that see beauty in the strangest places, for the mother-blue of them, and thank you for the very physical and very real self of it all, thank you for helping me to worship and see and know beyond my brain and my heart, and reminding me that this, the created self is good.

And thank you for good hard work like birth, because otherwise, I might not have ever known how capable and strong and life-giving you are, and I look at these babies you’ve carried, and I remember the smell and heft of them on my chest, on my soft belly, the very second that they emerged from my own body, gulping air, blinking in surprise at life, and I remember how I knew that they were good, good, good, and this thing that I had done, this was good, too. And we were all restored to joy, again and again, because I couldn’t stop laughing, every time I gave birth, when it was over, I laughed and laughed in relief and wonder, ancient Sarah, God laughs here at promises fulfilled.

I’ve learned at last to be gentle with you, Body. Gentle with my words, gentle with my thoughts, gentle even with my hands, here, let me put some sunscreen on you. I’ll be kind to you.

I’m sure now that this is the body I have and this is the body I will have and this is the body I always had, and this is how I am going through life, with you, and we forever putting one foot in front of another, lungs filling with the glorious miracle of dust breathing.

I like you better now, than I did when you were lithe and younger, with a concave stomach, in those days, I only saw your imperfections and I hid you, ashamed of my very physical self, very real, undignified self. Now, I laugh, an understanding and tender sort of chuckle. I wish I had worn more bikinis in those days, and I wear my bathing suit at the pool, in front of God and everybody, and I get my hair wet, and I put on red lipstick, and I’m quick to kiss, to turn over and say yes, to reach out my hands, to touch, I honor you.

So here, let’s settle on down, let’s be young and strong a bit longer, let’s run, let’s walk, let’s breathe a bit longer and then let’s age beautifully and tragically together. Let the heft of the baby on your hip be enough, let the moment of holding a sleepy sun-drained babe with tired eyes to your breast, the moment when you are feeding her body and soul, enough.

Let your back be bare to your husband, change with the lights on and send saucy glances over your left shoulder at the man you taught how to unhook a bra. Put lotion on your thighs and bless them, eat food that makes you roll your eyes back in your head with a groan of delight, hug, touch, wonder at your own muscles and sinews, welcome the tears, let them fall the way that they have needed to fall, and laugh laugh laugh, now we know, you taught me, didn’t you? A big and wild love is the most gorgeous thing we could ever put on.

Love and gratitude,

Sarah

We Also #Love:

Here are a few more letters that shone with gratitude:

… my favorite thing about you is that you know me. I have learned over the past 2 years how well you know me. You speak to me about what it going on in my soul. I cannot ignore my soul, for you tell me. You allow me to feel nauseous when my wounds are stirred up inside. You shake when I am scared. And I am learning to listen to you. When you shake, I know I need to ask Jesus what it going on inside of me. When you are sick and nauseous and your heart races, I know there are wounds that I’d rather leave untouched but that you and Jesus have decided that I must face them and find healing. For this I am grateful. It would have been easy to ignore and push aside so many of my wounds, had it not been for your persistence.”

See Brandi Lea’s full post here.

I see how you can move in this way that enables you to do such amazing things. You have all these abilities. I see how you can walk, how you can hold, how you can hug, how you can cherish, how you can comfort, how you can see, how you can hear, how you can talk, how you can scream. I see all the things you can do. All the incredible, amazing, wonderfully marvelous things you can do.

I appreciate you. I see that you are who you are, and though that doesn’t feel like what I want, it is more than I need. You are a blessing I often look past, that I often forget, and brush to the side.”

See Grace Elizabeth’s full post here.

” … you’re strong as you need to be, healthier than I could hope for, capable of stamina in the midst of sleepless nights, difficult burdens and too many sodas. I’m so thankful for you. I do love you.”

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Come join us for our first ever Twitter chat with our Love Letter to My Body team: Megan Gahan (@MeganaGahan), Claire De Boer (@ClaireJDeBoer) and Idelette McVicker (@idelette) and some of our other fabulous SheLoves contributors at the end of this week by following #shelovesmag. Stay tuned for more details! xo

 

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