Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Stretch Marks and Growing Pains

* I feel I have to provide a caveat to this entry as one of my friends was suddenly concerned I was pregnant. Ha. Praise Jesus, I am not. My sweet, loving grandfather is not in good health. *

I’ve had a peculiar feeling lately. Well, two actually. One feeling is that I’m being pulled forward and am dragging my feet in dirt. I don’t want to move, and it’s almost like I’m being pulled off a cliff. In fact, that all recently materialized in a dream I had last week. That feeling is, I think, because I don’t want to leave this carefree summer and go back to Atlanta and life there…and Tennessee and life there. It’s a feeling of dread, but that I’m dreading something inevitable.

Today I was thinking about stretch marks and growing pains. I can look back on my life and see periods of change. I can see where I went through an experience that changed me in the process and didn’t leave me the same on the other side. But it’s a very unusual feeling to be able to know in the moment that it’s all happening. I am changing. I am going through something that will change me and never leave me the same person that I was before. I have only to look back three years, when it all started, and see that this is true.

I don’t think it’s a bad change; I think I’ll be the better for it. It’s not painful now, but I know it will be soon. And my psychic stomach is again tensing and tightening. Telling me that something’s not right. Although it doesn’t take clairvoyant feelings in my tum-tummy to tell me that.

I decided part of growing up is learning to be responsible for others and take care of other people. That will soon be happening. Though caring for those who have always cared for you is certainly unique.

I can almost feel my insides stretching out and growing. And that’s what got me thinking about stretch marks. Everyone has them, right? Some are more pronounced than others, but I think that just about everybody has a couple of stretch marks on their body. And really, what is the purpose of those ugly things? People try to use lotions and magic potions to take them off. Some even have surgery to remove them. They’re kind of like wrinkles in that way.

They’re evidence that we’ve grown. Proof that we’re taller, curvier, that we’ve grown up. I don’t remember getting the stretch marks. I must have grown too fast for my body. That’s what causes them, right? I have a good friend whose brother is very tall, and he grew several inches in a short amount of time. He actually did have growing pains. His bones and muscles hurt from the rapid growth. And I’m sure he now has stretch marks left to show for it all.

I feel that I will be different on the other side of this. I feel it inside of me in my soul. Once it’s over and processed, I’m not sure how it will feel or be, but I will change. That I know for sure. And maybe it’s been in me all along. Before we’re born, the Bible says that God formed us in the womb. That he knows how many hairs are on our head. And I’m sure that He, just like our body, knows exactly how tall we’ll be and the shape of our curves. So maybe it’s the same with our souls and hearts too. Maybe somewhere inside of me there’s a map of what shape my heart is supposed to be, and I spend my whole little life forming it just right.

One thing I know for sure is that I won’t have stretch marks or wrinkles to show for all the growing. But I think I will feel like a piece of me is missing, and that I’ve lost something I will never get back. He is a part of me, after all.


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