Once upon a time I loathed being the girl in the photograph.
I hid behind so and so. I offered to take the picture. Or I’d excuse myself to the restroom to the point I’m sure everyone in my family thought I had a bladder problem.
This at a time when I was the size of a toothpick, had not one wrinkle or gray hair and nothing sagged. (Mamas, you know what I am talking ABOUT…MMMMHMMM.)
Fast forward to today…
Where I am the proud owner of wrinkles and gray hair and flab (especially the kind that jiggles when you wave your arms.) And the sagging? Oh friends…
Forget. About. It.
On top of the obvious differences between 28 and 38 and four children later, I also have a body that’s been through the physical ringer in the last few months.
Bruises in random places. Feet that turn blue and look like they have been borrowed from a 90-year-old man with frostbite. A face that is preciously puffy from steroids. Hair that’s thin on the top and looks like a small animal took up residence on the bottom. And lest we not forget the not-so-fashionable roots that only exist because I am NOT spending money on highlights that are going to fall out.
(Bless your little heart, Dave Ramsey.)
In other words, 2015 will never be called, “The year Sara looked like a supermodel.”
But you know what?
This mama has been in a RIDICULOUS amount of pictures.
Because the one thing I’ve learned in surviving a stroke, losing a dad and fighting through life-threatening health complications is this, my sweet, sweet, mama friends:
Pictures of us aren’t for us. They are for the littles, the tweens, the college kids and even the grown-ups that are someday left behind. And I promise you, they don’t care if you are a size 2 or 22, if you’ve had a bad hair day or even if your face is the size of a small planet.
All that they want is you in the picture.
You may find it hard to let go of your insecurity. You may give yourself a pep talk every now and again (I know I do.) You may even have to remind yourself that it’s not about you.
But as you enter the season of pumpkin patches and field trips and Christmas bedhead mornings, remember this: You are just as beautiful as you were ten years ago. And really?
You are probably even more so.
Because nothing is more beautiful than a broken vessel used to do great things. For the more we break, the more beautiful we become. And the more beautiful we become, the less we notice our broken bodies and the more we pay attention to the hearts they house.
So go on, mamas, take that picture or two or twenty.
Take it for your loves. Take it for the one who has to fight to stay in it. Take it for the one who knows it might be her last.
Just. Take. It.
And even as the camera flashes, know that real beauty comes from a heart filled with Jesus-sized love and the rest is all just dust.
Sara Cormany guest posts on the first Friday of each month. Sara is mommy to six-year-old Grace, four-year-old Drew, one-year-old Sophie, and her new little miracle Maddie. When she is not wiping noses, changing diapers or chasing her kids, she is a sometimes writer and a sometimes teacher to teenagers. But her most cherished role is that of one who is perfectly held by Jesus. She loves watching Him take the broken, the messy and the seemingly mundane of her everyday and turn it into something beautiful. She recently began her own blog called Where Feet May Fail.