Before I had children, I thought pregnant women were adorable. Their faces glowed; their bellies rounded out trendy maternity wear. I dreamed of one day donning a baby belly, as if it were the latest accessory.

Then I became pregnant, and I didn’t feel cute at all. I felt only large.

Naturally petite, my weight never fluctuated much as an adult. I prided myself on my positive body image, but pregnancy revealed that self-esteem can be easily stripped away. As soon as my weight began to rise, my confidence plummeted.

My body has since expanded and contracted twice to make room for two little boys. Each time, I reveled in the miracle of a tiny life growing inside me, in awe of the delicate flutters that grew into kicks and rolls. But each pregnancy also tested my notions of beauty and of the body. In a culture where thin reigns supreme, where “skinny pregnancy” is an aspiration, and where Hollywood touts actresses’ impressive postbaby bodies, it’s easy for women to see their weight gain and belly fat as problems, even during pregnancy.

When I became pregnant the first time, I grieved the changes that my body endured. My body will forever bear the marks and scars of bringing life into the world. But I have come to realize that those scars place me in good company.

This month, Christians all over the world celebrate the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. On Good Friday, we mourn his crucifixion. On Easter Sunday, we rejoice at his victory over the grave. Yet we don’t yet celebrate Jesus’ complete physical restoration. Even after he rose from the dead, Jesus bore the wounds of his execution, openly showing them to his disciples (John 20).

The bodily resurrection ...

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