Based on a message spoken by Ps Sharon Kelly on Nov 01, 2017
Blog by Cherese Jackson
Stretch marks are like tattoos that never go away. Anyone who has had a baby, gained, or lost weight knows what stretch marks are. Today with all of the different creams on the market, many do all they can in hopes of avoiding them. Truth is, even if we become a ripped, svelte version of ourselves, these permanent marks remain a constant reminder of varying periods of transition in our lives.
While they may appear ugly from a societal point of view, stretch marks tell a story about life for every individual “plagued” with them. Stretch marks are so much more common than we think and more beautiful than we give them credit for. They are a part of you worth loving, regardless how you earned them.
Stretch marks show what you are capable of; they represent life within, bring blessings, and cause us to see miracles happen right before our very eyes. There is really no experience quite like giving birth or seeing a woman bring forth a new life. Your entire life changes and it is positively electrifying.
No matter how wonderful the experience is, the glory does not negate the story. The baby outweighs the pain, but this beautiful bundle of joy does not eliminate the consequences of the process. Those penalties often come in the form of unsightly marks across different parts of the body that have been stretched by the method.
Many times, a person has to get stretch marks before realizing the truth about them. Stretch marks indicate growth, newness, expansion, and blessing. Stretch marks happen when the skin is pulled by rapid growth or stretching. As a result, scars called stretch marks may form.
Just as a woman’s belly is designed for increase, so is the fabric of our lives. We want the blessing but don’t want to endure the process and the accompanying reminder of stretch marks. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. For the miracle to happen, stretching is a necessary factor. No one escapes the stretching process. God requires it.
We want God to do things in our lives. This means a season of discomfort, itchiness and we might even have to walk funny during the process, but the result is priceless. God stretches us in order to produce blessing, influence, increase our faith, and enlarge our territory.
“Enlarge the place of your tent, and let them stretch out the curtains of your habitations; spare not, lengthen your cords, and strengthen your stakes. For you shall spread out to the right hand and to the left, and your descendants shall inherit the nations and make the desolate cities to be inhabited.” ~ Isaiah 54:2-3 (MEV)
Stretching requires creativity, shifts our focus outward, and creates discipline and anticipation. It increases flexibility and brings an acute awareness of our need for God – the author and finisher of our faith.
The stretching process is as painful on our souls as working over a sore muscle in the gym. However, it leaves you with a spiritual capacity great enough to move into the next season He has ordained for you. Something is around the corner, and God knows it and He wants to stretch us now so that we don’t acquire an injury in the process.
God wants to stretch you beyond your normal comfort zone. This is where you will begin to see growth and progress like never before. Just as mothers who are birthing babies, it’s work and it’s intense, but when the baby finally arrives you feel like the most blessed person in the world. Allow those beautiful stretch marks to bring something new into this world.
“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” ~ Philippians 3:14 (NLT)
Paul allows himself to be stretched by God in order to achieve his full potential. It’s the same with us. We have to be willing to go beyond our comfort zones. We must forget what is behind and strain toward what is ahead. We must relinquish our fears and focus on what we can be if we allow God to stretch us.
If you can survive change, that makes you strong. Stretch marks are a sign that you have withstood reshaping into a new you and continued living. Adaptation is one of the main reasons for successfully existing. Your stretch marks are physical indicators that you have victoriously adapted and or been transformed.
It does not matter how you acquired them, but they are proof that you have metamorphosed into a new you – countless times. Just like God’s plan for your life, they are uniquely yours. They are not scars or flaws, but beautiful features that are remarkably you.
Although all of our stretch marks are one-of-a-kind, almost all women have them. You cannot erase stretch marks any more than you can dismiss the process that caused them. So, why not embrace the part of your journey that produced these stretch marks and celebrate the chapter of your story these permanent tattoos represent.
“I am praying that God will use us to stretch and birth a supernatural move of God like we have not seen before.” ~ Ps. Sharon Kelly