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2 February - Help I've Got Stretch Marks

Today I was noticing my stretch marks…yep, after six babies, I've got them.

A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. In my case, it's from six pregnancies with big bubba's. I've gotten used to them, and now they are a little like a badge of honour as to my body's capabilities in bringing six little people into the world.

The whole thing about stretch marks is that they are formed because they make room for something new to grow and emerge. You can't grow bigger on the inside without your previous shape and form having to increase and give way in some way for the new. Therefore stretch marks are evidence of how much we have grown, developed and increased.

It's much the same in other areas of our life, in that every part of our life will require growth and us going through a stretching process to take hold of the new opportunities and dreams that are emerging and that we desire to achieve.

We experience stretching when we move forward with new relationships, and we're required to change and commit on a deeper level. There is stretching when we find a partner, have children, change jobs, switch careers or enter a new phase of study and education. There is stretching in new exercise regimes and choosing a healthier lifestyle.

There is stretching in saving financially for something we want to purchase and the choices we have to make to achieve our financial goals.

There is also stretching regarding our relationship with Jesus and the way He asks us to live. It will stretch us to be more disciplined, to say no to some things and yes to others, which may push us out of our comfort zone.

There is no growth without stretching somewhere, and it will usually be obvious and leave its mark. It's our choice, however, whether we see this stretching and any feelings of discomfort or unfamiliarity it may cause us as a good thing or something we resent.

But just as I see my stretch marks as a sign and reminder that my body is pretty amazing to carry and bring new life into the world, I encourage you to look at the areas of your life where you may be being stretched and daily choose to grow and allow God to work in you to create something new and amazing. (Ephesians 2:10 Amp)

It may mean having to focus and get whatever you are facing done or stepping up in another area of your life. But stretching is a necessary part of your development and growth, and since God always has increase and good things in mind for you, you're going to be okay.

Ask for his help and wisdom, and you'll soon discover that your stretching season has birthed something new in you that wasn't there before, and you are a bigger and better person because you allowed the stretching to create something great in you rather than deplete who you are.

"Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities". (Isaiah 54:2-3)

"Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (Philippians 1:6)

"I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14)

Prayer: Lord, thank you for growth and increase and that you only have good things in your plan for me. Please help me to see where I may feel stretched and even a little uncomfortable as opportunities rather than difficulties and that this year I will grow bigger on the inside and birth something new in my life. In Jesus' name Amen.

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