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I got a new sweatshirt in the mail yesterday.

It’s persimmon (pretty much orange), with quilted sleeves and a big collar and gorgeous fabric and it’s overall lovely. I put it on and zipped it up and fell a little bit in love. For a minute I wasn’t worried about how far my belly stuck out. For a minute I felt good. For a minute, I didn’t feel like the size that I am.

For a minute I didn’t let the size that I am dictate how I felt.

I have been pregnant four times in as five years. Two of those babies are asleep upstairs and two met Jesus before I met them, but each pregnancy expanded me, leaving stretch marks on my skin and my heart. There’s been stress lately, a hurtling past of time, a keep-me-awake-at-night sense of urgency and incompletion with projects It’s easy to let my feelings overtake me. It’s easier to feel less than, than it is to feel good enough. Feeling enough is the hard choice.

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For a minute today I felt enough. But it wasn’t because of my new shirt. Though that was the gateway – that moment with my shirt cracked my heart open just enough for the love my son poured on me to make it through, the adoration in my daughters eyes to pierce my own, and the hug from my husband to permeate.

I hadn’t felt that door opened in a while, and I liked it. Kind of like the gate was left swinging wide in the secret garden.

Maybe it won’t always take a new shirt for that gate to swing wide. Maybe one day it will be rusted open, gaping welcome to its regular visitor. Maybe one day flowers will have taken root, beauty sunk deep and making itself home at the base of the gate. Maybe one day we’ll wake up and the skin we’re in will feel like home; with baby steps of work and acceptance, it does a little more each day.

Til then, if you see me wearing an orange sweatshirt anytime soon, it’s because that shirt opened my eyes to a tender feeling towards myself, and I’m not above wearing that gateway everyday for a while.

what makes you feel enough? what makes you forget – or not care – about that one imperfection that you’re usually laser-focused on? 

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