I read a blog post by Jessica N. Turner tiled “Moms, Put on That Swimsuit” over the weekend. In a nutshell Jessica writes about how moms should not be afraid to put on their swimsuits and be seen on the beach in them. She then goes on to say that when mom’s “hide” and don’t splash in the waves with their children they are portraying a negative body image to their children. My favourite line from her post is “Your swimsuit does not define you” because it is SO true.
Body image is something that I struggle with and when it comes to swimsuit season I tend to worry a little bit too much about what other people think I look like in my bikini. I then spend most of the time filled with anxiety, as well as with a strong of negative thoughts running through my head about my body. All of this is just unnecessary and real joy stealer because in all honesty people on the beach are probably not looking at me – they’re doing beach things like swimming, playing beach bat and ball etc. If people are judging me because I don’t have a perfect body they really are not seeing me for me. What I look like on the outside is not the only thing that makes me, me. God gave me talents and a personality, which also defines who I am.
Before I digress too much…
After I read the post it kind of lingered in my mind for a bit – actually I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I then decided to ask God why, because I’m not a mom. God gently answered by telling me that I may not be a mom, but when I “hide” on the beach instead of having fun or when I choose not to do something because I think I’m too fat or too ugly to do something I send the same negative message. He then gently reminded me how I tell the Fancy Flamingos each month that God created them beautiful and when I let negative thoughts fill my head about my own body I contradict what I say to them. It’s almost like I don’t believe what I tell them when it comes to how God has created us and what He says about us.
God then took me to John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (NIV). Some translations say abundant instead of full. God really has created us to live full/abundant lives with nothing holding us back. When I’m too scared to put on my swimming costume or to do something because of my negative thoughts I’m just robbing myself of the fullness in life God has created me for. I’m also letting the devil win the battle with all the lies he tells us to get us to not live life abundantly.
This is what I would call a “wow” moment – I kind of just sat there going “wow” before I asked God how we can deal with this. I definitely don’t want to live a life that contradicts what I tell the girls about who God says they are or how He has made them. I also want to live the full life God has created me for. I was then reminded that the way to deal with this is to keep my eyes fixed on Him, to stay focused on who He says I am, as per the bible and everything He has said to me during our journey of the self-image battle we’ve been on, as well as to tell the devil to just leave me alone when he comes with all his lies.
In closing… I really want to encourage you that God has made you wonderfully and no matter what the world says when it comes to curves, no curves, thigh gaps etc. you are beautiful. Our creator God made you and He definitely doesn’t make mistakes. God keeps reminding me of this on the days I forget and it really is true. God is good and He never lies, so let’s go out there and life abundant lives.