I was fine with my body. I never questioned the way I looked or felt, I always felt like I was enough. I was always fine with my body that had the ability to play soccer and basketball and run; I was happy with it, and honestly, I never gave it much thought at all. I remember the first time I hated my body: it was an unfamiliar feeling; an absolutely wretched feeling. I was in Florida wearing my lovely athletic one piece bathing suit on the beach with my family. I was innocently diving into waves, running after footballs and collecting shells and all I felt was happiness. Then I started to notice that I was the only girl under the age of 12 that wasn't wearing a bikini. I saw tiny girls, larger girls, athletic girls, girly girls...ALL wearing bikinis. Why wasn't I wearing one of them? I pushed the thought aside until I got back to my room and took a shower and began to get dressed again. That's when I saw it: I was not enough. I wasn't pretty enough to wear a bikini; I was too fat to wear a bikini; I would embarrass myself in a bikini. I stood there and just stared at this image before me and I started to hate it.
This feeling was part of my life for so many years, and still sneaks up on me to this day. I have finally found peace with my body, not because I did end up growing taller and thinning out or because I became a runner and lost a few pounds, but because I believe I was created by God. Who am I to say that I'm not enough? Who am I to say that I'm ugly and fat? My God gave me life, He gave me my heart and soul and then He saved them all; so who am I to say that I am worth nothing?
Here's what I began to discover about my God given body:
1. God gave me curves on my hips and stomach because I believe that it's in my future to have children.
2. God gave me rough and calloused feet because He gave me a Farmer to marry and follow and He knew I'd be working hard for the rest of my life.
3. God gave me my "ugly" hands because He also gave me a desire to create things; He loves to watch me sew and crochet and embroider things; He loves to see me find joy in creating just like He had when He knit me in my mother's womb (Psalm 139:13).
4. God gave me huge, thunder thighs because He knew I'd have to walk a lot of places in my time in college and on the farm.
5. God gave me a round face with blue eyes because He gave The Farmer a love for my face.
My body is not mine, it's God's. Your body is not yours, it's God's. Everything you do not like about yourself was created by the God who created everything; and maybe, just maybe, each piece of you has a purpose that you have yet to realize. I encourage you to find peace and love for your body through God and His word. It's so rewarding to live free of the burden of self-hate. You all are beautifully created and I hope that through this series that was written by myself and my friends, you find beauty in the body and personality that God created and gave to you for an amazing and fulfilling purpose.
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I want to hear your stories. I would love to know how you struggled and how you overcame your negative self image (your image of your personality or body) by allowing God to work through you and heal you. Please submit your stories to email@example.com and we may select some of you to be featured on the blog at the end of April!