When I took these pictures, the weather had turned a lot warmer so I traded my boots in for some Converse. I’m also wearing a light weight red sweater and my cozy plaid blanket scarf. This is a typical outfit I wear working at home most days minus the scarf. My jeans are from American Eagle. I find that brand fits me well. Once I find a jean that fits right and feels comfortable, I stick with that brand.
In my devotional today, I want to encourage each of you who may be struggling with having a more positive body image. I am praying for you to have a more confident attitude in the way you feel about yourself. There have been times in my life where I have struggled with this confidence. God did not make a mistake when he created each part of you inside and out! While what we look like certainly isn’t the most important part of who we are, I believe we should take care of the body God gave us to live in as best we can. It is important to have a good balanced view of ourselves, not going to the extreme of being vain or the extreme of hating ourselves. With this in mind, please keep reading.
Remembering I Am Made In His Image
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:27 NIV
Today, I want to talk about having a more positive body image and what the Bible says about our images. Recently having had breast cancer has challenged me to deal with negative feelings I have had about the way I look, not just in this situation, but also during other times in my life.
I had a mastectomy followed by reconstruction to treat my breast cancer. I don’t regret the decision as it was the best thing for me to do in my situation to protect my health. Even so, it was devastating.
Surprisingly to me, there was also a lot of guilt that I felt after surviving cancer. One way I felt guilty was over being sad and upset about how I looked after losing my breast. I also felt guilty over the fact that I was worried about how I would look after reconstruction was complete. After all, I was alive when many women don’t survive or have to go through even more difficult cancer treatments. I am passed child bearing age so technically I didn’t need my breast for it’s intended purpose of nursing. I learned, though, that I didn’t need to feel guilty about these natural feelings. It was okay to grieve the loss. After all, God created women to be feminine. He distinguishes us from men by that and the way we are shaped.
It is through this experience and relying on God’s truth about who I am that has started a change in my attitude when I am feeling down about myself and the way I look.
Here are some truths that have helped me:
We are made in God’s image. I’ve known this fact all my life, but until recently I not sure I ever took it to heart. I think we as women often compare the way we look with the way other women look, but we were not made in someone else’s image. We were made in God’s image. His perfect hand created us each in his image, yet each with unique features and attributes. The fact is that this world would be a pretty boring place if we all looked exactly the same.
A perfect God made you and his creation is a beautiful masterpiece. Therefore, you are beautiful! Don’t let anyone else’s opinion of you ever make you think otherwise. Do you ever notice how we each have our own definition of what we consider is pretty? There is definitely truth in the saying beauty is in the eye of the beholder. One person’s opinion of what is pretty is often not another person’s. Besides that they may have not had belly buttons, I would love to have seen what Adam and Eve looked like in their perfect bodies before sin entered the world. I wonder if we would be surprised to find that they don’t look like what our society and media today defines as beautiful.
We are each flawed in our bodies. None of us is perfect in any way including how we look. I did not look perfect before my reconstruction surgery, and I do not look perfect now. None of us will live forever in this world. Our bodies are vulnerable to disease and decay. Yet, we have hope in Christ that one day we will be given a new body when we die. We will be free of sickness and will live eternally with God. I’m thankful today for this hope.