Last weekend I discovered an indoor pool on post that reminded me of how much I love to swim. I figured it would be the perfect way to get in shape and stay in shape, since I have been struggling so much with my weight. Being in the cool water, muscles burning, and my heart wanting to beat out of my chest, I felt happy. While kicking my legs and moving my arms, I thought to myself, “I can do this and I can lose weight.”
But yesterday, I had a bad experience at the pool while working out. A lifeguard was very rude to me and said something that was very hurtful to me. Maybe I took him wrong or maybe I took him exactly how he wanted me to, but either way, I was hurt and embarrassed. I wanted to quit and just get out of the pool and never come back again. Instead of quitting, I took the board the lifeguard gave me and finished my goal of 20 lengths.
I stayed and cried while I finished my laps. I felt embarrassed, made fun of, and shamed. But I continued to swim and kick my legs. I was determined to finish strong. I did what I came to do and didn’t give up, even though my heart and feelings desperately wanted to call it quits.
As Christian women, are there times we want to give up in our spiritual walks? Or are there times we want to give up on trying so hard to be this or that to be accepted? The answer is yes.
As women, we struggle to feel accepted, to feel pretty enough, to be stylish enough. We try too hard to fit into this world that we lose sight of fitting into the Kingdom of God. We try too hard to be pretty, to be skinny enough, to just be who we are, that we lose our spiritual vision and lose sight on the standards God has laid before us in His word.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Scripture tells us time and time again to not be conformed to this world, yet we try so hard to fit the world’s standards of beauty. When we take the time to let God give us a spiritual vision to see, we will see our beauty the way that God sees us and we will be satisfied. When we allow God to give us spiritual hearing to listen, we will hear the voice of God speaking to us and telling us that we are enough, just the way we are.
For years, I have struggled with my body image and my beauty. I still struggle. But I am learning to love myself for who God made me to be. God made me in His image and because I know that truth, I know that I am beautiful, no matter what my weight may be or how “boring” my clothes may seem to some.
Part of Genesis 1:26 says, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:”
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”
These scriptures teach us that God created us in His image and in His likeness. We know that God is a beautiful God and because God is beautiful, we are beautiful too. We should love ourselves and our bodies, no matter what shape or size we are. We should be able to feel pretty and know that we are beautiful, no matter if we have perfectly white teeth, unblemished skin, or beautiful hair. We should feel proud of our progress, small or big and stop comparing ourselves to the more fit and more toned. We should simply be and learn that simply being who God created us to be is enough.
Instead of feeling like we should give up in our spiritual walks because we got hurt by a fellow Christian, we should continue walking strong in our faith and let God do the healing. Instead of going to the gym because we hate our bodies and so desperately want to be skinny, we should work out if we want to, to become stronger and understand just how capable and magnificent our bodies are thanks to God. Instead of comparing ourselves to the women who seem to always dress so cute and stylish, we should be content with who we are. Instead of comparing ourselves to the women who seem to have their lives together, we should focus on knitting our lives and our hearts closer to God each day.
When we allow ourselves to see through our spiritual eyes, we will see ourselves in a better light. Sometimes it takes a rude person or a bad situation to make us realize that we are more than capable and that we are enough. Satan will place someone in our paths to try to knock us down, but we have the choice to stay knocked down or to just keep swimming.