I just came back from vacationing on a beautiful resort in Florida. Definitely a God thing! While there, we spent everyday poolside, just wonderful! I hadn’t spent this much time in a bathing suit since I was a kid, and even though I’ve lost some weight, I was just a little eency bit concerned about how I looked in my new bathing suit.
Most interesting was what I saw while there. I saw women of all ages, shapes, sizes and backgrounds in one-piece bathing suits and bikinis and as I observed, not one woman looked worried, concerned or bothered by what anyone else may have thought about them! Everyone seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves. I saw stretch marks, saggy bottoms and breasts, and cellulite worn with pride! I saw “normal” bodies! It was like an awakening because what I saw definitely didn’t match what I see everyday on TV. I’m not judging at all because I am a proud wearer of stretch marks myself but being in that surrounding and noticing the quiet confidence of the women around me, put me at greater ease and I was able to enjoy being in the pool with my daughters with no qualms at all. I’m only speaking of what I observed. These women may have had their own insecurities but they didn’t allow them to hinder their time with their families.
Not saying that I’m not confident in my own skin, but just being in a non-judgemental environment was freeing and awesome! Which leads me to think, what if everywhere we went, we felt this freedom from judgement about our looks and just felt accepted? There were some women there who had very fit bodies but it wasn’t the majority. While I know that this acceptance may never happen on this side of Heaven, we should, as women, accept our sisters and encourage one another. We don’t know the stories of our sisters, don’t know what they’ve been through or what they’ve had to endure. We’ve all been through or is going through something. After pregnancy, for most of us, not all body parts return to normal, we are not all a size 4-6, and most likely, we all have something that we dislike about our bodies. We need to stop comparing ourselves to each other and encourage, love and accept each other.
The time spent poolside also further proved to me that the way things are portrayed on TV are so totally messed up! The messages are extremely misleading, discouraging and unrealistic. Yet, we buy into them everyday. We think that we must look a certain way, act a certain way and have all these “things” in order to be accepted, but this isn’t true. God has already accepted us as good because He created us as good. He’s more concerned about our hearts than our outer appearance. You can be “beautiful” on the outside but ugly as heck on the inside!
Anyway, if you’re planning on wearing any type of swimwear this summer, don’t forget about modesty, wear it proudly and show your sister some love and grace!
Be blessed & encouraged,