I knew you were struggling with your body image, but I didn’t realize how much. The tragic reality is, you’re not alone, countless women feel the same as you do. It seems like as women we start as young girls that confidently pose with hands on hips and heads held high, photo bombing at every opportunity, just to get into the picture, and then we turn into women ashamed of our bodies, who shiver at the site of ourselves in a photo. It’s sad, and maybe even wrong, but we do it anyways because that’s how we are programmed.
I guess I didn’t realize the deep hate and insecurity you felt towards your body until recently. Women have this unfair pressure to have a certain body type, and it’s so easy to get caught in the eye of this terribly destructive tornado that is completely unrealistic. Honestly, hearing and seeing your deep and sincere shame about your body stopped me in my tracks, and I think it was because you are so physically beautiful, yet you don’t see that. My heart ached for you, and for a minute, I had a glimpse of the emotional pain you feel because of your body, but I have to tell you the thoughts that followed the hurt and pain I felt for you. They were strong, and all of the sudden I saw more than just your outer beauty, I saw your inner beauty as well and I just wanted grab your two shoulders and look you straight in the eyes and convincingly say, “LOVE ALL OF YOU!”
You are a wife.
You courageously battle mental and physical pain daily.
You battle thyroid disease.
You have ridden the emotional and physical roller coaster of infertility.
You have been through multiple fertility treatments where the only results were weight gain, money loss, single line pregnancy tests, and a lot of tears and confusion.
You say yes to God when He asks you to do something, even if it will stretch you and your family beyond your comfort zone.
When God’s plan is different than yours, you follow with faith.
You give and give and give to those with less.
You are the definition of beauty.
One of my all time favorite quotes reminds me of you.
I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully, tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails.
I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp.
I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children.
I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden.
I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder.
I want the Lord to know I was really here and I really lived. -Marjorie Pay Hinckley
The Lord will know you were really here and you really lived.
You could have chosen to live differently. You could have chosen a different road that would have led you to a different story, and maybe even to that “ideal” body that is in your mind, but you and I both know that that road would not have been as beautiful. It would not even be comparable in beauty, it would actually be a story of disaster and unhappiness, much like the tornado I mentioned earlier. Instead, you chose to live a life that counts; you live a healthy active lifestyle, you serve like crazy, you love God, and you put first things first!
So when you feel those shameful, embarrassed, insecure feelings about your body, remember your beautiful story, and love all of you!
Your life is beautiful.
Your story is beautiful.
Your body is beautiful.
You are beautiful.