A Deep Sea Diving Suit Wish
Updated: Feb 8, 2021
My hands clutched the towel tighter to my body as the clear water invited me in. I guesstimated the distance to the edge of the pool – too far for comfort. Why hadn’t I done some crunches or not eaten cookies the day before?
My eyes wandered over to the toned mom who was rocking her orange bikini. She radiated confidence. I exhibited six-year old baby weight. I wanted a hole to hide in. Or a deep sea diving suit.
New pool-side fashion?
This post is tough to write because it is so hard for me to LIVE! I struggle greatly with self-image. Just when I think progress is being made, something like pool time slams me right back to square one – or so it seems. This isn’t about how I have “arrived.” Instead, it’s an invitation for you to join me in conversation about how to fight a battle that may confront us on a normal basis. It can be really, really hard, but the good news is that we don’t have to give up.
The Master Artist Created You and Me. Always start here – God never makes mistakes. The Psalmist wrote, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139). He never looks His creation and says, “Meh – She’s okay, but I’ll have to try harder on the next one.” Standards of beauty change with time and culture, but God’s definition of who you are will never vary. Regardless of how you might feel, this is a lifeline to grasp – The Lord of all says you are HIS MASTERPIECE.
Our image doesn’t say as much about us as it does about God. Everything He made declares God’s goodness and glory. His works are nothing short of wonderful (Psalm 139). Understanding this should begin to change our response to the reflection in the mirror and move us to marvel over our Creator.
Make confidence a habit. Confidence is beautiful. It results from an increasing understanding of truth and good old-fashioned practice. Own it. I have been working on confidence and have learned a few things – I slouch and look down a lot because I want to hide. So I am striving to make good posture, walking with my head up, and looking people in the eye a habit even if I feel like an impostor right now. What would practice look like for you?
Take care of your body. It’s hard to exercise confidence and see the beauty of God’s creation when we are trashing the body He gave us. Please hear me here – this is not about a number on the scale. Our primary motivation shouldn’t be to lose weight (even if needed), but to take care of our bodies in the long-term. It’s funny how a week of nutritious food and movement can drastically change the way I feel even if the scale or measurements don’t shift. Think of what consistency can do for our well-being physically, emotionally, and even spiritually.
Stop playing the comparison game. Comparison in this context is often a word replacement for “envy” – “I want to be that size. I want to look like her.” Nothing zaps joy or confidence faster than envy because it’s a sin, and sin destroys. It’s okay to find positive motivation through what we see in others (like a mom in the orange bikini), but we don’t have to rip ourselves apart to appreciate a fellow creation. When insecurity flares because the comparison dice has been rolled, take it to the Father who defines and loves you. Sit with Him. Practice the confidence we talked about earlier. Run your own race.
The body image battle begins and ends in the mind. It’s endless tug-of-war between fact versus fiction. Lies fertilize lies. We have to identify and replace them with truth. Filling our minds with truth is not a one time commitment to stand in front of a hydrant for a good drenching. Instead, it’s like a steady feeding through a permanent IV drip. We can learn to see ourselves as God does – deeply loved, chosen, and beautiful. What is in your bag?
Deep sea diving suits probably won’t become new swim fashion (drat), so I will need practice with application. We are walking evidence of God’s greatness – how amazing. He makes us beautiful. Let’s walk together in truth – even at the pool.