So I started this post on Saturday and it was somehow deleted. At first I was extremely frustrated, but then I realized it was not at all what God wanted me to say, what I was supposed to say…
On Saturday I bought a new bathing suit and had the following conversation with my sister: “Want to see the new bathing suit I bought!?!” (shows her) “Oh…you bought a tankini?” “Yeah!” “…why?”
Well there are many reasons why a girl would buy a tankini, she feels fat, she likes them, she actually wants a bathing suit that is both modest and easy to take off to go to the bathroom…(sorry if that was TMI but try getting a wet one piece on and off again…)…but either way, why should it matter that I bought a tankini instead of a bikini??
This made me think about modesty in today’s culture. Is it really that difficult to comprehend? How can we, as 20-something year olds, live out our faith by being modest examples of His Love and setting the bar for others? Is it insane that we should be able to wear something not as revealing and like it? What kind of image are we trying to portray? I am making a conscious effort as of Saturday to act and dress more modestly. That comment hit home and I can think of a million and 1 reasons “why” I should wear a tankini this summer…because He loves me and built me in love, not lust…because I am not a symbol of sex and neither should my body be…because I don’t need to show off something that only the Lord needs to see…because if my vocation is to be married someday, my immodesty would hurt our relationship, could hurt all my future relationships…and if my vocation is not to get married, my immodesty could hurt my relationship with God…it could hurt my relationship with God either way… So now, I need to make an effort to act in modesty as well as dress in modesty. No more small comments that say too much about me, no more outfits that I really shouldn’t wear… the end.
Now, I also realize that when my sister asked me “why?” she could also have been wondering if I thought I was too fat to wear a bikini. This is a HUGE issue in today’s society as well–body image. Now I have a feeling that this is directly linked to immodesty because the more we see of each other, the more we are aware of ourselves. Let me tell you something, I don’t like to speak in absolutes so I will say 99.99% of females (and a growing majority of males) ARE NOT HAPPY WITH THEIR BODY. There, I said it. We look in the mirror and see imperfection. It doesn’t matter how many compliments we get, how confident we are, constant reassurances don’t help. We don’t like the way we look and that is a problem! It is a problem because God made us this way, made us perfect in His image and likeness. Sometimes we forget. I know I do. Do you know how often I weigh myself? Every day. And I record it so I can look back and judge myself. I know this is a problem and I can’t help it. I need to know because I will never be comfortable in my own skin. There was a time in my life when I was…I was 12 and could care less what others thought…then I was 14 and through the love of God realized that I was beautiful in His eyes and nothing else mattered. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I wish I could be that person again. So full of God’s love, but every time I compare myself to another girl, I can’t help wondering if I’m pretty enough, or slim enough…I’m done defending myself. I hate when bigger girls get angry at me because I’m insecure about my body weight too. I hate that I’m not allowed to want to lose weight just because someone else wants to be my size. It frustrates me, it makes me angry, and it makes me so aware of how imperfect we all feel.
So when I think of my sister and why she asked me that, I have to wonder, was she worried that I think I’m too fat for a bikini? Because what would that mean for her? The image I was projecting of perfect effected her as well. Even though she acts older than me at times, I must still impact her the way only an older sister can. So I want her to know, if she’s reading this, that she is perfect in God’s eyes and in mine. I am going to wear that tankini with pride, not because I’m too fat, but because I want to be modest and project modesty. And, I am going to make more of an effort to love myself exactly the way that I am.
Lord, please help me.