There’s a motto I use quite frequently to describe what Styld by Grace is all about. “Grace over perfection”. I had come to the realization that God wasn’t asking perfection from me. In reality, He was extending His grace towards me. How could I live by faith if everything in my life was perfect? How could I see God’s miracles at work if life was always perfect?
During the summer when there’s an endless amount of pressure to look our best, this motto of grace over perfection kind of goes out the door for me. I don’t know about you but that number on the scale really scares me sometimes. Actually, it bothers me and even makes me feel disgusted. The struggle for “perfect” bodies is real. Skinny is never skinny enough. Having the right amount of “assets” is never enough.
The struggle for perfect bodies and the pressure that comes with it has caused me to question my conviction on God’s grace. Do I believe it only applies to my daily routine and life? Or do I believe it applies to even the core of who I am? Do I believe I AM enough? My body, my soul, my personality, my wide hips, my short stature?
Is the cure for perfection, grace, also the cure for my endless struggle for the perfect body?
Some would say that grace is a justification to do and act however we like without consequences. I really don’t believe that grace means actions without repercussions. I do believe that grace allows us to be fully who we are, at that very moment.
This past 4th of July weekend I knew I’d be out in the sun. I really wanted to be in the water. But I also knew what that entailed. Putting on a bathing suit. Did I feel super confident? Was my stomach flat and sculpted? NOPE. But I made a conscious decision to love myself right where I was at. Pouchy belly and all. (I admit I sucked it in when I felt extra self-conscious).
This summer, I give you permission to put a bathing suit on and feel happy. Extend grace to yourself. Love your body right where it’s at. Know that you ARE enough, even if your body isn’t perfectly sculpted and toned. For all you moms out there, rock that mom body like nobody’s business! And for the girls who’s hips don’t lie, embrace them and love them. If you’re skinny and self-conscious of what you’re “lacking”, don’t believe that lie. You too are enough.
So, here’s to a happy AND healthy summer, of loving our perfectly imperfect bodies right where they’re at!
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:16)
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:1-2)
I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. (Philippians 1:20)
P.S. Stay tuned for some healthy body image advice from my friend Angie Gonzalez, who helps young women overcome eating disorders.