July 12, 2016
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. And having the right amount of curves isn’t enough either.
The struggle for perfect bodies and the pressure that comes with it has caused me to question my conviction about God’s grace. Do I believe grace only applies to my habits, to-do list, and actions? And do I believe it also applies to my identity? Do I believe grace declares “you are enough”? My body, my soul, my personality, my wide hips, my short stature?
Is grace also the cure for my endless struggle for the perfect summer body?
I think so! I believe that God’s grace allows us to be who we truly are without shame. Even the imperfections. And it empowers us to grow and become better versions of ourselves. It gives us favor to be who we are meant to be and strength to keep going in that direction.
Last 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. To love my imperfections. To receive God’s grace and be conscious that I didn’t need to be ashamed. And that I’m a work in progress.
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 where you’d like it to be. For all you moms out there, rock that mom bod like nobody’s business! And for the girls who’s hips don’t lie (like me), embrace them and love them. If you’re thin 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. Embracing grace and loving our perfectly imperfect bodies right where they’re at today.
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.
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There’s no such thing as ugly women. Each and every single one of you girls are a living definition of what perfection means, because our Daddy never makes mistakes. Now sure, if you’re born with back problems (like I am) it’s not the will of God, but my point is that perfection is your very essence, not something you are to earn like you’re lacking it. Screw those stupid beauty standards. Among the women I “liked” (if y’all know what I mean) as a christian man, a lot of them had “perfect imperfections” -> acne scars, a tooth that wasn’t exactly where it was supposed to,… That may sound surprising but I found those things very attractive, because their utmost beauty turned those “imperfections” into a part of their charm. That’s also the very reason why I still find women beautiful when lounging in oversized men’s sweatshirts without make-up, because feminity and beauty are their essence, and everything they do or wear becomes feminine and beautiful as a result. Now sure, women (AND MEN) can learn how to dress and present themselves in the way that suits them the best, but you’re never trying to create beauty like it’s not there, simply to express it, because you are beautiful, period.
May I stress the point that I’m not writing this to get any kind of attention? Just wanted to encourage all my sisters in Christ who will read my comment 🙂
Blessings from Switzerland
Thanks Vincent! Totally agree!
My pleasure 🙂
Forgot to say your article was amazing and powerful ahah! I really enjoyed reading it 🙂
This is such an honest and beautiful post. Thank you for being open and vulnerable, gorgeous. It can be such a challenge during any time of year – but especially summer – to appreciate the body that God has given us. My favorite verse to think over is “you are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you” (Song of Solomon 4:7). It’s such a good reminder that even on our “worst” days, He sees nothing but our best. And our confidence comes from that! ❤️ So rock that swimsuit, girlfriend! And know that you look so beautiful – every perfect imperfection included!
Stephanie | drunkonvogue.com
Thanks Steph! Appreciate your encouragement. And that verse fits this perfectly!
So so good!
I love how you said “extend grace to yourself” “know that you are enough”
Such a good reminder!
Thanks Nivi 💕
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