One thing I learned as a result of going to David's Bridal: there is no such thing as "going to take a look around." We walked into the store, thinking to just browse for ideas, and immediately I was assaulted with women giving me forms to sign, bags of books to look through, and free chocolate to eat. (Skinny Cow only, gotta fit into the dress!) As my consultant measured me, I started to get a little embarrassed.
For one thing, I was in no way prepared to try on wedding dresses. You're supposed to be there with your bridal party and future mother-in-law and all that crew, not just your mom. You're supposed to be tiny and fit into every dress they shove you in and leave room for them to clip it smaller so it fits better. (Warning! This next one may get weird!) You're supposed to be skinny, wearing the correct bra and underwear (not cheetah stuff, in case anyone was wondering,) and definitely not bloated from the effects of a combination of Sheetz food and Mother Nature. I've watched enough Say Yes to the Dress to know these little facts. The big reason for my embarrassment, though, was watching myself get dressed. I am all curves and awkward angles - big hips, big chest, big thighs; you name it, I have it in the plus size. Trying on the dresses was starting to get almost uncomfortable, because I kept not fitting into dresses, and only seeing my imperfections.
So you can imagine my surprise when I stood in the dressing room in a corset and slip, trying on dress after dress. Before I even knew it, I slipped on another dress that the consultant had put in the room for me...and just stopped. It was perfect. As I walked out of the dressing room, I saw that the dress didn't close in back. As a matter of fact, barely any of them did. The consultant and the seamstress came into the dressing room after, taking more measurements and deciding that I would need to order a size up from the sample - making me wear a size 14. At that moment, though, I knew that it didn't matter that it wasn't the right size. It didn't matter that it needed altered. All that mattered was that finally, after what seemed like a lifetime of searching, I felt beautiful.
Sure, I've felt beautiful a few times in my life. Once in a while when I had a nice outfit on, or was on a special date with Ryan, I would feel kind of beautiful. Otherwise, though, I never really felt it. According to society, my size is too fat. Too big. Too much of everything. Size 8 is too big for jeans to be on a woman, because it's much too far away from a size 0 - let alone a 00. A large shirt isn't ideal, because only extra small shirts are okay. And, most definitely, a bride shouldn't feel beautiful if her dress is anything bigger than a 4.
I'm not one to mince words. I obviously don't care what others think, considering I just named my sizes on the internet - big no-no for society today! Why should I care what people think of me? Nothing is wrong with my body. My God made me exactly as He wants me. Why worry about His workmanship?
"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." - 1 Corinthians 6:19-20We are not our own. Our bodies don't even belong to us - they're temples for the Holy Spirit. That temple was made and designed to be exactly as it is - whether it's a size 0 or a size 10.
I have oodles to say on this subject - it's a hot button topic nowadays. As a curvy girl, I can choose to either shut up and accept what society says, or I can embrace the temple God has given me. My favorite Bible verse is Proverbs 31:30.
"Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
Who cares what people think about our bodies? What does it matter that I don't look the same as you, or my friends, or the supermodel on the tabloid? It doesn't matter how much I put into my appearance. Beauty will fade away one day. It's not going to matter in 1 year, in 5 years, in 10 years, or even an hour from now. I am God's temple, beautiful in a size 0, AND a size 14. Whatever size I end up in come November, I'm still going to be beautiful to my family and friends, to my incredible husband-to-be as he watches me walk to him, and to my God, who I know will be smiling down on His daughter as she gets married.
My challenge to you is this - are you caught up in your body image? Are you concerned what people say when you go shopping or think about wearing a certain piece of clothing? Stop right there. Don't be. God loves you just as you are, no matter the number on the tag. He made you exactly as you are, and He's made incredible things. If He can make the universes and place all the stars in the sky just so, who are we to question how He designed us? Read Psalm 139:14 until you have it memorized - we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Consider your self image. Do you realize how beautiful you are? If not, take a look - you are.
Are you in?