I never thought I would be the kind of person to be sad about the changes child birth made to my body. I did not think much of my physical self before this season so why should this make a difference? However it affected me deeply. People said things to me while I was pregnant like “gosh you’re ginormous” or “don’t worry you’ll bounce back so fast” and I laughed the comments off because neither of those people had ever been pregnant (clearly). If I am truly honest though I was sad. Sad about the expectations placed on me. Sad that I didn’t appreciate my body before having children, sad I didn’t appreciate the strength of my body doing something amazing during and sad that afterwards I felt so broken and ugly.
It woke me up to realize how much twisted value society places on women’s bodies in particular. I could see so clearly now how this had effected my subconscious. I didn’t know how to surrender it to God because it felt wrong to complain to him about something so seemingly surface and frivolous. It was hard in the depths of it, to see a way out and it felt like a time of wandering through a desert with little hope on the horizon.
I stand back now after some time and I am beginning to see the truth that needs to be spoken and the need to look at the bigger picture of my life and surrender it to God. I’ve got daughters to think of now. Aside from pregnancy and postpartum there are so many different seasons and situations we as women face physically. We are fighting a huge battle here, against the strain the world has put on something so incredible. A pressure that feels so real on a daily basis, no matter where you live on this earth. A lie that holds us back. Makes us doubt our freedom, value and unique gifts.
Coming before God once or twice on this topic didn’t work for me. It’s a daily surrender every time I look in the mirror. Every time I look at my daughters, my friends, random women I encounter. I pray for the freedom, grace, strength and peace to come against the standards of the world and embrace the creation God intended us to be. A reflection of God who can bring something real, raw, vulnerable, strong, insightful, creative, beautiful and kind. A woman!
One thing God has said to me in this time is: Look at the women who you admire the most in your life. (I could think of at least 30 women from all over the world who I know of). What qualities do they have? Well...confidence, resilience, empathy, humor, creativity and style were qualities I could see in each. And those women I admire are all beautiful to me. Because they have those qualities that’s how they appear. These are things I should strive to be. Not some physical image box I’m supposed to fit it to be approved of by the world.
God knows exactly how to get me seeing myself differently. By making me see it in others first and realizing how harsh and unfair I am to myself. And with him, as a creator.
3. Song? Waking up slow- Gabrielle Aplin (not Christian song) but hard not to smile when it comes on! Also podcasts : Brene Brown - Unlocking us (feat Alicia Keyes) unbelievably inspiring women! And I’ve been listening to ‘Abiding together’. 3 catholic women speaking and praying on various life topics. Never thought I’d like it but it gets me in the feels. Every. Time. Especially because We can’t hang out as easily with groups of women and especially because I have just become a mother. It’s been my saving grace a few times. Brings me back to God.