by Jennifer Smith
I’ve struggled with body image since college. I remember making the transition from wearing bikini bottoms to wearing boy shorts, then preferring a one piece, and eventually dreading bathing suit season altogether. I didn’t want to wear sleeveless shirts or even shorts for that matter. Although summer is my favorite season, I longed for winter months when I could hide more by adding extra layers of clothes.
Before my diagnosis, I had come a long way toward resolving such issues. When I was told it would be in my best interest to have chemo (meaning I would lose my long blonde hair), a bilateral mastectomy (meaning I would lose my breasts), and a total hysterectomy (meaning I would lose even more of my womanhood), I worried I would fall back into my struggle with body image.
I had no idea how I would handle losing my hair. I did well, but the regrowth period was difficult. No longer that woman with long blonde hair, I was now trying to adjust to short grey hair. After losing both breasts, I did fairly well during the fall and winter months. As it became warmer, I began yearning for breasts. After losing even more of my womanhood from a total hysterectomy, I realized that although my husband and I had decided we were done having children, there could be no “oops!” or change of heart. Also, hormonally, my body was in a state of shock.
I was reminded recently during a bible study that as believers, we are heirs of the Almighty God. We are princesses and princes to the King. We stand to inherit His Kingdom. We are a direct line from our Father. We are God’s children, and He is our “Abba” (Daddy). On my way home, those words began to resonate within me. It doesn’t matter if I don’t have long hair, breasts, or ovaries. What matters is that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I am a princess, and so are YOU!
Shortly after this revelation, I was shopping Altar’d State on Mission Monday, and I found a bathing suit. It not only protects the two six-inch scars, but it also allows me to utilize the breast enhancers. Thank you Altar’d State for a bathing suit that makes me feel BEAUTIFUL and for partnering with Compassion That Compels to support women who are battling cancer. Your store truly does stand out for GOOD!