"Body Image"

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.

God’s Grace

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!
Jennifer Smith is a Child of God, Wife, Mother of two, and a cancer OVERCOMER.
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