"Wedding Day Ready"
The day was finally here. I had my dress, my fiance, friends and family all sitting, waiting patiently for me to walk down the aisle to meet my groom. I had been planning for this day for over a year and I couldn’t believe that it was finally coming together and that in a matter of 30 minutes, I would become Mrs. Kara Weaver.
I felt beautiful - which was a very rare thing for me to experience about myself. I’ve always struggled with how I looked, how much I weighed and how others saw me.
As a *slight* perfectionist, watching my stomach become rounder, my thighs more jiggly and my butt a little bit bigger was my own personal nightmare as I got older and graduated college and entered into the real world.
When my husband and I got engaged, there was an added pressure I put on myself to be “Wedding Day Ready”. My pinterest boards were full of exercises and diet plans to help me “Lose 50 pounds in 3 months” and “Get Killer Abs in 5 Days” - forcing me to put unrealistic expectations on myself, my body and my mental health as I prepared for our wedding day… and the wedding night.
You see - my husband and I had never had sex before our wedding night.
In my childish eyes, I truly believed that once I had Jacob in my life forever and he saw the real me, and still desired to be with only me, then my insecurities about my body would disappear. I would at least have one person in my life who loved all of my curves and stretch marks.
Our wedding ceremony was wonderful, our DJ was a hit, the margaritas were a-plenty, and then the wedding night happened. I remember waking up the next morning and getting our clothes packed for our honeymoon and thinking to myself as I rolled up a swimsuit, “Gosh I hate the way I look in this thing.”
As soon as I had that thought rush through my head I was stunned. Didn’t I just have a wonderful night and shouldn’t I feel different about myself? I finally had my man who was so readily available to make me feel loved and desired, but I still had the nagging feelings in the back of my head that (if I’m being honest) were louder and more believable than my husbands words.
“Just wait…” they would say, “your husband is going to get bored of you and realize how unattractive you are… I would feel very self-conscious if I looked like you.”
I remember shaking off those thoughts and getting packed up to head out on our honeymoon. And while our vacation was amazing and there were moments that I felt so cared and loved for by my husband, there were still those moments of pure disgust about myself.
It wasn’t until a couple of months later when I was doing a quiet time that I realized how skewed my thoughts were about being intimate with my husband. My own personal struggles with my body image and how I wanted to care for myself were selfish. I was trying to rid myself of years worths of negative body image and improper care within a short period of time.
The damage and scarring that I had done to myself wasn’t going to disappear after my wedding night. And it definitely wasn’t going to disappear because of my husband.
While I’m all about getting healthier and taking care of your body, I think that some of us can have an unrealistic mentality that when we get married or date someone we’ll have another person who will always make us feel pretty, or sexy or desired - when in actuality it’s not our significant other’s responsibility to combat our insecurities for us.
It was my responsibility to take my insecurities and issues with my body to the Lord first. From there, the healing process could truly begin. No matter how many times my husband told me he loved me, that I was beautiful, that I was desired by him, only the true fulfillment of loving myself would start once I gave up my insecurities to Jesus.
It’s definitely been a process as I continue to heal and love myself for who I am. While there are days where I still don’t feel like my best self, I have to remember that my body is only temporary and my Jesus loves me more than I could ever imagine - jiggly thighs and all.
Kara runs an awesome Wedding Planning Business. Check out her website here!