Use Your Words For Encouragement
Sometimes we forget just how powerful our words can be. When selected carefully, they can be uplifting and encouraging. And God desires that we use words to do just that. But when thrown about carelessly, they can wound deeply, even if that was not the intention. As Rachel Taylor was indulging in some retail therapy, she was unexpectedly the victim of one such insensitive exchange.
While browsing the racks at Old Navy, Rachel overheard a conversation between a mother and daughter who were mocking a plus-sized tank top. Hurt by their joking, she shared the conversation on her FaceBook page:
"Today I was shopping in Old Navy, standing in between a teenage girl and her mom. The girl picked up a plus-size tank top, showed it to her mom and said, "Look! Me and So-and-so can fit in this tank top!" Her mom laughed and said, "Yeah, you could! That thing is huge!"
Being plus-sized herself, Rachel couldn't help but feel terrible. Even if the mocking was not meant directly for her, it left her in tears just the same. She described her response on FaceBook:
"I couldn't help it; I started crying. I guess the girl and her mom walked away. I have no idea. My husband walked me out of the store to the car. I sat in the car crying for a long time but eventually went back inside to finish my shopping."
Rachel realized that she would not let these thoughtless words define her. She picked up the same tank that the pair had been mocking and marched to the changing room. Trying it on, she realized it looked great on her, and so she posted a photo of herself, explaining,
"I ended up buying that tank top because, it turns out, I look fierce in it."
Some folks online criticized Rachel for being overly sensitive, but most people replied with messages of encouragement. And Rachel herself explains why she felt it was important to share her experience:
"Be kind. Think about others before you speak. And if someone hurts you, you have to move on."
Personally, I'm glad Rachel shared her story, and I was inspired by her response. It's a reminder that we all come in different shapes and sizes, but God wants us to love each other all the same. It's also a great reminder of the power of our words, and just how God wants us to use them.
"So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing" 1 Thessalonians 5:11
And you'll be happy to hear that Old Navy had Rachel's back through the ordeal. When they learned of her post, they gave Rachel a $500 gift card, a lookbook, and a personalized styling experience at her local store. Praise the Lord for the support she has received!
A photo posted by Rachel Taylor (@heyyallitsracheltaylor) on
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