Shades of Life – Pt. 1

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I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God!

I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God!

Three years ago, I found myself in the darkest place of my life. A story I’m not quite ready to share but one that had a tremendous impact on my life. The months that followed, ignited a season of leaning into God and allowing myself to simply “BE.” Every day was a struggle… a nightmare to be honest but when I allowed myself to take the hand of my Father, I was comforted and protected. For a short season two years ago, I allowed myself to jump at every directive my Father gave me. Without question – without fear.

One of the first happened the day I knew I was going to chop my hair off. I had always struggled with my hair, as I am blessed with a lion’s mane. Seriously, I have thick, full hair and I have a lot of it. My go-to styles have always been perms/curls, head bands, or scrunchies.  Anything that would keep my hair out of my face and allow very little maintenance. Truth is, no matter what, my hair was always too much work. The birth of my son only made matters worse, as my hair lost all priority in my mind. I was lucky to step foot in a salon more than twice a year.

After my car accident in 2013; managing my hair became unbearable. Any style that required a blow dryer, straightener, or curling iron also required holding my arms in the air. Something I learned quickly would cause pain and inflammation in my shoulders, neck and back. Pain that was not worth the time or effort it took to be viewed as “pretty” or at the very least – “acceptable.” I wrestled with my fear for years – the fear of not fitting some stereotype we’re taught as little girls. Always hearing the whisper of my inner critic – “don’t cut it too short, you’ll look like a BOY,” or “oh my God, look at the white in your hair. Color it or you’ll look OLD!” How sad, we are taught to be anything other than our authentic selves.

Two years ago, God spoke over my inner-critic – or I finally took time to listen – and I knew deep in my soul that it was TIME! Time to let go of the fear. Time to allow myself to be FREE! I made an appointment to see my hair stylist and without hesitation told her I wanted an undercut – a skater cut. “Shave it off – I’m done – I’m ready!” She was hesitant – I was adamant – We made it happen. She shaved the sides and back, cut the top and proceeded to color my hair “honey blonde.” It was gorgeous!

Now see, I don’t like to upset people or cause problems, so I went home believing I was happy with my hair. On many levels, I was happy but when I looked in the mirror I could see that she had held back. My hairdresser had decided maybe I wasn’t quite ready and she held back. Yes, she shaved my head – she gave me an undercut, but the cut was subtle. My shaved head, hidden by my hair and my sides a little too long to be called “shaved.”  For the first time in my life, I looked in the mirror and decided I would go back and tell her that I was unhappy. I would stand my ground.

I walked in a week later and told her, though I could understand her hesitation to make the cut severe – severe is what I asked for. I walked out that day feeling more freedom than I had ever felt in my life. The freedom to be who I am meant to be – without shame – without fear.

The funniest thing about this drastic change, was the reaction of my Grandfather whom I had not seen in over a decade. I flew to Ohio on a whim (another story for another time) and upon arriving at my grandparents, my Grandfather casually states “I prefer you with longer hair” to which I respond, “thank you.”  – I was shocked at how cool I was – He followed it up with “no, I said I preferred you with longer hair.” …. “Yes Papaw, I know and I’m saying thank you.” I should have realized then, that this moment was a true moment of growth. A moment of self-acceptance – absent of all fear. If you knew my Grandfather, you would would undoubtedly understand!

……… to be continued! 

 

“And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. 2 Corinthians 6:18

 

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