I knew this day was coming for awhile and it’s finally here. Earlier this week I earned myself a little two night “staycation” at the local hospital. I experienced something many people being treated with chemotherapy go through which was a high fever and infection due to having a nonexistent white blood cell count.
During that time my scalp began to hurt like I’d had a ponytail in too long, and I knew what was coming.
I don’t think you can truly be prepared for this step of the process, even though I felt God preparing me for this for quite some time. My wonderful friend, and hairdresser, graciously agreed to be “on call” for me when it was time to take this step and came to my home armed with her cape, clippers, and her hundred watt smile.
Due to my time in the hospital with the absence of a brush, my hair developed a pretty big dread lock in the back that I was honestly afraid to try to brush out for fear of it all falling out in my hand. So what better “buzzing” music than Bob Marley!
We cranked up the volume on some reggae tunes outside on our patio and she did her magic. Both of my girls and Andrew got in on the fun and took turns with the clippers. My parents, A.K.A. the rockstar support team, were also there to cheer me on.
I’ve never had to imagine myself without hair, or what it would be like to wake up in the morning and look at myself in the mirror with no hair, eyebrows or eyelashes. And honestly, it’s been hard to come to grips with it.
You may be thinking, seriously, it’s just hair. And I completely agree, it is JUST hair. I have those days when I think, “I will totally rock this!” as I YouTube how to tie a turban and spend stupid amounts of money buying fun earrings online. But, then I had that day when all I could do was sob uncontrollably in the shower while holding clumps of hair in my hands. It’s still hard.
I’m still a woman who wants to feel beautiful. When you are faced with this kind of reality it forces you to dig deep within yourself and pull out things that you never realized needed to be dealt with. When I allowed myself to do a little soul excavating, what I discovered was….pride.
I realized that there is a small piece of myself that is pretty proud of the fact that I look relatively decent for my age, can still get those “O.M.G. you haven’t changed since high school!” comments, and get carded once in awhile. Ok, so maybe THAT hasn’t happened recently, but a girl can dream!
I found that at times I was putting more importance on my physical appearance than I should. Ladies, you know we all dress for each other, not for our men. Heck, our wonderful guys don’t even notice when we color our hair! Seriously…..they don’t. Now, don’t get me wrong, this girl loves everything visually beautiful and “fashiony”, and that will never change, but I feel God is shining a soft beam of light on an area of my life that needed some attention.
I think it is very easy to become prideful. We are all so blessed! Many of us can say we have wonderful jobs, or intelligent minds, great lips, fantastic kids, cool cars, or amazing talents, and there is nothing wrong with any of those things. But, often times one or more of those possessions can be tainted with a slightly unhealthy dose of pride.
Pride gets in the way of our ability to truly put other people and their needs first. It focuses too much attention inward instead of outward. Being completely humbled by this experience has shown me how all that “stuff” doesn’t matter. It can all be gone in an instant. And when that happens, what are you left with?
By no means, do I believe that me losing my hair, or having cancer for that matter, is some type of punishment or “Godly smackdown” intended to penalize me for anything I have done or any character flaw I may have. However, I do believe God will use situations in our life to gently redirect our thinking or push us back on the road if we are floundering a bit in the ditch.
Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised.”
This has been a good reminder for me that so much in this world is fleeting, and when my time here is done I want to walk into heaven being praised for my fear in the Lord. And only that.
Hair grows back. (Preferably extremely thick, with no grays, and streaked with honey highlights please!!) Eyelashes grow back, and so do eyebrows. But, what I know will also grow is a truer sense of the person God intended me to be. A person that knows how much He loves me no matter what I look like, and a person that can stay humbly focused on what really matters in life. So I will take this next “cancer punch in the face” with a stiff upper lip and a softness my in my heart knowing that I am being molded into a more affective and empathetic person everyday.
And with that comes great possibilities, and even better Halloween costume ideas.