I got a haircut, yesterday, and I think it’s the best one I’ve ever had! Same haircut I’ve received for several months, from the same amazing stylist (my daughter)…but I am so much more satisfied, this time around. As always, she cut it exactly how I asked, so what was the difference?
My hair, along with everything else, has “changed” with age. I have LOTS of gray, but that’s to be expected. What I didn’t expect, however, are all these curls! My hair has never been stick-straight, but never what I would call “curly”…that is, until almost a year ago.

I’ve wanted curly hair for as long as I can remember. Like many, I went to great lengths to get it. Curling irons, spiral perms, hot rollers, “rag” rollers…you name it, I’ve done it. The perms were awesome, but painstakingly torturous, if you were in a hurry, or had long hair. And all the tools? Work! Too much work, considering you had to do it every day. I wanted hair that was what I wanted it to be, without having to take precious morning minutes “fixing” it.

Then, came the day that my hair fell in ringlets on the salon floor. I had been “scrunching” my slightly wavy hair into tighter curls for a long time. It had become a bit easier to accomplish, which delighted me, but I didn’t realize the subtle changes had resulted in real, bonafide CURLY HAIR! My daughter, too, was bewildered, as she swept up the salon floor.

As tickled as I was, having the lively, wild hair of my dreams, I soon learned that it presented with its own challenges. My hair had a mind of its own. The curls curled where they wanted to curl, and not where I thought they should. And they curled in the direction they wanted, regardless of my desire for them to perfectly frame my face, or match the other side of my head. Also, I had to care for those curls differently. No more blow-drying without a diffuser, unless I wanted frizz. I had to change my shampoo and conditioner, too.

I loved the carefree curly look, but I began to care, too much, about how carefree it looked. I wanted perfection.

Needless to say, perfection does not exist in the world of ringlets. Deep down, I didn’t WANT to care so much. I truly wanted to embrace a mindset of appreciation for my dream-come-true “do”.

Then, people began to compliment my hair. Seriously, on the days it was the least manageable, I would get the kindest compliments, and even more on the days I didn’t even ATTEMPT to manage it. Could it be? Had I found the freedom for which I’d longed, at last? Was it finally ok for me to be…me?

I know this probably sounds frivolous…a fifty-five year old woman going on and on about her hair. But I’ve learned to pay attention to even the tiniest of details. When you’re seeking the Lord, He can be found everywhere, in every situation.

I’ve spent waaaaaay too much time (valuable time) trying to fit into either my own misguided expectations or someone else’s. Like trying to cram a cube through a circular hole, I’ve tried to be the person I thought I was “supposed” to be. I’ve looked for myself in my perception of other’s needs.

Let me tell you something:  Trying to force yourself to be someone else is WORK. It’s mentally draining and physically depleting. Getting up, day in and day out, forcing everything uniquely “you” into someone else’s mold, is not conducive to living-out-loud for Christ.

I’ve acquired many “tools” to style my identity into submission, too. The most efficient one is my mindset.

If it might, possibly, offend someone, keep it to yourself.

If someone needs help, you have to give it, no matter what. “No” is not an option.

If someone has a problem, you have to try to solve it.

If someone doesn’t like something about you, you should change it.

To be the perfect daughter, you have to…

the perfect wife…

the perfect mother…

the perfect housekeeper… (ha!)

the perfect employee…

Blah, blah, blah.

Guess what I’ve discovered? I’m not a perfect anything. I don’t have to be, because I serve a perfect God, Who took all my sin upon Himself. Simply seeking and serving Him draws me into the most perfect state I will ever achieve…close relationship with Him.

And He created me to be me. He doesn’t want me to force myself into anyone else’s identity or expectation. He wants me to identify with Jesus, via the Holy Spirit, using this unique “earth suit”, created just for me. He gave me unique heart-desires, and unique methods of expression and appreciation. I demonstrate love like no one else, and I see beauty where others might not see it.

I’ve always wanted to wear a certain type of hat, but it didn’t “fit” what I thought others saw for me.

Bought it, wear it, and it feels so…right?

How did I go from curly hair to here? It’s hard work to consistently make straight hair curly and curly hair subdued. It’s even harder work to keep yourself hidden under someone else’s idea of who you should be. Maybe, just maybe, those curls are a blessing to experience, not a quality to be “managed”.

I’m tossing the tools it took to keep my God-given individuality subdued. Instead, I’ll continue to turn towards the Word of God to find my identity.

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
~ Psalm 139:14

That was the best haircut, ever, because I appreciated MY hair, without holding it to the standard of someone else’s.

He loves us.

He LOVES us.

He loves US.

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