A year ago, today, I shaved my head. Well, I was only able to shave my head with the aid of my friends. The shaving of my head stirred up many negative feelings within loved ones and worried others. At the time, I had many reasons as to why I should do this. I thought it would help me fight my vanity. I thought it would be a good growing experience. I thought I would have a better understanding of what women go through who lose their hair through illness or cancer. I’m a person who likes reasoning. Therefore, I had reasoning. Well, within the hours of shaving my head, all those reasons seemed to fly out the window. I was hairless and reasonless. I had nothing to cling to except my resolve. My hair was gone.
Perhaps, some of my reasons still hold. Yet, honestly, I cannot say why I shaved my head. I hesitate to claim that God might have placed that thought in my head so that I could further learn to trust and surrender to Him. Whether it was wrong or right, it’s what I did. As my hair has grown, God has challenged me to further trust and surrender to Him. God has used this situation for growth.
Shaving my head has taught me many things. I still find long hair beautiful and I look forward to having my long hair back. Yet, I definitely appreciate super short hair that women sport occasionally. I’ve been there. Shaving my head exposed many areas in my life that needed working on. Suddenly, I became aware of relationships that were not as good as I believed them to be. I had an almost tangible example of how actions and words can influence close relationships. In my desire to shave my head, I deeply wounded some of the dearest people to me. Most of that wounding came from miscommunication and lack of communication. I cannot be proud of that.
And yet, shaving my head was like a rebirth. My lack of hair put me in a new place of trust. Some days, it was very hard to get up and go out into the world. As I began considering options for the summer, I knew that my lack of hair would not aid to my interviewing process at all. So I prayed. I had to trust that God was going to give me direction. As summer approached and time shortened, my summer possibilities became less and less. I still trusted that God would provide summer plans. He did. During the summer of 2010, I went on The Experience with Kingdom Building Ministries. The picture that I sent in to them with my application showed me with about 2 cm of hair.
Shaving my head also began me on an obvious pathway of surrender. When I shaved my head, I surrendered myself to many stereotypes and negative thoughts by people of every age. I was at the mercy of their prejudices. In those moments, I had to trust that Jesus would shine through my life. In those moments, I had to surrender to Jesus my pride and desire to look good. I had to stop putting stock in what other people thought of me. That is never an easy process. In those first couple of weeks, I had to learn to cling to the promises of God and His thoughts about His children.
It’s been a hair journey. It has been a joy to watch my hair grow back in. I’ve discovered that my hair has some leanings towards loose curls and waves. It pleases me to watch my hair slowly curl around my face. A couple of days ago, I got my hair trimmed so I would lose the mullet. I’ve got a nice sleek bob. No one would guess where I was a year ago in hair length.
Through all of this, I am thankful. I am thankful that hair grows. I’m thankful that I have learned more about trusting and surrendering. I am thankful for the people that stood by me through the difficult times with encouragement upon their lips even if they didn’t really understand why I had shaved my head. Through the pain of those times, I learned many things. I’m sorry for hurting those who I love and even those I might not love. I’m sorry for the confusion that I caused. I’m sorry for not communicating like I should have. I am thankful, though, for this time in my life because I have learned so much about healing relationships and loving people.
I also figured out that I adore short hair. Give me a couple of years after I’ve had my fill of long hair and I’ll probably donate those long locks to Locks of Love again in exchange for a short pixie cut. Just as hair grows, we grow in our understanding of the world and the people around us.