Without fail, whenever the humidity is high like today because a storm front is coming and when I choose to go with the flow of the curls, someone I have known for years will ask me if I have gotten a "perm." I will smile and tell them that no, my hairstyle is dictated by the weather. Sometimes I get a confused look that resembles a puppy with its head cocked to the side. Other times I get a knowing look from a fellow curly head. For the most part, I've learned to adjust my hairstyle to the day God has chosen to give me.
Now here is the deeper part...I wasn't always content with the state of my hair. Truthfully, I'm still not always content. God has used my hair to teach me many things, and He is still using my hair and other parts of my body to teach me those things. For the sake of my dignity, we will focus on hair today. 😌
Lessons Learned Through My Crazy Hair:
1) God controls my environment, so I must adapt to it. For years I stayed frustrated trying to control unruly hair. I would chose a sleek, straightened hairstyle at the salon...only to be a frizzy mess the first time humidity came to town. My chances of looking sleek and professional were 50/50. When I looked good, I felt good, BUT when I looked fried, I felt ridiculous and stupid. (There are only so many days a girl can wear a hat!) Once I linked the humidity factor to my hair issues, I had to decide if I was willing to adapt my style to the environment instead of trying to fight it every day. This took some time for me to let go of the control. (It really did; don't judge me.) Once I got over the idea of having a totally different look from day to day, I embraced the fact that adapting to the environment would take away my insecure feelings that the frizz brought me. So now each morning I check the weather - specifically the humidity level - before I get into the shower. If the humidity is over 55%, I use my curly hair shampoo and let it go. If it is lower than 55%, no matter how much I want it to curl, it won't. So that is a straight day.
In the same way, God controls the spiritual environment in which I live. Sometimes He calls me to love and minister to people who need me to be more carefree, let my hair down, so they get curly-haired Amy. Sometimes He calls me to minister to those who need straight-haired Amy. This Amy is more in control and more aware of the "rules" for the sakes of those she is ministering. I'm not being hypocritical; I'm just choosing to respect those whom God has placed in my path that day.
To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. I Corinthians 9:21-23 (NIV)
2) How I live in God's world is ultimately between God and me. I live in Texas where we might have several days or a couple weeks in a row of either high or low humidity, thus causing me to have the same hairstyle for several days, maybe weeks in a row. Once I change my hair due to the weather, inevitably someone will weigh in on how that is their preferred choice for how I wear my hair. (As if I really have a choice in the matter!) I'm always struck by the correlation between their personalities and their preferences. Those who like control and are a little on the OCD side seem to prefer my hair straight and more under control. On the other hand, those friends of mine who are a little more "fly by the seat of their pants" seem to prefer the carefree style of my curls. The funny thing is that both of these types of people live inside of me. So maybe God had a plan in making my hair with a split personality, because ultimately my hairstyle is dependent upon the weather that He dictates. And how I negotiate living in that environment is between Him and me.
The following was said by Paul. Hopefully we can say it too.
I care very little if I am judged by you or by any human court; indeed, I do not even judge myself. My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.
I Corinthians 4:3-5 (NIV)
3) Embracing the way God made me helped me see His beauty in myself. The Bible says I am made in God's image. I have a soul, and I am a spiritual being like Him. However, I believe that being made in His image goes further than that. My son has my toes and my mother's toes. I see myself in him. He loves that part of himself, and I feel loved because of that. God my FATHER chose to put certain characteristics in my DNA, including my crazy hair. If I chose to hate that part of myself, I wonder how that makes Him feel. He picked out my hair specifically for me. My hair was a gift, whether to teach me or to adorn me, it was a gift. Every aspect of my body...BUT we are focusing on hair today...was chosen to make me uniquely me. I am His chosen, precious daughter who He molded together.
AND I am not any different from YOU!
You were also made with intention, each gene and chromosome in your DNA chosen specifically for you by your FATHER, your Creator. Therefore, you are Be-YOU-tiful in His sight! I hope you can see it too.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
Genesis 1:26 (NIV)
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Psalm 139:13-17 (NIV)
Now let's go out helping others see God's beauty in themselves, curly or straight! Loving with compassion and without judgment looks like Jesus!