7/06/2012

Embrace the Curl

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about contentment. It's not necessarily that I'm discontent, but more out of self examination and reflection. It's always good to be asking yourself if you like where your life is, where it's going and, of course, examining both in light of God's Word.

My present examination reminded me of a big lesson that I learned about contentment a few years ago.

When I was younger (like, from birth through middle school) I had very straight hair. My mom was nice enough to have it cut in an outstanding bowl cut style that made me look like that little kid that was friends with Gary Coleman on Diff'rent Stokes who grew up to be Bobby Budnick on Salute Your Shorts. (I hope you followed that reference.)

Once I reached adolescence, I decided that I wanted to grow my hair long. But there was one problem: once I hit puberty, my hair changed. It became super wavy, then curly. I hated it! So, I did everything I could to get rid of the curl. Unfortunately, since I know absolutely nothing about hair care (other than shampoo is a thing and that I should use it), that meant I kept my hair short. This meant getting it cut short every four weeks and scheduling another cut before even leaving the barber's.
Exhibit "A"
To be honest, a lot of that had to do with how other people looked around me and worrying about what they'd think if I looked different. (Typical teenage stuff.) But once I became more comfortable with myself (around senior year and into college), I started to embrace (but not shake) "what my mama gave me".

So in college, I grew my hair a little, cut it off, grew it a little, etc.

But the point of all this isn't my hairstyle. That's just how I learned the lesson. The real lesson is me accepting me and learning to not only be happy, but to embrace who I am.

I wish that I had a three step formula that I could give you that would help you to do the same. I don't. I suppose there's only two things that really help. One is time. I'm still learning how to do this. Some days a wave of comparison washes up and knocks me down from contentment. It's aided by jealousy and it's a nasty little bugger. But the other thing, the most important thing, is an understanding and embrace of God's love for me.

It's something that, if I'm honest, I still don't fully understand. But I understand more today than I did 14 years ago. And that understanding has caused a shift in me that draws me to think less of what others' opinions of me are and more of what God says about His love for me.

And that's a beautiful place to be.

I know I'm not the only one out there who struggles with contentment, comparison, jealousy, and pride. But, if I can offer you an encouraging word from my struggle it'd be this:  Learn to shift your focus from you to God. In moments of struggle, take time to intentionally meditate on His truth. Spend time in His Word. It will change your heart!

Embrace the curl.
That's a picture of me taken while with our students at camp in June. As you can see, I've learned that curly hair isn't all that bad. I actually like it! For me, "embrace the curl" has become a kind of mantra. It's meant to remind me of all that I have to be thankful for. Especially when I begin to lose focus and compare. It's also a gentle nudge back to God. And I know that, sometimes, we could all use that.

Question: What personal reminders do you have in place to help you when you lose focus on God?

1 comment:

Haleigh Rogers said...

I love that you posted this! Being a redhead, I went through kind of the same issues. Not necessarily the curl, but the color in itself. And the fact that being a redhead means pale, freckled skin. So, throughout elementary to high school, I wanted to be blonde and tan. Neither of which I could achieve or look good with.

I went through middle and high school with zero attention from the male population. Even went to prom alone one year! But I learned to love the fact that I'm a redhead because of its uniqueness. It was a key feature that made me, me. And I stopped trying to get tan all together. Fake tanners made me look orange and tanning beds just gave me more freckles.

I've learned to accept that God made me the way I am for a reason. Why would I want to be anyone other than who He made me? So, I just tell myself that pale is the new tan and I have to learn to "embrace the paste" lol.

By realizing that I am created in God's image, I have gained more confidence in my appearance and have become proud of it.

So yeah, sorry for rambling, but I'm very glad you posted this, and I'm very glad you have decided to embrace the curl. It's a VERY good look for you! :)