Biting the Bullet.

(First of all, if you didn’t already know that my hair has been falling out due to Alopecia, you should go back and read this post first. Otherwise you’ll be extremely confused.)

So, I did it.  I bit the bullet.  I took the plunge.  I pulled the trigger.  I shaved my head. (Literally…that last one isn’t an idiom.)

Actually, NATE shaved my head, which is exactly what any good husband wants to do for his wife after coming home from a long day of work at the office, right?

But we both knew it was time.  We had been talking about it for awhile, and we finally just got to the point where we knew it was necessary, for several reasons.  First, I totally underestimated how frustrating the shedding process would be.  There was hair EVERYWHERE.  It was coming out all over my house, my car, my pillow, the shower…you name it.  The clincher –brace yourselves– was that the boys started eating it, because they put anything in their mouths…including hair.  I don’t care who you are, that’s just nasty. So I was really REALLY ready for the shedding part to end.

Second, I really wanted to shave it before it got to the point where the bald spots were so obvious that I looked sick.  I wasn’t at that point yet, but it was still coming out so fast that it wouldn’t have been long.  And finally, I wanted to do it before we started support-raising and would be doing presentations to churches on a regular basis.  I didn’t want bald spots on my head to be a distraction from the import message we had to share.

But mainly it was the thing about the boys eating it.

Here are a few of the spots if you want to know what I’m talking about.  There are about 12 total.  The dark spots are the bruising from where I had the injections.

So Tuesday night was the night.    It took me a good twenty minutes and a pep talk from Nate to work up the courage to make the first cut, because I knew that there would be no going back.  I divided my hair into a 4 scrawny ponytails and cut them off so I could donate the hair.

I was left with a super-short, really terrible haircut.  Then Nate buzzed the rest of it all off.

I was fully expecting to look in the mirror and cry.  I thought that I would hate it.  I expected to feel a good bit of regret and panic.   But when it was finished, Nate stepped back and said, “I think you’re going to like it.  It kind of looks great.  Go look in the mirror.”   I didn’t believe him a bit, but I got up and went to look anyway.

Surprisingly, I didn’t cry.  I looked at it and said, “This is kind of awesome.  I think I’m pulling it off.”

And since I know that all you people are nothing but a bunch of rubberneckers who are only here in hopes of getting a view of the wreckage, I’m actually going to show you a picture.  Y’all owe me.

See?  I’m not kidding.  I really did it.  Thankfully I don’t have a funky-shaped head.

And to be honest, I haven’t been embarrassed about it at all.  I expected to be very self-conscious, but I’ve gone around town wig-less for a good part of the week.  Of course, strangers think I have cancer, and I have gotten all sorts of tips on how to cope with my chemotherapy.  People are always very confused when I tell them I don’t have cancer.  It’s a great ice-breaker.

Speaking of ice-breakers, I have been amazed at how many opportunities I’ve had to share my faith this week as a result of the bald head.   People keep coming up and asking me about it, and I tell them about Alopecia.  Then they inevitably ask, “Isn’t it hard?  How do you cope with that as a woman?”   I couldn’t have asked for a better inroad to share the gospel if I tried!  I love sharing that the way I cope is through trusting in the Lord and fully giving every aspect of my life to him– hair included.  People seem shocked when I tell them that I’m happy to give my hair to the Lord if He wants it, and they always want to know more.   I love being able to tell them about how to trust Him.   I might as well be wearing a sandwich board that says, “Ask me about Jesus!”   People are straight-up asking me about my faith!  I have probably told 15 people about the Lord since Wednesday, and those are conversations that never would have happened if I had hair on my head.

Then people ask me if I have a wig, and I tell them that I got one because we are raising support for the mission field, and I feel like I need to wear one when we do church presentations.  People always say, “You’re going on the mission field?  I want to hear more about that!”  SERIOUSLY?!  God has basically dropped an engaged and captive audience in my lap.  I end up telling perfect strangers about Him and about my passion for missions at every turn, all because I decided not to wear my wig to go somewhere.

I’m unbelievably thankful that I have Alopecia.  It’s crazy how much of a blessing it has become in my life.  It makes me want to quit wearing the wig altogether, and I just might do it.   So don’t be shocked when you see me out and about with my big red sunglasses, a pair of huge awesome earrings, and no hair on my head.  I think all I need now is a tattoo and an electric guitar, ’cause I kinda feel like a rockstar.

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23 thoughts on “Biting the Bullet.

  1. You look so good. I mean it. After going through chemo with Chris and watching him loose every inch of hair on his body, I know how weird it is to see clumps of hair fall out! And what an awesome way to share the gospel. Your strength is amazing and encouraging. And you’re right…it is a blessing! Since we’re in the military, I’m sure many people will think Chris lost his leg in the war. Not many people lose a leg to cancer….but Chris is looking forward to sharing his testimony with people who ask! What an amazing gift you’ve been given.

  2. GIRL! You Rock… and Nate you ROCK as well :) What an encouragement you guys are! Nikki, I love it! Isn’t it amazing the ways that God provides for us to share with others? I mean, He truly amazes me!

  3. You look great. I really admire your attitude and your courage. My, but God must be smiling really big at how you have handled this. Can’t wait to see a picture of you with your big red sunglasses and your awesome earrings…:)
    Keep smiling……
    You are in my prayers.

  4. You know – we all have different gifts. I’ve always been “stared at” because I’m a 6 foot 1 inch tall woman with a size 13 shoe. So what do I do? I get a tattoo on that big foot of mine – and boy does THAT bring in the conversations! Both of those things in Honduras are HUGE eye openers to Nationals! So use what you got girl! And what an awesome way to do it! Love ya!

    Mike thinks you are pretty cool too! With the matching heads and all – now all he wants is for you to get a beard with that and the two of you can hang out.

  5. Nikki you look beautiful! You are so right – your new look is incredible as it just lights up your face!!!! And I love too how God is opening the door with the gospel – who would have thought that? Love keeping up with you and those boys – let’s get together soon. Deb

  6. Nikki, you are even more beautiful than I imagine. How wonderful you found God’s blessings in this and a way to use it to spread His word. You are truly an inspiration and I continue to be amazed at your strength and tireless faith. You always seem to be able to turn adversity into opportunity. Keep holding that pretty head up high and please post some pics with those cool sunglasses and rockin earrings you mentioned. Sending lots of love and hugs, Sweetpea!

  7. Nikki, You look awesome! I am so inspired by your faith and courage. It is just wonderful that God has allowed you to turn this into a blessing, giving you the opportunity to witness to so many!!! Makes me think that I should shave my head too! You really do Rock!!! By the way the boys are precious! I will keep you in my prayers! Love, Megan

  8. You are my hero! I love how this has opened a door for you to be able to share your faith and that you are faithfully walking through that door that has been opened. You are definitely ROCKING the shaved head. LOVE IT!

  9. I’m a friend of Kelly Rice & the Bradens and read your blog. (I live in Oxford and moving to Jackson in May) you look BEAUTIFUL! You look so feminine and it really does look great! Your attitude is so inspiring and made me tear up! I’m amazed that God has used this so much already…that is such a wonderful testimony!

  10. You are beautiful! But if you want to let some grow back–call me. I have a friend who has alopecia (I didn’t spell that right) and she has a beautician who had her made a little stretchy wiglet thing that she pulls the rest of her remaining hair through in spots and the areas where she has less is where the hair on the wiggy thing is. Anyway, it is cool feeling (not hot like a wig, is made of hair, and looks so natural that on one knows. I can show you one if you are ever interested. Sorry you have that problem! Love you– and Nate and the boys!

  11. I found my way to this post and your last via your latest facebook status, and they both made me cry. At work. Your attitude is such a deep encouragement. I know you’ve been through so much this year, and it would be easy to feel sorry for yourself- I know for a FACT that’s how I’d feel. I am so glad you’re comfortable being transparent and sharing these experiences. I, for one, need to see examples like this of what it means to trust the Lord and praise Him in all things.
    I’ll be praying for you. And you are BEAUTIFUL without your hair. Simply stunning.

  12. I’m so amazed by you! So many times we wonder how we will respond in certain situations, and you have certainly responded with grace and faith. My pastor says, faith isn’t faith until it’s tested. You have been tested for sure, and your faith is standing firm! I love that you’ve been able to use this situation to share the love of Jesus with people. Just amazing! And you look beautiful!

  13. Cool! You look great… with or without hair. I’m proud of you for handling it with such grace.

  14. You are such a Beautiful Lady and you are a Total Inspiration to all you touch! I LOVE the bald head!!! I have a terrible tempature problem, HOT and Sweating All the time! I have threatened to shave my head and get it tattooed :-) haha! I would never have your courage to go through with it but I bet it would make me a lot cooler when I am hot which is 24/7!! I really do think you look beautiful and you are pretty awesome!

  15. I was linked here by a friend, and just wanted to tell you that you’re brave and an inspiration! I’m glad God is already using this situation for His glory in a way that you can see.

    By the way, I used to know a girl with alopecia who also shaved her head. She was beautiful!

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