I’m going to do one more hair post, then you probably won’t hear much more about it. I have one more post because it’s something that I just feel compelled to share, but this is probably the end of it because it just doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore. Things are pretty much back to normal, so it really just doesn’t seem like there’s much else to say! It’s good to know that it didn’t end up being as emotionally staggering as I thought.
When I first got the diagnosis of Alopecia in January, we were staying at my mom’s house while Nate was recovering from a tonsillectomy. He was basically in a coma for two weeks. Major drugs. Whenever I’ve got something going on, I cope by processing verbally. I talk it through, and the person I work through everything with is always Nate. So my doctor tells me that my hair is falling out, probably will continue to fall out, and might not come back….. pretty big news that I need to work through, yet my Number One Listener is out of commission. As in, can hardly hold his head up, much less hold a conversation. So I processed by myself.
As difficult as those days were, it ended up being a huge blessing for me, because I actually didn’t process alone — I talked it through with the Lord. I wrestled through my emotions, I figured out where I really stood on everything without outside influences, and I came out on the other side of it with confidence that I could handle it because I trusted my God.
I’ll admit, though, that it didn’t come easy. I argued with God over it. I cried for awhile one night. I got mad at myself when I realized how highly I valued “feeling pretty.” I yelled at myself for caring and kept repeating to myself that “it’s just hair!” I was really upset with myself that I didn’t just immediately say “that sounds wonderful! I would love to lose all my hair!” because I thought that seemed like the right way to handle it. I was frustrated that I had a period of disappointment.
I’ll also confess that I got a big nasty glimpse of my own sinful heart during that time. I came back from the doctor and sat on the porch at my parents house and cried. I sat there thinking, “Why, Lord? I just got finished with a pretty big trial, and I trusted you with that one. I trusted you with my scary pregnancy. I trusted you with Barrett’s diagnosis. I feel like I’ve got a pretty good track record here of trusting you in hard times. I’m even trying to become a MISSIONARY for goodness sake! Can’t I get a break?”
Then it hit me. Oh, my prideful, arrogant heart. I had just sat there and tried to string together a list of reasons why God should bless me based on what I’ve done. Thank goodness the Lord doesn’t make his decisions on how to treat me based on my track record! It doesn’t matter how many things I feel like I can self-righteously add to my “spiritual resume,” because every single one of those points are so filled with my own sin that they wouldn’t count to begin with. I was suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude that God doesn’t take my track record into account in the least. He doesn’t see mine. He see’s Christ’s.
I sat there and cried harder. That was the turning point for me, because I realized that God had just used hair loss to slap me in the face with the gospel. Apparently it takes alot to get my attention. For the first time, I was thankful for Alopecia. I realized that if getting a better understanding of Jesus was a side effect, I would take it. He could teach me as many lessons as he wanted. I didn’t want a break from that.
By the time Nate came out of his drug-induced 2-week-long nap, I had pretty much wrapped my mind around what was happening. I decided that if God was going to teach me things through this whole process, then I might as well just walk through it openly and transparently. Besides, I work better that way. So I wrote that first post, and y’all know the story from there.
People tell me all the time, “if just one person is affected by your story, it will be worth it. you never know how God is going to use this in someone else’s life!” But I can’t help but think that it doesn’t even matter at this point if it affects another person. It has affected me. I don’t have crazy ideas of grandeur, that God is out to change the world with my bald head. But I have no doubt that he’s out to change my heart with it.