A Really Bad Hair Day
Have you ever worked for months to grow out your hair hoping to achieve a totally new hairstyle…only to have your new haircut be a disaster? Once it is cut, you can’t go back! You can’t glue those lovely long locks of hair back on. All your dreams of an amazing new look are now being swept up from the floor and you are in a puddle of tears.
You reach out to someone who has experience in these matters and can work magic. After all, when that haircut is going to be followed by a photoshoot capturing the “new look” for years to come, you need help fast! This seasoned hairdresser evaluates the damages and shares her report, “even more must be cut to fix the problem.” My first reaction was not good. But, I knew she was right. The only solution with a future was to re-style the hair completely. I sobbed when she said, “future growth.” My hair was the longest it had been in years! Perfect strangers were complimenting my hair. Now it was all gone.
Some of you are laughing right now. You are thinking, “Get a grip girl, it is only hair!” And you are right. It will eventually grow back. In comparison to other loses, it seems so insignificant. Throughout life, we face many challenges. Some are life altering. Others are temporary setbacks. But, when your hopes turn into disasters, you need a plan. Learning how to handle disappointments in a redemptive way is a life skill we all need.
What I did next brought me through this BAD HAIR DAY and a few other disasters of greater significance. Some lessons we learn in life can be applied to multiple situations and bring great comfort and assistance in difficult times, no matter what the situation might be.
I needed to cry. Some might consider a bad hair day foolish. But, for me it was painful. It was a genuine loss. I needed to acknowledge how much this loss meant to me, how hard I had worked to grow my hair and how disappointed I was that it didn’t work out like I had hoped. Everyone needs to validate their feelings. Feelings are neither right or wrong, they just are. When others share their disappointment with us, we should be careful not to blow them off or to make them feel that what they are sharing is insignificant. To us, it may not seem worthy of such attention. But, if it is important to them, it is important to God. I cried to my husband and he did his best to comfort me, but the right words were hard to find. I shed many tears before the Lord throughout the night and I am convinced that the plan of action I followed next was His gentle leading.
I needed counsel. I contacted someone who had experience in this area. Calling my friend who was a hair dresser and had great skill with styling hair was the help I desperately needed. She was honest, she was kind, and she was helpful. It was difficult to watch her cut off more hair to repair what had been done, but at least I knew it would be an improvement. I had to learn how to care for this new haircut. But, my friend was patient in teaching me. Although her salon is far from where I live, she will be the one to take this hair disaster through to complete restoration. Her parting words were “You can’t go back to what you had, but you can go forward to what is new and exciting if you embrace it.”
Take the lemons of life and make lemonade
I needed confidence. I called another close friend who is also a licensed hair dresser from where I used to live. I sent her pictures of my hair before the disaster, pictures of when it looked horrible and pictures of the final repair. Hearing her assessment of the process and the outcome brought great comfort to my heart. She said, “I feel your pain. I have been there!” It felt good to know someone understood. Then she gave her professional opinion that the final cut was, in fact, exactly what was needed to correct the situation and prepare for new levels of growth. Her approval meant everything to me. Hearing that “second” opinion and confirmation of what was done gave me the confidence I needed to move forward with a thankful heart. She helped me to realize that out of this disaster, will come an even better haircut than I originally hoped for.
Attitude is the difference between an ordeal and an adventure
I needed perspective. My longtime friend was the trusted person who could help me to laugh at myself and the insanity of the whole experience. Once I could put my situation into an eternal perspective, my attitude shifted. It was not going to last forever. Improvement was on the way. She also helped me to recognize that my tears were not just about cutting my hair. My crying was a release for several other loses, challenges and disappointments that were piling up and this was the last weight to shift the scale of my emotions. Sure enough, I needed to surrender some other concerns to the Lord and trust Him with their outcome. God was using even this BAD HAIR DAY to bring healing to my heart in other areas.
It will take time for my hair to grow back. It takes time for God to restore our loses, heal our hurts, resolve past disappointments and bring new hope, but it will eventually happen. God has put into motion a natural healing and growth process. When healing occurs, things may not look the same as they once did. But, God has a way of patiently teaching us how to adapt and make that NEW LOOK a part of His plan for our lives and the healing a part of our story.
“To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven… He has made everything beautiful in His time.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 11
About Ruth Puleo :
Ruth Puleo is an ordained minister, conference speaker, writer, mentor, and serves as the Women of Purpose Director for the Penn-Del District of the Assemblies of God. She passionately seeks to impact the lives of women and girls with courage and inspiration to follow God’s call on their lives. Ruth and her husband, John were called to pastoral ministry for 38 years while raising their three children. The ultimate blessing has been the gift of eight precious grandchildren.