My Hair-tastrophy

About a month ago, I experienced what I am calling my EPIC hair emergency, a hair-tastrophy, if you will.

The night started out so lovely. Lew and I were running Saturday errands and having dinner together, alone. It was a sweet time for just he and I to reconnect and enjoy one another’s company, kid-free.

Lew wanted to purchase shooting targets at Walmart.  I decided to go ahead and grab some hair dye to touch up my roots.  I’ve been coloring my own hair for the past year and it has been going well up to this point.

Lew says, “Here, babe, try this color!” He was pointing to a beautiful shade of dark red.

“No,” I say, “That’s WAY to dark for me.”

“Oh, come one, just try it.  I want to see what you would look like with red hair,” he pleads.

I, being the pleaser that I am, give in. “Fine, I’ll try it.”

One bad decision.  That’s all it takes sometimes…

I know, you are all screaming….”No, don’t do it, Susie!!!!” You can feel what’s coming. You can see what’s coming. How could I be SOOOO stupid? I don’t know. Love, combined with the desire to please, makes you do stupid things. At least that’s the case I’m pleading.

So we get home at about 11pm.  I head to the bathroom to work the magic. I concentrate the solution on my roots and hairline where the gray is mostly, just like the directions on the box instructs. I carefully distribute the color from roots to tip.  I start to run low on color-I’ve got a lot of hair.

“Oh well,” I think to myself, “I’ll just smear it all together real good at the end. That should be good.”

I wait 30 minutes.  Oh my….it’s looking VERY red.

I start rinsing.  Wow, that’s really red.

I rinse some more.  Whoa…it’s still coming out really red.

I rinse until I can’t rinse any more. I look in the mirror. O.M.G  I’m truly crying out to God in this moment.

I feel panic rising up in my chest.  Calm down.  It just looks really dark because it’s wet.

I start blow-drying. For.the.love.of.all.that.is.holy.and.good. Pure terror chokes me as I stare at my reflection.  WHAT HAVE I DONE????  WHAT WAS I THINKING???

I shampoo.  Still red.  I shampoo again. Still red. And again and again and again…15 times.  Still red.

Defeated, I wrap my hair in a towel and go downstairs to share my disaster with my “wonderful” husband (*please note sarcasm) so he can see what he coerced me into doing to myself. He says it’s not so bad.  Is he out of his ever-loving mind?!?!? He just doesn’t want to die this very night.

I tell him to ask his internet what to do. Google will help me. Baking soda, vinegar, Palmolive.  By the time we’ve exhausted all measures, my scalp is basically bleeding.  Ouch. Nothing is helping. My hair is RUINED! My life is over. You think I’m overreacting?  I assure you, I’m not.

To understand the severity of the situation, let me draw you a picture with my words.  No, there is no actual picture.  There was NO WAY Lew was taking a picture!

Imagine this with me…Someone has come up behind me with a machete and bludgeoned my head. Blood is completely soaking the top of my head and is pouring in rivers down the back of my hair. Drips and splatters of blood soak the remaining hair.  Yes, my friends.  That is exactly how it was. No exaggeration necessary.  You get it now? It was horrific. Have you ever laughed really hard and cried really hard at the same time?  It’s called hysteria. I know how it feels now.

I finally go to bed around 1am.  Nothing more can be done.  I awake and head to Fantastic Sam’s by 9am.  I’m the first customer to walk through the doors.  Why Fantastic Sam’s and not my usual hair salon?  Because it’s SUNDAY and it’s either there or Walmart.  I know, it just keeps getting better.

I walk in, hair shoved all up in a hat.  I tell the girls I have a hair emergency. I’ve done something really dumb. If they just make me look normal, I’ll never do it again.  A girl named, Erin, tells me to sit down and let her have a look. I warn her that she may scream and run away. She doesn’t even flinch.  She says she can fix me.  She’s seen worse before.  I feel hopeful. She strips my hair.  It turns neon pink.  She rinses.  She strips it again.  Now I look like Princess Peach.  She rinses.  I look like an albino.  Seriously. She puts color back in.  Five hours and nearly $200 later, I look almost normal.  My poor head.  Never again will I try to dye my own hair.  Never. Lesson learned.

A month later, my hair is still recovering.  I had some breakage and had to get a good trim.  But it looks okay, praise God. One person, not knowing what happened, told me that my hair has never looked better. Imagine that!

What an ordeal!!!!

Our lives can be like me and my hair. We try to do things our own way, things we have no business doing.  Sometimes it’s our own willful disobedience to God, sometimes it’s pressure and expectations of others that cause us to make poor decisions.  For whatever reason, we as humans, think we can do this thing called life all by ourselves.

It may work for awhile, but disaster eventually strikes.  Sin prevails.  We try and try and try to fix our mess-ups, but nothing we do can make it right again.

But if we humble ourselves, reach out to God, admit our sin, ask for forgiveness and purpose in our hearts to be different, our lives will be changed.

Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Just like Erin stripped the blood red from my hair and literally made it as white as snow, God will do the same to your life.  The process of changing and living a life surrendered to God may be hard sometimes, but the finished product will be even better than the original! The Bible says that Jesus makes all things new!

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, all things have become new.”

I urge you today.  If you are not living for Jesus, surrender your life to Him completely.  He will make you clean and new.  He will transform your life into a beautiful masterpiece, something bigger and better than you could imagine yourself!

Ouch, That Hurt

Annoyance. Anger. Resentment. Indignation. Irritation. Exasperation. Wrath. Displeasure. Hurt feelings.

When you read the words above, did certain people or situations pop into your mind? Did you experience these feelings today?  Are you struggling right now over something that happened that you can’t quite seem to get past?download

Let it go. What is “it?” No, I’m not referring to “Frozen.” It boils down to one word…OFFENSE.  As John Bevere rightly named it, “The Bait of Satan.”  (I highly recommend that book, FYI.)

Let me be transparent, as usual.  I have maybe once in a while, from time to time, battled with feeling offended.  Offended for something someone said to me or didn’t say to me.  Offended for being ignored, overlooked, not appreciated, underestimated, and so on.  There are million and one reasons that can be found to become offended.  I mean, geez, I’ve been offended by the way someone looked at me before. I’ve even been offended by a compliment given to me by my husband! For instance, he says, “Wow, honey, I really like when you wear your hair like that.”  Then I say, “So does that mean you don’t like it how I usually wear it? You never say anything about the way I wear it every other day!”  Then of course, there’s the, “Are you calling me fat?  Are you saying my butt is big?”  I’m just going to admit right now, I’m one of those wives.  tumblr_ly4bftcwwv1qbh4goo1_500

For me, the offense that I experience has mostly to do with hurt feelings and anger. It’s usually because someone does not realize what I’m about or understand how I am. They don’t know what’s going on in my life, what I’m thinking, my insecurities, my expectations, etc.  It pretty much boils down to pride.  Ew.  Pride is just gross. Becoming offended is really about thinking too much of yourself.  OUCH.  Man, I’m really stepping on my own toes here…

I have been known to say that I’m not easily offended and I can usually pass it off that I am not. But inside, I get that little twinge of uneasy, angry, irritated offense.  I stuff it down in there and log it away to be added to a list in my subconscious. I am literally holding it against the person who offended me…my self preservation mode kicks in and I subconsciously swear that they will never hurt me again.  Walls are put up.  Relationships are damaged.  Instead of dealing directly with the problem, I stuff it and resentment builds.  Hurt me once, shame on you.  Hurt me twice, shame on me.

Now, I know many of you are thinking, “Wow, Susie is one screwed up chick.”  But, that’s okay because I know that you do the same thing, even if you don’t realize it or admit it.  I have been working on myself a lot in the past few years regarding offense and I have made progress.  You can too.

It starts with not taking yourself so seriously, cut yourself some slack, don’t be so hard on yourself! Know who you are in Christ, then you won’t care so much what people say about you or do to you. Then, give other people a break.  Give them the benefit of the doubt.  When others lash out at you or say something hurtful to you, it normally has little to do with you.  Many times, it’s because they are having a bad day or are upset or insecure about something else. And most of the time, it’s because they are dealing with offense themselves. How do I know this?  Because I’ve had plenty of opportunities to deal with and examine these kind of situations.  

Overcoming the problem with offense is hard work.  It takes prayer, studying the Word of God and dealing with people and issues in a healthy manner, consistently.  Satan knows that if he can keep all of us mad at each other and keep us from having true relationships with one another, then he wins.  Let’s fight back and not let him win, okay?

There are many scriptures that address the issue of offense, but this one is my favorite.  It’s short and sweet and easy to remember.

“Good sense makes a man restrain his anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression or an offense.” Proverbs 19:11, Amplified Bible

I want to be known as a person who has good sense, don’t you?

And just one more, because I do love the Word of God so…

“He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or harps on a matter separates even close friends.” Proverbs 17:9, Amplified Bible

It all comes down to love.  How do I know what love is?  Because I have a heavenly Father who has shown me.  He sent His Son to die on a cross for me and my wretched sin, my offense.  All He asks is that I love Him back and love others as He has loved me. Truthfully, we have NO business being offended, ever.godsloveloveothers

And just a little side note…when God forgives us of our “offenses,” He literally forgets about them. Hint, hint.  If you say you forgive someone, then mean it.  Don’t hold it against them!

Let go and love.  Enjoy this beautiful song about God’s love.

 

Forgiving When It’s Hardest

“I can never forgive him.  NEVER!”  Words shouted to God, an oath sworn in the deepest recesses of my heart.  How could I forgive someone who destroyed my dreams, ruined my plans, stole my life, obliterated my self-worth?  How could I forgive someone who chose his addiction over his wife, his babies?  How could I forgive him from walking away from us?

I was repeatedly told, “Forgive.”  I tried. I really, really tried.  I said it to my friends.  I said it to my family.  I forgive him.  I even said it to him.  I forgive you.  Inside though, I was still nursing my wounds, trying to resuscitate my damaged heart.  I couldn’t let go.

If I forgive him, I’ll be letting him off the hook.

If I forgive him, it’s like I’m saying what he did was no big deal.

If I forgive him, I’m condoning his behavior.

I can’t just forgive and forget!

Unforgiveness poisoned my life.  With my new husband, simple disagreements morphed into manic rages.  Confusion engulfed my mind.  Guilt dictated my relationship with my children.  Anxiety and regret ruled supreme in my heart.  More times than not, face-to-face encounters with the ex rivaled episodes of “Jerry Springer.”  So.much.anger.  Somewhere deep in my mind, I foolishly thought that I was making him pay for the years of pain he caused me.  No one else seemed to be holding him responsible, so I would!

My children were hurting and confused.  “Why’s Daddy so mad at you?  Why does Daddy yell at you?  Why are you crying again, Mommy?”  I pacified my sweet babes with vague explanations.  So little, so innocent.  An understanding came to me.  My bitterness was hurting my children.  They needed permission to love their daddy without hurting their mommy.  I decided, I will forgive him and get past these feelings that were controlling me.  For my children and for them alone.

I prayed.  I read the Bible.  I sought wise counsel.  I continually spoke forgiveness aloud.  I forgive him.  I forgive him.  When I felt like screaming, I kept silent.  When I longed to bring up past sins, I held my tongue.  When I felt anxious for the safety of my children, I hid in the arms of my Savior through prayer and meditation on His Word.  I spoke kindness to my children about their father.  I replaced my negative internal dialogue with God’s opinion of me.  Self-pity turned into sympathy.  Self-loathing became self-loving.  Loving myself made me love others.  Seeing myself as God sees me helped me to see others as God sees them…even my ex-husband.

Through this process, I noticed my children were relaxing.  I could almost see the stress and anxiety leave their little bodies.  A load was lifted.  It was working!

But wait!  I began to feel less stressed.  Less anxious.  Less hostile.  The aching in my chest isn’t there anymore. When I think about my failed marriage and the events which caused it, I no longer feel anger. Or bitterness.  Or shame.  Or regret. What happened???   Is this what it feels like to be happy?  To be joyful?  To be at peace with myself?

I FORGIVE HIM!!!  I really, really do!  This victim became a victor!!!

At long last, joy and peace are mine!

Forgiveness is not FOR the person who has wronged you.  Forgiveness is for YOU!  Release them and release yourself.

Forgiveness is not forgetting.  My mind will not allow me to forget.  But now, when I remember, the pain is gone.

Forgiveness is freedom from the chains of anger, hatred and bitterness that steal joy and peace in your life.

Forgiveness does not always happen quickly.  It took me literally YEARS to get to the place I am today.  Be patient and consistent.

Forgive and be free!

And don’t forget what Jesus said Himself, “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”  Matthew 6:14-15

Before you go, watch this video.  The words to this song were healing balm to my soul.