My entire life I’ve been known for my hair. I remember after attending the Senior Standouts high school assembly and receiving the award for Prettiest Hair, I drove home, ran into my mama’s room and collapsed on her bed in tears, the shame overtaking me that while others received recognition for “Best All Around,” and “Most Likely to Succeed,” my legacy was relegated to who I was on the outside and not my character within.
I tell you all this to share something that I thought I would never have to say—[ brace yourself], in a few weeks I will be bald.
It’s not that I have even once asked the question, “Why me?” because I promise you that has never entered my mind. But there is this omnipresent disbelief that catches me off guard when I’m doing the dishes or taking a shower.
When faced with my own mortality I find I am focusing less on the scary and more on the sacred…like who I am, and who I really want to be in and through every minute of this from here on out.
I’m not so much intent on the what next as I am on the magnified moment of the here and now. I catch myself thinking about things like making love, and hair that reaches down my back, and this new belly nodule that is now a permanent reminder of two surgeries, fast and furious, one after the other…and I ask myself, “Who do you want to be in every little detail?”
Walking through the clinic hallways this morning, I thought about my onboard filing system filled with neat folders titled, “Angry,” “Uneasy,” “Disbelief,” “Fascination,” “Reinvention.” It struck me in this out-of-control moment that I am the librarian of my emotions and I get to choose exactly how this will read…page by page, chapter by chapter, until the story of this season is written in a way that makes me gasp—in the looking through and back, in the coming and going, in each human exchange— so that the me that walks each corridor and door is one that is exquisitely vulnerable and impossibly serene.
So many times in my life I have prayed for God to show up with some profound revelation, to open doors in obvious ways as to shove me through them. Over these past three weeks I’ve barely had time to catch my breath. His is a rhythm that is furious like howling wind and I am doing my best to keep pace.
There is no time for second-guessing, only the fluidity of movement that carries me from one moment to the next without reservation.
I can’t tell you that during those wee hours of the morning my mind is as still as the surface of the lake just out my window [more about this another time]. I can’t tell you that when I slip away to the restroom in the middle of an exam that I didn’t go there just to catch my breath.
I am, with all my body, mind, and spirit, trying to keep up with the stunning cadence of the living God. He and I have urgent work to do in every little corner of who I am.
Before I let you go, there is one thing left to say—I promise not to make this journey depressing because I just can’t bring myself to see it that way. After all, we get to choose, you and I, how we will be through every moment.
Ordained? Without a doubt.
Can this be used for some unknown glory? Only if I agree. And I agree.