Get Real…

 

803D61DA-A202-42D8-9F09-C90DE3D9166EI’m a hairstylist, and although I know it shouldn’t be this way there are times (I’ll admit) that I live under a ridiculous falsehood:

‘that when my hair is fixed and looking nice I’m gonna feel and appear like a total put together mama, and I’ll be able to handle any challenge that may come about that day…I’m gonna feel good about myself…no matter what…all day long.’

On my “very” best days my hair is colored, which means grays are covered and I start the day out with a female version of James Bond’s can-do attitude…My husband is going to read this and be like, “do you even have any idea who James Bond is?” and I’ll simply reply, “…not really.”

…I’m 34 years old and I have more than a fair amount of gray hair. I experienced a lot of childhood trauma, therefore I blame it on that. Nevertheless, I feel my age is far too young to parade gray hair around so I color it and it drives my husband absolutely crazy. Nathan believes I should embrace this premature graying and accept it for what it is, but I can’t bring myself to do it at this point. Maybe when I’m in my 40s, but in my 30s it’s just not gonna happen.

I realize there are some who would agree with my husband, BUT I also know there are a lot of people out there who are covering up “gray areas” of their lives…

Whether it’s depression, an eating disorder, a spending habit, perhaps a lump on their body, an addiction, a broken heart…you see, some of us are covering up “gray hairs” also, so to speak.

As I spoke with one of my best friends on the phone the other day I explained to her how ‘even though I’m so, far-removed from my past mistakes, there are still times I allow my insecurities (the shame from my past) to fester and sometimes even surface. It gets uncomfortable. This is especially true when I’m around certain individuals. I feel insignificant or insecure of myself while in their presence, like I’m not good enough.’

I’ll never forget her simple and reasonable response, “most likely you feel that way around those people because they don’t share their true feelings.”

They’re a closed book, very private, refusing to share or show feelings and emotions.

Perhaps hesitant to open up at the risk of becoming vulnerable themselves.

…Allowing only the rich vibrant color to show, covering over the dull, dreary shades of gray.

The truth is: everyone has or is dealing with something. We’ve all faced or are facing a struggle.

The danger is: many refuse to admit it or open up about it.

Another best friend and I share the darkest, deepest areas of our mishaps with one another. Once we’ve equally vented, we jokingly mock the ever popular phrase, “#thestruggleisreal.” 

BUT it’s true!!, the struggle is real, we just don’t always show it. We put up this facade; posting the happiest pictures and updates on social media, meanwhile true inner feelings (those gray hairs and struggles) are covered over.

I’ve been there, I’ve done that. For years I was a closed book. Shame ran rampant in my heart and self, but my face and words spoke otherwise. I was as unreal as imitation vanilla or imitation crabmeat—neither of which are as good as the real thing, right? (sidenote: both of which I buy because I’m cheap) …When asked by someone how I was doing, I’d bottle my thoughts and bend the truth; never wanting anyone to know my hurt and self-pity. I was a wrecking ball damaging my integrity, losing sight of who I needed to be…Surely “observant people” noticed.

When I finally allowed Jesus to grab my attention He purposefully highlighted the gray, showing me how it could be a light in a dark world.

What Satan intended for evil, God has used for His glory.

I’ve now shared my testimony with many people, who after hearing my story seek me out, thanking me for just being real. They’re able to see the radiant color over what was once a dark, concealed undertone.

When we open up and spill the story of our life, our troubles, our worries we become relatable. We suddenly find out we’re not alone. We live in a broken, messed up world, and when we get real and push down the walls of pride sharing our weaknesses with one another that’s when relationships are built, standing firm and strong.

So even though my hair color may not be real, you can bet my story is. I’ve learned to uncover my struggles in a way that others may see the vibrant beauty of God’s big picture. Know this, it’s not okay to approach just anyone or at anytime revealing all of what might be a messy past, but when we listen to God’s prodding on our heart we learn to recognize just when, how, and where to open up and share our stories, always remaining honest while doing so. May we work to uncover our real thoughts, feelings, and emotions connecting with one another in a way that points to Jesus.

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Author: alimw2013

About For His Purpose~ My name is Alicia and I'm a thirty-something year old who loves Jesus. Only through God’s amazing grace and mercy I have been redeemed from past regret and shame. Reading His word has allowed me to look past Satan’s forceful lies, to see myself for who Christ says I am in Him. Through writing I have learned why I made the choices I made in my younger years and I now have a better understanding of why I desire to love God like crazy these days. Despite my daily failures, God remains faithful always. I am reassured of His unconditional love for me by every ink-drop spilled out on paper, each committed prayer as I cry out to Him, and deep understanding reflected through reading His word as truth. Yes keeping a blog will make me vulnerable to others’ opinions- there will be some who don’t understand, some who may criticize or judge, but on the other hand if just one piece expressed through my writing grabs someone’s attention and directs them to God, then pouring out my heart in a blog for the world to read is worth it. I choose to glorify Him alone through words streaming across a glowing screen. And it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t reveal the fact that I’m incredibly quirky; I’m my loving husband’s best friend, my vivacious kids’ craziest cheerleader and spiritual trainer (3 John 1:4). I love anything farmhouse and rustic style. I think cupping a warm coffee mug in the palm of my hands is more satisfying than the contents within. I share a common obsession with my husband for the mountains, but I would (without a doubt) settle for waves crashing against my legs at the Atlantic Ocean just as well, and I almost always have a Yorkie curled up on my lap while writing. *All photos are photographed by forhispurpose.blog and therefore may not be stored or photocopied in any manner.

36 thoughts on “Get Real…”

    1. Thank you so much! I actually began this devotion several weeks ago and then I put it on the back burner because I didn’t love where it was going but this morning I clicked into my draft and the words just flowed….God’s timing is always better than my own;)

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  1. Thanks for sharing Alicia! I really enjoyed this. We have something in common. I took hairdressing courses as an elective in highschool. I know really different right? But I didn’t go for the hours that I’d need to complete my training because I didn’t enjoy it like I thought I would. I liked cutting hair, but I didn’t enjoy the rest of it.

    Guess what? I’ve been growing out my natural hair color for almost a year now. I still have a lot of natural brunette but I also have obvious silver strands. I decided it was time to ditch the dye when I became sensitive to the dye. My scalp and ears were constantly insanely itchy. I had to convince myself despite the sensitivity though. So I started a board on Pinterest to inspire me. My first try I caved in and bought a box of hair dye, but I was disappointed that I did. The next month though I stuck with it.

    I kind of like the freedom in it actually. I’ve always thought men pulled off silvering hair well, so why can’t women? It’s a mindset that grey hair isn’t beautiful. Whether it’s fear of what others will think, feeling old, or whatever the reason. Once you wrap your mind around what true beauty is, it isn’t difficult. Of course I’ll be happy when it’s all grown out, but I’m counting it as a lesson in patience, and long suffering. Haha. I’m kidding about the long suffering. 😛

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    1. I love this! I love your reasoning too….and I also didn’t know hairdressing (elective) could be offered in high school, that’s crazy; pretty cool!! So I actually don’t love doing hair, I only do it once a week at a nursing home and that limited amount makes me appreciate it. I wish I would’ve gone to school for carpentry.
      Like you, I also have an auto immune disorder (psoriasis) and they say early gray hair can be a side effect of those nasty immune disorders.
      Our foreign exchange student recently told me “your gray hair looks more like highlights instead!” ….so I’ve been trying to convince myself of that and maybe that thought will cause me to go natural;)

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      1. Exactly! Natural highlights. Thats the way I am looking at it! 🙂 My husband said to me: “You have a bit of a Grey streak their, I like that.” He’s been wanting me to go natural for years too. I never understood it, but hey if he doesn’t mind it, why should I? When I told him I was going to grow it out, he said, “Oh good! Just don’t get your hair cut short.” lol. I have no problem with that. I’m not a short hair person. I’ve had my hair short twice. The first time wasn’t my choice. My mom had it lobbed off because my tangles were driving her crazy. The second time was when I was a teenager, and I soon grew tired of short hair. It’s just not me.

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      2. That’s so sweet of your husband:) I’d love to be able to grow mine out but once it gets a few inches past my shoulders it won’t grow any longer!! I’m not sure why:/

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      3. Oh I forgot! Normally hairdressing isn’t an elective in high school. It was only offered at this particular high school. It was sort of an unusual high school. Like a high school/technical school? They offered some other elective courses too like Cafeteria to get people started in the food industry. When I was in junior high a couple of ladies came and talked about the hairdressing course, so I jumped at it because I hadn’t a clue what I wanted to do with my life. Though I didn’t finish the courses I did cut my families hair for a time, including visiting my great-grandma in her care home. So I guess I have something else in common with you. If you’re interested in checking out my “Silver Strands” pinterest board here’s the link
        https://www.pinterest.ca/crochetcanuck/silver-strands/

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      4. Yes that’s awesome! I’ll check it out and follow it..I think I’m on Pinterest as “flower” lol like that’s my profile name haha..I wish more schools offered electives in that way, I really think though 18/19 years old is still sooo young to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life..it’s nice you can be whatever age and go to college but that can be expensive too..

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      5. I just looked at your Pinterest board (followed you too)..Beautiful!! It’s actually really inspiring! I’d love to see how yours is growing out too, I think it’s that transition stage is what would drive me crazy…also funny ? (Off topic) ..would you guys happen to have any of your pottery for sale, I would LOVE to purchase a piece of your art;)

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      6. Yes the transition stage is definitely awkward. I’m at 11 months now and I’m thinking it’s going to take another two years at the rate it’s growing lol. I must be a glutton for punishment. I’m stubborn and determined though. It’s at least at the stage now where if I wear my hair up it doesn’t look so awkward.

        We are actually no longer in business, so we don’t really have anything to sell. Technically we might have something in storage, but I have no idea what we have or if we even have anything left over that I’d be proud to sell to you. Mostly we made pet urns. We did try selling some different pieces like plant pots and vases at a little shop, but it never really panned out for us so we stuck to pet urns as we could sell them in bulk to a local animal crematorium. Originally this business was something Andrew’s aunt took on, which she offered to us at a cross roads. It was either go on welfare or try our hand at ceramics. It served us well for 14 years, but between the two of us health struggles have forced us to shut down.

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      7. I bet your hair looks pretty, it always looks nice in the few pics I’ve seen..i knew you guys did the pet urns for sure because I remembered reading that, did you use a pottery wheel as well to form them or were the pieces already formed and ready for glaze and firing? …the planting pots are definitely what I would’ve been interested in…I love that you had a business together, so awesome!!!!!

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      8. I was trying to get a good pic of my hair for ya, but so far it’s not working out. My tablet camera won’t even pick up my silver strands. It won’t even pick up the difference between my natural and coloured hair. Our suite is too dark I guess. I just look like a brunette. lol. I may try again with my digital camera outdoors and see if I can get that to work, but my silver is actually really subtle. It’s blending well with my natural brown hair. So its kind of a shimmery brown. I do like it. I kind of wish I had a bit more silver though. lol. In time I guess. I’m actually really fascinated by silver hair now. When I first decided to grow it out I was looking everywhere for women with greying hair. I saw one at the bank the other day! It’s was beautiful. She was younger than me too. 🙂

        We actually used ceramic molds, mixed our own ceramic slip, and poured all our pieces. Then they had to dry a bit before we could remove the pieces from the molds. Next they sat on the shelf to dry before I cleaned the pieces (removed seems and imperfections) It’s a long, but neat process. I’ll find my post called “Clay” for ya. I talked a bit about the pouring process in that post. 🙂

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      9. Yes I’d love to see a picture of your hair!!! And I’m really fascinated with the ceramic process and so wish you were both able to still do that, it sounds so neat..there’s an older woman in the town I live in and she runs a ceramic business where you can choose a ceramic and then paint, it’s always so relaxing!!

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  2. Love your honesty. I color my hair, too, even though I’m 65! I tell myself, I don’t FEEL old (I sometimes forget I’m a grownup!) so why should I LOOK old? That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
    Thanks for using my theme verse. – Where the mind goes, the rest of life does tend to follow.

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    1. Thank you!! I still color a ladies hair a deep red color at the nursing home where I do hair and I believe she’s in her 80s. Some women just don’t like or want to accept gray hair…
      I love, love, love what you said…’where the mind goes, the rest of life does tend to follow’..is that something you thought of?

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      1. That’s something I’ve LIVED. 😉 I think that’s what Romans 12:2 is actually telling us. Also, in Romans 8 there’s a lot about where we have our minds set. (And 20th Century psychologists think they discovered “mind set.” 😀 )

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  3. Yes, it makes all the difference in the world! That’s why my blog is called “Seeking Divine Perspective.” That perspective has made the single biggest impact on my life, from delivering me from an eating disorder to keeping me content in all circumstances as I get older.

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  4. Yes so, ‘seeking divine perspective’ means we’re in constant communication and maintaining our relationship with Christ so we can have His leading and guiding over our lives… so we can live in a way where we do life from Christ perspective ..when we seek that ‘Holy mindset’ consciously (everyday) then our actions reflect and show Christ in us!!

    Thanks for the reminder of Romans 8 too, I hadn’t read that piece of scripture in a while so it was great encouragement! I love your wisdom:)

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  5. “Most likely you feel that way around those people because they don’t share their true feelings.” Wow. As a transparent heart myself, I feel this truth a lot, but never had the words for it. Thank you for this great post and for the chance to get to know you.

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  6. Great post! My hair started turning gray in my late twenties. I would love to say that I have embraced this fact and am ok with it. I have not. I am not ok with it, lol. Lately, I have been using Henna to dye my hair. No chemicals and it’s naturally occurring. I am ok with it. My husband is ok with my hair either way, lol. Honestly, most times I let it grow out for a while before I color it, simply because I just don’t want to invest the time. Also, as a previous poster stated, I don’t feel like a grownup, lol. I have a hard time sometimes realizing that I am actually in my mid-thirties and not still nineteen. If I don’t feel old, how could I possibly have gray hair? But like all things in life, it’s about accepting what is instead of what we want it to be. I am a grownup, but I don’t have to feel old just to be a grownup. I can have gray hair, but it doesn’t make me old. It just makes me, me. And God loves me and made me this way on purpose. Even if I don’t understand or completely accept all parts of it. Life is working through our issues and allowing it to bring us closer to God. So I will work on being more open and honest with people (as a natural introvert, this is a real struggle for me) and I will work on accepting myself for the way I am. God Bless and thanks for the excellent and thought provoking post. Sorry this got so long winded!

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    1. Awe thank you for sharing your thoughts, I love it!! Yes I think that’s part of my problem too, gray hair makes me think “old” and yet being 34 I don’t feel that old; the time goes by so quick though:/
      …and henna hmmm I kind of want to do some research now:):) I agree coring hair is a time consumer and I do NOT love that part.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have used hennahut.com personally and have no complaints. But I definitely recommend looking into henna. It’s also supposed to be good for your hair anyways so, I’m just doing my hair a favor, right? 😉

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