Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” John 15:1-2
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I don’t cut my hair very often. I feel more confident with length and I’ve always been partial to longer hair. I also find it easier to manage as curly hair settles when it has more weight. Then this year I had a relapse with migraines and seriously began to ponder a liberal haircut. A series of events prevented me from taking time to do this and I put it off a while.
One day I looked at the condition of my hair. It was rapidly acquiring more split ends, becoming dry and lack luster, and overall looking and feeling bad. I had been busy this year and my hair care sunk to the bottom of my to-do list. I knew my hair needed a serious tune up. The quickest way to revive damaged hair would be a good cut and conditioning. I then realized that I needed to clip so much away, I might as well go a few more inches and donate it. BUT, then I thought, “I’m not going to donate damaged hair!” So the project began.
For two months I applied growth stimulating essential oils to my scalp almost daily and deep conditioned 3 times a week. I used coconut oil, natural conditioners, and eventually some Monet deep conditioning treatment. I trimmed the very tips of my dry hair and moisturized well. Still I knew that cutting my hair 10 full inches was going to be a sacrifice and I wanted to put it off as long as I could so that I’d still have a decent amount of length left.
Then this December I reached a moment of purpose in my personal walk. Realizing my prior complacency and lack of consistency reading God’s Word and being intentional in my walk had a sudden and profound impact on me. I also found that I was struggling with SELF—insecurity, loneliness, desiring more purpose and clarity, and being overwhelmed with distractions and goals. Basically my personal life and relationships were strained and I was sad—very sad. Everyone goes through these moments and boy was I in one.
The thought that settled in my spirit was this:
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2
“Surprise him with a new hair-do and new attitude.” Stormie Omartian The Power of Praying Wife
These thoughts made me want to give away a very long lock of hair as a living sacrifice —- not because that’s what the verse is talking about, or because I think we are saved by works (spoiler: we’re not), or that a haircut in and of itself would make me feel any better about me on the inside; but because it was a huge, tangible, brave symbol of what was happening inside my own heart and that I would remember that gesture.
While making a shift in my prayer life the last few weeks and actually spending time reading the word and praying every morning, my mind was renewing. I’ve always found it hard to give up things I like doing that take away from what I should be doing or deciphering my purpose and true calling. For example, I save a whole lot of pins on Pinterest because “I can do that!” Can you relate? Do you make your to-do list way longer than necessary and get down on yourself when you fail to be super woman? I do. I have tried to run 3 businesses from home; write for 2 blogs, a travel site, and odyssey; homeschool my daughter; cook meals; make every Christmas present; clean daily; garden; landscape; mow; exercise; and DIY extra things to boot. That’s nuts and I gotta stop that nonsense. (Spoiler: it wasn’t working…AT ALL.) Of course any of us can do many things, but probably not ALL AT ONCE. Cut – self – slack – please. But I digress, many plans and ideas appeal to me but it should be God’s purpose that prevails (Psalm 33:11) and allowing Him access to renew my mind is enormously helpful in deciphering where I can let things go and where I need to put my whole heart and effort. It means some notions I had need to be cut away and sacrificed, but doing so FREES me to be more effective (fruitful; John 15) in what I do. Seek Kingdom first, much else will fall in line after (Matthew 6:33).
So cutting my hair didn’t make me more confident about my own appearance and self for more than 10 minutes and it wasn’t a magic formula that made everything all better—but it does feel amazing. Rather than keeping a bit more length for my own preference, I gave it as an act of love (Romans 12) to Locks of Love so that a child who lost their hair can have some of mine in a wig. I knew that cutting much away would renew the life of the hair on my head and it’s going to grow back better. I know that it is my living sacrifice (Romans 12:2), and I know that “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13), and I prayed over that little braided lock of hair that whomever receives it will receive some love and healing with it.
And by the way, God LOVES it when His children are generous spirited. Do a quick Bible search on keywords “Giving” ,“Generous”, “first fruits”, and “tithes” and you’ll see that truth in a short amount of time! But I’ll leave you with this one:
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
I’ll take it!
I highly recommend Stormie’s book “The Power of a Praying Wife” as it inspired me to be bold in my prayers and actions. Amazon will pay me a commission for the sale at no extra cost to you the shopper. My little compensation for my work 😉