Friday, November 26, 2010

My Thorn

The technical term is Androgenetic Alopecia or Female Pattern Hair Loss.  I call it my ‘Thorn’.  Perhaps it’s un-spiritual to equate my thinning hair to Paul’s thorn, but like him, I’ve pleaded with God to take this away.  Blood work has determined I don’t have lupus or something else scary.  Since I’m being completely honest, a tiny little part of me was disappointed that there wasn’t some reason.  But, there isn’t, and each day it’s a little worse.  As my hair naturally falls out, what’s growing back is baby fine and barely there.  Products and styling are no longer masking the truth.  Thinking about the inevitable end leaves me feeling panicky. 

Why in the world am I sitting here telling who knows who all this embarrassing bit of information? 
I try to be very open about the poor choices I’ve made.  I try to share my missteps and failures.  I believe that God is redeeming them, and that it may be an encouragement to others to know something of my journey.  But, sharing this, which is completely out of my control, this feels super exposed.  And, it is.  I can plaster on a smile and pretend away the sin and ickiness on the inside, but hair loss is right there for everyone to see.  Even though this has nothing to do with my control, it’s a lot more scary to admit this than my sinfulness.  Kind of pathetic and silly, I know! 
So, why am I sharing this?  It’s not for your pity, so please don’t do that.  It’s not for suggestions on treatment because there are none.  It’s not for you to remind me of how many people have it way worse than me.  Believe me, I know that, and on my good days I feel gratitude to God for all His many blessings.  But, on my bad days, I don’t care.  I don’t want to be noble or admirable.  I don’t want to be blessed to be a blessing.  I want my Thorn gone and my hair back.  I want to be pretty. 
As I look to the future, preparing to serve in the D.R., this keeps pushing in and taking my attention.  I am exhausted and feel myself slipping into a very dark place.  I am spending this Thanksgiving weekend in prayer and fasting, wrestling with accepting my Thorn.  I have asked God into this fight, seeking His strength.  Surrendering something outside of my control and asking Him to redeem it is doubly terrifying. 
I want to hear God say that His grace is sufficient in my weakness.  And, when He does, I want to actually believe it.  Right now, that seems impossible.  So, I share this with the hope that perhaps just naming my fears is a start toward healing.  When I am weak, He is strong.  Praying for the faith to believe that!

1 comment:

  1. Only as we pray and grow through horrible burdens that come our way do we have the strength,inner peace and assurance to truly encourage others to believe: Yes, I understand the weight of your burden but our God is sufficient for whatever comes to you. It's a hard, slow, painful journey and many professing Christians simply choose to not make the trip. Unfortunately, they have nothing worth sharing with others because they can only say: Yes, what has happened to you is horrible.