“See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” -Hebrews 12:15
I had ruined my hair. I had been a bleach blonde and one box color on top of another on top of another was doing nothing but making the matter worse. In the end I had managed to come out with a combination of maroon, purple and brown strands and my hair was dry, broken, damaged and dead.
I had always been a blonde and although I tried to embrace the hair that I was now stuck with, I began to refer to it as my “dark period”. I felt as though I had done all that I could to fix it myself and in the end felt even the Lord tell me to simply leave it alone.
All this was in a time that I found myself struggling deeply in depression. I hated myself on almost every level, I struggled with pulling myself out of bed in the morning and knew without a doubt I was the worst wife and mom that was walking the planet. It just seemed appropriate that my hair seemed to match my life’s outlook.
My hair was just an analogy for this season that I was walking through, and wouldn’t it be like God to use such a girly example for me in this. The more I tried to fix myself, the worse it got. I could have gone to a professional for help, but instead I kept trying to remedy my mistakes myself. The same could be said for my life.
I had grown up in church. I had memorized all the Bible verses at my Christian school. I was supposed to be able to pull myself out of this and make myself better, but none of that seemed to be working. I should have gone to Him and just admitted I was at a loss and needed Him. The harder I tried to fix it myself, all I ended up with was dry, broken, damaged and dead inside.
Darkness and death seemed to want to consume me. What kind of good Christian girl was I if I couldn’t even have enough faith to get myself out of this mess? However, sometimes God waits to meet us at the bottom of ourselves, where we run out of attempts and strength and we find ourselves sitting in our own mess. He reached out His hand to me and reminded me He was my Savior, not once from hell when I was six, but from this, again today. I needed Him to save me over and over again. I could fire myself from trying to save myself. The position had already been filled by someone much more capable.
Slowly but surely He stood with me and asked me to face the brokenness that I was in a hurry to hide and brush away. He pointed out to me how my roots were showing; roots of bitterness, entitlement, pride, and self-righteousness. Roots that had long been growing and were now choking my heart and my life. He could no longer allow them to stay, and one by one He showed me how they had been planted there. Little by little He had to dig them out, like ripping away a band-aid long overdue. Roots that held me captive, roots that were lies and dug deep with unbelief, roots that had made up my identity, just like my hair had.
My Christianity, like my hair, had long been my identity. I was known for bleach blonde locks and being a good Christian, but neither were who I really was. Taking away who I clung to wanting to be known for was simply the start for reminding me who I actually was, first and foremost a child of God. My identity was not found in all I identified myself as, what I looked like, how I performed as a Christian, but only in Christ alone. When all those things were stripped from me, and a broken hearted and broken haired girl sat in her own ashes, who was I then? Still loved, still chosen, still adopted, redeemed, and forgiven? Yes.
If you find yourself broken and dry, brittle and damaged, trying to hang on desperately to who you want to define yourself as, let go. In Christ alone will we know who we truly are; not in pleasing others, not performing, keeping up appearances or fighting for our worth. He wants to give us beauty, but He needs us to release our ashes first.