Hair or the lack thereof is an expression of our individuality. When I was undergoing chemotherapy and my hair began to fall out I found it very traumatic. When I had finished my chemo treatments and the hair began to grow again I longed for it to grow quickly so I would look like me again. My hair grew back curly and then the curls softened into waves when my hair grew longer. I recently discovered pictures of my hair from that time and I had wondered why I had not kept it that length since I liked how it looked.
I knew that I needed a haircut and I had to do something with my hair. I felt as if the long sides were like dog’s ears just hanging there. I would often play with my hair, twisting it while I watched TV. My husband had recently suggested that I get a modern hairstyle when I told him I was considering cutting my hair. I dared to have my hair cut short because it once was this short after I had chemo.
My daughter Joy is a hairstylist and I asked her what she would do with my hair if I was a client that came in to the hair salon. I said that she has the advantage of knowing me and my desire for a low-maintenance hairstyle. Knowing that my hair has a natural wave, Joy decided to razor cut it for a softer look. At first she left the sides a bit longer so it was more like a wedge haircut and not as drastic a change, but I didn’t like how it looked so she cut them off and blended the sides in with the back. I still had a longer bang that I parted to the side. I decided to wash my hair so that the hair would just fall naturally and to see if I wanted to keep that longer bang or to go for a shorter fringe of bangs. After looking at myself in the mirror from different angles, I decided that I would have the shorter bangs.
I had a sense of sadness when I thought why I knew I could risk cutting my hair so short. As I thought about it I remembered how important it was for me to regain a normal life after having cancer, including having the same hairstyle as before. That was the reason I didn’t keep my hair short. Now I was making a choice to have short hair rather than just coping with hair regrowth.
I feel exposed with my hair so short almost as if I had been hiding behind my same safe hairstyle. My earlobes, cheekbones and neck are now more noticeable. I don’t feel different inside, but when I walk past a mirror I am surprised at how different I look. It is a drastic change but one that I shall embrace as Part Two in having short hair.
A phrase from a song was going over in my mind “my will to live is for You”. It is from
the song You Surround Me by Brian
Doerksen on the album You Shine. I
was thinking how God does surround me. He gives me the will to live; and not to
just live, but live for Him. The words for the song include the Gaelic words
and their translation. The English phrase is “my whole will to live is for You, You’ve awakened me to know” the
translation of the Gaelic is “You gave
meaning and sense to my life; You’ve awakened my heart”. I can’t live “my
life” without God. My life can be my physical life or all that transpires in my
A few years ago I celebrated my 50th
birthday. I did not have any regret or anxiety to have reached such an age. I was
thankful to be alive. I have been cancer-free since April 2008. I am a cancer
survivor. It does not define me entirely, but it is like a frame in which the
rest of what makes me “me” is displayed. I say that it is a frame because I
cannot erase the past, nor undo the consequences. Yet cancer does not direct my
I cannot explain why God healed me and others have
not been healed. I am thankful for God’s mercy, grace and compassion toward me.
I was listening to a song about God showing up and I thought, “He did! He
healed me!” I started to cry because I realized that I had been afraid that I
would die when I was first diagnosed with cancer. It seemed like a death
sentence. I even had to battle fear of dying when I went for the operation. I
had such a sense of gratefulness to God for preserving my life and healing me
from ovarian cancer.
I was seeking the Lord as to what my response was to
be concerning a woman from our church who was on life support. I was to look to
the Lord; keep my eyes on Jesus. Just like the Israelites had to look at the
bronze snake on the pole. I was not to look at anyone else as a sign of God’s
plan or faithfulness to me personally. I was to continue trusting God to restore
me and strengthen me. She was in God’s hands. I was in God’s hands. My life
does not need to impact hundreds. I only need to be faithful to God and
obedient to Him. The word God gave to me is “Follow Me.” The story about Peter asking Jesus about John had come
to mind. I sensed God saying to me about that woman dying – “What is that to you? “You must follow Me.”
I was again feeling burdened to do something big for
God or to have “great impact on others”. A former co-host on 100 Huntley Street
, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. I was feeling guilty or
condemned that God had healed me and what did I have to show for it? As I read
an update I heard God say to me in my spirit, “Do you trust Me? I am in control”. My eyes were opened to see that
I am faithful to use the gifts, talents and abilities God has given me. God
does not require of me to do more or to be something that I am not. It is by
God’s grace and mercy that I have been spared. I need to continue to follow
Jesus, no matter what happens to anyone else who is, or seems to be, more gifted
than me. God is sovereign and He has a plan for each of us individually
including the fact that these women were not healed in this life. I can still thank God that He healed
me, while thanking Him that these women are now with Him. It is not pride or
arrogance. I have never felt that I deserved tolive or that I was more worthy or special. I am blown away by the
intervention of God. I believed that He would heal me and He did.
Recently I shared about my health tests and how I
struggled with already having my quota of miracles. It isn’t that I consciously
thought that, but God exposed that lie.
One morning words from a song came to mind and I was singing them –
“choose to be a blessing for life”. It is from the song “The Blessing” by Troy Denning. I think that this is part of my
life’s passion – that I would be a blessing for life. My heart belongs to
Jesus. I will speak the words of life. I want to leave behind a legacy of
blessing for life. I see now through this episode of unsure health issues that
I want to choose to be a blessing for life. I choose life. I don’t want to die.
I want to live. It is not selfish or self-seeking to want to live and not die.
I desire to continue to be a blessing to others. I am grateful to God for the
way He intervenes in my life.
[I wrote the above post in response to the Writers' Nest monthly topic. God had impressed upon me these "Life Lessons", which I have gleaned from my journals kept over the past seven years.]
At times I could compare my life to sailing. There are times
when life is going along smoothly. There are birds in the sky; the sun is
shining; there is a gentle breeze. I know the direction in which I am headed
and it is mostly effortless. I am propelled by the winds of the Spirit. I might
have to make some minor adjustments in my behaviour or attitudes, but mostly I
am being carried along; gliding across the water, hardly creating any waves. I
am not in a hurry; I am enjoying the journey. I soak up the sun and feel the
soft breeze on my cheek. I have to go with the wind. My sails are raised high
and they are full of the Spirit.
Some days it is too windy or wavy to sail. Other days the
air is so still that I am tempted to wonder, “Where are you God? Don’t you know
that I want to sail? I want my sails to be filled with the winds of Your Spirit
and not the winds of adversity.” If I attempt to go out on a windy day I will
be tossed about by the wind and waves. I will have to strain with all my might
to right myself and to keep on course. I don’t want to be dashed on the rocks.
Sometimes I need to find a safe bay and shelter there until the storm is past.
It is hard to wait on God. Once I have experienced the freedom of sailing on
open water I feel confined sitting in the harbour. I know that others want to
make sure that I am seaworthy. They don’t want me to become a casualty at sea.
I need to trust that the Master shipbuilder is in control. He is the Harbour
“So don’t be so
surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this
world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that.
You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes
from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from
above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.” John 3:7 (MSG)
“My help and glory are
in God —granite-strength and safe-harbor-God— so trust him absolutely,
people; lay your lives on the line for him. God is a safe place to be.”
Frequent communication with family members A desire for diagnosis and proper care for .. Mother-in-law in hospital Ice-fishing trip today with father and son, and a friend Looked after daughter's dog for an afternoon while she visited a friend Yesterday saw ultrasound pictures of our future grandchild
Dinner celebrating our daughter-in-law's birthday All my children together Yet my son-in-law was unable to join us as he had to work