Real Ugly

Women with scarves covering bald heads were a testament to the ravages of chemo. So it was no surprise when clumps of hair began clogging the shower drain.  It was time to do something.  The beautician clipped my long red hair very short.  I felted I had never looked so awful.  My identity lay on the floor in piles.  The ugliness I felted only got worse.  “Lord, I must remember true beauty comes from within. (I Peter 3:4 NLT)

“Please keep my spirit loving and kind, don’t let discouragement and pain dictate my attitude,” I prayed so many times.  A sacrifice of thanks and praise the psalmist says (Psalm 116:7), yes, it became a real sacrifice.  “My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever.” Psalm 73:26 NLT

The baldness set in, the eyebrows and eyelashes disappeared, eventually every strand of hair on my body gone.  Any pride in my appearance was gone, too.  Through the months of treatment, looking good became a real struggle.  Pictures from a friend’s wedding showed my wig had slipped.  How horrible! The wigs helped some but hugs helped more.  The church family and friends loved me in so many ways in spite of my appearance.  They demonstrated what Paul said in Romans 12:9-13.

“Don’t just pretend to love others.  Really love them.  Hate what is wrong.  Hold tightly to what is good.  Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.  Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.  Rejoice in our confident hope.  Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying.  When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them.  Always be eager to practice hospitality.”

Note: This journey began late 2006, continued through all of 2007 with the final words, “you are cancer free” in March 2008.  Several who know me now are catching just one blog and feeling confused. This is my victory story. My hope is that all who read this will realize that God is right there through every trial. 

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