Every so often, I look at all of my thick, long hair and I’m overwhelmed… There was a season of life when I lost it all to Alopecia Areata, and I had accepted that I might never have my own hair on my head again. Through it all, I learned two very important lessons: 1. How to take a hard blow and then muster up the grit to keep pushing forward and 2. Recognize that the only way I can do so is by the grace of God.
When I began to lose my hair, I began to feel a bit less… human. I felt weird, ugly, and certainly not whole. But God corrected me; He showed me that I am beautiful simply because I am His creation, and more importantly I am His daughter. He allowed me to see that my external appearance was never what gave me value, and therefore the way that I look on the outside can never make me worthless. He let me see myself the way that He sees me, perfectly formed for His purposes.
Through His Word, God showed me that a gentle, quiet spirit is of great worth in His sight (1 Peter 3:4). This kind of beauty isn’t characterized by having the perfect outfit, hair, skin, body type, or any other attribute that the world tells us is desirable. And this beauty never fades. I knew that I couldn’t restore my own hair, nor could I change any other outward thing about myself… But by His grace, I understood that I could submit myself to His ways, and seek to have the right spirit—a beautiful one in His sight.
He let me see myself the way that He sees me, perfectly formed for His purposes.
I would have never chosen that kind of beauty for myself. My flesh would always seek outward beauty. That’s why the three-year trial was necessary… For my good. And for the longevity of my faith. Those three years kept me clinging to God—not because I was some kind of spiritual superstar, but because without Him, I was toast. I knew that I couldn’t take one more miserable step down that road on my own. I needed Him to take my hand—to be my strong arm, holding me up and carrying me through.
All of this allowed me to see the essence of faith, like a lighthouse in a storm, beaming in all its magnificent simplicity…
1. On our own, we are utterly hopeless human beings.
2. We need a Hero to save us.
3. Jesus is the only One who is good enough and strong enough.
4. He is ever willing and faithful to come to our rescue.
And just when I moved on from insisting upon my way—when I accepted that wearing a wig and hats might be my forever reality—God performed a miracle… He gave it all back.
I don’t know why He nods His head “yes” to some prayers and not others. I don’t know why He chooses some trials for certain people and not others, but I am eternally thankful to be an “Alopecia Areata Perseverer” (as I like to call it). And I am even more thankful that this experience, and Jesus Christ, led me into the family of God.
Today was just one of those days…
Don’t miss Ashley’s other piece about her journey with Alopecia: Your Battle Is What Makes You Beautiful
You’ll also like The Great Defender, You Are Loved More Than You Know, Battered Faith: Holding On to Hope Even When You Struggle