Gray hair is a crown of glory. It is gained in a righteous life. (Proverb 16:31)
Excitement stirred within me when I first felt “stubbies” on my head. The thrill faded quickly when the color of those “stubbies” appeared. White!
No, that’s not right.
“Your hair will most likely come in thicker, curly, and a different color,” they said. I expected dark, auburn maybe, or red even. Golden blonde, as in my youth, appeared in my dreams. But white? Seriously? Silver threads had overtaken my golden strands years ago. I had chosen to enable the gold to maintain its rightful position as the sole heir to the crown on my head, with a little help from Lady Clairol. So, to say my expectations were devastated is an understatement.
Granted curls now enhance my locks. And it is thicker. Two out of three aint bad as they say. But I struggled with white hair. It ages a person. Why the trend for shades of silver caught the attention of young women, I’ll never understand. I want to say to them, “You’ll get there soon enough, honey. And you’ll hate it when you do.” I had heard 60 is the new 40, and I was livin’ it. But thanks to cancer, my age caught up to me and slapped me across the face.
Gray hair maybe my crown of glory, but I sure am not living righteously when I complain.
I need reprimanded for an ungrateful heart. Instead of being thankful for all the blessings the Lord has granted me through this cancer run, I grumble over white hair. The time and energy I waste on fretting about my appearance could, should be spent on rejoicing. I should share all the good things occurring in my life. Let’s face it, if white hair is the only thing I have to concern myself with, live is beyond good.
But expectations dilute praise. Expectations wrestle with joy. Expectations blind us to the value of our true appearance. Expectations debilitate us more than neuropathy.
Just like cancer can destroy our bodies, expectations can destroy our souls. We can fight back.
Here’s how I plan to level my expectations:
- Listen to others. Many people have complimented me on my new hair. They can’t all be just trying to be nice.
- Focus on the positive. God has enabled me to do everything I could do before. I’m getting stronger every day. I am victorious.
- Accept myself as I am now. Love and acceptance abound toward me from those closest to me, as well as from God. I need to do the same.
- Praise instead of whine. Yes, develop an attitude of gratitude. I have much more to be thankful for than to complain about.
- Embrace my new normal. Stop comparing myself to others or to the way things were before cancer.
- Continue doing what God called me to do—encourage others.
- Lift up my eyes to Heaven and remember my destination.
- Prepare for that destination and help others prepare for Jesus’ return.
How about you? How do you level your expectations?
See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks