Joy in the Freedom to be Me

clip-art-illustration-of-an-african-american-school-girl-playing-hopscotch-by-pams-clipart-386During my walk around the block yesterday morning, I started smiling and laughing out loud. Nothing in particular happened. If any of the folks driving by noticed, I’m sure I probably got the hairy eyeball. Later in the day, it dawned on me why that sudden burst of happiness erupted in my spirit – it was joy.

As I understand, joy is a calm delight regardless of your circumstance. So, where did this come from? There are things happening in my life that I pray that God’s promises manifest sooner rather than later. But, in the midst of it all, I’m experiencing a ‘calm delight’ that sometimes borders on hilarity. I can’t explain nor can I adequately describe it but one thing is for sure, I’m enjoying it. Perhaps it comes from the acceptance that I wrote about in my last post. The difference in this instance is the acceptance of just being me.

Dare I say, I’m finding joy in the freedom to be me?

Years ago, I started my natural hair journey. It wasn’t something I purposely set out to do. Quite the opposite. It was a reaction to the many years prior of what I like to call the ‘perm and burn’ phase of my life. It was a vicious cycle: Braid – Healthy Hair- Perm- Burn- Breakage- Back to Braids. I was over it. So, one day, I grabbed the scissors and Voila – TWA (teeny weeny afro). Little did I know, this was the start of getting to the joy of being me. For those of you who have embarked on this ‘natural hair’ journey, you understand how frustrating this path can be. It can be tough and a lonely road to travel. And EXPENSIVE! Y’all know – all those products you must try. My Hair Equation: W+O=H3 Moisture is key! [Water (Moisturizer) + Oil (Moisture Sealant) = Happy Healthy Hair].

But, I have to say my hair issues was the catalyst that prompted me to start learning more about myself. Long story short, I went to the Word of God. And, HE brought me to Psalm 139: 14 (NIV) I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Some may read this and think, Girl. It ain’t that deep. Perhaps. But in my experience – it is, unfortunately, that deep. This scripture helped me embrace what was growing out of my scalp. This may seem strange but through this one scripture, I started to develop boldness and rubber skin. Rubber skin? Yep! When I stopped hiding my hair under weaves and wigs, some family and friends…well…let’s just say, they weren’t feeling it. Make no mistake, to date, some still aren’t feeling it. It’s Ok!

By the way, I still have my wigs and I will rock a weave and braids when I feel so inclined. Years ago, a friend of mine use to switch up her looks all the time with wigs, half wigs, extensions etc… She said, ‘Girl, hair ain’t nothing but an accessory.’ I don’t know if I ever told her but that statement opened my mind to a whole new world – yes I was singing when I typed that. Shout out to KP!

Back to my morning walk. I’m in Florida so that means humidity. Back in my perm/burn and earlier natural hair days, humidity was the enemy. My hair is very soft. That means, any moisture in the atmosphere make the hair on my head shrink like roaches running from the light.

But now, YOLO (You Only Live Once)! Remember Psalm 139:14? I believe my kinky coily hair was fearfully and wonderfully made. Now, I know why I was smiling and laughing out loud during my morning walk. It wasn’t too long ago that I would have passed on going out for a wonderful walk because I feared the inevitable return of the TWA.

Learning to love all that is me, started with my hair. But, that’s not where my story ends….

Final Word of Encouragement: Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Discover the joy in the freedom of being you – I am.

 

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Pastor John F. Crayton Sr.

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