There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Cher hair. That’s how we in my family lovingly refer to my 8th grade perm fiasco. Cher hair. I didn’t intend to emulate Cher’s wildly coiffed late 80’s do’. I just wanted curls—the cute spiral kind that gently rolled across your shoulders like tiny miniature slinkys which all of the teen models were sporting in my copies of Teen magazine. Unbeknownst to my hairdresser, who truly meant well, my hair tends to have a lot of natural body. Not curl—there are no curls. Just poof, which my hairdresser must have missed in her initial assessment of my hair because, as my hair is also very thick, she decided it would need a double perm in order for the curls to stick. If you’ve ever wondered what the outcome of a double perm on naturally poofy hair equals, I can tell you–Cher hair.
Needless to say, I made quite the entrance at school the following day. My 8th grade history teacher who was always a little flighty told my dad that I looked very dramatic—like a movie star. Most everyone else in our small Bible belt town just thought I looked silly. And really, they were right. It was ridiculous. But, of course, at that point I was stuck with it. I learned to make do with my crazy do’. I turned bandanas into head bands and tried to keep the wild mass of curls away from my face. And my family has lots of photographic ammunition for public humiliation if they ever so desire.
The lesson I learned that year was that my hair was not made to perm. No amount of chemical combinations will ever take my thick poofy hair and transform it into strands of beautifully woven spirals. It’s just not going to happen—ever. For the record, I did try one more time at the end of my Senior year—a few days before graduation. It was not good. Luckily, I was seeing a hair dresser who could fix the damage and introduced me to the concept of hair straighteners. It was a life changing moment.
Today, I don’t go anywhere without my trusty Chi. Because while my hair was not created to be curled, it was absolutely made to be bobbed and straightened.
There’s a process of self-embracing I think we all have to go through in life. So often, we long to be different from who God created us to be. We pass over all of the wonderful and unique aspects of our created being and focus on those things we find to be lacking. Instead of playing to our strengths, we constantly worry over and bemoan our weaknesses. “I need to be more __________________________,” we think instead of saying, “I can really use __________________ to make a difference in the world!”
God promises us that he has endowed each and every one of His children with specific gifts and abilities. Specific gifts AND abilities. And He has given us these traits and talents to be used for HIS glory. God created us to be who HE wants us to be! God doesn’t look at us and say, “Man, I wish I had given this one more organizational skills!” Instead, He sees a beautiful child whom He created to reflect His glory and to bring His kingdom on Earth.
So instead of focusing on the things you wish you were—try looking instead at who you are. See yourself as a child of God first, and then work to discover (or rediscover) all of the gifts and abilities God has placed within you. Then, use those abilities to do something positive. Show God’s love in a real and meaningful way through being who you are—not who you think you should be.
Blessings and Peace,