Fully Known and Fully Loved by God
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Embracing who God has made us to be unlocks a new level of freedom. I experienced this freedom in 2016 during my freshman year of college. It was the day I did a “big chop” and committed to wearing my hair in its natural, afro state.
To those who are unfamiliar with the term “big chop,” it’s used predominantly in the black community to refer to the act of cutting off one’s chemically relaxed hair in order to revert back to their natural hair texture. A relaxer (or perm) is a chemical treatment that is applied to curly hair to make it straight. In a nutshell, a big chop is a commitment to wearing one’s naturally curly hair instead of choosing to chemically straighten it. Perms can come with a few major side effects, including extreme burning and scalp irritation upon application of the perm, scabs on the scalp, and, over time, hair loss. You may be wondering, why in the world would anyone get a perm with all those adverse side effects? One word: acceptance.
As a child, the term “good hair” only represented one thing for me: straight, long hair… a European standard of beauty. Based on those qualifications, I did not make the cut. From passive remarks to outright insults of my hair and other kinkier hair textures of African descent, it was evident what was deemed acceptable and desirable for my hair was driven by society. I felt trapped. Thankfully, God’s life-giving Word provided a way out.
You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Solomon 4:7 ESV)
God’s Word outweighs every fleeting beauty standard of this world that strips image-bearers of their true worth. Numbers 23:19 is the Scripture that silenced any lingering doubts about God’s view of me:
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind.
If God cannot lie, then He cannot lie about me; if He does not change His mind, then His declaration about me is definite. The decision to wear my natural hair is an outward expression that I believe what God says I am: beautiful.
While my testimony is about falling in love with my hair, my story is not unique. Every day, fellow image-bearers of God are made to feel “less-than” due to societal standards. Whether it be weight, height, accent, skin tone, etc. the world is constantly spreading the message that what God has declared “good” (see Genesis 1:26-31) is not good enough. If you are struggling with acceptance, know that you are fully known and loved by God. There is nothing you must alter to gain His acceptance. You are God’s masterpiece.
Lord, I pray that You will renew our minds daily from the lies of the enemy that tell us we are not enough. In times of insecurity help us remember that You’ve declared us fearfully and wonderfully made. Let us speak life to those in our proximity to those who may feel low. Let us radiate the confidence and freedom that only comes from You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Scripture is quoted from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®). ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. The ESV® text has been reproduced in cooperation with and by permission of Good News Publishers. Unauthorized reproduction of this publication is prohibited. All rights reserved.
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