We drove to Lynchburg just to go to the mall. My son, Wesley, has significant special needs and this week is spring break. Because of those special needs we can not travel further than we can drive. Wesley’s favorite thing in the entire world is going to malls. So, instead of a fabulous beach vacation somewhere warm we go to every mall within a 90 mile drive. We pack up the RV and make a day of it. I would have it no other way.
As we walked past the Master Cuts in the mall I noticed that all three stylist were available. Both my youngest and I needed haircuts so we walked in and were immediately helped. A young man named Chase was my stylist. I explained to him I was a busy mom and wanted something that wouldn’t take too long to style. Typically, my hair has long layers and side swept bangs. Simple enough, I thought.
As Chase began cutting my hair I began to doubt this was a good idea. He was taking pieces of hair, twisting them, and then using a blade to cut. I had never had my hair done this way and was fighting the urge to run out of Master Cuts before he ruined my hair.
This was an unfamiliar process with an unfamiliar person. I had only met him moments before and had no time to establish trust. I didn’t know if he was even talented enough to pull off whatever it was he had in mind which was clearly different than the hope I expressed.
I fought back tears as chunks of hair went flying. It will grow back, I thought. I was sure I would be wearing a pony tail until it did.
Then he started to dry it and the shape started to be obvious. This wasn’t the worst haircut I’ve ever had. In fact, it might just be my favorite.
It is difficult to trust the process when we are in the hands of an unknown person. For it is not only the process we need to trust, it is the entity who is unfolding it. I would not have had the slightest trepidation had Chase been someone with whom I was familiar, who had cut my hair before, who had a proven track record.
Trust the process…
I was recently chatting with a friend. He said, “The journey is the reward.” How often do I take the time to recognize the reward is in the journey while trusting the process?
I replay my experience at Master Cuts only now I sit in God’s beauty chair. He is not unfamiliar to me. In fact, He might be the most familiar one to me. He has the greatest proven record of creating beauty from ashes not just in my own life but in the lives of people I love and in the stories I read in His Word – one hundred percent.
He takes pieces of my life and the twisting is uncomfortable. It is down right painful on some days. I don’t understand what He is doing. The process isn’t like anything I have ever endured. He takes a razor and cuts pieces He knows I won’t need but I can’t see it. I don’t have eyes that can tell. Sometimes I panic. My trust wavers and I ask Him to help me with my unbelief.
Pieces land on the floor and I am not sure I wanted them to not be attached to me. I trust the process but I mourn the loss. It feels as if I have been sitting for so long and my back aches a bit. I want to get up and move around. I have had enough.
He tells me it is not time yet.
He tells me I need the patience to endure.
He tells me what He is shaping for me will be the most beautiful life I can imagine but I have to sit for a while.
He tells me He isn’t finished.
He tells me what I see as a mess, He sees as a masterpiece.
I trust His eyes. I trust His vision. I trust His hands. If they created the universe from nothing surely He will create something beautiful in me.
And so I am not done waiting. I trust the process. I find the journey to be the reward because in the journey I am being molded into what He wants me to be. As I sit in His chair we talk. We grow closer. I learn to love Him more and the reflection staring back at me. Yet in the changing vision I come to realize that only He, much more than I, could be trusted to shape who I was meant to be, who I long to be, who He created me to be.
I surrender to His cutting, pruning, extracting, and twisting.
I surrender to His shaping.
I surrender my strength, mercy, compassion, kindness, love, and peace for His.
I surrender to whatever it is He wants to remove.
I surrender what I wanted to what He wants.
I surrender fear.
I surrender to the process.
I find the reward is in the journey.
As He begins to reveal to me what He has created, I smile. It doesn’t matter if the final product is what I had hoped. If it is what He wanted for me then it is, without question, more than I could have ever asked or imagined. That is how my God works. How can I do anything other than trust His process and find joy in it?