give what you've been given
not many people know why i cut my hair last winter. i wanted to be sure that when i talk about it, it's not because i want to impress others and take credit for doing something selfless - that turns it into something selfish. now that i worked through my motives i know it can be used to inspire people to do similar things (not neccesarily cutting your hair)- i too was inspired by a girl that shaved her head for this cause.
once i heard about locks-of-love few years ago i've been wanting to donate. i've never experimented with haircuts and my hair has always been beneath my shoulders since probably 4th grade. my hair has always been long and really thick and most of my friends and even family tried to talk me out of cutting it which hasn't made the decision easier. my arguments saying "it's just hair and it'll grow" didn't satisfy those who thought it was a stupid idea. and i was hesitant myself. then i left home for a year and once you get on an adventure like that, you realize you can do so much more in life. i knew i was going to do it the summer before i left, but i put it aside so many times that i still wasn't completely sure. well, my 18th birthday came and cutting my hair at that time had a lot of meaning to me. so i did it. and it felt so good. really, like Anne Frank said "No one has ever become poor from giving." there was not a moment of even slight regret, not even once. and if my hair cause one person to smile, it was worth it, but more so, it has had an impact on me. not just in a way that i decided to grow my hair back again and hopefully cut it again as soon as i reach required 11 inches. but it makes me want to let go of things i could hold on to in life a lot more. i know this might seem silly, such a small thing you'll think - that's the point, it's such small things that take over our lives, and they are so small and innocent that we don't even notice. and yes, my hair has always been something i liked, something that made me feel good because others admired it, but it felt so good to let it go and give it up.
here's to another thing i decided to give up and let go of, not let it have control over my life. and even though probably not everyone will understand that, i know that you can just replace it with other things, idols that you have. yes, it's clothing. fashion and style, i will admit that i enjoy it! my and my sister's closet can barely be closed and we have so much clothes that it started making me feel sick recently, just trying to pick out what to wear is unbearable. and.... we all still want more. for the coming 6 months i decided to give up buying clothes completely (hopefully making it strech into a year). i know this might sound perfectly easy. it does sound easy. but you know what's also super easy? making an exception now and then, that won't hurt right? i was telling that to myself the very first week of my shopping-fast. first week, you guys! and i was already tempted to make this one small exception and postpone the beginning a little bit. with all that, i know i will save some money, and i'm also trying to sell some of my clothes - i am hoping to use the money towards something meaningful again. haven't yet decided what it should be but probably something that has to do with girls that don't ask what they're gonna wear in the morning when they look in the mirror, but that have to ask how they're gonna feed their kids even though they're still kids themselves (girls not brides).
but honestly, this charity part of it is just a small thing. i am so glad this can be purposeful in some ways, but it's usually not as much the people you try to help that are changed through this experience, it's you. my main goal is to be transformed by it. i want to keep giving up things that take over my mind, that easily become my idol with a friendly face.
the main purpose is this: "If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell." - Mark 9:43-47
those are the eyes, feet and hands that cause us to stumble - they're not neccessary wrong or bad. In fact they might be useful and great and helpful and used for good. but if they cause us to stumble, if they take our attention away from Jesus, then we're better off without them. and it's even to the point of being crippled. being crippled is better than not having our heart full of Christ.