Hello! Welcome to post #13 of 40 in my blog series #40before40: What I’m Loving and what I’m Learning.
As in my hair is starting to grow out white. OK, it’s not a ton of white hair, but enough for me to notice. And enough for my kids to notice.
When I was reading to little Pearl, age 4, she looked at the side of my face, pointed at the white hairs coming in near my ears, and said, “Scary.”
I laughed. It’s true, it is scary, I guess, for a 4-year-old.
But it’s not just bugging me because my kids comment. It’s not just bugging me because I’m getting older.
On a serious note, it’s “scary” because those hairs started growing in white only after I found out more about what happened to me when I was little. The PTSD I experienced as an adult looking back on trauma from my childhood. (Not ongoing trauma. Just a few isolated incidents.)
Curious if this white hair/trauma association (caused by stress maybe?) was true for other people, I asked my friend about when her hair started turning white. She said it was after she found out her 2-year-old daughter had cancer. “Yes, that’s exactly when my hair turned white,” she said. Now, her daughter is miraculously healed. But my friend looks back on those difficult days and remembers them as the hair-whitening days.
The Bible says that gray hair is a good thing.
“Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained in the way of righteousness,” Proverbs 16:31.
“The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old,” Proverbs 20:29.
I’ve been thinking about this from the biblical perspective and I can see that living long enough to get silvers is a gift. I have so much to be thankful for. God has redeemed everything. He has proven himself faithful and fulfilled every promise to me. He has loved me in a romantic way, and lavished me with gifts I never knew I wanted.
For example, a husband and kids. Missionary life. A calling to write books.
The white hairs popping in around my face are a painful reminder to me that life has tragedies. But living through it—and coming through those tragedies stronger than before—that is a crown worth wearing every day.
I’m sure, like most of us, my friend dyes her gray hair, because I don’t see it. But I know what she lived through, and I admire her. I admire how she and her husband clung to God, worked diligently to care for their daughter, sacrificed tremendously for her daughter’s benefit.
Now she sees the other side of the pain. Now she lives on the other side of the miracle with a crown of splendor.
You know whose hair is white as wool, white as snow? God’s.
“The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” —Revelation 1:14
White hair is not scary like my daughter said. It is a different kind of beautiful.
TO BE CONTINUED . . . in post #14