Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Hair and New Trials

As some may know, for about a year now I have tried selling my hair online on auctions. I had several interested buyers and one serious buyer, who at the last minute backed down.
I figured that if I was going to cut my hair short for my next cut, why not at least try to get money for it? I was going to re-list my hair this week after reading an email telling me that my auction had ended, for the umpteenth time. But then I thought, "why re-list? I could just get rid of it now!" No one could tell me not to. After all, it is my hair and my choice. I made my decision somewhat on Monday. I repeated my decision in my head over and over again. Wednesday I told my husband I was going to get it cut. No auctioning it off! I could not wait any longer. Saturday morning I was grumpy. When Nathan asked what was up, I said, "I want my hair gone, it is too much!"
"OK! Make and appointment and I will drop you off and you can instant message me from the phone when you are done." We share a cell phone and have not been able to afford two phones.

A friend of mine suggested a small place behind our Hardees in town. I found it on Google Maps and dialed the number. The owner and beautician set aside 11:30 AM for me when I described that I needed a shampoo, cut, and style. I had printed off my picture nearly a year ago of Reece Witherspoon from the movie Sweet Home Alabama and took it with me. After kissing Nathan goodbye, I entered the little hut of shop with a bounce and a beaming smile. This was it; no turning back!

My hair went from a total of approximate 25 inches, from roots to tips, to around five or six inches in an hour when it took me over two years to grow it to the length it was. I messaged Nathan with exclamation points and waited for a response.

Ten minutes rolled by and Nathan did not respond. Twenty minutes later I called our next door neighbor and asked if he was in town and if we was had he seen Nathan's car parked in our lot. He said it was when he was there a while ago and that he had walked up to our apartment to give us some jalapeƱos. Nathan had not responded to his knocking. I began to worry. Was he still alive? I had sent several messages by this time. Should I walk?

I no longer cared how my hair looked. I just wanted to know that Nathan was still alive and well. I decided to walk home but could not cross the river. My legs shook when I tried crossing the bridge. I began to feel dizzy.
I turned back and sat at McDonald's to think. My phone beeped and meant only one thing to me:"Low Battery!"
My phone vibrated, which meant that Nathan had messaged me, and I sighed. Surely he had seen my messages. "Are you done?" Well, apparently he did not see my previous messages. At least he was alive. I messaged him back, with no response. Another five minutes passed and he messaged again, "Are you there?" My question to him had been no different only fifteen minutes before. No matter how many times I messaged, whether I logged off or back in again, he still asked me questions as if he had no idea I was responding.
I had to think fast. The more I waited the closer it was to a dead battery. I began to wish I had a pocket of change, a pay phone, and memorized phone numbers for when it died.

The first person I thought of was my mother. I called her and asked if she would log into gmail and chat with him. This was something she was familiar with. She tried gmail and called me back to tell me he was not logged in. My phone was beeping out low battery reminders every two minutes, or so it seemed. I stepped her through signing me into Meebo told her what to say to Nathan. His name did show up as being "online." She typed word for word what I had asked her to say and was telling me something when my phone died. I had no way of knowing if he got the message.
I refused to give up then. I could not walk home as I told him through my mom that I would be at the Dollar General. I could not borrow a phone to call anyone because all my contact numbers were in my dead phone. I could hitch hike or ask someone to give me a ride to downtown Main Street. There was still a good possibility that he did get my Mom's message. It was best to sit at the intersection of the street by Hardees and Main Street. Staying there would be true to my word of meeting him at Dollar General.

Eventually he would think to get me. Nearly two hours had passed since I last saw him. Did he really think a hair cut would take that long? I sat down in the dirt at the corner of the Dollar General parking lot, thinking that it would be best to sit on a soft area, if I was going to be sitting for a while. I knew he would come, it just was a matter of time before he did show up at that intersection. I prayed and just sat there watching traffic. A calmness spread over me as I sat and just enjoyed the warmth of that day. Any other day and it may have been cold! God was on my side.
In ten minutes of watching and praying, I did see his car. Nathan was on his way! I jumped to my feet and waved. He made a hand gesture to the parking lot! He saw me!! I would have no need to cross the street and walk to the hair shop where I may be too late if he turned around and headed back.

What happened next, I cannot explain. I broke down and sobbed as he pulled into a parking lot. I don't know why I cried or why I became hysterical. God had answered my prayers. I do not remember the ride home at all. It is a blur in my memory. I may have tried explaining to him why I was crying or what I had been thinking or that I had no way of getting over the bridge safely on my wobbly legs. I really do not remember. The only thing I do remember is this: Nathan asked me the question that pulled me back to earth, "well, do you like your hair?"

I do not remember how I responded to that. I am sure it was in the affirmative. I do like my new hair style. Nathan led me to the bedroom to sit and talk. He left me alone and I cried some more. I needed reassurance that I really was home at last. That it was not a dream.
He came back with the Oreos I had hidden in a kitchen cabinet. I smiled weakly and told him I really just wanted to be held tightly. I ate an Oreo anyway and held onto him tightly while he patted my back in gentle strokes. I began to tell him, between tears and sobs, what had happened while I waited for him. What I had thought, what I felt, and how I called my mom. Nathan told me he had received the message from my mom that my phone was not working and dying and that I was at the Dollar General waiting for him.
I felt better, but needed to rest. After a short rest, Nathan made me sit with him and watch an episode of Stargate SG-1 while we ate lunch. I was not very hungry, but did eat to please him. I did enjoy the episode, curling up under a blanket, sitting in our living room in his arms, and not having my hair snagged every time he moved his arm.

From that point on, I had a better day and played around with my hair enjoying the short length. I laughed much, danced to music while taking care of house work, hugged Nathan every time my path took me to where he was, continued to count my blessings, and remembered to call my mom to thank her for rescuing even from another state!
God was watching me. I never lost hope. I knew Who was sovereign, in control, and a mighty God. I could handle this trial again if I had to. Even if all that remains is to sit and pray. I cannot help but think of Christ's disciples and the one task He asked them to do at the Garden of Gethsemane: "Watch and Pray."
Being stranded could be far worse. I have it easy living near downtown. Maybe next time I will have my pocket Bible in my purse. I had moved it just that morning to make room for a brush!

Romans 8:28 remains my "motto" for every situation. Meaning, it is the verse I keep close to my heart when anything has occurred that is not according to my plans.

"28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose."

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