Why are you BALD?I have suffered from Alopecia since I was 20. Before then I loved to relax, highlight and see how thick and fast my hair would grow. When I began to lose my hair in the middle of my head I became devastated, depressed and highly insecure. I thought of myself as ugly and became jealous of those who could wear their real hair without problems. Although I had a fear of wearing wigs (I thought for sure that one head turn would make the wig go in the opposite direction) I began to wear them. To my surprise I fell in love with them and began to try different styles and lengths.
I began to rely on them for my security. However, every time I took it off or tried to wear my real hear, my insecurity came back to haunt me and I began to see myself as ugly and unattractive again. I felt that I was different person without my wig (as if my facial features would change) I despised who I was. I became angry at God and would become very anxious at the thought of someone else discovering my secret shame. In fact, I would watch my close friends like a hawk after I told them or let them see my hair out of fear that they would tell someone or start to act different around me. That's how much my hair controlled me. One time, I decided I was going to try and beat my fear alone [without God] and styled my real hair (flat ironed and curled) and covered my balding area to the best of my ability and went out on my daily duties....needless to say it was windy that day and my balding area began to show and I freaked and couldnt focus the rest of the day. I had failed to conquer my fear. Each time I tried to go without a wig or weave I felt like an addict going through withdrawals...I felt that I needed them to survive...I couldn't truly be me without them. Even as I became a disciple and began to be vulnerable about my severe fear and would pray to God to help me be confidant, I was still haunted by the idea of one day wearing my real hair and it made me cringe. I began to feel good about telling the sisters about my hair secret but with everyone else I would become so ashamed and afraid. I began to study out God's love and thoughts of me...how he felt about me...and I began to see how important it is for me to love myself completely, wig/no wig, hair/no hair, make up/no make up, single/not single, tall, knock-kneed, imperfect flaws and all...I had to learn to love every inch of my being because I am fearfully and wonderfully made. And those who have known me since forever know how hard that would be for me. It was time for me to face the truth of who I am...and embrace God as he embraced me. Psalm 139 became my favorite scripture...especially these verses:
Psalm 139:-18 "Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you."
If I don't believe what God says about me and that I am fearfully and wonderfully made then I am calling God a liar and making his word void in my heart. Jesus died so I could have freedom from Satan's lies and the darkness he tries to hold me down in. He also died so I could have freedom from myself and experience a freedom in him. I told myself I was everything but beautiful for far too long and I ended up nowhere but depressed. I desperately wanted to know what it was like to see and feel the same way about myself the same way that God felt about me. Not in a conceited its all about me way but in a confidant and comfortable I can do all things and be unstoppable through Christ focused all the time on God type of way. Not being tripped up by self doubt or a woe is me type attitude. When the thought came for me to shave my head I instantly felt afraid...what would people think? How would they react? Am I ready for that? How will I look? Blah blah blah...and I became anxious...but I know that if I didn't do it, my security would go back to those wigs...I knew I had to prove something to myself...that my security CANNOT come from anyone or anything except God. I had to prove that I am still beautiful no matter what imperfections I had. And to prove it to myself...to push my self to rely on God to my core...I shaved my head.
How has being BALD impacted your life?Four years later I am still bald and so secure in who I am as a tall (6'3) black bald woman. I have my moments (as we all do) of insecurity and self doubt. Sometimes I miss my hair and all the various creative styles I could do...but then I think about all the time I save not doing that and I am good. :) I feel so free! God is still the main reason my confident still exists. Me shaving my head for him deepened my reliance on him in regards to beauty. I mean its so deep that sometimes I forget that I am bald. I love it. :)
Whats the worst thing that has happened or has been said to you as a BALD woman?I have been mistaken for a man a few times (being tall doesn't help it) The worst was sitting in the back of a room for a conference and the main speaker asked the audience a question and I was one of the people who raised my hand and he goes "Yes, you sir, in the back." I looked around and he says "I'm sorry, I mean ma'am" Wow. I had on big earrings and everything and the room wasn't that big so I wasn't THAT far back, lol. Another time was back when I first shaved my head (I actually left some hair at the top before I shaved it all off) and I was talking to some brothers from my church and they were talking about my "unique" hair cut and I told them that I was thinking about shaving it all off and they both get wide eyed and yell "no!" at the same time. Excuse me? I shaved it all off anyway...don't tell me what to do. lol.
What words of encouragement would you share with someone going BALD?I would share what someone shared with me through a a book called "Approval Addiction" by Joyce Meyer: "Don't be afraid of your weaknesses any longer. Don't allow them to make you hate yourself. Give them all to God, and He will surprise you by using them. Give Him all that you are and especially all that you are not. When you do surrender to God in this way, you will experience a release from those things that burden you. You will be able to live light and free. Don't let your weaknesses and imperfections embarrass you. You are a human being, so give yourself permission to be one. Love yourself in spite of everything you see wrong with yourself. We all have to deal with our little load of faults and imperfections. God can gain glory for Himself through those who will not let their personal weaknesses stop Him from flowing through them. For God to do that through us, first we must come face to face with the fact that we have weaknesses, and then we must determine not to let them bother us. Our imperfections are not going to stop God unless we let them do so." I would tell them that no matter what happens with their hair, they will ALWAYS be beautiful because whether they know or believe it or not, they are made in the image of God and he makes no mistakes!