It was because I had a cold.
And when you have a cold the last thing you want to do is leave the house. You’re likely still in your pjs, hair untouched, red nosed from the amount of times you’ve had to blow the never ending snot out of your body. You get the picture. So I decided to try an old trick. I heated up some water over the stove, placed a towel over my head, and began to breathe in the steam. After just a few moments I could actually get oxygen through my nostrils. It was glorious, somewhat miraculous until I noticed fire out of the corner of my eye. As I jerked my head back I realized quickly this wasn’t just the fire from the burner that I had coincidently forgotten to turn off. Nay, this was my hair… on fire.
Life is full of surprises. Moments you don’t plan for but that come in nonetheless and shift your plans, your perspective, and possibly even your life. Even as I write this memories flood my mind of countless positive and negative surprises over the years. Some bring an instant smile to my face others still cause a twinge of pain.
Surprises of life, some make up your best memories and some your greatest heartache.
Last week I was hit with one of those surprises that caused the deepest of pain. Someone I loved very much died unexpectedly. It was one of those phone calls you get that literally knocks you to your knees. I sat on the floor, holding the phone, tears immediately streaming down my face, and yet still having the hardest time making my heart believe the news. It launched into a solid week of an emotional roller coaster. Reality came in waves as did denial. Even standing at the gravesite I couldn’t seem to wrap my head around it. You replay previous memories over and over. Laughing and crying, grateful and yet overwhelmingly sad.
I came back home from the funeral and had a fever which turned into a nasty cold. Which then led to me standing in my kitchen, screaming at the top of my lungs, slapping at my chest while spinning in circles, trying to put out the fire that was my burning my hair. And it was at this exact moment that I began to think about life. My timing isn’t always great.
The majority of the best things in my life and the majority of the hardest, took me by surprise. You often can’t plan for the hard things (and for a planner like me that’s a brutal pill to swallow) but you can live a life that is prepared.
We can live life in a way that when the fiery trials come our faith is so rooted in who He is that it’s not shaken. We can be the person we want to be by how we make daily decisions, how we love Jesus and how we love those around us. We can tell people we love them every opportunity we get. We can build others up. We can tell the Truth and not live in fear. We can go out of our way to show people they are loved. We can take risks. We can be grateful no matter what comes our way. We can love deep, forgive easily, encourage others constantly, and stop making excuses for not actually being the person we want to be.
“No matter what I will continue to hope and passionately cling to Christ, so that He will be openly revealed through me in everyone’s eyes. So I will not be ashamed! In my life or in my death, Christ will be magnified in me” (Phil 1:20 TPT)
When your hair is on fire or it seems as if your life is, you can still choose hope and you can still passionately cling to Jesus. What I was reminded of this past week is that life is full of surprises. I can’t predict them all and thus I cannot live life carelessly. I want to abide in hope, passionately cling to Christ, and love others well at all times no matter what.
Don’t worry my hair somehow survived and I wasn’t burned ;)