Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Much Obliged (A Natural Hair Story)

My wholeness journey began with my natural hair journey, which started in 2003. I noticed a huge bald spot in the back of my head—right in the center. When I saw it, I began to panic because I thought I was seeing the beginning stages of alopecia, which runs in my family.  I cried and prayed on the floor. And suddenly deep inside, I heard a small, still voice say that my hair would not fall out, but it would grow back healthy if I would began to take good care of it, and my entire body.

I set out to follow the voice, and now I believe it was God telling me to take better care of myself. I decided to stop putting heat or harsh chemicals on my hair. However, as I was making plans to do these things, fear began to rise within me. I realized I wasn’t ready for the emotional part of embracing my natural coils. I went from being peaceful about the decision to being afraid of what people would think when I cut off the relaxed part of my hair. I was about to sport a tiny afro, but I decided to simply get a texturizer instead, because a curly, short afro was easier to handle emotionally. 

But the thinning problem got worse. I knew I was going to have to ditch the harsh chemicals altogether. I was also using harsh dyes to keep my hair as dark as possible. It took six whole years to go completely natural, using no chemicals on my hair at all. Slowly but surely, I embraced my natural hair journey, researching and experimenting with foods, drinks, nutrients, vitamins, and natural products. While doing that, I bumped into products that would keep my skin, and my entire body glowing and much healthier. What started out as a natural hair journey eventually transformed into a “taking better care of  me” journey.  

In 2009, I was on YouTube constantly, taking notes with the same fervor as an eager college student. The ladies on YouTube (and natural hair blogs) became my professors as they carefully researched, defined, and demonstrated how to nourish black natural hair. I learned about the various oils that are best for tightly coiled curls. And that satin and silk scarves help prevent breakage while sleeping. I learned that instead of drying my hair with a towel, it is best to use a dry T-shirt. I also learned that Shea butter and Shea butter products worked wonders for my kinky, coily curls.

The bald spot incident is what made me spring into action. But little did I know, by embracing a natural hair journey, I would become healthier than I’ve ever been. Just a little food for thought—I guess I just want to say thanks! I thank God and all the beautifully natural sistas who helped me reached this wonderful place in my life (Naptural85, CurlyNikki, NikkiMae, FusionofCultures, Alicia James, and many more). Love you much and much obliged (tears). 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Journey to Wholeness

In my journey to wholeness after many abusive relationships, I started saying confessions from Scripture to transform my heart and mind concerning who I am as a single Christian woman. It was hard because I was always blaming someone else for my mistakes and failures, remaining a victim instead of taking the power that was available to me through God’s Word. Many people I talked to about my healing journey say my method “doesn’t work for them.” I always say, “Well whatever works for you, do it. But this is what works for me, so be it.” For me and my house, the Word works, so I try to confess something from Scripture over myself every single day. Here are some self love confessions I spoke over myself when I realized I was settling for one abusive relationship after another because I didn’t love myself.   

Self Love Confessions
Father, your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it. You made all my delicate, inner parts and knit me together in my mother womb (Psalm 139, AMP).

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. I was curiously wrought as if embroidered with various colors. Before I had lived a day, you saw all the days of my life! Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! (Psalm 139, AMP)
Where can I go from your Spirit! If I go up to Heaven’s gates, you are there; if I make my bed in hell you would be there also. You know when I’m sitting or going. You know the words I will say before I say them! You know my thoughts even before I think them! (Psalm 139, AMP)

Lord, you sent your Son to die for me. Therefore, I know that you love me. I love you because you first loved me. Without you, and your love, I wouldn’t even know how to love myself! You teach me how to love; and Jesus is the ultimate expression of your love for me! I thank you that I am accepted by you because of Jesus. I am accepted in the Beloved! (John 3:16).

Psalm 8:3-5 says, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers—the moon and stars that you set in place—what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them. Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor” (New Living Translation).  

Who am I that you are mindful of me! You made me a little lower than Elohim and gave me dominion over all the earth! You made me in your image!

Every single day you express your love for me. Your tender mercies toward me are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22, 23).

How precious and weighty are your thoughts about me. They are so very numerous they outnumber the sand! And the very hairs on my head are numbered by you! Because you love me so, you have given me the grace and the ability to love myself and others. Thank you for helping me to experience the depths of your love so that I can properly love myself and others (Psalm 139, AMP, Luke 12:7).