For those of you who have known me for a long time know that I used to have long blonde hair up till three months ago. The story of my hair began when I was about 13 years old. I had started attending 7th grade at a school in the city of Örebro, Sweden. The environment there was quite different from what I was used to in the outskirts of town. I guess my personality type didn’t always fit the culture of that school since I was a very quiet and withdrawn kid back then and the fact that I had a faith in Jesus also seperated me from the general crowd at times.
Not only that I didn’t always feel very much part of the group, I also thought I had a very unattractive appearance. During my younger teenage years I had pretty severe acne and zits that made it hurt to even smile at times. Due to my low self esteem I started caring less about how i looked. As a result my hair started growing out without me cutting it. Eventually it grew out so long that i could wear it in a pony tail. I started seeing other qualities in myself at the time. One of these things was that I had very good cardio endurance spaying sports. Since I was big and strong I became a prominent defender in my team. I grew into the role of being relentless and to never give up without a fight. Some of my peers saw this combination of my style of playing, a dedication to stop anyone who try to cross our defensive line and my long hair and sometimes referred me as being a Viking. I liked this image. It taught me that I was valued and useful without good looks.
Even though I became more free from the pressure of having an outward attractiveness, I adopted this image of a Viking. As a Swedish teenager who enjoyed reading history I did not mind that people associated me with those ancient reputable warriors. But the years went by and God worked very long in my heart from I was 13 and even now. That my hair grew out long was in a way a response to my sorrow of not belonging and my low self image. To me I have moved past this stage of life and have a very different view of myself. I know now that God wants joy for me and not sorrow, so a part of the decision to finally cut my hair short was made to be a manifestation of the change that Jesus has brought to my life.
One thing concerned me about cutting my hair though. What about that Viking image that I was so fond of? Would that now be something of the past? I realized that I perhaps was a little too fond of this Viking persona than I should have been. So when the time came to when I cut my hair on stage at the same MK camp as mentioned in my last post as a way to raise money to a missions project, a part of me grieved that the furious warrior was now a shadow in the past for the better and the worse.
Two days passed since the day that my hair was cut, and another friend that I had gotten to know some during this camp came up to me saying that he wanted to say something he believed God wanted me to hear. He told me that he had seen an image of me with war paint on my face. Again my soul was touched by the words of a person who seemed to carry an encouragement from God. I realized that the warrior God saw in me was not based on my outward appearance. Just like what I had learned when I was a teenager, that my value was not in my looks, I now saw even clearer. The warrior that God wanted to raise in me was to be founded inside me and not by my physical features. A sense of peace came over me at that point that God would not abandon me. In the lapse of a couple of days He had spoken and reminded me of who I am in His sight: A warrior for His name as an instrument to bring peace. With this I took courage.