Friday, August 14, 2009

Rite of Passage

During certain moments of my life, I realize that I am moving from one place and identity to another. It's rare for me to realize this at the moment when it's happening, but for the past few days, I have been struggling with a particular rite of passage.

The picture above is my scarf collection. Today, I boxed them up and sent them to my friend, Janie, who is starting chemo today. She is the one to whom I sent the bracelet. This has been an emotional process for me - just ask Brian. The poor guy has had to talk me through it several times now, but he took it like a champ, just because that's the kind of guy he is.

You see, I came to know Janie through my in-laws. She has been a friend of my mother-in-law's since they were in high school. Today, they are going to visit Janie as they pass through her town on the way to another. Of course, the obvious answer is to send them with the scarves, wig, and hats. But, I almost couldn't do this. They were mine. I had earned the right to pass them on myself. It was like I needed to personally hand her the baton that I had been carrying. To me, they are so much more than head coverings. They are symbols of what I've been through and the emotions that I've felt and the work that the Lord has completed and continues to do in me. They represent so much!

It was never the case that I didn't want Janie to have them. I absolutely did. It was simply that I could not bear the thought of someone else giving them to her. And, I didn't want her to have to see them today. Any day but today. Not on the day of her first chemo. The emotions and fears that go with today are undescribable unless you've been there. I wanted to protect her. I wanted her to be able to get through the stress of today, without seeing physical evidence that her hair was likely going to fall out. In fact, I was so concerned about this that I almost shipped them to her, just so she wouldn't have to deal with hair loss today. That's an entirely different monster.

So, what did I do? I boxed them up, I wrapped them and tied them with a satin ribbon, and I took them to my in-laws to deliver for me. I gave them strict instructions to allow her to open them on her own.

God is still teaching me, folks. Today, He has reminded me that our hair is not our identity, it is simply an accessory. He will hide us and guard us and enable us to emerge a beautiful creation when His work is full in us. Just like the scarf - it hides, guards, and enables physical beauty to grow.


Many of you have asked for the 11-day diet menu. I sent it to my real-life friend Whitney a couple of weeks ago, and she has it posted on her blog today.


Sweet Simplicity said...

I cannot even imagine these kinds of emotions. I love that you share them with us. It makes me take a step back and think about what is really important and to stop worrying about the silly little things.

Sandy Gillett said...

This is a beautiful post Lindsey. I too cannot even begin to comprehend what you have been through. God Bless You immensely my dear sweet sister and niece.