There are few things more frustrating than a bad haircut. Unless, of course, it’s a bad short haircut.
This morning, as the day dawned bright and clear, my husband suggested that I take the morning off and get out. So leaving our eleven month old son in his able hands, I headed down to the salon for a much-needed trim.
I sat down, told the stylist what I wanted and sat back, eager to watch the transformation from dowdy housewife to hot mama occur. In my mind, I was thinking Gwyneth Paltrow meets Katie Holmes or something along those lines. That vibe must not have made it through the ESP line, because when I was turned around, I saw neither lithe blonde nor dark pixie.
I saw my great-aunt.
Ok, so it wasn’t that bad. There was no halo of blue hair. But I did feel older. I looked older, much, much older than I ever wanted to look at the sweet young age of twenty-four. I looked—like a mother.
Yet, a small voice whispered inside of me, that’s who you are.
There’s no sense in denying it. Reasonably, I shouldn’t expect a red carpet to roll out in front of me, Tom Cruise to be courting me, or paparazzi to be snapping up pictures of me (and honestly, with this haircut, thank goodness that isn’t true). And still somehow, at least in some small way, I expect otherwise?
This may only happen to me, but sometimes I carry these unrealistic, incongruent expectations into my faith life. Being raised Catholic, and being Catholic, is an incredible gift. But sometimes, sometimes I just cringe at the thought of looking Catholic. Sometimes, I don’t want to have a difficult conversation with a friend about her lifestyle. Sometimes, I don’t want to hold opinions that are so contrary to popular thought, or I don’t want to pray after Mass or I don’t want to stand out among relatives and friends. Occasionally, I just don’t want to—you fill in the blank.
Yet the fact of the matter is that though I am a poor Catholic, Catholic is who I am. To say otherwise, or to deny the gift of our faith, is not only silly: it’s incongruent with the person I’m made to be.
Thankfully, Jesus leaves us all the reminder that though we must not be of the world, we are still in it. We don’t have to be ugly or self-righteous about our faith. It doesn’t need to be flaunted. But we shouldn’t shy away from the opportunities that present themselves to demonstrate who we are: members of the universal Church, believers in the living and effective Word, beloved sons and daughters of a Father who keeps his promises. Our faith is never something that we once were. We don’t ever grow out of our faith.
Rather, if we let Him, He grows in us.
My hair on the other hand: mother or not, I’m still letting this style grow out.
Laura is a part-time abstinence educator, a full-time wife and mother and an addict of all that is good, true, and beautiful. She is also very fond of all that is snarky. She can be followed at Show Me A Day.