(Photo courtesy of Natalie Reed)
Because You’re Worth It
By Tori Martin
As I clicked “add to basket” for my first-ever purchase of hair extensions, I felt a rush of excitement at the thought of how pretty I was going to look with all that brand new L’Oréal swish-swish long fake hair attached to my head. I had recently found myself in that place of “I’m not happy with how I look. If only I had longer hair, then I’d be happier with my appearance.” Truth be told, “If only I had…” has been a familiar pattern throughout my entire life. “If only I had a tan…if only I could get that nose job…if only I had a smaller butt…if only I looked like her…if only I had those shoes …”; you get the idea. I had always believed that I wasn’t loveable the way I was. I thought I could only be loved by being someone else.
Back to the hair. The arrival of my new hair extensions finally came and I eagerly tried them out right away. Wow. They were even better than I could have imagined! As I took about a million selfies and tried my best efforts at the famous “because you’re worth it” hair flick sass in the mirror (don’t judge, you know you’ve done it) I felt good! That feeling lasted until the time came for the luxurious locks to come out. As I started to unclip the hair pieces, together with the removal of my makeup and the cute clothes I was wearing, I was hit with a deep sense of sadness as I realized how insecure I’d become. Again, I looked into the mirror at the now make-up-free, medium-length hair and sweatpants-wearing girl. At that moment, I asked God to remind me who I was. Again.
My motive behind my hair extensions was so much deeper than just a quick beauty fix. I was searching for acceptance. I was believing that if I had hair extensions, I’d be prettier and if I was prettier, I’d be more confident and if I’m more confident I’ll feel more worthy of being loved. I’d been looking for acceptance, love, and security in an identity that would sooner or later self-destruct.
The au naturel moment brought me crashing down to a stunning and rather humbling reality. God reminded me that He was my Father, I was His daughter—loved, accepted, and secure in Christ. My identity was found in Him. I’d be entertaining lies rooted in past words spoken over me; that my identity was in my appearance and it was all I had. This lie convinced me I needed the hair extensions to remain beautiful. That was a dangerous place to be. I needed to switch up the beauty routine—the hair extensions were going to have to swish-swish off somewhere else for a little while. I needed to get back to the basics of beauty and I could only do that by looking at Jesus before the mirror.
When we are feeling insecure, we must run to Jesus first—not the makeup! I’m not saying makeup, trendy clothes, or the latest beauty fixes are not okay, far from it, but when we start looking to these things to identify us then yes, Houston, we do have a problem.
Today, I can truly say, give me all the fake hair, polished nails, and makeup the world has to offer, and yeah, I’ll feel good. But give me a deeply rooted and ‘secure in Jesus’ beauty regime every day and I’ve never ever felt more beautiful.
“What happened to the hair extensions?” I hear you ask. Well, I do still have them and they do come out on the weekends and special occasions. My daily beauty routine involves applying a rather generous application of Jesus to myself. The results? Glowing. From the inside out. And yep, I still exit the bathroom with a swish-swish hair flick but this time saying, “because He says I’m worth it!”