I always wanted curly hair. You know the 1990s Julia Roberts curly hair. In my teen years I spent many an hour with my head leaning over the kitchen sink doing the “rinse cycle” with a head full of permed curlers. Thankfully Mom was a good “do it yourselfer” and Dad was a good sport about often walking into a house full of perm fumes (after all, we had three girls in the house in addition to Mom!)
Finally straight hair came back in during my college years so my obsession with mounds of big curls (and the need for lots of hair spray) ended. However, I noticed as I started getting older that my hair began to have “body” to it. Then over the last few years, particularly after having my two boys, it curled more and more and then not only did I need a hair dryer and brush, but a flat iron to straighten it! Every once in a while I’d give all the electronics a break and go curly for a day or two.
On my trip to Haiti in January we went most of the week without much power. The power we did have was used for more important things like coffee pots, iPads to Skype with family at home, and one air conditioning unit for a few lovely hours at night. So many of the days were spent with a head of curls and waves, dried the night before by Haitian winds while outside doing a evening devotional or having dinner in the gazebo.
After I returned I realized how easy it was to have my “Haiti hair” and I have enjoyed wearing it curly quite often. I feel freed up
in a sense when I wear it messy. One day it hit me that twenty years ago (eek!) I spent so much time and energy for the hair that I have now. And it was just an unexpected gift that came to fruition slowly over time. So as I stood scrunching one day God pointed out the lesson. He desires to give me good gifts but how often do I give up on the gift he has for me (or maybe the answer to something I’m waiting on) when it doesn’t fit into my time frame? No, I didn’t actually go so far as to pray for curly hair back then but other things I have prayed for (like the high school boyfriend He chose to be my husband) he answered after years of prayers. Sometimes even after I had given on my desires or dreams.
So lately I’ve been working to keep my eyes open to the other unexpected gifts God has for me. Things that I might just think of as chance or being in the right place at the right time. There are some big ones I’ve been able to see come to fruition after several years- like getting to go to Haiti- and some everyday unexpected ones- like driving towards a rainbow leaving the ballpark after getting to watch my boys play ball. Aren’t HIS gifts the best kind? Those are the ones I want to desire, fully trusting that He desires to give them to me at just the right time. I certainly don’t want to miss opening a single one or let the moment pass without thanking Him for knowing exactly what I need.
Psalm 37: 3-5 “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”
What unexpected gifts has God given you? How can you be more sensitive to the big and little ways He gives you gifts?