In the weeks since Rhema’s hair-pulling/eating returned with a vengeance I’ve been doing some letting go. Her amazing curls have always been precious to me, and perhaps as my expectations for both of our lives shifted over the years, I turned her physical beauty into something of a consolation, something I could control.

After we cut her hair short last year because of trichotillomania, a few friends told me about dreams they had in which she was talking and her hair had grown back. Without realizing it, I associated long hair with health, happier days, and progress for Rhema.


Even in this, I think God has had something to say about trusting Him, believing He’s at work even though my measuring stick tells me different. And about holding onto Him… not something as fleeting as hair. “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Sam 16:7).

Life with Rhema is making me want to see people better, with God-eyes… and love them.

We were waiting in line in a crowded grocery store, and Rhema could not stand still. I watched her as she weaved between shoppers and carts and rocked and hummed and sampled a few boogers. I saw her mind processing the sights and sounds in her unique way. I saw her hands, shirt and pants stained from the markers she’d colored with earlier. I saw her anxious body still pudgy from the weight she gained while on a particular medication. I saw the thinning hair and bald spots on the top of her head. And she was so genuinely lovely, every part of her, I left my place in line, rushed to her and wrapped my arms around her and held her close.

“It’s time to throw out my ideas of what I thought life would be, should be, and let joy fill up those brand-new vacancies.”
~Emily Colson


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