Since it’s almost Halloween, I thought I would share one of the creepiest experiences of my life.
The week of my first chemotherapy, Robbyn was still in the hospital, and Jordan still had some time off work. So, I decided I wanted to visit a wig shop that was highly recommended and not too far from the NICU. I had to add wig shopping to the list of things I never thought I would do. The ladies who owned the wig shop were so sweet and wanted to make the experience as enjoyable as could be. I think they were truly working in a field they were passionate about.
But let me tell you….
It. Was. Weird.
We walked in to this house that had been converted into a boutique that was room after room…of heads. It was very organized. The heads were cataloged by style. One room had all long hair, another had medium length, next to that was a room full of curly hair, one full of textured hair, and last but not least, the room full of hair older women. Inside each room, the styles were sorted into subcategories: hair color. Blonde, red, black, brunette, silver, and even blue. The sweet boutique owner walked me from room to room and introduced, yes, introduced, me to the heads that I might be interested in. “This is Chloe. She is a little flirty. Over here is Janet. She is a little more serious.”
After multiple awkward introductions, (I mean, I can’t shake hands with a head!) I picked out a few “gals” to start with. She sat me down and placed the first wig on my head. It was strange it didn’t look like my hair used to look before I chopped it off. Jordan was smiling but I caught a glimpse of pained look on his face but said I looked pretty. Have I mentioned what a sweet man he is? I tried on a curly wig that looked similar to my hair when it was on the foam head but once placed on my head, I looked like a brunette Dolly Parton, circa Steel Magnolias. It was atrocious. Jordan even said that one might not be his top choice. The owner said not many people can pull off the curly wigs. What exactly does that say of my real hair?
I finally settled on “Jamison” for my final choice of hair. She wasn’t too flirty or too serious. But she did make me look a teensy bit like my sister.
Presenting the holly…I mean Jamison.
Do you know where my wig is at now?
It’s stuffed in the back of the linen closet in our bathroom because it really creeps Jordan and me out. Like a lot. It started on my dresser but I would catch a glimpse of it in the middle of the night and it would give me a heart attack. So, I moved it to our closet but it there mocking me every time I went to look for something to wear. It was always there as a reminder of one of the things that I had lost. My hair. Thinking on this made me grateful that my God is the God who erases our past sins and wipes our slate clean. Once we have realized we are sinners and repent of our sins. It has been forgotten. We don’t have to walk through life thinking about the mistakes we made in the past. The people we might have hurt. The stupid things we did. When you accept Christ into your life, He forgives you of all of your sins past, present, and future.
David says in psalms, “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Did you hear that? As far as the East is from the West. Well, I’m not great with geography but that is pretty dang far. Christ didn’t just say, “I’ll let it slide this time, but I have my eye on you.”
If you truly repent of the sin in your life, then Christ has forgiven you. This kind of true repentance means that you truly intend to change your behavior not just go through the motions fully intending to repeat that sin the next opportunity you have. If you have wholeheartedly asked God for forgiveness of your sins that is that. It is forgotten.
We so often unnecessarily walk around with baggage and feel guilt for things we have done in the past that Christ has already forgiven us of. If you have a nagging guilt about a previous sin weighing you down after you have given it to God, then I don’t think it is God making you feel this way, but rather Satan trying to prevent you from enjoying the freedom that you have in Christ. Freedom from this guilt is a GIFT that was given to you when Jesus died on the cross for you. I read a commentary by Charles Stanley (Handbook for Christian Living) that said, we concentrate too much on the “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” and miss the part in the very next verse that says, “being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24) You are no longer a slave to your sinful ways or your selfish desires. You have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of you. So, fix your eyes on Jesus and let go of the guilt that Christ has already freed you from.
Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” We are all sinners. None of us is any better than the other.
Jesus loves all of us sinners. He proved this over and over again. One of the times he proved this was in chapter 4 in the book of John.
Jesus meets a woman at the well. She is, not only a woman, which was the far inferior sex in that day in age, but she was also a Samaritan, which was a mixed race that the Jews considered far inferior to themselves. She is drawing water out of the well in the middle of the day. Which may not seem odd to us, but it was odd in that culture. The middle of the day is hot, and most women went to the well at dawn or dusk. So, she clearly either didn’t want to be confronted by the other women at the regular well times or she was not welcome there by the other women. Jesus meets her where she is at. She is a sinner, looked down upon by her people. She doesn’t have the best marital track record either… Jesus says He know she has had five husbands and is currently living with a man who isn’t her husband. Instead of scorning her, he offers her a water that will quench her thirst forever. He is offering her the free gift of salvation. And she accepts.
And do you know what she does next?
I’ll tell you what she doesn’t do.
She does not go on to wallow in the guilt and shame of her sin. Instead, John says in verse 39 that “Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Him because of the woman’s testimony. ‘He told me everything I ever did.’” Rather than feeling guilty about “Everything she ever did” (which sounds like it might have been a long list of offenses, much like our lives), she was empowered by her new-found freedom in Christ. She shared her experience so that others could enjoy the same freedom she was enjoying. It could not have been easy for her to share her new-found freedom with those who knew about her shameful past.
Don’t let your past sin and shame haunt you like my wig haunts me every time I catch a glimpse of it. Know that Christ has forgiven your sins and live in such a way that others are envious of the Freedom that you have been given. Hopefully, they will be curious enough to ask you and you can share your story and share your Jesus.