Lost your hair? Buy hats!

One thing I absolutely love about my Dad is that he always seems to put things into perspective for me. The last few weeks have been full of stress for me, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Stress can certainly be good stress. Nonetheless, it seems like I have constantly been moving the past few weeks as I have tried to manage both personal and academic life.

A few weeks ago, I went home and for the first time in my life, I saw my Dad with no hair. He welcomed me with a hug and a smile, and with his spontaneity and witty sense of humor, he asked me, “Like my new hairdo?” I just smiled and said “of course!”

As he was losing his hair the few weeks prior to this, because of chemotherapy, there were times when he would say, “It’s not a big deal,” and yet the fact that it was different, completely foreign to him, made it sometimes seem like a big deal.

Through all of this, I found myself constantly encouraging him, assuring him that he will still be his same lovable, strong, compassionate self, with or without hair. Then, a few days later, he told me, “You know what? I’m not going to let this keep me down. It’s just hair. In the grand scheme of things, God is bigger than all of this, and he can use me regardless of whether or not I have hair. So why worry over something insignificant like hair?”

Dad has recently shown me that things happen. Life happens. Big things, small things, they just happen. In the midst of all these things, why not praise God and glorify His name? Why not proclaim to the whole world what Christ is doing in our lives? Why not show that nothing will keep us from His love and that nothing will deter us from Him?

After telling me that he wasn’t going to let losing his hair keep him from rejoicing in God, he said, “You know what? I’m going to have fun with this. I’m going to buy really cool caps. Let’s order some right now!” At this point, Dad was turning his outlook around. Instead of dwelling on not having hair, he decided that he would get excited about it since it would give him an excuse to buy new hats!

So that’s what we did. We bought him several caps, a Houston Texans one, a Dallas Cowboys one, a Baylor Bear one, a Texas A&M Aggie one, plus he already had several Texas Longhorn ones. I also bought him one with a Superman logo on it, since after all, he is my Superman. In all the fun of this, I also bought some caps to add to my collection, an Aggie and a Longhorn one in addition to the Baylor one I already had.

I had a blast, in the midst of all the excitement, by spending time with Dad looking at all the options we had for new hats. There were so many! It made me realize this: We can let the small things such as academic stress or not having hair keep us down and keep us from praising God or we can glorify Him and thank Him for these circumstances by finding ways to become positive in the midst of our trials.

Because while things change, while new things pop up in our lives, such as “Boom! You have no hair,” one thing stays the same, and that is the love of Christ. I thought more about this as I returned to school today after a great weekend with Dad, consisting of a Friends marathon (almost done with season 6) and lots and lots of football. On my way here, two songs, played by K-Love, really stuck out to me. One of them was “Your Love Never Fails” sung by the Newsboys.

Nothing can separate
Even if I run away
Your love never fails

I know I still make mistakes
You have new mercy for me everyday
‘Cause Your love never fails

You stay the same through the ages
Your love never changes
There may be pain in the night
But joy comes in the morning

The wind is strong and the water’s deep
I’m not alone here in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I’d reach the other side
Your love never fails


And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

You make all things work together for my good
You make all things work together for my good


And when the oceans rage
I don’t have to be afraid
Because I know that You love me
Your love never fails

I absolutely love everything about this song, because it speaks volumes of truth. Christ really does stay the same through the ages, for all eternity, always the same, never changing. He has so much love for us. It’s more than love, it’s agape love, meaning unconditional, everlasting, never changing, completely selfless love. No matter what we face, His love never fails. No matter what happens, big or small, even the loss of hair, He truly makes all things work together for His glory!

The very next song was by Stephen Curtis Chapman called “Glorious Unfolding,” a song that reminds me that our stories are still being written. Everything that is happening and will happen can be used for the glory of God if we allow Him to guide us. I love the chorus to this song:

And this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and SEE and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise God has made to us
And watch this glorious unfolding

Our stories are still unfolding! As new things happen, both good and bad, may we always find ways to use those circumstances for His glory. If He makes all things work together for our good, if our stories are still being written, then why can’t we use the small things such as losing our hair to show others what God is doing in our lives?

All of these new and sometimes scary things can be used to share His love with others. These new things can work for His glory in building His Kingdom! Isaiah 43:18-19 says this: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (NIV).

Don’t let your circumstances keep you from focusing on the Glory of God. Can you not see that He is writing your testimony, that He is going before you, that He will always be there with you, that He makes all things work together for our good!? God is constantly doing a new thing in our lives. Let’s use these things to constantly glorify Him and show others how He is changing our lives!

So if you lose your hair, buy some hats! AND PRAISE HIS NAME!

Chapman, Steven Curtis, 2013. “Glorious Unfolding.” K-Love. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

Newsboys. Your Love Never Fails. By Anthony Skinner and Chris McClarney, 2011. K-Love. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

Your Love Never Fails by the Newsboys

Glorious Unfolding by Steven Curtis Chapman

I Am Not Alone!

Well, it’s been two weeks since I last posted my blog, and somehow the same thought keeps running through my mind, “I am not alone.”

If I could sum up the last two weeks since my last blog, that is the simple statement I would use to describe my thoughts, “I am not alone.”

In all the trials and circumstances, I have faced, or I have seen others face, I am left with the reassurance that Christ is always with me and that he will never leave or forsake me. Another thing I am sure of is the fact that as a collective body of believers, we are never truly alone. We all go through something, we all struggle, and we all face hardship. Yet when we join together as believers, we realize that so many people are fighting are battles alongside us and we are joining them in their fights as well through the power of prayer and living life together. I can’t tell you how many times people at school will come up to me and ask how I am doing, how school is going, and how my Dad is doing.

I have learned that other believers truly care what circumstances you are facing, and that’s one of the many things I love about going to a small Christian school in central Texas, people care.

Last Thursday was our second night of Worship in the Quad of the school year, a weekly worship service Michael Baker and I lead every Thursday night at 8:00. The first week, I gave a message on defining ourselves by the power of Christ working in us instead of defining ourselves by our own shortcomings, and last week, I shared my testimony while reminding others that they have a powerful story worth sharing.

I am excited for this year as I have had a couple of people already wanting to share their testimonies at Worship. Over the past few years, as I have helped lead this wonderful ministry, I have seen just how true the statement “I am not alone” truly is. We all have a different testimony, a different story of how God has shaped our lives. Every single one of our stories is unique. I have gathered a strong sense of community by inspiring others with my story and having them inspire me and others with their stories. In this, I have realized that as believers, we are all in this thing called life together. When one person is going through something, we must support him or her through the power of prayer and by simply living life with that person.

I have also learned this truth when I am with my amazing family. Throughout high school and college, I have faced a number of challenges, and every time, my family has been there to lift me up and remind me to always trust in God with all my heart. And when they face trials themselves, I have sought to repay their love and kindness with more love and kindness. That’s what families are supposed to do. They are supposed to lift each other up when one needs support and encouragement, and this truth extends to the greater Christian family as well.

The past few months with the return of Dad’s cancer and seeing him start the process of a long six months of chemo, I have realized that we are not alone. When I am going through something, I know my Superman Dad and my awesome grandparents are there to cheer me up. And as my Dad endures the pain of chemotherapy, I hope he never forgets that he is never alone. I am with him. Our entire family is with him. People he doesn’t even know are with him. Most importantly, Christ is with him!

Dad and I absolutely love football, especially Baylor, Texas, and Texas A&M, as well as UMHB games when we can make them. Every weekend, I always look forward to some awesome time spent with him watching football. During halftime of last Saturday’s Baylor game, as Texas and Texas A&M were also winning against their opponents, we watched the tail end of the Oklahoma at Tennessee game.

Early in that game, it looked as if Tennessee was sure to win. With less than 5 minutes left in the first half, Tennessee was up 17-0 when Oklahoma scored a field goal to make it 17-3. With no one scoring in the 3rd quarter, it would look as if Tennessee, having the home field advantage was going to secure the win. Then Oklahoma rallied, scored 14 in the fourth to send the game into overtime. First overtime: both teams score a touchdown. It’s now tied at 24. Second overtime: Oklahoma scores a touchdown and now Tennessee must answer with a touchdown to send it into yet another overtime. After two plays and a false start by the Volunteers, the Oklahoma Sooners intercept the ball to win the game. Both Oklahoma’s offense and defense helped upset Tennessee on their turf.

While the Sooners may have struggled to begin the game, they realized that they had their other teammates to help them when one player had a bad play or when two interceptions were thrown by the quarterback. As Christians, we must realize that like football players on the field, we are never alone. We don’t just struggle by ourselves, we all struggle together, and when we realize that we are in this thing called life together, we are stronger. As the goal of football players during a game is to win the game, our goal as Christians should always turn towards Christ. When we are together in that, we realize that our mission becomes so much easier.

Even a much greater example of coming together in the midst of our individual trials comes in how a nation or an entire global society comes together during horrific tragedy. Last Friday was the 14th anniversary of the September 11th attacks on New York, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Several thousand people, including those from every continent lost their lives that day. Yet even in the midst of such turmoil, people came together as we realized that we were not Republicans or Democrats or Independents. We were Americans, and in a greater context, we were of the global human race. We came together, and in the midst of our trials, we became stronger, because we were together.

Not only are we not alone as other believers are there with us, but more than that, God is with us! Psalm 139:7-10 (NIV) tells us:

Where can I go from your Spirit?
    Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.

No matter what we face in this life, we are never alone. In every situation both good and bad, in every happy moment, in every hardship, in every circumstance, God will always be with us. He will go before us.

As I made a quick trip to Wal-Mart this morning, I cried as the radio played, “I Am Not Alone” by Kari Jobe.

When I walk through deep waters 
I know that You will be with me
When I’m standing in the fire
I will not be overcome
Through the valley of the shadow
I will not fear

I am not alone
I am not alone
You will go before me
You will never leave me

In the midst of deep sorrow
I see Your light is breaking through 
The dark of night will not overtake me
I am pressing into You
Lord, You fight my every battle
And I will not fear

You amaze me
Redeem me
You call me as Your own

You’re my strength
You’re my defender
You’re my refuge in the storm
Through these trials
You’ve always been faithful
You bring healing to my soul

I cried tears of joy because I know that I am not alone, I know that Dad is not alone, I know that you are not alone. We are never truly alone when we go through something. For my Dad, of course chemo will be rough, but he will have an army of believers behind him every step of the way, and more than that, God will always be with him.

When we choose to follow Christ, we must realize that we are never alone. We are never ever alone!

Even when I face trials, even when those I love face trials, I will remember these words: I AM NOT ALONE!

Jobe, Kari. I Am Not Alone. By Kari Jobe, Austin Davis, Ben Davis, Mia Fieldes, Grant Pittman, Marty Sampson, and Dustin Sauder, 2014. K-Love. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

New International Version. Bible Gateway. Web. 14 Sept. 2015.

I Am Not Alone by Kari Jobe

God With Us by MercyMe