It started with a …


Never thought it would end up with me in a supermarket car park praying for something, a word out of sight, a notion, a piece of wisdom carved in rock I could carry with me. I was fleetingly plumbing the depths.

I lost my hairband. I lost my identity. My life was that hairband. I threw it on and people thought I had groomed and the bits that stuck out were a new coiffure style not yet encountered (on the planet).

Hairband was less than a month old. I probably wore it every day for two weeks and it became a part of my morning routine. Dress, throw hairband on, grab keys, gulp coffee, go. I have this down to five minutes but I can do it in three if pushed.

I had cast hairband in a starring role. I have done much visualising of my future, casting a net over buildings and imagining me in those architectural nightmares. It is part of the coaching, life skills, communications guru stuff I have gone through in the last while.

Hairband was supposed to get me ready. It is part of the routine except that on Wednesday in Dublin I left it behind in the guest house and arrived at college sans hairband. Everyone noticed. Well actually that is a slight exaggeration, no one noticed. It was in my head that what was on my head mattered. But it is my head so to me it mattered.

I missed hairband, it added structure to my exterior. The hair is a woman’s crowning glory and hairband was my crown. Because it was all about the paintwork. It reminded me of the Year of Self Control. I learned so many things in that year about other people and their perceptions and also after nine months discovered why I was to focus on self control.

It wasn’t about the money, clothes or coiffured hair. It was about sitting and listening to some news that rocked my world without reacting in “old self” ways. A number of years previous to this I had not learned this valuable life lesson and sought out numbness in all the wrong places. I remember the morning I so wanted to go to church but family ties meant I caught a plane instead. I guess I did have the beginnings of knowing where to turn but not the gumption to halt proceedings.

My world rocked on its hinges, fell off the axis and smashed. The history I had built my life on disappeared and a new history began to appear. A history that took time to form and questions raised and answers sought. But it is formed now.I didn’t need a hairband for that.

What is it about talismans, necklaces, brooches and hairbands that make us feel more confident? And was this what I was pinning on that hairband – confidence? Surely not, after life coaching and guru communication sessions. Surely now was the time to stand confident in Christ alone. For an hour or so I smugly agreed I did not need a hairband.

And then I left the confines of the building into a howling Dublin wind and realised the real reason I needed a hairband was to keep my hair out of my eyes. So I bought a new one and wore that to the meeting. It was not about hairbands.

So what brought me to the supermarket car park? I lost focus, and navel gazed too long. I was remembering a similar journey three years ago. Could my pride allow me to go through the door? I sent out a prayer request for urgent covering as I sought God’s opinion. The answer I got was yes there will be humility involved but He would protect me from humiliation.

I continued on the path that would teach me more about humility than I had expected and with no massive cost of face. I was just myself and fielded the questions and answers with the ease God has given me. Confidence comes from God not a hairband.

‘But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him’

Jeremiah 17:7

Such confidence we have through Christ before God.

2 Corinthians 3:4

It is with His confidence I continue walking along a precarious path.

I was reminded of the delicate veil between old and new when talking to someone stuck in a moment this week. On one day this week I met some struggling and someone hiding behind a facade of propriety. And I looked at myself through a different lens, where was I on the line of “in it” and “over it.” This took me down a few different routes of self discovery and awareness. 

And I got here ….



Focus on

God alone,

Christ alone,

Spirit alone

and all those “troubles” will stay clear. 

through writing this piece I realised I sang and stole lyrics or concepts along the way so …

It started with a kiss never thought it would end like this

stuck in a moment

stranded at the drive thru – branded a fool