On Grey Hairs & Histories

I parted my hair down the middle this morning, and, with the way the light was coming in, I noticed all the grey.

I'm going grey at the ripe old age of 24.

The funny thing? I don't even mind.

First of all, I don't subscribe to the notion that the only way to be beautiful is to look young. I've known far too many wonderful old ladies to ever believe that.

Secondly, my grey hairs stand for something. Every single one.

And here's a largely irrelevant photo collage because I'm pretty sure everyone wants
to see me with cake on my face.

I got my first grey hair at the age of 18, after my first trip to Mozambique.

I joked that Moz had turned me grey.

Ha! Ha! Little did I know...

The return to Mozambique in 2014 gave me plenty more opportunities for hair-greying adventures.

A prolonged sickness
A bout of depression
A painful change
Another sickness

Each left its mark behind.

I've come to expect a further sprinkling of grey in the aftermaths of all of life's particularly rough patches. I don't bother trying to hide it. Why should I? It's the physical manifestation of my history. When I brush my hair of a morning and those scattered strands of grey gleam in the sunshine, I don't see something unsightly or unbeautiful.

I see victory
I see grace
I see a testimony of God's faithfulness to get me through hard times

I see a whopping good story.

Why on earth would I ever want to hide that?

Since January is both the start of a new year and my birth month, I usually write something of a thematic post about my hopes and expectations for a new year of life. This January came and went, and I didn't quite muster the requisite optimism for such a piece.

But this morning, in front of my mirror, I think that I found my theme.

Let this be the year of grey hairs.

Hard times will come.
Problems - both minuscule and enormous - will arise.
I will be faced with many opportunities for failure.
The struggles I encounter will be sometimes overwhelming.

But, through these times, I'll add another chapter to my story. If previous chapters are anything to go by, it'll be a chapter full of often-painful growth, challenging situations, and more than my fair share of grace. The hard times will leave their marks behind. Lessons learned. Understanding deepened. A story of how small I am and how big God is. A story worth telling.

And I'll recount it to myself every morning, as I brush out those gleaming, grey strands in my hair.


  1. You write so well; I notice it every post. :) I like your perspective on grey hairs, and how you take a fact most people despise and see it as a revelation of God's grace and a life well lived. And I'm a month late, but happy birthday!

    1. Thank you for the birthday wishes, and for the encouragement!

  2. I skipped the gray and went straight to white. I haven't embraced mine longer than to just yank them out. Thanks for your post!

    1. I honestly think white hair is gorgeous...I guess I take those Proverbs about 'the hoary head being a crown of glory' pretty literally. Thanks for commenting!


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