Words Do Hurt
Everybody had heard the saying sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me…well it’s a lie!!! I know that my parents were just trying to protect me and were only going by what their parents told them, but they were wrong.
I am a redhead, born with fire-engine red hair, blue eyes, fair skin but the freckles came later. I was not a cute baby, I was homely although my Grammy says I looked like a pixie, which by the way means unusual. As a child I didn’t care about what people said about me and my red hair but I didn’t love it. It was in elementary school that the name-calling started; fireball, carrot-top, freckle-face, pizza-face, red-headed hamburger and there are more but I can’t remember them. I cried a lot about the names people called me and my Mom would repeat the mantra.
When I was entering high school I entered adolescence and to add insult to injury, I developed severe acne. Eventually I learned to love my hair and it was my acne that started it; my home life was chaos and I endured abuse every day, I didn’t know how to take care of my skin, I didn’t have the money to take care of my skin and so I had to find a trait that made me feel good about myself; enter the red hair and freckles!
As Dr. Seuss said “Why fit in when you born to stand out?” I borrowed this quote from one of my favourite websites: How to be a Redhead which is a site for redheads created by a redhead, so thank you. One day as I was lamenting my hair and freckles, my Grammy gave me this verse out of the Bible, “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14. Another verse that I have been given is, “The Lord gave me this message. I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb.” Jeremiah 1:4. My Grammy asked me that day, “Are you calling God a liar? By calling yourself ugly, you are saying that God made a mistake in creating you and God doesn’t make junk!”
From that day forward I embraced my redhead hair and everything thing that goes with it and now I am proud to be a redhead. Going back to Dr. Seuss, God has been teaching me to embrace my uniqueness and lose the desire to fit in. I wasn’t made to fit in, I wasn’t made to be like everyone else, as a redhead and certainly not as a child of God! When we walk with Jesus, we automatically set ourselves apart from the world, therefore I have stopped striving to fit in and to be like everyone else because I am not!