Hairy Vulnerability

By September 5, 2019 September 23rd, 2019 Blog

Can I just admit something right now?

I don’t really know what I’m doing.

You’ve probably noticed. You’ve definitely noticed, and you’ve been kind. Sometimes you’ve shared your honest thoughts. I’m sure you’ve held back.

Haircare. It’s been one of the harder parts of this foster parenting thing so far. I know maybe that sounds odd. Is it really that hard or important? Well, yes and no. Mostly it’s hard because it hurts my pride that I don’t know what I’m doing, that I’m not the expert.

I’m not exactly the gal who is just great with hair anyway, but add in hair that is not the same texture, length, or well…anything like mine and I’m struggling.

I’m trying my hardest. Google is my friend. Facebook now only plays me ads and videos related to hair care, and I find myself stopping the scroll to watch. I’m reading about what other people do. I find myself “following” and “friending” more people who have kids with similar hair just to get a glimpse of what I could possibly try to do in terms of styling.

It’s humbling.

But I think that’s good. It’s good to be in a place where humility is required. It puts me in a position of having to ask for help. It reminds me that I don’t have all the answers. It makes me stop, check my pride, and respond with, “I don’t really know, but will you teach me?”

There are things I do know, things I can teach and share with others, but this is not one of them.

If you’re looking for blog articles with all the hair care tips and tricks, I’m not your gal. I’m learning more each day, but maybe more than hair care itself, in my current incompetence, I’m learning so much more.

When I admit that I don’t know, but that I am willing and trying to learn, here’s what I’m hoping is communicated:

1. To my girls.

God cares more about our willingness to be humble, teachable students than He does about knowing all there is to know. It is in our reaction to our limitations that we have the opportunity to display who we are as followers of Jesus. You can ask for help. You don’t have to pretend or hide when you are struggling. You can confidently find the resources you need. There is no shame in that. Keep learning.

2. To my girls’ mom.

I need you. In this foster care space, it can feel like it’s a battle for control, at least that’s what my flesh wants me to think. I have knee-jerk reactions that make me want to say, “I’ve got this. I don’t need you when you offer advice. I’m the parent right now.” But to say those things, to let my thoughts be taken captive to that, only divides us. I want you to know that I genuinely care for you and I care about what you have to say. When I can vulnerably say, “I don’t know, but can you help?” I hope you hear that your thoughts matter, that I am not superior to you, and that I just want to learn how to care for our girls better. God has gifted you with talents and insights, and I’d love to work together.

3. To everyone else—near and far.

Being a foster parent doesn’t mean I have everything together or that I have all the answers. I’m no superhero. I have strengths but also areas where I can continue to grow. I need your help, too. I don’t have this thing figured out. I’m willing to jump in, but there will be bumps along the way. Will you jump in with me? Do you have talents you can share with the girls? They need your talents too! They need to know that we’re all doing the best we can and that God has gifted us each uniquely. That’s why community is so beautiful. Thank you for your extension of grace and your offering of prayer and support. Will you help me in continuing to point them and me to our one true Savior?

There is beauty when we can go first in saying, “I don’t know.”

I don’t need to appear great to others. In fact, it only feeds my selfish desires for praise.

So, I’m thankful for hair that I don’t quite understand yet and for people who do.

Holly Gnuse

Holly grew up with a heart for adoption but didn’t know much about foster care. God used an internship with a local child welfare agency to make her aware. Coupling that experience with knowing the joy of the Gospel, Holly is passionate about connecting the local church to the foster care community. Holly and her husband, Scott, were married in December 2013 and are enjoying the crazy adventure of life together.

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