One of the times I could clearly see God’s faithfulness was during my freshman year of college. I was determined to get along with my roommate who I suspected didn't like me. What she thought of me determined my value. If she didn't like me, I must have been unlikable.
Since she had cut her own hair and it looked good in a sort of artsy-kind of way, I thought letting her cut my hair would be a great bonding experience for the two of us. She cut my hair with the pointy ends of the scissors and not only did she give me the world’s shortest pixie cut, but there were bald spots all over it.
To cheer me up, my mom drove to campus and took me to a movie. It was PG-13 and they weren’t going to let me in because they thought I was a little kid. After the movie, my mom walked behind me into a restaurant and asked, “Kate? Did you color in the bald spots with a sharpie?”
Yes, yes I did.
I survived freshman year with my terrible, haircut-inflicting roommate, but we went to Ohio State and so I knew I may or may not see her again. But just in case, if I did, I was determined to look great the next time I saw her. I began fixing my hair as if every day were prom day. And finally, vengeance was mine….or so I thought.
I was having a particularly good hair day and treated myself to a turkey sandwich at the cafe in the art museum on campus. My former roommate walked by and I popped up to say hello. I could tell by the weird way she was acting that she was jealous of my new look. Vindicated, I stopped by the bathroom and OH NO. There was part of my turkey sandwich hanging from my nose. I felt like a loser because I thought what I looked like determined my value… and I had turkey in my nose.
But what I learned from my freshman year was this: it’s what God thinks that determines my value. He sees me based on my potential, not where I am in the here and now. I never needed my roommate’s approval, all that got me was a bad haircut and the last laugh gone awry.
Through faith, I have God’s approval. Who God is—all-knowing, loving, and powerful, Father, Friend, and Creator—helps me see myself as He sees me—daughter, friend, and creation. My quirks, my faults, my people-pleasing, my sin, and my shame are simply things I can release to Him. He made me and loves me simply because I’m His.
Before the haircut, during the haircut, and after the haircut, I had God-given potential. And the potential wasn’t based on what I did or didn’t do, or who liked me or who didn't, it was based on how God saw me.
No matter where you’ve been, what people have done to you, or how you responded, you have God-given potential. Right now. It doesn't matter what a friend or haircut-inflicting roommate thinks, and it doesn't even matter what you think. If you're like me, you think you're awesome one second and the worst the next. But God is Father, Friend, and Creator, and through faith, He sees you as His daughter, friend, and creation. You are full of potential.