The ugly phase is most often associated with hair styles. I’ve cut my hair short several times, and the moment I decide to grow it back out, I know I’m in for it. There’s just something about the time it takes for the short areas to catch up to the longer areas that is just…aggravating. It really exposes my impatience and inability to accept and adjust to the natural process of growth.
In a world of over night success stories, sometimes we fail to realize that nothing actually happens overnight. There’s work and preparation that happens to turn average people into celebrities. During that preparation, there are some wrong notes, rejected project proposals, bombed performances, low grades, [Insert your ugly phase here]. How often do we give up during the preparation phase due to the difficulty or weariness that comes with trying and not being perfect?
Let endurance have its perfect result so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:4
(A different version may say patience in place of endurance)
The E word
Endurance has been wearing me out for a few years now. I used to quit things as soon as they became difficult and stressful until it was impressed upon me to stick it out and tap into a different strength source. I’m better at it now, but it’s still hard sometimes not to just quit to avoid the pain. What this scripture appears to say is that enduring actually perfects you. It seems the only route out of the ugly phase is through it.
It sounds simple, but it’s not always easy to apply the principle in the moment when you feel like you can’t take anymore. When you’re embarrassed at your skill level and want to just skip to the part when you’re as good as your favorite artist.
Here’s a secret: They’ve had ugly phases too.
This most recent time I decided to grow my hair out, I remember wanting to just cut all my hair off so that it could all grow together. It seemed logical at the moment, until I considered what my goal was. I wanted to keep the style I had, I just wanted it to be a little fuller and longer in each section. Therefore, getting a fade would actually prolong the process to meeting the goal.
I decided to continue on, not getting hair cuts and just working with what I had and suddenly, one day it seemed like my hair was the perfect length! It obviously didn’t happen suddenly, but when I began to focus on other things, and keep my goal in mind, the in-between time seemed to fly by.
May you find the patience necessary to embrace your current stage, no matter how ugly it feels. And may your beautiful stage come sooner than you expected.
Endure for the Kingdom,