My stomach immediately tied itself into six square knots.
Haircut (time to make an appointment)
I tried to fight the panic with reason.
"What's the big deal?" I ineffectively asked myself.
I spent a week looking at that word alternating between complete avoidance and timid tolerance of the idea.
(Izzie used to cut her own hair and it looked nice. ... It won't be that bad and it'll grow back.)
The next three days turned into bouts between rationalizing further delay and gritting my teeth to pick up the phone.
(Maybe I'll let it grow out so I can wear a bun or French twist. ... You're a grown-up, just call.)
I jumped off the precipice on Agony Day 10 and touched in the number of the salon.
It took everything inside of me to do it. I'm not joking when I say I was holding my breath.
The lady answered in Czech - naturally! I said hello in Czech and asked if she could speak English. She said 'one moment' in Czech and called out to her colleague.
I took a breath. It was going just the way Samaria, the stylist from last time, said it would.
Samaria remembered me and was happy to make another appointment at my convenience.
I started praising God from the top of my raggedy hair to the tips of my slippered feet. My stomach muscles relaxed.
I know all this may sound absurd. It feels ridiculous to me as I write it. But that's how feelings are a good bit of the time; irrational. (not logical or reasonable)
Now look, I'm not admitting that I didn't have an excuse for my fear. After all. I've gotten my hair chopped four times already in Prague. That's enough to send any lady under her covers.
And to be fair, I've had similar experiences in various places around the USA. It's just that in the cross-cultural setting there seem to be more details to feed the dreaded beast.
I seem to find myself walking this road of crippling fear pretty regularly. At this point I could probably write a lengthy essay on the biblical perspective of fear.
Instead I'll let you know the nugget I'm seeing this time around. The only person who deserves to ignite the flames of gut-deep, heart-centered, mind-grabbing fear is Almighty God. May we each be humbled, repentant, and grateful before Him. Amen
"Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell." Matthew 10:28