By now you’ve probably noticed a pattern. I habitually make drastic changes to my hair at two-month intervals, and then blog about it.
I think I get bored.
I knew it was time for a chop when I saw the disappointment on my face once I realized my hair had grown past my shoulders. But I had no time! Our church’s fall retreat was in two days, so my chop would have to wait until next week. Lame.
Little did I know that God was setting up all the small pieces that would soon reveal an even greater plan.
After a few days at camp spent seeking Him, The Lord had arrested my heart and shown me areas where I still had pain. Specifically, in how I viewed myself.
Here’s the thing—there aren’t that many scriptures that address outer beauty. I was always taught that you fight the lies of Satan with the word of God. And I got really tired of speaking, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:4) over myself, over, over, and over again.
So, I believed the lies. I picked apart everything wrong with how I looked and wished that I was as pretty as the girls on the Instagram explore page.
The second morning of the trip, my best friend Lanita and I were reading our bibles and spending time with God on a cabin porch. She looked at me and asked, “Why do you try so hard?”
I was taken aback by her question, so I could only reply with honesty.
“I try to look put together so people will like me.” I felt tears rush to my eyes. I had never said that out loud before, but thought it every morning as I got ready for as long as I could remember.
My transparency opened the door to a conversation I needed to have, and a deeply rooted issue I needed to address.
As the The Holy Spirit began to shine His light on that crack in my heart, I began repenting for tearing apart the way God made me.
What we must understand, is that He doesn’t make mistakes. And He doesn’t make copies.
I am a painter, and to be honest, it would be ridiculous if someone came to me and asked me to make an exact replica of a painting I created for someone else. It’s physically impossible to do that by hand.
And God is an artist.
He doesn’t want to make replicas and copies! He is creative and imaginative and had so much fun creating you! With every stroke of His brush, He custom made your laugh, your eyelashes, and every single pore on your face that you try to cover. He tailor made the way your hair falls and how your shoulders perfectly frame the rest of you.
Would you dare to walk up to Picasso and say, “Hey, P. I know you’re like, one of the greatest artists in history, but… this painting is trash. I hate the colors you used because they are too dark. And look, the tone here is uneven and honestly, it’s just super ugly to look at.
Why do we do that to God? We tear apart the work of the master artist who created Michelangelo, da Vinci, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven—do I need to go on?
And so, with this new revelation, I went back home to Nashville. But it didn’t stop there. Fast-forward a few days and it was time for Le Chop. And man was I excited. My hair hadn’t been bobbed since I was a kid!
I got home from the haircut, finished up some homework, and felt a little nudge to watch Tangled. Maybe it was the fresh haircut vibes, maybe it was the Holy Ghost, but by the end of the movie I had some serious spiritual revelations.
1. The identity
Rapunzel was born a princess. When Mother Gothel (the crazy lady who wanted to exploit the healing power of the flower to stay young forever) saw how much power Rapunzel possessed, she wanted to control Rapunzel and rob her of her calling.
In the same way, you are born a son/daughter of the king of kings and most high God. Your identity is royal, and if the Enemy can steal, hide, and keep that knowledge from you, you will have no understanding of who you are to fight his lies. You essentially live your life trapped in isolation from God. Which brings us to the next point-
2. The tower
Rapunzel is locked inside of a tower her entire life. Mother Gothel tells Rapunzel that it is for her safety and well-being. If she ever leaves the tower, she will surely be taken advantage of, hurt, or even killed.
The tower represents spiritual bondage-the things that keep us bound to sin. It is lifestyle choices we believe help us cope and survive. Maybe your tower is alcohol, and you believe the lie that it can take your pain away or even prevent it. Or maybe your tower is being in a relationship in order to feel loved and important.
But it was all deception. That tower was a master scheme of the antagonist to keep Rapunzel from discovering her royal identity.
3. The Lanterns
And even though she feels trapped, lonely, and confused, we all know what happens every year on Rapunzel’s birthday. Beautiful lanterns light the night sky and as Rapunzel watches them from her window, she finds herself dreaming of freedom again. She can’t help but feel like these lights are calling to her, and the remaining hope in her heart is revived.
**If you haven’t seen the movie, every year on Rapunzel’s birthday, the king and queen light thousands of lanterns and release them into the sky. They do this in hopes that she will see the lanterns, follow them, and return home.
And here’s the thing- God doesn’t just light lanterns once a year in hopes that you will return to Him. He is pursuing you constantly—daily—just waiting for you to discover who you are and to come home to Him. He longs to take that heaviness off of you, heal your heart, and tell you who you truly are.
4. The Hair
And so, Rapunzel teams up with her guide, Flynn Rider, and they set off to watch the lanterns light the night sky so she can live her dream! Throughout their journey, Rapunzel realizes she was wrong about the world. She had enclosed herself in a tower of deception.
And finally, it is time to see the “floating lights”. Rapunzel realizes that her new dream is Flynn, and *spoiler alert* they fall in love.
Cue the happy ending, right? Nah. Mother Gothel finds out about all of this and follows the two around. All the while devising a scheme to kill Flynn and deceive Rapunzel, so she will come back to her. Long story short, Rapunzel is hit with the revelation that she is the lost princess, but by the time she realizes this, Mother Gothel has already captured her and physically chained her to the tower so she cannot escape again.
And ya’ll. The spiritual significance of this gets me every. time.
When we willingly go with the enemy (consciously or not), we allow him to chain us to that tower. We do this by believing what he says about our past, our sins, our identity—you get the idea.
But remember, this is a Disney movie after all. Cue the handsome Flynn Rider, dashing through the forest on a white horse to save his princess.
“Rapunzel! Rapunzel! Let down your hair!”
Immediately, the shutters fly open, and long blonde hair descends from the tower. Flynn anxiously climbs to the top, only to find Mother Gothel at the window with a knife. She stabs Flynn and kills him, so the secret of Rapunzel’s hair will die with him. But remember, our girl has the gift healing.
She pleads and bargains with Mother Gothel, who apprehensively agrees to let Rapunzel heal him.
Rapunzel runs to Flynn, and as she is about to heal him, with one final breath, Flynn reaches out and chops off her hair!
He sacrificed his life so she could have freedom.
And that’s exactly what Jesus did for us on the cross.
He died so that we wouldn’t have to be slaves to sin, addiction, pain, and darkness.
Mother Gothel shrivels up and dies, because Rapunzels hair is no longer magic. Holding Flynn, Rapunzel frantically tries to heal him with her dead hair and finds herself weeping over his body.
And then something remarkable happens.
Her tears fall on Flynn, and he is raised from the dead and completely healed! Rapunzel is later united with her family and of course, she and Flynn live happily ever after.
Rapunzel realized that her power came from within. It wasn’t in her hair, it was in who she was.
When we realize that our power comes from God and what He says about us (our real identity) we are unstoppable. There is no lie, no deception, and no scheme that can stand in our way when we allow God to reveal and remind us of who He is, and who we are.
“For you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9
“For we are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
“And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:7