Oooooh! Guys, it gets personal today!
Today’s Comment of the Week comes from Kelly I in reply to My First Gray Hair:
I’ve been following your blog for a while. I myself am thinking of enrolling in Cosmetology school within the next month, but just was curious how you were when you were going into it? Did you have a lot of knowledge already, or did school truly prepare you for working in the industry? I’m nervous and have this fear that I’m going to be done with it and feel not ready.
Also, being a believer…do you find it hard to be a hairstylist? Or have you loved having the benefit being able to share Jesus’ love with all the clients in your chair?
I feel this is what I’m good at, always loved it since I was little, but having these doubts, and not sure if it’s just Satan trying to keep me from pursuing my dream.
Thanks for your time!
Dear Kelly I,
Nice to meet you! Thanks for following Square Piece and feeling comfortable enough to voice some personal questions.
One of the very first posts I penned on Square Piece was how and why I wound up as a hairstylist today. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s here and hopefully a tad enlightening. Unfortunately, I can’t speak specifically about cosmetology school as I went the route of an apprenticeship in order to get my license. Based on what I’ve seen in the industry, being that an apprenticeship is hands-on training, you’d definitely be more prepared for the “real world” if you went that route. Bear in mind that a lot of cosmetology schools are designed to help you pass your exam, an exam that is pathetically out-dated. Unfortunately, it’s not the easiest thing finding someone who is willing to take on an apprentice.
I’m not sure where you live, but Brian and I once checked out the Paul Mitchell school in Tysons Corner, VA. They’re a modern brand with updated techniques and I believe that if I did it all over again, I’d go there to 1) be more current, but 2) learn what I need to pass the exam, too (things you’ll likely never do again).
Did I have a lot of knowledge before entering the industry? Well, I wouldn’t have thought so at the time, but apparently I did. Hair ideas always came effortlessly to me, but I didn’t realize that that was unique. I figured, If it’s on your head, you should be able to do it, right? Not right. Wrong. Many, many people don’t know what to do with the hair on their head. So, yeah, I was a lot more qualified than I realized. That said, there was and still IS so much to learn. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever, EVER, EVER stop pursuing hair education. The minute you do, you’ll be lost in the dust of this racing industry. Don’t get comfortable. Keep exploring.
If you’re afraid that you won’t be ready once you’ve finished school, you’re right. You won’t be ready… for everybody. But you’ll be ready for enough of the right people to gain a little clientele and a little confidence. And the ones for whom you’re not ready? Well, be honest about it! Let them know that your schooling didn’t concentrate heavily on (X) areas, but if they’re willing to give you a chance, you’d like to explore the opportunity to practice it a bit more on (X). Perhaps even offer a discount while you’re using them as a “guinea pig” to strengthen your abilities. People always appreciate honesty and discounts. It’s a mighty duo.
As a believer, do I find it hard to be a hairstylist? Ha! As a believer, I find it hard… PERIOD! Everywhere and all the time. There’s always the temptation to lose sight of the fact that my goal is to “work heartily as unto the Lord.” I’m a sinner working on sinners. It’d be no different anywhere else. We can build each other up or tear each other down. The role of hairstylist is uniquely designed to build trust, build friendship, build connections… So if and when I have the opportunity to talk about Jesus, the nice thing is that it’s not like a Christian drive-by shooting, where people don’t see me coming, get waylaid, don’t know what just happened and are left feeling a reeling of awkward judgement and disapproval. Just as I am on Square Piece, I’m equally candid in real life and, therefore, naturally just HAVE to talk about Jesus sometimes because he’s such a normal part of my life. In fact, there are times where it’d be more awkward to obviously avoid the subject because clearly I’d be withholding an honest and personal perspective.
I guess what I’m saying is that, first of all, with or without words, I always want to pour out the love of Christ on others. And sometimes when those words get said, it’s not because I’m plotting and scheming the opportunity. It just happens, quite without my making it happen. But wouldn’t that be the case in any of my relationships in or outside of the salon?
I hope that answers the questions you had! Don’t hesitate to ask some more if you need some more clarification! The cosmetology industry is one of the greatest blessings the Lord has ever bestowed upon me. It’s never dull, never boring, quite portable and rather recession-proof. It can be as wonderful or as miserable as you want it to be. I tend to think it’s wonderful.
Phew! I’m wiped out now! I think I’ll just leave it at that as we all know that the spam around here is as ridiculous as ever.
I really enjoyed reading this!!! 🙂
Not being a Christian, I lack knowledge regarding the workings of Satan. Therefore, it is difficult for me to understand why Kelly would even entertain the idea the devil would be hoveringsa over her and choose to impact her career as a hairstylist. I never thought of the profession as dishonorable or shady. If her need to compensate for some guilt will require her to preach the gospel to her clients , I believe she may be in trouble. Sharing the love of Jesus with those in her chair must be done naturally and without a recognizable agenda. I think it is a giving of herself and her skills, more than proselytizing, Suzanna exemplifies. Keep in mind, in order to have another understand or be in tune with your mind or heart ‘set’
it is important to mold the messenger, you that is,
into someone caring and credible. Perhaps your first focus should be in this realm.
I couldn’t have said it better myself Melody! I completely agree with you. Also, Suzanna I absolutely love your blog and have not missed a post since I started reading it more than a year ago.
Stephanie, thanks so much for following Square Piece! I hope it’s brought many a smile to your face in the last year! Xoxo.
I know what you mean, Melody. But I also could hear my younger self in that question that Kelly posed. Perhaps I read too much of myself into other people’s comments, but my interpretation, to clarify, goes more like this: Kelly might feel that the Lord is leading her in the direction of cosmetology for some greater reason that we must assume is good and loving. There’s always a little uncertainty and insecurity when you’re learning to distinguish His voice from your OWN mind’s voice. If it is in fact the Lord leading her in this direction, she wonders if The Enemy (as I like to call Satan) might be stirring up all of her personal doubts (in her abilities) and fears (that she might not be successful or that this is a big mistake) in order to confuse her and keep her out of God’s good will for her, making her second guess the Lord’s nudging.
Take The Garden of Eden, for instance, in the book of Genesis. God had commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When Eve was confronted by the serpent (Satan’s given form in that story), he didn’t say, “God is stupid. Eat from that Tree and party!” No, that’d be too obvious. Instead, he got Eve all flustered in posing the question, “Did God REALLLLLLY say that you can’t eat from ANY tree?…” and then assured her that He was just holding out on her and that death would certainly not play a part in the consequences. So I have to assume that The Enemy is good at 1) twisting God’s words while keeping them somewhat recognizable and 2) lying. That first one is so dangerous.
As a Christian, I trust that God’s will is ultimately for my good (though sometimes it might be hard and feel messy, there’s such a greater picture than I can envision sometimes!). So ultimately I think that Kelly is trying to discern if the Lord is gently nudging her (as He wouldn’t FORCE her given free will and all) into this career and that Satan might be messing with her head to scare her off. If Kelly’s natural impact – the ripple effect, if you will – of giving of herself in this industry could draw even one person closer to the Lord or point their nose in the direction of Christ, then I imagine that The Enemy would have designs to thwart that agenda.
Hoping this doesn’t sound absurd.
i think what everyone’s said here makes perfect sense.
now my random thoughts:
Jesus never did the ‘drive by’ style of witnessing that seems (unfortunately) to be so popular with many Christians. He was and is about relationship–speaking into peoples’ lives, not slamming them with ‘4 spiritual laws’ or whaever. He lived and worked with people; answered questions and taught those who were interested in learning. He never backed down from who and what He was/is, but he showed more than said, if that makes any sense.
we [Christians] are ALL on mission for Him and are to live our lives as a reflection of His, as much as we possibly can. what that looks like for each of us is different–I work in a clinic at the VA hospital where spirituality is encouraged, but Jesus is not welcome. so how do i tell people about Him? i listen to them, i remember their names (to homeless guys with substance abuse and mental health issues, that’s a big thing), i share my hand cream, i try to cheerfully go out of my way to help them with things that aren’t necessarily part of my job description. just little simple ‘nothing’ things that show i care and am interested in their lives (but not overstepping any professional boundaries). i can pray that my small imperfect reflection of Jesus’ life will make others who don’t know Him want to. (did that make sense?)
for a hairdresser, it’s the same thing only different–she gets to know her clients, shows she’s interested in them as people, not just as heads of hair and paychecks. people SEE that you have joy in your life, that you care about those around you and that you’re just a good person to be around; that you have just a little something ‘extra’ that makes you stand out. they ask, and you tell them that it’s Jesus
i hope that made sense; if not, Suzy, please feel free to edit, delete, or whatever 🙂
*Shaking my head in agreement* mm hmm, mm hmm, mm hmm. Yep.
I think both Suzy’s comments and Nancyjean’s have broadened my understanding of Kelly’s situation. I do believe, however, in order to communicate the moral values Jesus holds true, it is necessary for the speaker to embody warmth, confidence and credibility. Perhaps when Kelly completes her cosmetology studies and begins her career, which I hope she does, she will be stronger and less tentative and therefore have a proud delivery for the message she would like to communicate.
Isn’t it amazing what Square Piece brings to our lives !!!
YES! it is!!! 🙂
BTW, I’ve enjoyed your comments on the photos Suzy sends out (you may not know that you are hitting “reply all” and I hesitated to tell you cause I do enjoy your response … it’s blesses me to know that others love my daughter almost as much as I do). 😉
I’m sorry that I wasn’t more specific in my question, I honestly didn’t think it would be a comment of the week and didn’t know it would bring such confusion. To clarify, Suzy pretty much nailed it on the dot. Going to cosmetology has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. But, there was also always something that kept me from putting that foot forward and taking a leap of faith.
Although I know so well that when we as Christians are weak, He is strong, I remained to stay stuck by my insecurities and some statements that people have made in my life. Although I know God’s strength is what I have to rely on entirely, in the back of my head I have my earthly father’s voice echoing saying “You’re worthless. You’re vain. You’re just like your mother”. And although I know that he is wrong, and he is in a battle with the Enemy himself, it’s been a challenge for me to erase his opinions from my mind, when I’ve done so much for my father and tried to “win” over his love for me. The Enemy knows exactly what/who to use in your life to stop you from your full potential and being in God’s will. By God’s grace, I will never have to win over His love for me, and that’s what I continue to remind myself when Satan reminds me of those words that cut deep.
I’ve been praying for a long time concerning this life change (Enrolling in Cosmetology School), and throughout this time, God has used many people to speak confirmation to me, and also encouraged and supported me throughout this. I’ve also found peace in God’s word and been given a stronger desire to pursue this, to conquer my fears, and no longer let the lies of the Enemy be such a stronghold in my life. I’ve learned that I need to take every thought captive, and walk in the truth. I am going to allow the truth from God to set me free, and not allow the destructive words that have been spoken to me, keep me from serving God wholeheartedly.
The reason I want to be a cosmetologist (besides having passion for hair) is to be able to pour into others lives. There are many women out there who have been told they are not beautiful. Not good enough. That will sit in my chair and have been told they are worthless themselves. And you know what? I will have some answers to help them. I want to be able to not just help others feel beautiful on the outside, but to help them see that they are beautiful on the inside, because they were created in His image.
P.S. I start school in one week, and I’m going for the full program of hair/nails/esthetics. Normally, I’d be so nervous I couldn’t sleep for weeks, but God is daily giving me His peace, and it so wonderful to know that I am in His will…and I am so excited for this new adventure!
Thanks for your response Suzy, I appreciate you taking time out of your day with your answers! A lot of what you said, was the exact words from my advisor.
Blessings to you, and yours.
Kelly, what a wonderful reason to get into that line of work.
i will pray you keep your eyes on God and what He has in store for you; that the enemy will not get to you, and that even while learning your trade, you will have that ‘something different’ that so often identifies a follower of Jesus–that ‘something different’ that makes others say, “I want what she has!”
I appreciate your prayers! I am certain God will put a light in me that will probe people to ask what’s different about me and be able to speak truth into their life.
To say I wish you the very best would be an understatement Kelly. Keep the faith and strength you express today and you will have no worries. Satan will be unable to intrude!
As for Suzanna, she is everything you would want to be as a hairdresser. Warm, intelligent, kind, knowledgeable, beautiful (inside and out) and gives the best haircut ever!