99 Natural Hair Problems: How my natural hair almost stopped me from getting baptised.
I had been putting off detangling and washing my hair for longer than I care to discuss, folks. So yesterday morning, I forced myself to do a major deep conditioning, detangling, washing, spit shining, DRAMATIC 4 hour natural hair expedition.
I ain’t eeevvveeennn going to lie, Craig. Two hours of standing in a lukewarm shower with aching arms and only half my hair done made me seriously wish for my relaxer days. I don’t think I’d ever relax, for real, for real. I’m 12 years in this natural hair game and I’m committed. And cute… Lol.
But some days, I miss the creamy crack.
Then, I was talking to Akuzike and Ev at church about their drop dead gorgeous locs and I felt so tempted. I really loved the yarn braids/ genie locks, I had for a while. They looked very loc-like and I loved the look. But I’m so non-committal. Me and my hair are just in a funky place right now.
Speaking of hair, I got baptized at church last week. Why is this speaking of hair?? Because I almost didn’t get baptized because I was worried about how my hair would look. I know. I know. Ridiculous.
My church does baptisms once a year. Its a whole big to do. And the moment they announced the baptisms I knew I wanted to get baptized. There was no doubt I was ready to make that step… I sat there feeling called to get baptized by JESUS, MARY, JOSEPH and ALL THEM but I hesitated because of HAIR. Seriously, I sat through the whole service thinking, “well, what about my hair?” What if I look cray? Priorities in order, OBVI.
They do the full dunk at my church. Whole body baptism! And that day I had on a wig and because of the lack of detangling I told you about so my hair was a mish mash of Miss Celie, Don King, and HELL NAW.
So many problems! What if the swim cap comes off? What if it doesn’t fit over all my hair? Will I be able to moisturize and seal after? Did I bring my shea butter? Where am I going to put my wig? OH EMM GEE are these people going to find out I had on a wig?? ( I like mystifying my church family with my magical hair every Sunday… They are always freaking out about my hair and I like keeping them on their toes about which hair is my real hair. HA!) What if I come up out of the water and look just like this?
Thankfully, I realized that I was having a straight up and down anxiety attack about NOTHING. NOTHING. NOTHING.
God says come as you are. And the way I was nappy, happy, and looking a little bit crappy but SO WHAT! I really wanted to get baptized and I wasn’t going to let something as trivial as my hair not being perfect stop me from crossing this milestone in my walk with God.
SistaTv says, “Worrying about little things can stop you from getting to your everything.”
So I hopped my tail up with the quickness and went to get baptized. When I went to the back they had shorts, shirts, underwear and sports bras for us all to change into..
ZOHMYGAWD…. New problem… New PANIC…
First, they only had L/XL. I asked the skinny chirpy church chick for a 2x because umm Boobs, Booty, and tragically BELLY. She looked at me like what? There are people on earth who wear 2XLs? WHHAAAA? Like she was straight up perplexed. I hated her in that moment with the heat of a thousand Lucifers but I wasn’t going to let no skinny Biaaa stop me from getting my big girl glory so I looked at her EXACTLY like this:
Took the bag of XL from her and prayed a mighty prayer.
DO NOT Play me! If you can take two fish and five loaves of bread and feed umpteen thousand people you can MOST certainly make this sliver of a sports bra fit over these triple H’s. FIX IT, JESUS! Lord, you can part the red sea, I know you can make these clothes fit me! Go Jesus, Go Jesus, Go. Amen.”
Then, I opened the bag and had a look at the negative AAA training bra these fools had put in the bag and literally cackled and hollered “G-D damn it!” Out Loud. In church. (He ain’t through with me yet.)
Lucky for me I ran into another one of my ample sisters of the blessed breast brigade and almost knocked her down shouting, “JASSY, what size did you get? I can’t fit this mess!!?!”
And will you LOOK AT GAWD! She had brought an extra pair shorts and a sports bra in 2x and they fit! #wonthedoit! That morning when she packed her bag she just felt like she should throw an extra pair in for somebody… Somebody was me. #SHONDO
So then I went into the dressing rooms to get changed. I took off my shoes and NEW PROBLEM… NEW PANIC… NO PEDICURE….
I know what your thinking, Oh! So what, SistaTV! A chipped toenail or two shouldn’t stop you from cleansing yourself in Lake MinnaJesus.
But chile a chipped toenail is not what we were dealing with here….
I haven’t had a pedicure in MONTHS. This is not big deal but I come from a people who are afflicted with What the Freak is wrong with your feetITIS so I can NOT miss pedicures. I took a quick snap of my feet for you all to see what the issue was.
Okay not really but… LAWD my feet were closer to this picture than I care to admit. Luckily they had included some lotion in the bags so I slathered my feet in the lotion and kept my feet moving like Ali while I was standing in line. Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee, This crust on my feet, you NEVER will see. Crumble ToeNails, Crumble. RAAAHHH.
Anyway, the XL shorts actually did fit. LOOK AT GAWD! The shirt was smedium as hell but I stretched that sucka like the arms of Jesus on the cross and made it work.
I forced the head condom, I mean Swim Cap over the half fro half failure that was languishing under my wig. I tied a headscarf on top of that because I was NOT taking any chances. I wrapped my wig in Jassy’s extra shorts and stuffed them both into the arm of my coat. They I wrapped my coat in my shirt and jeans and stuffed it in my bag and prayed that NOBODY would be nosy. I’m sure there are InstaGrams of all the behind the scenes church staff wearing my wig and shouting look at me I’m SistaTV. But they haven’t gone viral yet so… We good.
There were probably about 25 of us getting baptized so we started our way down to the baptism pool. Basically its just a Kmart Above ground pool filled with a backyard garden hose but it is in an actual CHURCH building not your dirty backyard so it is TOTALLY holy water now, son. Ha- LAY-LOO.
While walking downstairs I prayed for an anointing on my feet and rebuked my thoughts of GROSS I’m walking all this way barefoot behind all these barefoot peeps and ZOHMYGOD Athletes FEET, Bacteria and YUCK.
We walked downstairs and all my church friends all hooted and hollered and yelled, “Go Senam!” “We Love you, SistaTV” and all kinds of fabulousness. My church family is amazing.
I was the last person to go. The water was freezing. When I stepped in it I immediately started that fast breathing, freaking out, holy snipes that’s cold thing everybody does when then get into a pool they expect to be warm. I wanted to shout some serious cuss words when that first chill hit me. But I was in a pool, in an actual church, so I decided to hush.
I stood with Bill and Kevin, and they said a prayer over me. They prayed for me to come up out of the water brand new. I prayed to leave all the pain, pressures, problems of my past behind me and rise out of the water with power, positivity, perseverance, and the endless possibilities that committing to real faith can give you. Also for my swim cap to not come off. DO IT, JESUS!
I’ll be honest. I don’t think I really expected a two second dunk in a kiddie pool to really make any actual change in me but it did. I know I’ve been changed.
I can’t explain how, why, or what but when I came up out of the water I had all I prayed for and more.
I know for some of you it hard to understand the whole baptism or even the whole God/Higher Power/Church thing. There are tons of things about church and religion that I don’t agree with or support. I get all that. But maybe you can understand love.
Maybe you can understand a feeling that doesn’t really make scientific sense. Maybe you can understand how your whole life can transform because of just one decision. Maybe you understand the need to do something for yourself alone. Maybe you understand what its like to have total strangers welcome you, love on you, and make your life so much better because of nothing but Love. I hope so.
In that moment as they all cheered, clapped, and prayed for me I felt all that. That’s all I ever hope you can understand. I believe Jesus was there. I believe God was there. And I also believe Love was there too.
Look around… it’s always there.