Editor’s note: DC Service Corps volunteer Julia reflects on the annual FMS Re-Entry Retreat, a time of welcoming reflection for our returned overseas missioners, and how this experience has led to new friendships and transformative haircuts. 

With January comes a new year and the annual FMS Re-Entry Retreat, when missioners return from overseas and the Casa community welcomes them for a two-week period of processing their mission experiences in a supportive environment. These missioners are lovely people, but I had never met them before, and, due to the retreat schedule and my own schedule, I had limited opportunities to get to know them during the time they were with us. 

Still, when living with someone, it is hard to not learn something about them no matter how busy they are. During the Re-Entry Retreat, I learned that besides being a phenomenal yoga instructor (free power yoga lesson included) and massage therapist, Tim (Jamaica, 2018-2020) is a professional barber who just so happened to have a vision for my hair! I was on the fence about getting a haircut for a while, but when Tim told me his idea, I just knew it was right.

As I sat with wet hair in the seat of honor, I did not really know what I was getting into. He had shown me a picture of a similar haircut, so I had a vague idea of the general process and end result. That is to say, I walked in with no expectations and still continued forward with the little information I had been given. This man – newly returned from Jamaica and whom I met only a week prior – just started chopping off my shoulder-length locks! Still, despite our recent acquaintance, I realized that I had complete confidence in the one snipping away behind me.

It took a while of sitting and waiting patiently. When he finished, I looked down and there was an entire wig on the floor! And yet, I still was not worried at all about what my head looked like. My hair honestly could have been completely goofy-looking, lopsided, or hideous, but I believed Tim had my best interest at heart and would make it all work out. He showed me my new hairstyle in the handheld mirror; I saw something completely different from what I could have imagined. I am happy to say it has been SO good for me! It makes working out and washing my hair so much easier, I have more confidence now, and I feel like a new woman. 

Had I listened to my fears and resisted change, I would not have known this new, better life. 

When I reflect on my spiritual life, I pray that I may trust Jesus as He works on my heart in the same way that I fully trusted Tim to shape my hair well. I don’t know what Tim actually did to cut my hair, and I could not do it myself or take any credit. When I trust God, I do not need to understand what He is doing – even when it takes longer than I would want. God is working for my good and knows what He is about! And besides, God knows even better than Tim does.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” – Corrie ten Boom

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” – Teilhard de Chardin

 

Reflection question: How is Jesus asking you to deepen your trust in Him today?