This post is a long time coming. I started on it this spring, but due to many turn of events I never finished it. Well, it’s high time I told you more about my friend Darcie’s story. Because, well, she’s a pretty amazing woman and a picture of God’s faithfulness through trials in our lives. And TODAY is a big day for her.
As I drove along the winding black top road to Darcie’s house, the warm spring air and smell of purple phlox filled my car. The setting sun’s orange glow clothed every pasture, tree, and wild flower. Palomino ponies dotted a passing hillside. But, everything felt wrong.
There would be good wine, appetizers, and friends gathered at her white two-story country home, like many times over the years. But, the occasion? The occasion made no sense.
What beautiful 38-year-old woman with a head full of thick blonde hair worthy of envy asks her husband to shave her head? And then invites her children, closest friends and even a photographer to be there?
As one who normally doesn’t overthink too many situations (or perhaps just avoids emotions), I hadn’t given this whole Head Shaving Celebration much thought until I slowly made my way down the snaky road. But my insecurities began to surface as I drew closer. My shallow me-centered worries came to light.
How will my breast-cancer-battling, chemo-fighting friend look? When stripped of her golden glory, would she appear the small, frail, exposed woman akin to a concentration camp prisoner I imagined? How will I react? Can I cover up my nervousness at such an out-of-place event in our 30-somethings lives?
I suddenly really didn’t want to go to this party.
But, as has often been the case over the years, God quickly reminded me that this story wasn’t about me and my insecurities. I swallowed hard and walked down her driveway toward her white wrap-around porch where I saw a small gathering of people.
As I drew closer, one glance at my bald smiling pal surrounded by her four laughing children exposed in Darcie the courage and grace and beauty that only comes from the hand of God.
Make no mistake, Darcie’s Head Shaving Party wasn’t about any of us. Her cancer story is His story. And she has made that clear all along. Her cancer, chemo, and bald head is about His goodness. His provision. His redemption. In a world that often seems all wrong. That’s been her anthem all along.
Now, back to the party. How did it go? Well, it was real. It was raw. And…
…it was surprisingly fun. Her friends and family rallied around her with laughs and hugs and fun food. A surprise conga line of all of us in bald caps produced a doubled-over-Darcie-laugh. #win
A wig fashion show, where we styled her new hairdos, was akin to playing dress-up with my friends in grade school.
And her son’s idea of topping her shaving-creamed head with a strawberry cracked us all up.
Darcie’s courage shined through her sweet smile and contagious laugh all evening long.
Just how does someone laugh at such an event? She wrote me later that night, “It’s sure hard NOT to think that beauty is wrapped up in external stuff. But I feel good, content even, which is only from the hand of God. So thankful…”
Darcie is a picture of the redeeming work that Jesus does in the lives of those who trust him. My shorn friend is a picture of the truth every woman needs to hear: Charm is deceitful. Beauty is vain. But a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Darcie, thank you for being real. And letting so many of us enter into your pain and fear and fight of faith.
Darcie, thank you for for reminding us about what really matters in this broken world. And giving us courage to trust our good and sovereign God who holds all things in the palm of his hand…even cancer.
Darcie, thank you for being a light to me and the throng of others who love you throughout our community.
Keep fighting the good fight, my friend! We know your story will end well because of what He has done.
Want to hear some good news? TODAY is Darcie’s last radiation treatment and the end of her year-long fight (including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation)! Her cancer is gone and her prognosis is good. Oh, and…her beautiful blonde hair is starting to come back. P.S. As of December 2019, Darcie is still cancer-free (“no evidence of disease”) and doing very well!
I created a special soup recipe just for Darcie called Cancer-Fighting Soup that you may want to make for yourself or share with someone who needs it. It’s delicious and comforting and full of healing foods!
ht: Thanks to Scott Patrick Myers Photography for images from the Head Shaving Party.