I remember the first time I colored my hair. Not fondly, I might add.
My friend Megan used to color her hair all the time, and tried for months to convince me to color my hair. A few months later I caved and said she could color my hair, but I sneakily chose the hair dye that most closely matched my natural color. After all, I was born to be blonde!
So back at Megan's house, she applied her hair dye and then proceeded to help me with mine.
I SHOULD HAVE BEEN ALARMED when, after applying the color to my hair, Megan turned her head to the side and had a strange look on her face as she stared at my hair. But then she shrugged and went off to rinse out her own hair, so I assumed everything was okay.
It was NOT. So when Megan emerged from the bathroom after rinsing her hair, she took one look at my hair and her eyes got just way too big . The next thing I knew, she grabbed me, threw my head in a sink and began rinsing and apologizing...just rinsing and apologizing.
So it turns out that somebody had opened my BLONDE Loreal hair dye box at the store and swapped the dye out for some BURGUNDY-ISH Clairol hair dye. And we never even noticed until it was too late.
We drove way too quickly over to Walmart to try to get some sort of a refund, and I was so upset that when I got up to the customer service desk with my still-wet burgundy hair, all I could bring myself to do was point to my head and cry, "I didn't want this!" And the lady behind the counter said sympathetically, "Oh, Honey--I don't want that for you either!"
It took well over a year until my hair was somewhat normal again, including my hair being dyed a highly unnnatural looking platinum blonde color to strip the burgundy color, and then a brownish auburn color at one point to deal with the roots. It was just one really big catastrophe, to say the least!
I think of the times when my ignorance or negligence or even my conscious decisions have left me with a mess, sometimes with lingering consequences. And I've taken my big mess to the Lord and tearfully declared, "I didn't want this!" And you know what He always seems to say in response?
"My beloved, I didn't want that for you either."
So what DOES He have in mind for us? I'm sure you've read this a hundred times, but please try to read it with new eyes. This is His heart for you and for me:
"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11