Sophie’s Story: The Growth of a Year

You’ve heard me talk about Trichotillomania before in Sophie’s story. It’s a … syndrome? … disorder? … condition? … one of those, in which the person pulls out his or her own hair and often either sucks on it or eats it. In small children, it’s a coping mechanism which the child usually grows out of by age 4 or 5. In teens and adults, it is associated with OCD, and it typically does not go away on its own.

Sophie’s pulling began when she was 18 months old, right around the time my summer break from teaching ended and I started back to work again. It was incredibly painful to watch her pull out her beautiful golden hair. To this day, I still can’t pinpoint why it was so difficult to watch. Maybe because I know that having your hair pulled hurts. I mean, ouch! Nobody likes that feeling. Maybe it was a deeper pain, a sense of guilt because her trigger was separating from me. Maybe it was just more struggle with the idea of a child who was again not “normal.” Why do I still get so hung up on that? I don’t know. I suspect that I’ll be sorting this out for years yet. But it’s a very real struggle, and if you’ve ever felt that your child was “different” in some way, you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Easter is a bit of a milestone for us when it comes to Sophie’s hair-pulling. Because Easter 2014 is when it stopped. As we’ve approached Easter this year, my awareness and my memories have been heightened. So I’ve been looking back on photos from last Easter, and they are startling to me.

Easter 2014What I see in these pictures is that I have a beautiful bald daughter. And I see that she did not care one bit whether or not she had hair. She was happy as a clam.

It’s been a full year since Sophie pulled her hair. One full year.

Even with the onset of preschool Sophie has not resumed pulling out her hair. I was pretty concerned about this possibility as we prepared for preschool, and I’m so thankful that she hasn’t had any issues.

One year later, here’s our girl on this year’s Easter egg hunt and in her darling Easter outfit. I’m so thankful for this precious girl and the lessons that she’s teaching me.


IMG_0024As I’ve pondered this idea with Easter approaching, the growth of a year, I’ve been prompted to reflect on my own growth in the past year. Jesus gave his life for me, so that I could be free from slavery to sin and death, so that I could lead a new transformed life. Am I walking in that? Is my life being transformed?

As I reflect on the past year, I rejoice that I am on the path of transformation. And as I ponder anew what my Savior has done for me, I’m encouraged to go deeper into his transforming grace. I want to look more and more like Jesus in my normal every day life. For me, it’s not a year of traveling to Africa or speaking to thousands of people or publishing another best selling book — not that I know of yet anyways — it’s a year at home with my sweet kids. But my normal everyday life is his, and it can have just as much an impact as those who are doing “bigger” different things for the Lord. I want to go forth in my world with boldness, compassion, love, kindness, and grace for those who are hurting and desperately seeking a healing source. I have the answer they seek. Wherever you are in your journey this Easter, consider how you can continue your transformation and how you can touch your world for Jesus. It’s all that really matters in the end.


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2 Responses to Sophie’s Story: The Growth of a Year

  1. Alicia Kohler

    Thank you for sharing, and reminding me of what God has for those who are faithful.