A Tale of Two Hairstylists
A Tale of Two Hairstylists: Better Than OK, We Are Good
by Dale Reeves
There’s been much written and said about hairstylists and barbers during the shelter-in-place season these past two months. In addition to the story we posted earlier today by Erin Durbin, I had to ask two more ladies what life has been like for them lately. Both of these women have helped us cut and style hair during our annual Tim Tebow “Night to Shine” prom that we host every year at our church. One of them is my hairdresser and I had the privilege of performing her wedding ceremony several years ago; the other is responsible for cutting the hair of our lead pastor, Trevor DeVage.
Paula Money has been a hairstylist since 1984. She says when she attended Warren County Career Center in Lebanon in her high school years, from day one she was hooked. Karla Dew has been a stylist for twenty-one years. She says, “I had a knack for hair as a kid, so I enrolled in cosmetology school after high school, and that knack grew into a passion for me.”
When the stay-at-home mandate went out to hair salons in early March, Paula says, “Initially I was panicked. Since I am a rule follower I was surprised and a bit annoyed at how many people asked me to disobey the stay-at-home order and cut their hair, either at my home or their place! I had quite a few people ask me to do this. Saying No to people I care about was very hard! The uncertainty of the whole thing was quite unnerving. It took about six weeks for me to calm down.”
When asked about her greatest challenges during this time, Karla states, “Without a doubt the hardest challenge was no income coming in. That is the scariest thing when having a family. The idle time wasn’t good, because it just gave me opportunities to worry about everything. The lack of interaction with other people—especially adults—was really hard for me. I love my three girls, but what I love most about my job are the people I get to build relationships with.”
When asked about unexpected blessings the past few months, Paula relates several instances: “I have gotten so many notes and gifts of money or gift cards. One customer messaged me with these words, ‘As long as I’m getting paid, you’re getting paid!’ and he shared money with me twice, giving me the full amount for his wife’s services. I have a note taped to my wall in my office that says, ‘Paula, praying that you sense God’s love and presence today.’ Just the other day I went to five stores trying to find specific items we are supposed to have for our reopening. I had very little luck and was very discouraged. But when I got home there was a card from one of my customers who is a Christ follower with a check enclosed for the full amount of her service and a precious note! I texted her to thank her and tell her God’s timing is always perfect—and it is!”
When Karla speaks about the rewards she has received during this season, she immediately points to the bonus time she was given with her three girls—a high schooler and two twins. She was able to spoil her family with some great cooking that they unfortunately got used to all too quickly. She shares, “Education is really important to me, and during this time I was able to take advantage of a few online classes. I also had a woman call me who told me I would never be replaced. After letting her husband cut her short hair, she had to order some scarves from Amazon. LOL!”
Both women comment on how much they have missed the people in their lives that make coming to work a joy. Paula says, “I have enjoyed watching church services online, and being entertained by people who have fun hitting all the emojis, but I have really missed seeing people’s smiles, and giving and receiving hugs. I have missed that a ton!”
Paula says that holding onto God’s promises has been the most helpful thing to her during this pandemic. She reflects, “This verse pretty well sums up how I feel: ‘Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; and in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, until these calamities have passed by’” (Psalm 57:1, NKJV).
Another helpful Scripture verse for Paula has been Psalm 143:8, which she hung in her bathroom so she would read it and hold onto it each morning: “Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you” (NIV).
Karla observes, “I think God is teaching us as a family that the pandemic has given us a reset button. It was time to slow down and get back to the fundamentals. We needed the reminder that family is the most important thing. We needed a break from the hustling around with all the activities and our kids going in all directions. Simple things like cooking together and eating together needed to happen again. Staying home meant helping out our neighbors and community. We had to distance ourselves from grandparents, which was very hard for us to do, because we love these special people and don’t want to take them for granted. Life is truly short, and God has taught me through this that this time with my family was precious, and I may never get time like this with them again.”
Paula concludes, “Trust. It all comes down to trust. My business made zero dollars for two months, but it’s OK. I am OK. God was faithful and we are OK. Better than OK, we are good.”