Purple Hair Transformation

Nathan before turning purple

"It's May 1st - I think I'll dye my hair!"

How did my 15-year-old celebrate May Day?  By dying his hair purple!

Yes, my soft-spoken, mild-mannered son now has wild purple hair.

And I love it!

He is so confident in who he is that he feels the freedom to express his quirky sense of humor and not worry what anyone thinks.

What a gift!

I wish I’d felt the same way when I was 15.

Nathan is on a journey to know himself – and to have some fun in the process.

Bleaching Nathan's hair so the color will take

Step One: bleach the hair so the color will take

My own journey of self-knowledge has taken many detours and wrong turns.  But the more deeply I know myself, the more deeply I am able to know God.

Or as David Benner says in The Gift of Being Yourself, “…if we find our true self we find God, and if we find God, we find our most authentic self.”

Benner is not advocating narcissistic navel-gazing.  He’s not saying that “I gotta be me,” as the song goes.

He’s saying that “as we become more and more like Christ, we become more uniquely our own true self.”

Knowing ourselves does not happen by creating a self, but by discovering a self.  Because, as Benner explains, “True identity is always a gift of God.”


Step Two: Wait for 50 minutes

Step Two: Wait for 50 minutes

So the more I know my true self, the more I know God.  And…

the more I know God, the more I know my true self.

I have only just begun to scratch the surface.

And so has Nathan.  But he’s off to a good start.  Not because he’s confident enough to wear purple hair without worrying what others think, but because he is growing

Step Three: Dry his bleached hair to prepare for the coloring

Step Three: Dry his bleached hair to prepare for the coloring

in a relationship with his creator.   This gives him the secure foundation from which to explore the vast landscape of himself.

I’m praying that Nathan continues to explore, and that in the process he is drawn deeper into a knowledge of the limitless God.  I pray that for myself – and for you – as well.  As Benner says, “Finding and living out your true self is fulfilling your destiny.”

These days, my journey of self-discovery involves finding and embracing my own true “voice.”  I believe one of my callings is to write – but to write using my own voice, not the wiser, wittier, or more clever voice of one of my friends or mentors.

The temptation to use a borrowed voice is strong.  The temptation to appear smarter or more spiritual is powerful.  No matter how far along the journey you may be.  But God

Step Four: Just add purple (eeek - I can't believe we're doing this!)

Step Four: Just add purple (eeek - I can't believe we're doing this!)

gave me my voice for a reason – and He wants me to use it.  I am the only one who can.

And there is much joy and freedom in simply being me.  With nearly 7 billion other individuals on the planet, I am the only me – and you are the only you.  God never runs out of creative juices to continually create one-of-a-kind people.  This is truly amazing!



Step Five: Let the color sit for 10 minutes

Step Five: Let the color sit for 10 minutes

Please take a moment and share a comment below about your own journey of knowing and fully being yourself.  

                        • Where are you tempted to use someone else’s “voice”?
                        • In what ways are you feeling more free these days to truly be an individual?
                        • How is this journey affecting your relationship with God?


Step Six: Enjoy being unique!

Step Six: Enjoy being unique!





  1. And in my opinion, it’s a beautiful voice. Thanks for the reminder of Benner’s words. And way to go Nathan! Real men wear purple!! 🙂

    • linda

      🙂 Benner is definitely a favorite! And yes, real men do wear purple – or any other color they like.

  2. You live these words, because you encourage me to let my voice be heard. Thank you! I frosted my son’s hair when he was the same age. The pictures would make great blackmail now…;-)

    • linda

      I forgot to put a note at the end of my post that I asked Nathan for permission to publish these photos. He enjoyed that I wanted to share them – so, no blackmail power there 🙂

      And I love that you are letting your voice be heard – you have many things the world needs to hear!

  3. Jann Alameda

    Oh my, when I saw him at church this morning, I was sure it was the temporary color – not permanent! It’s wild. Good for him and his uniqueness.
    Jann Alameda

    • Linda Sommerville

      It was fun watching people’s expressions when they say him! And he was loving it. 🙂

  4. Donna Chapman

    What a blessed kid to have parents that go along with his uniqueness.
    Hey with his fair skin, purple is definitely his color!!

  5. Linda Sommerville

    Purple is your color, too, Donna! Loving the purple eye patch – you’re my favorite pirate 🙂

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