Hitting a nerve
Here we are again sitting at the Orthodontist's office for my fifth's second round of braces.
Howdy friends. Happy Wednesday to you all.
Me and oral appointments have never "jived."
It sure doesn't help that they play songs like, "This is for all the lonely people," when I sit in the office....
Running late for one particular appointment I rear ended a Hummer.
Yeah, that car and appointment were toast.
Then there was the dentist appointment that was pouring cats and dogs.
And the wind just ripped the windshield wipers clean off under an overpass.
I have no idea how on earth we eventually made it there OR home for that matter.
So when you say "painful" I say "Tooth appointments."
And because my kids are "extra," they decided to have all kinds of spare teeth and hidden teeth just about in their sinuses.
Think I'm joking?
This fifth of mine grew a grade A genuine fang BETWEEN her two front teeth.
And yes, I called her "white fang" until it was pulled.
I myself have horrific memories of hygienist's just about sitting on me trying to pry my little kid mouth open for yet another root canal before 13.
I had this cute way of faking lockjaw as a kid.
Once I even remember a frustrated oral surgeon just leaving me to wake up from anesthesia on a huge overstuffed teddy bear because I was such a hand full.
Nothing about teeth or working on them brings any unicorn or rainbow mental pictures for anybody.
Well except for my oldest sister who actually IS the most adorable hygienist I have ever known. So thanks for keeping some cute in dentistry Dawn.
(I kid you not, while I type the radio is playing, "you take away the biggest part of me..." these lyrics at an orthodontist office is pure comedy for the taking.)
And in this terrible mix, I believe, is where we find the phrase "hitting a nerve."
I've personally HAD a dentist hit such a nerve and it is not on my top ten list of things to revisit.
Which is why you don't put yourself in situations where nerves are even close to someone hitting them.
I mean, no one in their right mind sets OUT to intentionally hit a nerve.
It just happens and everyone feels awful about it.
Especially the one with their mouth hanging wide open.
This is exactly what happened when I was going about my merry business, with I might add, a particularly great hair day.
Out of the blue something deep inside felt zinged.
When I experienced that triggering situation again it was there.
Pain from an exposed nerve I forgot I had.
I literally shook my head in some kind of disbelief.
I thought I had for goodness gracious finally visited that spot for the last time.
Made "peace" with the baggage there.
Immediately tears betrayed my stalwart face and my soul cried out and said, "Lord?"
"Why did the story of my life have this chapter that I don't like?"
I sat quiet which is usually anyone's first tip-off.
And I waited for Him.
I waited for He who knows me better than I know myself and knows how I despise answering questions at the Orthodontist's office or deep down in the soul-hiding places.
And there He was.
"Didn't I tell you that I would always be with you?"
There it was. No full answer. Just the fullness of himself.
Because He was enough then and He will still be enough looking out the window in a dirty van.
The Orthodontist calls me back to sigh and say that the tooth cannot be retrieved. It's just too far away.
He tells me with crossed arms that it's costly to continue.
That maybe a few years back we could have wished for something to have changed but not we just need to decide what to do.
I'm clutching my purse like a Mom who has dinner and deep hurts swirling around her and now needs to make a decision about a hope deferred.
And out of nowhere I hear it come out of these lips,
"Well, we will just trust the Lord for that."
My own words break through the fog of past disappointments and remind me that God's ways are higher than mine.
They are even higher than an adult tooth out of surgery's reach.
I finish with, "I just want her to feel confident in her smile, and I will take any steps necessary to make that happen."
I look at a weary fifteen-year-old and give her eyes that know disappointment.
I send her heaps of love through a surgical mask.
I am her parent.
No one cares about each and every hair on her head or tooth in her mouth like I do.
It may be messy, out of line, out of reach but it's mine and I love every inch of it.
And the Lord says "I understand."
"I had to do some work on your smile too."
"Some deep work. Check-ups are further apart as they are at the end of any process, but they are still necessary to make sure everything stays right where it should be."
"And when you come to this part of your story, I want you to be confident in your smile too."
So we both left our appointment with some hope tucked away for the next.