My 9-year-old son, Sam, just got a retainer.
I always wanted one of those cool things, but my dentist didn’t think I needed it. So as a kid, I used to unfold a paperclip and make it fit around my front teeth and act like I had one.
Don’t laugh. You did the same thing.
Earlier this week, Sam got his retainer tightened. So much so, it made his teeth ache and it proved difficult to get in and out of his mouth.
The idea behind tightening it so much is to create noticeable movement in his teeth.
For the dentist to get Sam’s teeth to be in their right spaces and places, he needs to make them move. Unfortunately, they won’t move on their own.
- Asking them to move won’t make it happen.
- Suggesting they move won’t work.
- Thinking about moving them won’t make them budge.
It takes this active retainer with its springs and wires to bring his teeth to the place they need to be. To the place they were designed to be. To the place where they are the most effective.
Necessary? Without a doubt.
Sisters, like that retainer is working to shift my son’s teeth… God uses situations and circumstances in our lives to move us and change us and make us more like Him.
- He used a broken marriage to teach me that I needed to give up control. (Gulp)
- He used a cancer diagnosis to teach me radical trust.
- He used hurtful judgements to teach me not to compromise who He’s called me to be.
- He used painful friendships to teach me to let Him defend my name.
- He is using our current financial storm to teach me to allow my husband to lead.
Sisters, we can wallow in self-pity when we find ourselves surrounded by chaos… or we can ask God to show us what He needs us to see.
In other words, we can choose to be part of the process or part of the problem.
I’ve been both. And trust me, I really like being a part of the process much better. But it costs me something: my willingness and effort.
If Sam doesn’t wear his retainer, it can’t do it’s job. If he decides it hurts too much to put in his mouth, his teeth won’t align.
Regardless of the pain it causes, Sam knows it’s a process that needs to happen. And he knows that once the retainer has done it’s work, things will be as they should.
What a great lesson.
When life comes at you full speed and circumstances seem too much to handle, you have a decision to make. Will you be a part of the process or part of the problem?
The choice, my friend, is yours.
Father, thank You for loving me enough to not leave me where I am. Thank You for caring for me enough to want me to be better. Thank You for helping me live free from my own bondage. Lord, I am ready to be a part of the process and I ask You to give me the spiritual eyes to see what You are doing in my life. Without any doubt, I trust You with my life and my circumstances. Help me navigate through with steadfast faith. Amen.