As some of you may know, I have ALOT of teeth and jaw issues. Just out of nowhere. I do everything I am supposed to do, brush, floss, rinse 2 or 3 times daily. I wear my mouth guard at night for my TMJ/ TMD... the list goes on. My physical body is just a mess most days and it has been ten years of this. But praise God that He has shown me things in the last few months which have led to a lot of healing. However, recently I have had an abscess under a tooth I had root canaled 2 years ago. I was in danger of losing the tooth but I told the endodontist that I was staying firm in faith and to try to save it. So last week I had phase 1 of 2 of the second root canal! This is a whole other story, however I would like you to know that it has cost my husband and I THOUSANDS of dollars in the last few years that we don't have. So whenever I wake up in pain, I immediately go to a place of anger and defeat. I get so angry that sometimes I even question God. Why would a God so loving and forgiving give me such burdens to bear and so much pain? WHY??!!!!!!
First lesson, don't ever question God.
Now, last week after a routine dental appt. to get yet another mouth guard, I started to have pain in the upper right of my mouth. Cold sensitive and painful tooth with what looked to be an abscess on it. I spent the entire weekend in pain...praying that it wasn't going to be another root canal. This would be my 4th in 2 years. And last week I had spent 1,100 dollars in two hours on the other root canal and new night guard. I was pretty pissed off. I kept my appt for today and just got through it.
Last night Grace and I were doing our nightly routine of shower, comb hair, get pj's on and brush and rinse. I started to brush and she was in tears. Tears of pain. The first place I went was anger. Why now would my 3 1/2 year old be in pain???!!! I looked in her mouth and saw several areas that were questionable. Some discoloration in all of her molars and lots of grooves from her grinding. My eyes saw cavities. My heart saw pain and suffering. How could this be?I put my baby into bed and just felt sick. How could I have let this happen to her? I am such a horrible mother. Why didn't I see this? What is wrong with me?
We woke up this morning and I packed us to go to my dentist appt. For some reason I packed Lucy like she was going to be gone all day even though we were only going for an hour. Thank God for that. We got in the car and headed out. Our street was being worked on so I had to take a detour. The detour led me to the back roads by our church. I was punching in the gps and driving along and I saw the lights. I have NEVER gotten a ticket in my life and I have not been pulled over since I was 16 years old. The cop came to the window and told me I was doing 40 in a 30. I told him I was so sorry and that I had a lot on my mind. I said I understand I was wrong, I am sorry and I have nothing else to say.I gave him my stuff and he went to his car.
He was gone a LONG time. Long enough for this to happen...
I cried. Of course I cried but not in a "I just got pulled over" kinda way. I found myself praying for mercy. I don't think I have ever done this in my life. I told God how sorry I was and that I had no excuse. I just said I'm sorry and I am asking for mercy.
Then I started to think about Grace. And it was as if a movie was playing in my head. A series of events that have taken place in the last 3 1/2 years that have been part of my story. The story that He is writing with my life.
I saw being pregnant with Grace and moving across the country at 32 weeks pregnant.
I saw my husband struggling through Cardio tech school not knowing if it was the right choice for him. Supporting him through a very tough time in his life.
I saw my marriage falling apart.
I saw moving back across the country with my baby and husband for his new job with the marines.
I saw being in such a huge depression with a very colicky baby that I needed to be medicated.
I saw panic attacks and horrible withdrawls from medication when I quit and chose Jesus.
I saw my husband deployed to war for the second time and being home alone, with those withdrawls and my baby.
Then I saw buying our first home and struggling financially.
I saw being pregnant with our second baby and my husband deployed to the war for the third time.
I saw taking care of my 3 year old while pregnant, alone.
I saw giving birth to our Lucy, alone. I saw myself with my two babies all alone trying to survive until my husband came home.
I saw myself having surgery for my skin disease which left me with an 8 inch incision in my groin.
I saw myself recovering over the 3 months with no pain meds because I was nursing.
I saw my incision constantly opening up and having to pack it myself every night while taking care of my Grace and nursing my Lucy, keeping meals on the table and a clean house. All while I had packing a gauze stuffed into my pants everyday, barely walking...
I saw how heavy my burden was the last three years. How many trials I had and how many I had made it through by the Grace of God.
I wept in the car while that cop ran my plates. All I heard was God telling me, its okay Melissa, you have had quite the three years. And you made it. I tested you and layed things on you, all for your good. Look where you are! Look at the character I have painted in you. Look at the courage you have because you had to be courageous! I know its been rough for you, but I was with you every step of the way. My mercy is there for you. You have neglected your body and sometimes the precious body of your Grace. There were some nights you were so tired with your newborn that Grace fell asleep...you didn't brush her teeth every night then. And there were some years Melissa that you didn't treat the temple I gave you, like you should. Some nights you went to sleep with so much worry that you clenched your teeth and grinded them so hard that all you had was pain. But now you trust me! There is no more need to worry. You know what happens now when you don't put all of your faith in me. I knew all of these events would bring you to the edge, but I needed to do that so that you could see right now! So that you could see how everything I allow, works for your good. My child, I give you mercy today.
The cop came back, and gave me a warning.
We showed up to my dentist with my eyes swollen and my heart heavy. I just didn't have time to process all that God was saying to me. We took an x ray but before my dentist came in I just prayed. I need mercy again Lord. I have not been living within your freedom for so many years please set me free from this tooth pain and the financial burden! Thank you for setting me free. Thank you for showing me that going to sleep every night grinding away my teeth is just causing me to live in pain and its all because I have failed to give you all of me. I have failed to trust you with all my heart and truly believe that all things work for my good.
It was just an ulcer. Thank you God for your mercy.
I pulled one of the girls aside and began to explain my concerns about Grace. My poor baby is in pain brushing her teeth. I have not been the mom I should have and taken her to the dentist. She has been low on the priority list in that area. She is having pain and I see cavities. Please help me, she has no dental insurance because they are not accepting new enrollment. Our dental plan is switching and another company is picking it up. Her benefits start May 1. I have NO MORE MONEY!
She recommended a pediatric dentist and off we went. Yes, that very second we drove there. We walked in and again, I cried. Explaining all of this to the poor receptionist. It was 12 noon and they could see her at 2. I explained that she didn't have any benefits yet and I was paying for it in cash. Like that would make a difference...I called my husband and told him that was the plan and to be aware of another hefty dental bill. I asked him to pray for Grace as she hates the doctor or anyone touching her.
We went to lunch, drove around then came back and played in the waiting room. It was so cool, a room full of planets and games and tree house etc...Grace loved it. But not the actual sit in the chair part. We got one x ray and then she threw a fit. Screaming, scared and angry in pain. I understood. I have been there. Finally we all had her pinned down after many attempts of cutesy voices and toys, it was down to business. Again I prayed over her. Lord please don't let my baby suffer because I have not been the best. Please have mercy on me for not always taking care of our bodies the way we should. I have no excuse. I have lived a life of fear and for that reason I tend to neglect things like doctors and dentists because in the past I have had the mantra " if I don't go, there is nothing wrong." I guess for so many years I was used to so much disease and pain that I just wanted it all to go away so we didn't go.
It is an ulcer at the top of her upper gum line.
What??? Yes, an ulcer. Just like me, in the same spot. She said she saw a few teenie tiny cavities on her molars but it all looked good, just the big angry ulcer which was causing all her pain. And her cavities? We would take care of them next visit after some meds...so she could relax.
I explained to her that we didn't have insurance today for Grace and that I would be paying for the exam and x rays. She grabbed my hand and pulled me in for a hug. Don't worry sweetie we will take care of today's visit for you. You don't have to pay anything. And we will see you next month when she does have insurance to get more xrays and fill some cavities.
I cant even begin to tell you the release and trust and love that happened to me today. I will never be able to express to you what today was for me. But what I do want to express is that God is very real and He desires for us to run from whatever our trouble is, repent, and receive His mercy and grace. Nothing I ever do on this earth, no amount of money, no volunteer work, nothing I do makes me deserve this anymore than you. There are times in life when the burden is heavy. He was aware of this even before we even existed. And there are times when we sin. Times when we neglect. Times when we fall short. But nothing is ever given to us that isn't part of the story. Every single thing that you will experience, favor or trial, is for the constant growing and shaping of our character. Every trial gives us new experiences to look back on for when we face trials in the future. It took me 30 years to understand how much God loves me. A rough childhood, lots of trials in marriage and physical disease clouded that love. But today was a day of truly receiving Gods love without anything to give Him in return. I have nothing to offer Him that could repay what He has done and is doing for me. And surely nothing I have will ever pay for what Jesus did on the cross. But yet, just like that, in a flash, God is there to forgive and make my wrongs right. All I needed to do was stop making excuses, ask for help, put my trust into Him and move on.
I pray that if you are going through some trials in your life right now, that you might look to the cross. Leave your burden with Jesus. Understand that everything works for your good. Ask God to examine your heart and show you where you could be better. Maybe you need to forgive. Maybe you need help with anger...maybe you have a food addiction. Maybe you worry all the time, just like me. As Easter approaches this week, I pray that you really understand what happened on that Cross. All of that was for YOU. Choose to lay down your sin, your fears...your burdens, your heavy heart. Choose to live in Christs love and Grace and Mercy.
Run from your sin. Run at such a pace that satan cant catch up.
Ask for forgivness and move on.
For an illistration of Mercy click here
For some great scripture on trials and tribulations click here
Psalm 103Of David.
Praise the LORD, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the LORD, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him;
for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
the LORD’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
The LORD has established his throne in heaven,
and his kingdom rules over all.
Praise the LORD, you his angels,
you mighty ones who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
Praise the LORD, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
Praise the LORD, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the LORD, my soul.