A few years ago I started having really bad earaches, I went to an ENT to figure out what was going on only to discover nothing was wrong with my ear. In fact, the problem was with my jaw, my jaw is so misaligned and my bite is so poor that it is pulling on my ear canal and causing all the pain. I’ve had jaw popping & clicking for years but just never put it all together that there was a real issue to get figured out. So, I was given the answer…first braces, then jaw surgery. Got several opinions and all with the same answer. I didn’t understand.
I’m going to be really honest with you, when I got the answer about needing braces my pride and my fear took over. My mouth is my instrument; I can’t take the chance nor the risk of anything hindering me from singing. I’ve heard the stories of the pain caused by braces, about how they cut up your mouth, etc. and I just can’t deal with that I thought to myself. I couldn’t imagine having jaw surgery and going through that recovery; it would have me wired shut for at least two weeks. This just couldn’t be God’s plan for me I thought. But as I said, it wasn’t just my fear that took over, it was my pride too. I thought about how silly I would look, how foolish I would feel being older and having braces, how weird it will look up on the screens at Church (keeping it real). It all got the best of me and I disregarded the advice of the Doctors because I just didn’t understand.
Two years had passed and the pain in my jaw and ear finally got so bad I couldn’t take it anymore, I had to look past my pride, my fear and my own understanding. And four weeks ago…I got braces. The plan is to have braces for a year, have jaw surgery and then braces for another year. The first week and a half was literally awful, the pain was worse than I imagined it could be, my mouth got so cut up even with wax, I felt silly, I couldn’t smile without my lips getting caught on my braces, I was miserable. I went in for a checkup after 1 week and the Doctor asked how I was doing…and this was my direct quote “I AM MISERABLE!!!” He said he was sorry that I was miserable but he needed me to be “miserable but determined.” He asked if I can do that “Can you be miserable and determined?”
When he said that, God spoke to my heart my favorite verse, Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
This whole 2 year ordeal of resisting the plan only because I had been wanting to understand so badly, I leaned so much on what I “thought” was and wasn’t God’s plan and I made decisions in fear…it was now time to trust. So, I looked at the Doctor and said, “Yes, I can be miserable and determined.” Several days later my pain subsided, my cuts healed, I started getting adjusted, except for still not being able to get my lips to go down normally after smiling but I’ll figure it out sooner or later hahaha. I know that a tough season is ahead of me, more seasons of pain, and no matter how miserable, I’m determined to make it through!
You may be going through much tougher situations or circumstances than braces so I’d love to encourage you today…I’m so sorry if you are miserable but could I challenge you to be determined like I was challenged. Be determined to trust that God is with you! Be determined to follow after Him! Be determined to believe that He will guide you through!