Have you ever bitten off more than you can chew? I mean that literally. From my years of dental procedures, I’m learning the importance of an aligned bite. If the bite isn’t right, you are in pain. The jaw bone is connected to the neck bone. If the joints in the jaw aren’t happy, the neck isn’t happy. If the neck isn’t happy, the brain isn’t happy. When the brain isn’t happy you have major depressive disorder. When you have major depressive disorder, you struggle to push through every day. You wish you could get away from the pain and you try to not focus on yourself, but chronic pain is relentless, day in and day out. Everything is an effort. Comfort food is no longer a comfort.
When people ask how I’m doing, what should I say? The polite but dishonest answer is, “Fine!” Am I truthful and go into how badly I feel? I guess it depends on who is asking the question.
Terry and I played The Game of Life with the grandkids one night. Our grandson, Logan, chose to take the shorter route to begin the game and soon discovered that he should have taken the longer route to get his career. His sister, Maya, took the long route and was rewarded with a higher income than Logan. He wanted a do over. He made us laugh and we gave him a do over.
I want a do over with my mouth. I would have brushed my teeth three times a day and ate a lot less sugar. Dental floss would have been my best friend. This may have helped some, but inherently and genetically, bad teeth run in my family.
When Terry was a little boy, he wanted to be a dentist when he grew up. I think God was trying to warn and prepare him for being married to me. He should have listened. I told him, he should have looked in my mouth and checked out my teeth before deciding to marry me. His answer was very sweet! He said, “You never look a gift horse in the mouth. And you are a gift from God to me.”
I think if we are honest, we would all like a do over in one area or another in our lives. We live in a broken world with frail human bodies that aren’t as perfect as we want them to be. I think we all have an ideal picture of what our lives should be like…then real life happens.
For years I carried false guilt around I wasn’t meant to carry. I used to believe God was mad at me for being undisciplined so He punished me with pain. Oh I tried so hard to be disciplined enough to win back His favor so I could become healthy once more. Even though discipline can be a good thing, it didn’t change my heart. I continued to judge myself under my standard of thinking, believing they were God’s standards.
As a child, I perceived being weak as a bad thing. I believed I had to be strong emotionally and physically to be loved. I compared myself to others (it came as natural as breathing) and I always came up less than. I played it well and appeared to lead a disciplined life. On the outside everyone thought I was a good girl — but internally, I was as rebellious as they come. I threw away the lock and key on the inside of my heart. I couldn’t escape the shame and ugliness I felt, believing no one could understand, connect with, or love me if they really knew what was inside. Over the course of many years, I discovered I could never be disciplined enough or do enough to win God’s favor.
For now, physical pain is my constant companion but false guilt doesn’t need to be. Pain and suffering is a direct result of our fallen world. I can’t control that. False guilt is Satan’s way of distracting me from being all I can be in Christ. I can control that by understanding and applying what God tells me through his Word.
GOD SAYS TO US…
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. for our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4: 16-18
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God–not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2: 8-9
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5: 17
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:1