I will admit to being a somewhat aggressive person. A git ‘er done kind of gal.
It’s often quite positive. Moving me towards goals I’d like to achieve. Jobs I want to finish.
I was told I’d need gum surgery to rebuild my receding gum line. The doctor explained that some genetics were involved. But I managed to exacerbate heredity with aggressive brushing. And flossing. Anything to keep my pearly whites pearly.
I went too far.
Not one to do anything halfway, I’d brush vigorously. Twice a day. And I’m the only one in my family to floss.
Life isn’t fair.
I had the surgery, and as gentle as the doctor was, the aftereffects aren’t fun. I’ve got this stent on the roof of my mouth that feels like someone glued a rock up there. It’s to protect the place where they cut all the gum tissue out to use on my bottom gums.
Seeing that in print makes me squeamish.
They’ve packed the area where they stitched on the tissue with white gunk. Soon he’ll remove my stitches and hopefully the graft will have taken.
Yes, I was Dale. The one with the big red nose.
I haven’t been able to chew well. Drinking coffee is dicey. The food group of choice is bland and soft.
My taste buds are wincing.
This will not last forever. I’m told soon I’ll be back to hot, black coffee and tossing back a handful of almonds.
Life throws me trials like this with regularity. Sometimes not as physically painful. Sometimes more emotionally devastating. Trials that I need to work through to grow as a person. To learn to deal with life as it comes my way. Rarely ways I’d choose to grow.
“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.” James 1:2-4
We don’t live in Utopia. Many try to make it that way, but we can’t craft perfection with what’s broken. Challenges in life will come. And if we persevere through them, we’ll grow in character and integrity. And faith.
The philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, said, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” Trials can make me or break me. My choice.
This mouth thing? It’ll go away. But trials will come. If not today, tomorrow.
I’m not alone in them. Jesus is with me through it all.
I need to chew on that for awhile.
First photo courtesy of lemesosdental.com.
Second photo courtesy of epicmickey.wikia.com.