I went to the orthodontist today.
Not something I thought I would say at my age. You see, I had braces in middle school and thought that stage of my life was over. Well, recently my teeth started shifting and it was messing up my bite. The orthodontist said it was a necessity to change it because eventually it would affect more than just the straightness of my teeth. Sigh.
So, today my daughter and I bonded over our shared orthodontist visit. Again, I was happy to just be the mother of an orthodontic patient and not THE patient.
Everyone in the office kept asking me if I was nervous about starting treatment. I hesitated after a few asks. No, I’m not nervous. But, I do wish I could just jump 7 months into the future and avoid the whole process! Already my mouth is aching and the appliance in my mouth is making sores on my upper lip. Not to mention the lisp when I speak and eating is awkward. Oh, the process. I don’t like the process.
Have you ever felt like that?! It makes me realize I feel that way about a lot of things. If only I could jump from point A to point Z and miss everything in between. Who needs the other 24 letters of the alphabet anyway?! But, isn’t it in the process that God refines and defines our character?
For the past few years our family has started a tradition. We take a family spring break trip and drive, so that we can see the sites along the way. When I look back over those trips, some of my favorite memories — the ones that stand out in my mind, are the ones that were in the in-between moments.
It’s not always the final destination, but the journey along the way.
Which makes me wonder what God will do during this process. Over these next 7 months as visits to the orthodontist become a regular thing for me, what does God want to teach me? Even apart from the orthodontist…if I just bi-passed 7 months, I would miss birthdays and vacations and sweet moments that I wouldn’t dream of missing.
The lesson I’m learning through all of this is it’s the perspective during the process is key. If I keep my eyes on Jesus — seeing it through His eyes — everything changes. Instead of seeing the world through a narrow lens, it’s all-of-a-sudden a panoramic view. My orthodontist appointment now becomes an opportunity to befriend everyone who works there and build relationships with them. The way I handle hard things becomes an example to my kids about how to navigate life when things don’t go the way you want them to.
God wants to use everything in our life for His glory…
We just have to be willing to go through the process.