Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Tooth and the Truth

We have reached that wonderful stage in my first grader's life when teeth are almost constantly falling out of her sweet, blonde head. It seems like as soon as one tooth makes its exit from her gum line, she announces that yet another tooth is beginning to wiggle. As her mother (who, until recently, became nauseous at the sight of teeth dangling by a thread), I have been forced to put on my big girl pants and yank each tooth the pre-approved time by my daughter...while she screams at the top of her lungs. These precious moments that we share are not particularly my favorite.

As a matter of fact, the most traumatic tooth-pulling experience occurred just a few weeks ago, and it was a family affair. Eden had wiggled and wiggled one of her teeth until it was clinging to life in the front of her mouth. She sat down next to me and whimpered to let me know that the hour had arrived. However, when I tried to grab hold of the offending tooth, she shrieked and pulled back in fright. I made a few other attempts to no avail. Any other movement in her direction only served to fan the flame of her terror. I called in back up, and my husband came over to work his daddy magic and calm her fears. This was surprisingly unsuccessful. We ended up carefully trying to hold her still so I could get a good grasp on her tooth. She got so upset that she inadvertently kicked her little sister in the arm during the drama. And the tooth remained.

She cried herself to sleep. Let me rephrase that. She howled and wailed herself to sleep. She was so afraid of enduring one moment's worth of pain that she simply refused to let me give her the relief she so desperately desired. She wanted the end result without the unpleasant yet necessary process. By midmorning the next day, the tooth gave up its will to live and simply fell into her mouth. Eden heaved a huge sigh of relief as she realized that the trying time had come to an end...and so did I.

Do you ever hang on to needless things, trying desperately to avoid even the slightest amount of pain? I surely do. Maybe it is a worry or a fear that keeps you up at night. Maybe there is a sin that continues to drag you away from the peace and hope of true forgiveness. Maybe there is a broken relationship fueled by pride that needs mending. Somehow, the trouble of hanging on and enduring the unpleasantness seems to outweigh the impending pain that might occur to release it into the open hands of the Savior. The enemy wants you to be so burdened that you are rendered ineffective, but Jesus came so that we "may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10) Whatever it is in your life, let it go. Give it to Him.