There are moments in life when everything comes to a stand still, when your optimism meets your pessimism and neither disposition has a complete hold on reality, when your faith is challenged but your fear isn’t indulged. It’s in these moments that you grasp the intensity of your reality, you understand EXACTLY what’s going on, how it affects both you and the people around you, along with both the negative and the positive outcomes of your situation. Sometimes you see just how bad things are; you realize that, despite your ability to find the good in everything, things are actually really bad, like, your family is a mess, you’re heart is shattered, your life is really going nowhere, or so it seems. Sometimes you see just how good things are; you realize that, despite all of the stress you’ve been under as of late, things are actually really good, like, everything is working out, you’re in love and it’s great, you’re safe and secure in everything, you see just how blessed you are.
Today, I found myself stuck in the former…but then, when I felt like I was teetering towards fear, God pulled me back and sent me into the latter, where I remain.
I had to drive myself to the dentist today. I really just can’t stand going to the dentist. I mean, the dentist is cool; I admire them for having the gumption to stick their hands in people’s mouths and clean their teeth for them. I personally wouldn’t have the stomach to do that…I barely have the stomach to clean out the kitchen garbage can. But it’s the process of sitting for an hour in a massage chair, which makes me have to fight to stay awake, and trying not to think about the fact that someone has their hands in my mouth. Thankfully, God has blessed me with great dentists who are very kind and talk to me when I can actually answer them (as in, NOT when they’re cleaning my teeth). I especially didn’t want to go today because 1) it’s the first time I’ve ever been told I have to drive myself to the dentist (I know, sorry, I’m just a baby about these kinds of things…driving myself to the doctor for the first time was a pretty big deal) and 2) my wisdom teeth are crowning.
Yup. I was entertaining the fear of being told I would have to have surgery on my mouth to have my wisdom teeth removed. THE DENTISTS ARE GOING TO EXTRACT WISDOM FROM MY MOUTH!!! Okay, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but still, needles near my mouth? The thought of it just makes me want to crawl into a hole and never come out. A lot of people had told me sometimes you don’t have to have them taken out; let’s just say I was praying that I was the exception.
As I drove Mom and Jimmy to school, it rained and rained and rained. But regardless of the rain, the weather was a blessing; it was supposed to be freezing rain mixed with snow (or some absolutely ridiculous combination like that), which would’ve been very dangerous. Plain rain? No problem 🙂 It was like God made the roads ready for me this morning. Another blessing is when Mom, when we were almost to school, told me she was taking the day off with me. I smiled, which was a very pathetic representation of my inner self doing back flips and jumping for joy. I was excited that I wouldn’t have to go to the dentist alone 🙂
So Jimmy went to school and Mom and I headed to Hamilton, where the dentist is. We were running late, behind a bus, before we could leave New Berlin. I was growing impatient, even though I didn’t really want to go in the first place. I leaned on the steering wheel and put my chin on the top as we inched forward. As I did so, my elbow hit the radio and Mandisa started singing Good Morning to me. I jerked up my head and smiled to myself, my heart warming as I recognized God’s touch.
It’s all going to be okay. Be patient.
Yes. I had been praying for patience. Praying for patience is actually a really stupid thing to do. I mean, if you REALLY need patience, then go for it, but praying for patience only brings opportunities to be patient. I’ve told this story before, but the last time I asked God for patience, my father gave me a puppy (Zorro) for my birthday…I didn’t get a good night’s sleep for a very long time, and I felt like a new mother…needless to say I haven’t prayed for patience in a very long time. But because I had indeed prayed for patience, I was able to see this as an opportunity to be patient. Did I totally win over the opportunity? No. Did I try? Most definitely.
We made it to the dentist five minutes late, but this wasn’t a problem: God had already worked everything out 🙂 As the appointment went on, Mr. Crowley by Ozzy Osbourne began playing over the intercom, and I have to admit the ominous organ at the beginning of the song made me feel a little nervous, a little like I was being experimented on in Dr. Frankenstein’s laboratory. But then, when a faster rock n’ roll song came on, and my dentist started cleaning my teeth to the beat of the music, I couldn’t help but relax and laugh a little.
At the end of the appointment, I was told, after having x-rays done, I would probably have to have surgery on my mouth to remove my wisdom teeth…I’m trying not to think about it too much.
Mom and I headed to Norwich: she had to take care of some things concerning welfare. It’s a shame, and I told her this, that every time I hear the word welfare, I cringe a little bit because all I can think of is the families who cheat the system, who refuse to go out and work for their money to support their families and at least try to stand on their own and instead just live off of government money. But then, after talking with Mom, I was reminded that welfare is for emergencies, when families are in a tough spot and need to use the tax dollars they’ve been feeding into the welfare system for years. It’s really an intelligent design…it’s just too bad that people won’t treat it the way it’s supposed to be.
While she did her thing, I went to the library and picked up my reading of The Two Towers. Oh how I’ve missed Frodo and Sam and there awkward, tense, but slightly humorous experiences with Gollum and Faramir. I like Faramir in the book more than I do in the movie; in the movie he’s kind of a jerk, but in the book he’s really awesome, mostly because he’s very kind to the hobbits and even sends them on their way with lots of food and stuffs. I also like him in the book because he totally sees right through Gollum, just like Sam, only more so.
ANYWAY (my nerd moment is over), I also tried applying for a job next semester. It was a fun process though, because I wasn’t applying out of worry, but rather out of want. I’m really not worried about money for the spring semester; God’s got me covered if I’m not being a goofball about my finances. I just want to know I can do it, work I mean. I want to have something to do. I applied for the job of an Admissions Tour Guide, though I’ll probably be one of those ultra peppy guides…but that’s okay 🙂 It’s going to be fun, and there are ten positions available, so I think my chances are pretty high. But then again, chance ain’t got nothin’ to do with it; it all depends on what God’s plan is.
When we returned home I made apple turnovers and then went to visit Aunt Joan. I love my Aunt Joan 🙂 she’s awesome. Then I sat and relaxed, watching Once Upon A Time and playing around with Sophie until Gracie came home and sat in with me. The rest of the night was nice, I thought. Dad and Jimmy were at wrestling practice, so Gracie, Mom, and I were able to watch No Reservations while eating meat loaf and potato corn cakes smothered in sour cream. At one point I called a family friend (Mom said that they often skied) to ask about borrowing some of her ski gear. The phone conversation ended with my being invited to go skiing for free on Saturday…so I’ll get a taste of what skiing is like before I go skiing with my church people…because that totally wasn’t a God thing or anything. Overall, the evening was rather pleasant 🙂
But then, when all of us were home, the TV was off, Mom and I were playing Words With Friends, and Dad was eating dinner, I was hit with our/my situation all at once. My family is going through rough waters right now; there are things we can and can’t do and that’s all there is to it; I don’t know if I’ll have a job after college; I have to do this, that, and the other thing. But in the same moment, all of it seemed to fade away, and I remembered that no matter what happens within the walls of my house, within the boundaries of my family, while I’m in college, and when I’m out of college, God will still be there. God will still be taking care of me even when I don’t think He is. He will still be with me, even if I end up in a cardboard box on the side of the road (which is very unlikely). I know that even if all of my worst fears come true, He will vanquish all of them in my heart so that I can stand during that day, so that I can still have hope when all hope is gone. I have nothing to fear.
“Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against (all) the strategies and deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending with only physical opponents] but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly sphere.” —Ephesians 6:11, 12, AMP