Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Divine Root Canal - Part I

Yes, you read that right… I just used the words "divine" and "root canal" in the same sentence. This morning, I spent two and a half hours laying on my back and getting my tooth drilled to bits, and it was, in a word, divine. Well, mostly. It took a few painful pricks to get the novocaine level correct, but once that was under control it actually turned out to be a rather good experience. Aside from my jaw being cranked open (from which I am still sore) and some sounds that made the hair on my arms stand on end, I actually rather enjoyed the experience.

Oh yeah, did I mention that I had a fair amount of nitrous oxide running through my nose? Yeah, that helped. In fact, I don't think I have been that relaxed since becoming a mom… massages are great but certainly do not relax a person to that level! I had my earphones in, and worship music playing at full blast. Sure, I felt the pressure and rooting around going on in my mouth, but I closed by eyes and let my body sink into that chair… and then I just… prayed.

I think I have always been a bit of an unconventional pray-er. Like most people, I pray before meals and I pray before bed (often falling asleep in the middle), but my really good prayers are usually when I'm driving down the road, talking out loud to God as if He was in the car, or running down the road, praising Him for giving me a body that can move that way. I love to swim laps, simply because the stillness under the water takes the distractions of the world away and I feel like I can hear myself think and form my thoughts into prayer. And when my babies were newborns, it was during those wee hours of the morning when I was doing night-feeds, sleep-deprived and weary. It's these moments when I can find a little bit of isolation, quiet, peace, and stillness, that don't come around often now that I have two rambunctious children under three… and today, with the help of something very unconventional, I found my quiet, prayed a lot, and felt His presence and goodness wash over me… all during a root canal!

I think there are certain moments of clarity in a person's life, when the things that they have been internally debating get definitive answers. I can't really explain it, but today I felt it, and it's been awhile. And oddly enough, it was very much all related to this blog. Maybe you've noticed and maybe you don't care, but since last spring I haven't really posted all that much. In fact, I haven't even wanted to, and I think it's because I lost my way as to what I wanted to blog about. What started out as a blog that was primarily about the everyday going-on's of our family was slowly morphing into one that was more ministry-related. And without letting anyone know, I spent a lot of my time worrying about whether that was okay, whether people who read it would stop reading it, whether anything I wrote was any good, but mainly, whether or not I was qualified to put anything related to the Bible out on the Internet. My husband is a preacher, and a darn good one at that, and so I felt that maybe I should leave it to him. I mean, he spends far more time in the Word (as well as countless other books and references) than I do, and if I can't keep up with that pace, then quite frankly I probably shouldn't attempt to minister to anyone at all. Besides, there are thousands of wonderful blogs out there spreading God's word, so why should I bother? These bloggers are all far smarter than me, far more educated in theology, and far more consistent… I am just not cut out to be heading in that direction.

But today as I embedded myself within my cranked-up worship tunes, I was reminded of that old phrase that God does not call the equipped, but He equips the called. I distinctly realized that when my husband was called into ministry, so was I, whether I thought I was ready for it or not! Because of his position, people would be looking to me for spiritual guidance, even though I am not a Bible scholar! In fact, once I made that jump and called myself a Christian, it actually became my responsibility to spread the news of His great love, not keep it to myself! And if you're in that boat, it's actually your calling, too- "equipped" or not! 

And so it was decided… this blog will probably continue to move in that direction, having a heavier ministry focus than I ever intended, but that's just what feels right. And I'm going to stop putting so much unnecessary pressure on myself… if I post once a month or once a day, what does it matter? I just think it's important to write when something is on my heart and I feel I have something worthwhile to share (which has happened a lot lately, but yet I continued to avoid sitting down to write). I do intend to post about the kids and some fun things we do here and there, but I don't think I can avoid this responsibility any longer, and I cannot be afraid of what others think. If people stop reading, so be it. If people think I've become a "religious nut," oh well. Right now in my life I am surrounded by so many people who are hurting, so many who need prayer, so many who have struggles that are too enormous for me to even wrap my brain around, and I realize that worrying about what others think in order to keep this all to myself seems trivial and petty. I love Jesus. I love people. I love seeing the life change and blessings that I have witnessed when a person gets into a right relationship with the Creator. So if that makes me some sort of nut, I'm just going to have to be okay with it.

I guess I just wanted to give my usual (seven or so) readers some sort of fair warning that this chick is going down this road. I've decided that I'm ready to put myself out there, risking any negative feedback that may come with it. Because in the end, I think it's worth it.

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest… call it free therapy if you will. And please know that I do not condone the use of laughing gas to enhance one's prayer life (or any other part of life for that matter)… it just happened to help me today under the circumstances. And seriously, I definitely do not want to try to have a root canal without it! Based on how sore my jaw is, I can only imagine what went on in there! I have a few more thoughts to share later from this dental experience, hence why this is titled "Part I," but I think this is enough crazy insight for one day. Who would have ever thought that all this (and more) could come from a root canal!?!? God really can use anything for His glory!