I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it before but orthodontistry is rich with analogies for life situations.
As an adult I’ve had to wear braces on my teeth, and they are teaching me so much.
The reason for wearing braces is to straighten things out. In my case, to stop the misalignment of my teeth causing me pain. (Do you see where I am heading ?)
There is no doubt that my life was misaligned a year ago. I was looking for love in the wrong places. The misalignment caused pain, not just to myself but to others.
These past months have been a straightening out process. A continuing adjustment and re-adjustment of the alignment. A sequence of small changes, leading to one day, the perfect smile ….
When a brace is on it is checked and adjusted every four or five weeks. Depending on the movement of the teeth, pressure is put on different areas. The actual tightening itself is painful. Each tooth hurts as the wire is fixed in place and the tension is added. Everything moves to a new position and although for a few days it hurts a great deal, after a while you become used to the new position. Eating is difficult until you learn how to do it with the new shape of things.
It’s just like my life. God keeps tightening the brace, adjusting the pressure, focussing on a different part of my life which needs to move or change.
On Friday the tightening of the two coincided – the real brace and the metaphorical life /God adjusted one.
It was hard for me to ignore the parallels. I guess when I think about how good God is at communicating to me visually, it should be no surprise that in this year of major personal adjustment I have in my mouth, a tangible, physical, reminder, of the greater work He is doing in my life.
Having a misaligned life has been incredibly painful. Although the process of repair has also hurt, it is, I know, for my good.
I don’t want to have the perfect smile at the end of my life. I want to see the perfect smile. 15 months ago I told the other that I didn’t want to have him in my life anymore because I wanted to run the race. This is still my goal. I want to see the face of God and see the perfect smile as He says these words to me,
This is a long term process. There are no quick fixes.
For now I am working on the re-alignment every day.
And I am looking forward to the perfect smile.