I used to think the one thing I had going for me was my smile. Which made my snow-tubing accident back in February that much more painful. As a kid, my teeth were really bad. I could actually fit my pinkie between my two front teeth---yikes! But five years of braces as a teenager, complete with nighttime "headgear", took care of all that.
Then I went and bashed my face on the back of a friend's head while flying down a snowy hill on a tube. And my teeth were "jacked up" once again.
The x-rays showed that I'd broken the bone under my top gums. My skull, basically. So after living 31 years without a single broken bone, I went and broke my face!
After some amazing dental magic (and strong pain relievers!), my teeth were once again back where they should be, and held in place with pseudo braces.
I looked 14 again. Lovely.
I was pretty self-conscious... Embarrassed to smile even. But the dentist seemed hopeful that things would be healed enough for the braces to come off before my fundraising trip.
When I went back in to get them removed, the x-ray still showed a hairline fracture. The dentist said the braces needed to stay on.
Till the end of my trip.
I cried. I was so distraught over doing all this traveling, and having all these meetings, with braces on my teeth. There were already so many other factors making the trip extremely difficult for me, and now I lost my smile too.
What's that verse? Pride comes before braces a fall? Yeah. Lesson learned.
It hasn't been as bad as I'd anticipated, although I'm still pretty self-conscious when I meet with people. And I'm crazy paranoid about getting stuff stuck in them when I eat. (Mostly because it's actually happened!)
But all things considered, my braces have been the least of my challenges over the past six weeks.
So they remind me to keep things in perspective. To walk humbly. To remember that God-confidence far outweighs self-confidence.
They remind me that He is in control even when things feel out of control.
And that I should wear a helmet next time I snow-tube.
Got a good story about braces or a broken bone? I can't wait to hear it!