Saturday, January 15, 2011

Comfort


It was only a tooth. A molar. One I’ve carried around in my mouth for decades.

When the dentist gave me the choice of saving it for $2200 or extracting it without anesthesia for $220, I had no choice.

“Pull it," I said, and then bit my lip, trying not to cry, all the way home.

My husband agreed to wait for me in the outer office on the day of the appointment.

The assistant called my name and led me to the room in the far corner of the building, put a show on the computer TV about abused dogs and left me to wait.

An hour later, shaking from some ingredient in the Novocain, I smiled as the dentist returned.

“A few tugs, and you’ll be done,” he promised.

He then began what I can only describe as medieval torture.

“We’ll need to cut the tooth in half first.”

No, he hadn’t mentioned that part at the consult.

Soon I smelled the odor of burnt hair. Only it was bone.

When four hands found my mouth and the tugging began in earnest, I tried to clear my mind by praying.

Then I thought of the unexpected letter that had arrived in my mailbox only minutes before I left home.

My heart beat slowed.

A writer I haven’t seen in two years, who used to attend my group, mailed me a copy of her story that had been published. Her first published story. One I’d helped her edit. She wanted to say thank you. When I last saw her, she’d been diagnosed with cancer. Now she was a published writer, healthy.

My jaw relaxed.

As I pressed my head against the back of the chair, waiting for that moment when the dentist told me I could leave, I couldn’t help but be in awe of God’s timing again.

The Great Comforter.

When was the last time you felt God comforting you?

48 comments:

Joanne Sher said...

Just this past week. A HUGE accomplishment minutes before a potentially difficult outcome. He is so good.

Rhonda Schrock said...

I'm not sure about comfort, exactly, but I hear His voice constantly throughout the day. I see His hand moving, too, in so many seeming "coincidences" that aren't if you have the kind of eyes that can see. I'm so thankful for the Holy Spirit!

Hope you're feeling better now, my friend.

Technonana said...

Every time I get frustrated with this contraption on my left arm!
He reminded me the week after my surgery just how blessed I trully am.
As my son n I sat waitng to see my doc. We sat looking out of the window. A pickup truck pulled up. A lady probably in her 70's n her husband who seemed a good bit older got out of the truck. The first thing I noticed was that inspite of the cold weather all he had on was a t-shirt n jeans. Then she stepped around the back of the truck to help him put on a button up shirt n jacket, WITH her left hand, because like me she too had broken her wrist. Then he helps her in the docs office, turns to her n says, 'I'm going back for my oxygen.' My son turn to me n said, "NOW THEY NEED HELP!"

Ann Best said...

I've been comforted so many times lately by HIM!!

I'll remember this story the next time I'm in the dentist's chair. Yes, this is the ultimate comfort.

Mary Anne Gruen said...

Very smart. Finding a blessing that outweighed the pain. I'm so glad for both you and your friend.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Terri -

You're so brave!

The Great Comforter is with me all the time, reassuring, guiding, protecting, and calming my fears.

Blessings,
Susan :)

Just Be Real said...

I went through exactly what you described Terri. I do not recall if I thought of something at the time.... I just kept on praying for the pulling to be over. Blessings.

Kenda said...

Oh, Terri, I'm so glad I read to the end of the story. I was cringing for you all the way up to there--then relaxed. God reassures us in so many different ways! What a neat story... Recently I felt His Comfort when my mom was in the hospital and, worried about my 88 yr.old father still at home, found out Dad was coping better than expected. That was a wonderful comfort.

Hope you're feeling better by now :-)

Susan said...

So glad the tooth pulling is o-v-e-r for you, Terri.

Last time I felt God's comfort? Today, at the funeral of my beloved aunt. I felt assured she was, at last, in His loving arms in Paradise. Susan

Susan said...

So glad the tooth pulling is o-v-e-r for you, Terri.

Last time I felt God's comfort? Today, at the funeral of my beloved aunt. I felt assured she was, at last, in His loving arms in Paradise. Susan

Deb Shucka said...

Oh, I'm so sorry you had to go through dental hell. And so in awe that you found God's comfort even there.

In these weeks of grieving, I've felt God's comfort more deeply than ever before in my life - in great part through the words and love of others.

So cool about your friend - lot's to celebrate there.

Lin Floyd said...

wow I felt your pain-I hate going to the dentist....even more than the gynecologist!!!

B. WHITTINGTON said...

That was a difficult decision to make and one in this economy that we are all having to make.
I'm not big on the pain of tooth pulling, I had a lot of dental work done when I was younger.
The timing of that letter was the work of our heavenly father.
Blessings to you and yours.
Barb

Jan Cline said...

Each time I am hit with a certian reoccuring family situation, He comes to my rescue - He calms my fears and reminds me that He is in control. How comforting is that??

Karen Lange said...

How wonderful for you Terri. Sometimes it's big things, sometimes it's little things, but always His presence is there for us.
Blessings,
Karen

BECKY said...

Oh, Terri! I was feeling myself tense up reading this post, feeling so badly for you and your pain...and then YOU gave ME a gift!...Your faith! And how wonderful for your friend to be healthy now and getting published! Fabulous! And thank you for sharing this....It has truly made my evening...and I'm already having a great one!! :)

Janet Johnson said...

Oh my goodness. Ow! Ow! Ow!

Comfort? Last night. After a date with my husband who was feeling all kinds of down for not having a fellowship interview, we came home to find an offer of one in his inbox. The perfect end to the day. :)

Sally said...

EEK! on the dental adventure. I'm with all the other comments wherein God comforts frequently and sometimes in the most unexpected ways. Praise be to God.

Keli Gwyn said...

I'm sorry you had to lose a tooth, Terri, but I'm thankful the God of comfort gave you such a wonderful gift just when you needed it.

Christine said...

I am so sorry about the pain! "Medieval torture" says it all. Praise God for His comfort at just the right time.

Carol J. Garvin said...

There may have been more recent times, because He's always meeting my needs, but I remember most clearly the final follow-up appointment at the cancer clinic. Each time I'd gone it was with trepidation that the oncologist would find something more. My mother had died of cancer at a much younger age than I was then, so I had despaired of reaching the five year "all clear" milestone. My nerves were jangling so loudly that I wasn't hearing anything being said, but I suddenly had that warm assurance that, good news or bad, God was in control of my life so my future was in his hands. I was comforted, and not even surprised to hear good news when it came. (I've now outlived my mother by many years and still going strong!)

But I'm with Lin... I still hate going to doctors and dentists.

Cheryl Klarich said...

Ohhh... I felt your pain!!
I've had all my children at home- painful yes- but going to the dentist undoes me.

I love that He comforted you with peace and blessings.

Kathryn Magendie said...

So long ago I can't remember . . .


But! am glad you found that peace ....*smiling*

although, sorry you had to make that choice . . .

sarah said...

Terri...your writing holds me..your sharing...your words...God's comfort...I'm so glad there in that chair...His comfort met you. ☺

ginny said...

Oh Terri, that was so heart tugging! I KNOW exactly how you feel with those darn teeth. If I could have had mine pulled instead of root canal, I would have, only it was toward the front.
I already told you about my comfort stories. God is there with us in everything we suffer, even tooth pulling. I am so glad that you recognized the comfort of Him who loves us so much!
I hope you are feeling better. You are always in my prayer.

K9friend said...

When we're in a situation where we have no choice, where there's really nothing a mere mortal can do about a situation, that's when I can finally turn over the controls to Someone else.

Pat
www.critteralley.blogspot.com

Carmen said...

That was an interesting post. Dentists are not my favorite either! God focused your mind on what was good, lovely and of good report. It was enough to take you through. He is faithful!

Julie Gillies said...

You poor thing! I got braces as an adult (at the age of 41!) and had to have 2 molars pulled--like you, it was with Novacaine but I was wide awake. I don't think I'll ever forget the sound of having a tooth pulled out of my head.

Hoping you feel better fast, Terri. Praying God heals you quickly.

Lynn said...

Having been a dental assistant for 12 years, I can picture the scene perfectly. Nice story-telling Terri. I applied for Gov't funding to hire workers to help with my son, and was told I'd be rejected. But I was accepted until March! And the two young men that help with my son are a blessing from God!

covnitkepr1 said...

You're very brave...no deadning agent huh?
I have added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower also.

Paul Greci said...

Oh man, I am always on edge when I go to the dentist but your story trumps my worst dentist visit.

Congrats to your friend and her story success!!

Sassy Granny ... said...

First, let me just say how much I relate given my own history of dential "issues". I've had extractions & implants & beaucoup $$$$$s drained away. It still makes me cringe because it's ongoing.

Seocnd, I can't think of a year that I haven't in some way (big or small or both) needed & felt the Lord's comforts. Daily deaths (mostly to self) have made His word so vital to me.

May this be both your first & LAST dental experience; and another among your MANY comforts from the Lord.

Kathleen

Lynda Young said...

Getting teeth pulled is not one of my favourite things to do ;)
God's timing is always so perfect and wonderful!

Texas Playwright Chick said...

Terri, so sorry about that tooth! But yes, God will give us comfort every minute of every day...if we let him.

I've missed blogging and reading yours, especially! But, I'm back, and can't wait to get caught up on your blog! Cheers to the new year!

Brock S. Henning said...

Your post was timely for me. Just two nights ago, I was sitting on the back patio listening to music (Legends of the Fall soundtrack...one of my favs), considering a move our family may take later this year. We might leave the mountains of Colorado for the cornfields of Indiana (where we're originally from).

I get somewhat depressed at the thought of leaving the mountains--I connect with God differently here; He's grown my writing here--but God reminded me of the mountains I've yet to see, beyond this life and into eternity. Not sure if He's calling us away from Colorado yet, but if so, I'll see mountains again, in this life or the next. And if we're to move to Indiana, He has a plan for my writing there as well. That put a smile on my face.

Robin @ Be Still and Know said...

The amazing thing about God's timing is that he is never late and he is never out of sync with our needs. His timing is perfect and comes exactly when we need it at the precise time that will bring us the most comfort and spread the most of his love over the situation.

Dental work is never fun, I will be praying that you are back to normal quickly!

Blessings
R

Erin MacPherson said...

Awww man... sounds terrible! Glad it's over... and glad The Great Comforter intervened. I have to take my daughter in on Thursday for some dental work (one of her teeth didn't form properly) so I'm praying The Great Comforter will intervene then!

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh my goodness, Terri! I'm so sorry you had to go through that. But God was right there beside you. :-)

I have to spend a lot of time at the dentist in the coming months - thank goodness he takes payments, otherwise I would have lost some teeth, as well.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

OUCH!

Dennis said...

How I wish I could comfort my wife who's going to the dentist's office tomorrow for her upper third molar extraction. I'll be busy that time in our office so I arranged for our eldest son to accompany his Mom for the said appointment with the dentist. Germantown, TN is where we are located, so it isn't hard to find the best dentist to pull her decaying tooth.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Julie Musil said...

Terri, what a story. I cringed when I read the beginning of this post. I can't imagine going through that. And then I read the end, and I was inspired. Congratulations to your writer friend, and a pat on the back to you for looking for the silver lining.

jdcoughlin said...

Just now, reading your post, I took a breath, too. Needed that breath, it's a good tool. Take in the good, release the bad, or whatever it is we are holding within us.
Thanks for that!

T. Anne said...

I hope you're all better, girl! I had some barbaric work of my own done last October. ANd strangely I too felt comforted with the Lord. I had His joy in my heart during one of the most physically trying times of my life. I need to apply that to everyday living. Thanks for the reminder. Congrats to your friend!

Nancy said...

That sounds like a horrible ordeal. I'm so glad God comforted you in your time of need. His comfort was with me the whole time I had my recent problem. He is wonderful.

Just Be Real said...

Came back to this post for the comfort sake. Blessings.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I feel your pain, sister. I've often said I'd rather birth a child over having a dentist in my mouth. Oh dear, so glad for the comforting presence of God... in the worst of times.

Can't tell you how many times I've felt his hands in the past 5 months. What a God we serve!

peace~elaine

Mariel said...

COUNTLESS!!! My man has been laid off from work for 1 year! It has NOT been easy, but it has been GOOD!! know way? cause GOD is GOOD!! He has been our comfort, our provider, our protection and our support!!

sorry about you're tooth...glad it's over now :)

Nehha N Josshi said...

After a surgery last year, I felt no pain. Okay okay they had given me pain killers and all that, but ... :)