Growing pains are a part of growing up, but we have to trust that what is coming is better than what we have.
Yesterday, my sweet little girl had her third very wiggly tooth. It was so wiggly that it moved when she talked and poked between her lips when she kissed me. Beyond wiggly.
But when Daddy grabbed his forceps to help it along, our joyful little girl turned into a puddle of tears.
This is loose tooth number three. She “knows” it only hurts for a second. She feels so much better when it is out, but couldn’t get over her fear of the pain.
Holy smokes. The hysteria. Screaming, crying, refusing to open her mouth to let us even look at it.
We had been letting it come out on its own; however, she was struggling to eat and complaining it hurt to bite down. Upon closer inspection, we could see the larger front tooth growing underneath it was almost all the way in. She couldn’t keep this old tooth any longer.
She was so terrified of the pain that she might feel, she was willing to live in the pain that she knew.
The goal was to remove the tooth, but not at the expense of the relationship. She has to know that she can trust us to help her handle a little bit of pain.
Brainstorm – Anbesol! I squirted the gel around the base of her tooth. As her mouth grew numb we tried again.
She squeezed my fingers and looked in my eyes as daddy popped her tooth out easy peasy. I don’t know if the Anbesol actually made a difference or just made her think it made a difference, but she was finally – peacefully, loose tooth-free.
As she made her tooth fairy preparations (an adorable note “i beliEve in tooth fairys” with a procedural diagram for clarity), I couldn’t get over the idea that her reaction: drama, tears, hysterics over this tooth that was causing her pain was so much like how we respond to God with our sinful pasts.Are we so afraid to trust Him that we cling to the pain we know? #transformation #growingpains Click To Tweet
As we are transformed into new creations, pieces of our old selves start to die. Like her tooth, they start to feel not quite right, then get uncomfortable before they reach the point that they are almost completely ready to be thrown away, just hanging onto our lives by a tendril.
Sometimes in that moment, we cling most fiercely.
But God, I don’t want to let that go . . .
But God, what if . . .
Do I really need to end that friendship?
It’s just . . . it’s not THAT bad.
We fuss and cry and refuse, while our sweet Father stands over us, knowing that dead piece of our past is hurting us. He wants to take it away, not to hold us back, but to give us freedom.
He is changing us by degree, but only when we trust Him.
Proverbs 3:5 ESV Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
She couldn’t understand how much trouble that dead tooth was causing. Even as it hurt her with every bite, she held on for dear life. But the second it was out, she was so relieved.
Like when I learn to let go of the things I know aren’t pleasing to God, aren’t refining me to be more like Christ. I pry my knuckles off their grip on me, then realize how much they’d been hurting me, dragging me away from Him.
I’ve learned that my own understanding asks ‘why should I let go?’
His understanding writes on my heart, ‘To stop letting it keep you from ME.’
Don’t let a fear of growing pains stop your transformation.