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Growing Pains

Growing pains are a part of growing up, but we have to trust that what is coming is better than what we have.(Last Updated On: April 19, 2016)

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.

Growing pains are a part of growing up, but we have to trust that what is coming is better than what we have.

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 ESVΒ Β  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.

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22 thoughts on “Growing Pains

  1. I love how little, but real life lessons can really give us bigger life lessons about God. πŸ™‚ He is so good to us to show us a lesson in every moment. πŸ™‚

    1. He really is. I love how He speaks to my heart.

  2. Wow! I can’t count the number of times I’ve held on to the pain I know because I’m afraid to trust. I know that God plans are best, but sometimes I’m slow to trust. I’m working on this.

    1. Everytime I think I’ve got it, God points to the next thing I need to let go. The key is to just keep learning.

  3. Hey Jennifer,
    I love this post. You have sound parenting wisdom and great spiritual advice, all rolled into one. Neat idea with the Ambisol. Our family is in the midst of some spiritual growing pains. So thank you for the reminder that these are normal, and to keep trusting Him πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you for the encouragement! God has fought some hard battles with and for me to bring me this far. I am enjoying the growth but with growth comes new growing pains too. Working through the next steps for my journey too.

  4. This is a great point and a great illustration. I think we are all in that boat sometimes. When we are on the other side of the brief pain, we finally understand that God’s plan is so much better than ours–always!

    1. It sure is easier to see on the other side. I try to remember all the past times He has freed me when I’m in the hurt, but I get forgetful sometimes.

  5. I can really relate to this! I am always saying But and What If. There are things I need to learn to let go!! Like the tooth.

    1. We always try to justify it don’t we?

  6. WOW! Great insight on your part! We truly do get comfortable with the pain we know because we fear there will be worse pain ahead when in most circumstances, we will be free of all pain by trusting God!

    1. Exactly. When we let go of sin, it is freeing! But our flesh doesn’t want to

  7. I think many of us continue to cling to the familiar even if it is painful than to take that leap of faith. My youngest just lost his first tooth this week. It came out when he was brushing and must have spit it into the sink. But, I am quite familiar with older boys being terrified of having a loose tooth pulled.

    1. I’m prone to quote Hamlet here – “and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of”

  8. I think you just described me as a child. And I still hate loose teeth on anyone! πŸ™‚

    But your analogy is terrific, and something I had never thought of. It is so easy to want to overlook the painful extraction that needs to take place in certain areas of our lives, even though life will be so much sweeter after it is gone. Great thoughts, thank you!

    1. Glad God showed me how to let go of some loose “teeth” myself.

  9. and that’s what He wants us – just to trust Him…

  10. What a beautiful lesson! And on a side note, I’d love to see that adorable diagram πŸ™‚ .

    1. It was showing the Tooth Fairy opening the window, getting the tooth and leaving $. She wanted to be sure there was NO confusion.

  11. “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.”
    Amen! I love this and you are so right! What an inspiration!
    It’s amazing to realize how the things we didn’t want to let go off have been hurting us for so long and how the feeling of relief can set us free!

    1. I love how God uses these little moments to give me lessons.

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