God is bigger than braces. He is Greater than the "truth" of an ugly teeth mold and crooked x-rays. Oh, yes He is. :)
He also is greater than any financial situation....Could you believe such news in times like these? This is what He showed us in a really special time with Him this past year.
That He is NEAR
That He longs to straighten what is crooked and broken in our life.
That He can surprise us with goodness :)
That His "economy" is entirely dependable and safe.
That even the "smallest whispers" of prayers are heard and answered.
Around the time that Bruik's Sunday School teacher was healed, we had another incredible experience with teeth. Funny, but it has been a year for teeth stories in the Tucker household.
This is my daughter, Ashley's sweet smile.
We took a plaster mold of her "unique smile" that, like so many teens needed some attention and covered it in braces in our last year in Franklin, TN. This was just before God called us out to Kansas City, MO. to be missionaries in intercessory prayer and ministry here.
The call out here has required a life shift for our family ~ and it is another story to be told :) but simply, has brought a downsize in home and budget ~ we are not complaining. ~ Every other aspect of this is a super-"up size" from our point of view!!
And, sweet Ashley's not one to complain either...she didn't about the braces--she thought they were pretty cool with the blue rubber bands, in fact. :) There was no complaint either as our new budget did not leave room for a visit to a new Orthodontist when we came into town here in Kansas City...(if you know her, you know that's so like her heart)...But, my mother's heart was concerned as I saw my precious girl's smile. She had only had one course of treatment and was going to need about 9 month's more treatment...and here... it had been 6 months with NO adjustments. It could be said it was a matter of money...
....that turned out to be a matter of faith...
...and a matter of a Father's Heart who cared as much (more!) about every little tooth as I did...
One evening in this past year, we were in a praise time together at church and as I looked over at my Ashley, I whispered a simple prayer--there was NOTHING fancy or wordy or "correct" about it, just a handing over of her teeth and the money they would need for correction into my loving Father's hands. It went something like, "God, I believe you can straighten Ashley's teeth without need for these braces. Please, God, a miracle in Jesus name. Please come and straighten Ashley's teeth."
Here is a letter I would write about a week later to the Principal of our Christian school the day after a precious prayer time for the families at our school:
God is already answering prayers for financial/health needs in the The Daniel Academy family...we have a report to share already!
Yesterday we went to the Orthodontist to re continue care for Ashley here in Kansas City. We had not had the financing to consider signing on with another payment plan for braces and so it has been 6 months since Ashley has had an adjustment. I felt troubled with this but we were in the place of just having to wait. Ashley's Ortho .back in Nashville said 6 months ago that she would be needing close to 9 months to a year more of treatment--this added to missing the past 6 months felt like a real set- back. However, last week I actually did pray a "weak"/simple prayer for God to please straighten her teeth regardless--adding this to asking for healing for me not having to wear contacts anymore...it was really faith unseen to ask such a thing, after all she still had the wires and teal rubber bands wrapped around her teeth!
We visited the Red Bridge Orthodontist office yesterday just for a consult and to hear the cha-ching of how many dollars we were in for here...the Orthodontist was friendly. He checked out her mouth and very quickly asked us again why we had come. He then said, "Now I want you (he motioned to me) to walk around the dental chair and take a look in her mouth and tell me what you see. '
I looked and didn't know what to answer...."Teeth?"
"EXACTLY!", he smiled, " and they are perfectly straight now ...WHAT do you want me to do here?"
He called our situation, "special" and said he had even been going over Ashley's records from Tennessee where he had seen the long schedule drawn out for her teeth ...he kept talking about what a "special" situation this was. He just stood there for a moment looking at the teeth molds on his office shelves and then turned around and stated that he normally does not make this recommendation but that the braces were to come off in the office visit today --she was totally complete....straight!!
As Ashley left, he made some small talk and continued to show me his collection of teeth casts.
(Hmmmmn....a true picture of what straight does NOT look like!)
He seemed so familiar with each one. And, seemed to really like these ugly ole things ~ as only an Orthodontist could!
As he carefully picked each one up into a cradle hold with his hands, he pointed to pictures of patients with big teeth y smiles. -- This one is her, this one was him...He was completely engaged with these twisted up, ugly mold smiles.
It was entertaining....well, shocking....no,interesting... but in a sort of uncomfortable way :)...
He gave directions for Ashley to go to another examination room for her braces removal and as he watched her leave, he said, "The Daniel Academy, huh?
(and this was another answer to prayer --that God's glory was going to break out from our families and students-- and my favorite part of the visit)
"Yeah, I really see that.
We service several kids from there.
You remind me of this one kid, do you know him? His name is T----- B-----. We really love that kid. You have the same ' thing' on your face that I see on T's face." (Yay, Jesus glow!!) Through talking about T., I began to talk about how that thing is Joy. He strongly said, "YES, that's what it is!"
I then got to share with him that it was T's love for Jesus that came out in Joy from him that so effected my little son, Anderson at a conference last year--so much so that Anders said that he thought T. loved Jesus more than anyone he has ever known --and how it make my little son hungry for Jesus... "
The name of Jesus cleared the room pretty quickly of the Orthodontist and the receptionist and left more conversation for another day :) ... BUT before His name was even mentioned, it was breathed out through that "thing" (glory) on a young man's face. It was a treat to have the way paved to share about Jesus by someone else in God's family and it showed me one example of how our school's walk with Jesus is shining in our community....praise God!!
Make my girl smile at you tomorrow--freed teeth and a lighter wallet --what a sweet gift from God!!
Loved the prayer time with the parents--what a sweet, powerful time...the kids were impacted by the extra time in assembly as well --glad you chose to let it "go long" :)
Blessings, precious friend,
And here is our Ashley's smile now. :)
Yes, she is happy to have those straight teeth!!
And this is my sweet husband, Richard who is now with us in Missouri, at a Bible/Ministry school here, being trained in Ministy and Missions launching in to what God told us would be waiting for His son here...
Here is Richard sharing with the children his confidence in God's care and nearness to us, God's children...and that they can believe they will be well-taken care of for they are in God's hands:
Emmanuel :) not just a Christmas word. :) It is for our every day. And as Richard says, its meaning is not God kind of near us, God sometimes with us...It means GOD WITH US.
And Jesus IN Me ... is the HOPE of Glory...
GOD WITH US...I could fasten all of life to that Truth...try it...Try bringing GOD WITH US into every little bit...and see what He fixes and straightens for you. For don't we all need a little alteration here and there? He loves to straighten out the curves in our path...Don't we all look in the mirror and see some things out of line?
He is in the business of straightening what is crooked and fixing what is broken.
And He's not afraid of an ugly mold.
In fact, He picks them up with interest and affection as Only a redeeming Creator can. He sees the picture.
YOUR picture of His destiny planned for you.
He ALREADY sees this for you...
But things won't get straight on their own...We need to bring them to God and let Him work on us in His wisdom and love.
Bring Him your broken things. He is safe to open up our smiles and grin all at him with all the craziness/ugliness that might be found in there. He is not scared off by our "toothy grins"! No, our God LOVES to fix broken things...He BROKE HIMSELF to fix what is broken. Perhaps whisper your own prayer up to Him this week?
Smile at Him? and let Him peer inside and fix all the crooked things?
You don't need to keep that ole mold of your crooked heart...cause God is straightening up...making new lines of fresh new "teeth" in there. I see it for you...for me...
Have you ever thought of how God might behold you? Even before things are "straightened out?"
" Behold, you are beautiful, my love. Behold, you are beautiful. Your eyes are doves behind your veil. Your hair is as a flock of goats, that descend from Mount Gilead.
"Your teeth are like a newly shorn flock, which have come up from the washing, where every one of them has twins. None is bereaved among them." (Song of Solomon 4:2)
He longs to love your heart.
Smile up, its your Father waiting for you.