I finally worked up the courage I needed to make the trip to the dentist and have the conversation I have been dreading. I knew I had not put the proper attention on my oral health as I should have. I was a nervous wreck on my way and while driving I prayed that God calm my nerves. On my way I passed a sign that said ‘Road Work Ahead.’ I ran into a bit of road construction that led me to a man holding a stop sign in the middle of the road. The entire time I had to wait, I kept thinking I should just turn around. Just as I was about to make that move to go back home relieving me from the anxiety building up in my entire body, the construction worker turned his sign from stop to slow, I decided to proceed onto my appointment. Once I arrived, the dentist and his staff were excellent and made the perfect treatment plan for me. The first step was removing a tooth that had been causing pain. Before they got started, and as the numbing medicine was kicking in, to give me something else to focus on, I asked my dentist how I could pray for him. Completely surprised by my request, he thought a moment and realized he had the perfect response. His assistant Mikala had a three-year-old son named Jonah. They received news recently that Jonah had some health concerns that might be cancer.
It’s amazing how when I focused on someone in need of prayer, it took my focus off the pain I was receiving. I knew what was going on in my mouth at the time, but with my eyes closed and focused on Mikala’s heart ache, it helped block my toothache and the pressure the dentist was applying while removing my tooth.
Over my next few visits, I kept wanting to ask about Mikala and her son, but never did. Either I thought about asking, but it wasn’t the right time, or I thought about it on the car ride home. After multiple visits myself and taking my kids for cleaning appointments, I finally knew I had to make a point to ask because I was curious about their well-being.
At my next appointment after I received the necessary treatment, they walked me to the room where someone discusses with you your payment options. As the lady walked in, I made a point to not let her start talking. I politely stated that I had been in a couple of months ago and heard about Mikala and Jonah and had been praying for them but kept forgetting to ask how they were doing. The lady, who’s name I soon learned to be Tammy, looked at me, slightly surprised. She updated me with saying that Jonah was doing as best as he could be. He had a tumor; it was removed, and they found out it was cancer. But he was receiving treatment and because of his young age they were hopeful he would be in remission. We continued with talking about my payment options. The conversation ended, but Tammy paused. She then proceeded to tell me about how she had bloodwork done the summer before, she was severely anemic. They ran more tests and it concluded with the results of colon cancer. She went through surgery to remove part of her intestine and was doing great. However, just the week before my appointment, she went back, and they found a tumor. She said she was surprised she was sharing such private information with a stranger. She admitted she feared the results. I asked if I could pray for her and decided to do so right then and there. I took her hands and held them on the desk that sat between us and in that miraculous moment, God took over my speech and graced us with his presence. It was clearly Him that gave me the words to give Tammy hope. Neither one of us could deny the presence of the Holy Spirt in that room that day!
Driving home, I just kept praising God. There were so many times I wanted to ask the staff how Mikala and Jonah were doing. But thankfully, God used those moments to fog my memory because he knew that Tammy would need words of encouragement. I couldn’t help but think how things would have been different if I asked someone else how Mikala was doing. I remembered the construction I had on my very first day coming to the dentist. I came so very close in turning around and going home. To this day, I know that was an attempt of the enemy to distract me because he knows how God will turn situations that seem unfortunate on the outside (a tooth being removed) to situations that end in giving Him glory!
John 15: 8 reads, “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.”
So often it is so easy to focus on our own trials and our own aches and pains. Romans 8: 28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
He uses the joyful days to be a shining light for others, he uses a trip to the dentist to pray for a sweet young boy battling cancer; which then leads to another soul receiving hope. Saving souls by leading people to God is our life’s purpose. Bearing fruit, no matter the season we are in, is our life’s purpose. His words no matter the nervousness we have, do not return void. If we choose to focus on Him, bearing fruit in everything we do, including a trip to the dentist; putting our own worries and pain aside leads us to a life feeling fulfilled. I pray we all remember how a sign that says, ‘Road Work Ahead’ can instead be a chance for us to see ‘Opportunity to Serve God Ahead.’