By Alison Fienauer

I had a toothache, and it hurt badly.  I went to the dentist and it looked like a root canal was needed.  Bummer.  Of course insurance didn’t cover it.

I scheduled it and had it done, however, a week later, the ache returned. I went back to dentist and he said he was going to have to go in and cut out the root of the tooth, so he did.  A week later, I was still in pain, but even worse because of the infection.  The solution was to remove the tooth completely, put in an “implant,” and put in a “new” tooth.

The process would be something like this. Take the tooth out, wait for the gums to heal and infection to go away. Three months later, put in the post, then wait six months for the bone to grow around the post, then get the tooth put in.  Sounds about how it went down.

It was long, painful, and costly, but my new “implanted” tooth, never gets cavities or infections.  I have to floss around it with a little more intention so that the gums don’t grow up around it.  But it’s my favorite tooth, so pretty and white.  I love it.

I couldn’t help but parallel this with how God takes care of the infections with my soul.

I feel a little angst and pain, do a little work with God and then think I’m good.  But it doesn’t go away.  Sometimes it takes a while and the pain gets worse, so I keep coming to Him for what’s next.  He doesn’t want to just clear up the infection; He wants something even better for me.  He wants to completely remove the root of the problem and bring me true and complete healing. He takes my pain and misery and replaces it fully, with something better.

The most recent infection is the feeling that I will always feel a little lonely.  Even in a room full of people, I often don’t feel like I belong.  I’ve had to sit in the loneliness, not fill it with temporary medicine (comforts of many forms), but sit and feel it.  Lay it all before God during my “checkups” and let him remove the lie that I am alone and have no deep connections.

That loneliness (infection) didn’t just go away. There’s a process and intentionality to getting better.  He has to lead this process and I have to follow His lead.  Because of His faithfulness and restoration, I now believe that I belong everywhere because I know WHO I belong to.  He paid a great price for me, and I’m His.  No matter where I am, because I’m a daughter of the King, I’m never alone. The Holy Spirit fills me up. I’m placing Christ at the throne of my heart daily (my medicine), and He is keeping me grounded in Him.  I more easily recognize the lies, and through His Holy Spirit have the power and strength to fight off the infections.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

“The LORD your God is among you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing” ( Zephaniah 3:17).