matterofprayer blog post for Thursday, July 10, 2014
Praying When Scared Silly
I had an oral surgery procedure earlier this week. Yes, most of my friends and even my husband let me know that this extraction was nothing to worry about. Piece of cake! Even though there was some infection around the base of the tooth, it wasn’t complicated. Gee, when I went to see my oral surgeon last week, even he told me it was basic and routine.
So, why was I scared to death?
I know, I know. My husband tried to allay my fears. (He is fearful of dental procedures, himself.) He told me how far advanced dentistry has come, since he and I were small. He told me about the great staff in the oral surgeon’s office, and how our surgeon was a master at his craft.
But I was still shaking. Frightened, on a deep, fundamental level.
As I said in my other blog (A Year of Being Kind), I did not take care of my teeth when I was small. I also ate a lot of sweets. So, by the time I hit kindergarten, I had a number of small cavities in my teeth. I would not sit still for the dentist my parents used. So, my parents sent me to a special dentist. He was special, all right! He was downright cruel. He held my jaw in a deathgrip, and had the most piercing eyes of anyone I had ever seen in real life. Through the sheer force of his will, plus a healthy dose of sadism, he was able to fill the cavities.
He also scarred me for life. However, for that reason, I understood where I could go for help. I fled to the fellowship of other believers in prayer. I spoke up about my dental anxiety, and asked for prayer. Nay, even begged for prayer.
Yes, my prayers for my anxiety and fear did have more than a touch of the foxhole prayer in them. True enough. And I think God was right there with me. Helping me. Allaying my fears, all the time I was in the dentist’s chair for that procedure. Yes, I used breathing. Mindfulness practices. Relaxation techniques. And, I was surprised. They did indeed work.
Now that I’m on the other side of that procedure, I feel much better about things. I would even have significantly less fear, if I needed to have more oral surgery. (But that is not an invitation. Please, God, NO more. At least, not for a long time!)
And, I would like to send out sincere thanks and praise for everyone who prayed for me. Let’s pray right now. Dear Lord, Gracious God, You are always with me. Even through the dark valley, You stay right by my side. Even under the bright lights of a surgical procedure, You allay my fears. Thank You for your constant presence. Thank You for being right next to me, even when it seems like You are so far away. In gratitude and praise, amen!
(also published at www.matterofprayer.net