That time I could tell you what I have to make an appointment to confirm,
Just in order for you to yank these useless teeth from my jaw,

It is negative,
Always has been,
May it not always be.

Earlier this year, I had the joy of getting my wisdom teeth removed. For years, dentists have mentioned I may or may not need them removed but we “wouldn’t know until the next x-ray.” Well, late last December I was told they needed to be removed within the next year, so I set up an appointment with an oral surgeon down the road (literally) and anxiously awaited their departure.

As I’ve mentioned, Daniel and I have been trying to start a family for some time. This means that anytime I see a “pregnant/trying to get pregnant” option, I check it. I think the first few times I checked this, it was with a hopeful, “Oh, maybe this month it will be the former rather than latter part of that statement!” but then turned to, “Do I really need to check this if I can tell you I’m not pregnant?”

I originally scheduled my wisdom teeth extraction for the first morning slot the following week, only to find out that because I checked the “pregnant/trying to get pregnant” box, I had to take a pregnancy test at my doctor’s office the morning of the procedure.

They didn’t need to explain to me any legal reasons for the test. I fully understood they wanted to cover all bases and knew that if I had been pregnant I would have been even more furious that they didn’t take the necessary precautions. But, the sting of reminder was still painful. I don’t think painful is the right word. I think more than anything I was embarrassed. I was frustrated that I had to schedule an appointment I would then have to pay for in order to take a test I could provide myself and prove that I wasn’t pregnant. The very fact I had to prove that my wants have yet to be fulfilled was itself embarrassing and painful.

But, I did what I was told: I rescheduled my appointment, called my doctor and scheduled a test for the morning of my wisdom teeth removal.

That morning, my doctor, who wasn’t particularly sensitive about this matter, walked into the waiting room and announced, “no surprise there,” and typed the results into her computer. I sat, disappointed, embarrassed, and frustrated that I was paying for this brutal reminder, and anxiously waited to leave so I could then drive down the street and hand my physical proof of the internal struggle I felt.

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed that our hope hasn’t been fulfilled in immediate timing. Sometimes the time feels short, and other times I can’t remember when I haven’t existed without this wait. Life experiences like removing teeth often highlight that seemingly cruel reality.

But, even in the midst of the embarrassment, the pain, the emotions, I still have hope. Hope that even if this yearning is never tangibly fulfilled, I will be fulfilled in the One who knows me and has tenderly drawn me to Himself. I have the hope that He is good and can bring good out of this experience.

I know that this aching is a reminder that it is only in and through Him that I find ultimate joy and fulfillment.

I type those words, I believe those words, I’ve experienced them to be true and at the same time I yearn for those words to remain true. At the same time, I know I am incapable of making that truth a reality. It is God who has sustained me even when I didn’t realize it. It is God who provides for me, even if I think it is from my achievements. God is my ultimate fulfillment: not marriage, not relationships, not careers, not motherhood. No, these things can provide joy and are good gifts but ultimately, they come from the Giver of good gifts. And though I don’t always acknowledge that He is providing these things in my daily living, it still remains true.

There is much freedom in that truth. The truth that God is in the habit of providing and that He will continue to provide.

I’m learning what it means to rest in that truth daily as I surrender my dreams, hopes, and plans to Him, trusting Him to provide and fulfill my needs and desires.

|James 1:17|