When You Harbor Bitterness
[Guest Post by Lindsey Meeker – It’s kind of amazing how much bitterness can hinder us from God’s best — even about something as simple as going to the dentist. I hope her story encourages you to let go!]
I’ve always thought that to have a real testimony you had to have been set free from alcohol or gone to jail.
This last year I’ve learned that doesn’t mean anything. A month before I started my freshman year of high school, I visited my local orthodontist to see about getting braces. I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. I went through all of the moldings and x-rays and the orthodontist came in and said I was a worst case scenario.
He didn’t know if he would ever be able to straighten my teeth.
My teeth were very off.
I had teeth in front of teeth I had a very bad overbite. My mouth was too small, and my front two teeth pointed together.
I left my orthodontist in shambles crying — thinking — no one would ever want a girl with messed up teeth.
My mom decided we would try and the first thing we had to do was get my wisdom teeth taken out, and four extra to make room! That’s a whopping eight teeth to be removed. I made it through wisdom teeth removal without any issues.
Next my orthodontist decided to give me a spreader to expand the roof of my mouth. A spreader is a metal device out in the roof of your mouth that you twist a key. It gradually makes your mouth wider. The average person twists the key once a day; I had to twist my 3 times a day. Every time it was twisted, I could feel my mouth getting wider.
I will always remember one day.
My mom was twisting the key like any normal day and then we heard a POP sound. The roof of my mouth was in pain. The spreader had broken the roof of my mouth. By the end of spreading the roof of mouth — I could fit four quarters in between my front two teeth. I was so mad at my orthodontist for making me go through what I called a form of torture.
By my junior year of high school, I was full of bitterness towards my orthodontist.
I constantly left in tears.
One afternoon I went to the office, and they said it was time to get my braces off. To say that I was full of excitement was an understatement. The next week I got them off! A month later I went to the office and my teeth had shifted too much.
They gave me the wrong retainer.
They said my braces must be out back on. I. Was. Furious. I went through senior pictures and prom with braces. I kept telling my parents that I wanted them off for graduation, and my orthodontist said that that was impossible because my teeth weren’t moving fast enough.
I went home crying thinking I was possibly going to have to go to college with braces. My dad, being the amazing praying man he is, told me he had been in prayer about the situation.
He told me I was harboring bitterness towards my orthodontist, and I needed to forgive him.
Later that night I knew my dad was right.
I sat on my bed crying to God, and telling him that I was sorry and truly forgave him. A week later I went to the orthodontist for my check up. To my amazement — my teeth had shifted to the right places. They told me I could get my braces off the next week — right before graduation!
I learned when you harbor bitterness that God can’t always bless you. God needed all of me! I’m so glad I decided to forgive others and myself.
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”- Matthew 6:14-15 NIV
Lindsey Meeker is a student at Oral Roberts University studying Public Relations in Tulsa, Ok. Lindsey dreams of event planning for churches and helping in youth ministries. Connect with Lindsey on Twitter.