Four Lessons I’ve Learned as an Adult with Braces on My Teeth
Last February I was complaining about my crooked teeth and flabby belly. My normally laid-back, kind husband uncharacteristically said, “I’m so sick of you griping about the same things you’ve been griping about for eighteen years. If you’re so annoyed by those things, then change them!”
His words struck a chord. I think they made a huge impression on me, because he rarely talks to me like that. He usually says things like, “Aw honey, you look great.” Also, I realized that he was right. I had been griping about these same two things our whole marriage, and they weren’t going to change until I did something about them.
It took me a while to figure out how to fix the flabby belly. After a few months I discovered how I needed to eat and exercise to get in shape. My flabby belly isn’t totally gone yet, but it’s slowly leaving!
As for the crooked teeth, I made an appointment with my dentist for the next day, and about a month later I had a set of shiny new braces on my teeth that my dentist said I would need to wear for at least eighteen months.
I am a thirty-eight year old woman with braces on my teeth.
I have currently had these lovely metal brackets on my teeth for nine months. I knew that this experience would change the appearance of my teeth, but I had no idea that this experience would affect me in deeper ways as well. I have learned so much from wearing these braces. So far, there are four lessons I’ve learned as an adult with braces on my teeth:
1 1.) It Doesn’t Matter What Other People Say – Here are some things people have said to me since I’ve had braces – “You know you ruined your looks with those things on your teeth.” (I’m not kidding, someone really said that to me.) “Why would you get braces? At your age?” I have had a lot of people say this to me. “I can’t believe you did that. Why would you spend money on that?” As if it’s any of their business. I have learned to flash my braces in a big smile at someone who says something like this to me and walk away. It’s liberating to not care what people say.
1 2.) Don’t Take Yourself So Seriously – When your smile looks like a seventh grader’s, when you are wearing colored rubber bands on your teeth, when you discover you’ve had bits of food stuck in your teeth all day, it’s a great reminder not to take yourself so seriously. Sometimes as a grown-up you can start to forget that you are a CHILD of God. HE is our Father. He is in control. These braces have made me remember what it’s like to be a kid and to recognize that I have no reason to worry, because my Father God has it all under control!
1 3.) It’s Never Too Late – To those people who’ve said, “Why would you get braces at your age?” I say, I got braces because I’m not dead yet. I want to make myself better in the time I have. There are so many things I still want to do. I refuse to die before I die!
1 4.) A Little Change Makes a Big Difference – When you change one thing and prove to yourself that you can make a change, it is addictive. You convince yourself that more change and improvement is possible.
Of course these little silly braces are quite unimportant in the light of eternity. Our bodies are temporary. One of these days we will shed these bodies altogether, but I think we can learn something even from something as insignificant as braces. Do you need to make a change? Then do it! Think you can’t? 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away, and new things have come!” This year, I encourage you to seek lasting change in Jesus. It’s never too late to become who you want to be!