Just over two years ago I had jaw surgery. It wasn’t an emergency surgery or anything, so I had time to prepare, but the change from before to after surgery was dramatic.
Back in middle school (when it was cool), I had braces for 2.5 years, so it didn’t seem to make sense why I was now considering surgery… about 7 years later! I didn’t need surgery, the doctors told me, but if I didn’t, I may have problems with my teeth wearing down later and needing crowns and whatnot. Also, there was the ever present nuisance of avoiding any food that required my front teeth to make contact (sandwiches- especially with lettuce, tomatoes, etc.; chips, apples…). Over the years, my jaw grew in a less than ideal way and my teeth didn’t fit together well at all.
So, I had braces for about 9 months leading up to surgery as they prepared my teeth for the position they would need to be in once they did the surgery. Things seemed to get worse, but I knew the orthodontist was just setting things up for the surgeon. Two months after graduating from college, I had the surgery. After that day, everything changed… though temporarily not for the better! The swelling was ridiculous and the whole rubber banded shut jaw made it very difficult to communicate! In many ways, I became like a baby- laying around/ sleeping all day, eating liquids only (later mushy foods, then soft foods), not being able to talk, and dependent on the help of others to get what I needed (Thanks, Mom and Dad!) 🙂
But now I can say- it was all worth it! I can now eat whatever I want without wondering if food will awkwardly be hanging out of my mouth because I can’t bite it off! Everything fits together so now I can enjoy the simple things like eating a burger that has lettuce, pickles and tomato on it!
Thinking back on all the changes and adjustments I had to make through this makes me wonder if moving and/or starting a new job isn’t kind of like jaw surgery. For me, my first teaching job was a good fit (at least in that season of my life)… but as time went on, things didn’t fit together quite as nicely. Nothing unbearable, but just enough to make me look ahead and consider how long that was the place for me.
When the opportunity to teach in Colorado came up, I had a decision. It was less about a “right” and a “wrong” choice and more about where God wanted me in the long run and what he wanted me to be doing.
I imagine in some ways, the transition will be like my surgery. A sudden change that God has been preparing me for that will require adjustments on my part. I can’t expect to do everything I was doing here right after I make the move- it’ll take time to get plugged in to a church, learn the roads, get plugged in with a community band/orchestra, etc. And not only will it take time, but it will take the support of others that God graciously puts in my path.
But, I trust, that in the long run I will be able to look back and say it was all worth it! So, thanks to those of you who have “tweaked the wires” and helped prepare me for this transition! And, most of all, thanks be to God who has orchestrated this and had this in his plan all along! 🙂
I’ll be posting more regularly now, so check back if you’re curious how the “surgery” goes!