Walking in Freedom

Miscellaneous musings along the way

Kind of like jaw surgery?? July 18, 2012

Filed under: Colorado,Faith — songofjoy88 @ 3:10 pm
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trying to eat warm cereal through a syringe… between the swelling, jaws rubber banded shut and numbness all over, this was quite a task! also, note the bell for me to ding if I needed something- haha!

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!) 🙂

taking my pain-killer medicine through a syringe- yum! (not really, but I couldn’t really taste anything, so it could have been worse!)

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!

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Little is Much August 26, 2011

Filed under: Faith,School — songofjoy88 @ 8:59 am
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The anticipation builds… on Monday, I’ll meet some of my students at orientation and then I’ll see all 153 of my students on Tuesday!  It’s kind of crazy to think back to a year ago and realize how much my Lord has graciously taught me.  I had no idea what to expect a year ago.  Since I student taught 7th and 8th graders, it was quite a jump for me to have a classroom full of 10-12th graders for six periods every day!  On top of all this, I was still recovering from my jaw surgery and eating mushy/soft foods.  It wasn’t all bad (I discovered the deliciousness of vanilla protein powder!), but it was a nuisance to plan around this different diet.  Also, the shift from college dorm/apartment living to having an apartment all to myself was quite an adjustment.

 

To compensate, I tried to exert more effort, especially at school.  School became my life.  Throughout the year, though, God began to reveal to me that my job was a lot less about anything I could teach or offer my students and more about me trusting God to use me as His vessel of truth and love…  You know that hissing sound when you run cold water over a pressure cooker that has all that steam built up inside?  That’s what this gradual realization was like- a release of all the pressure that I had internally put on myself.

 

I began to understand (and continue to learn now) that I have so little to offer these students.  Students coming from broken homes, evicted because of a parent’s drug addiction, caring for a 2-yr old son, dealing with abuse at home, experimenting with drugs, struggling with depression… the list goes on- so lost and desperate for love.  What can I bring?  How can I possibly have an impact?

 

The answer to these questions is simple.  Nothing.   And, I can’t… at least not if I’m the only one in the picture.  But thankfully I’m not!  There is work to be done, and with the power of God in me, I can press forward.  And the cool thing is I don’t even have to ask God to give me opportunities to show people grace.  He has already prepared the work for me and equipped me for the task.  Let’s get to work as we proclaim with our lives that, because of Christ, little really is MUCH!

Ephesians 2:10

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 

Hebrews 13:20-21

May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen

 

Little is much when God’s in it
And no one can fathom the plans He holds
Little is much when God’s in it
He changes the world with the seeds we sow
Little is much, little is much

 

Recovery July 16, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — songofjoy88 @ 1:48 pm
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On July 6, I had jaw surgery… Overall, everything went very well.  I had to wait awhile before I went into the OR.  Once I got there and moved over to the operating table as the doctors hovered around making preparations, I remember thinking “I am way too awake right now.”  And, that’s the last thing I remember.

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I stayed overnight and left around noon on Wednesday (getting home in time to watch Spain beat Germany in the World Cup).  The first few days my face swelled a TON!!  When I looked in the mirror, it didn’t even look like me!  Also, my nose was really stopped up, but started getting better a few days out (won’t go into detail- you’re welcome 🙂 ).  About a week after surgery, I was finally able to taste my food.  Before then, I could just distinuguish between sweet (chocolate milkshake), sour (cranberry juice), salty (V8 juice), bitter (crushed up sudafed pill semi-dissolved in water- yum!  haha!).

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My top and bottom jaw are rubber banded together so I essentially can’t move them at all.  Consequently I’m not answering my phone and I’m on an all liquid diet.  I average probably 2.7 milkshakes per day and have discovered vanilla protein powder (not bad stuff!).  I’m amazed what can be liquified in a blender- I’ve had pork burrito (minus the tortilla), teriyaki chicken and mac and cheese.  The first couple days I was eating out of a large syringe with rubber tubing attached at the end, because I had a lot of numbness.  That made eating take WAY too long, so now I’m just drinking everything from a glass.  Thankfully I have no numbness in my bottom lip because they only moved my top jaw.  Most (if not all) of the numbness will go away with time- my upper lip and part of my nose and cheeks are still completely numb.  Also, I was told 80% of the swelling will go away in the first month.

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Can you tell I haven’t been able to talk and just needed an outlet to “say” something?  I’ll try to keep periodic updates coming.  Thanks for all your prayers. 🙂