Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I used to be prettier.

On August 25, 2012, I flew off a motorbike and collided headfirst with a metal pole. 
That pole took my front teeth, ripped a hole in my bottom lip, cut my eyebrow to the bone, and did some other un-seen damage to my skull and memory. 

The seen damage is what I want to address right now. 

I give you my word, I'm not fishing for a compliment, 
nor do I want you to feel sorry for me. 
There's truly nothing to feel sorry for. 

While I was still unconscious in the hospital, a plastic surgeon sewed my lips and eyebrow up. 

I've had plastic surgery in Bangkok, Thailand.
I think that's a funny sentence. 

I've had 15 dentist appointments in the past year and a half, and I'd tell you how many fake teeth I've had, but I've lost count. 
After a lot of trial and error and things going wrong that we didn't foresee going wrong, like my teeth dying and turning black, I'm just about to the end of the
 new-fake-front-teeth journey. 
My dentist has done a wonderful, kind, gentle job on my new smile. 
They're not the original thing, but they're certainly close, 
and I commend my sweet dentist. 
He's put more time, thought, and skill 
into my mouth than I deserve.
After hours and hours and hours in his chair, 
he's pretty much my BFF.
If you ever collide headfirst into a metal pole and knock your front teeth out, I'd suggest you drive yourself to
 Mcleansboro, Illinois and visit my BFF. 

However, I miss my real, original teeth.
And I miss my unscarred face. 
And I miss my un-textured, un-crooked lips. 

But as soon as I want to start feeling sorry for myself,
"my smile used to be pretty and real,"
"my face used to not have scars,"
"my lips used to be a normal shape without any strange bumps,"
I think about the billions of people in the world who wouldn't have been able to afford a hospital recovery, plastic surgery, plane ticket back to America, or new fake teeth. 

Then I think about how God saved my life. 
I'm alive!

Then I think about how this sentence, 
"I used to be prettier,"
is what we're all going to be able to quite truthfully say in the last portion of our lives. 
Our outsides aren't getting any prettier. 
They're getting wrinklier, stiffer, grey-er, and often times fatter. 

I'm not meaning to depress anyone, really.

I guess what I'm wanting to do is say that
after the getting-scarred-up times happen, 
we can look back and do a few different things: 

1) celebrate that we made it out
2) smile that the scars have healed 
(are healing)
3) remember eternity and how close we are to it
4) care more about making our hearts pretty than making our dying shells pretty
5) help the people around us who are currently 
in a getting-scarred-up time
6) thank our dentists for being patient and awesome
7) celebrate that we made it out 

Sometimes we're going to have pretty awful things happen to us. 
The awful things not only happen to our bodies, but to our hearts, minds, relationships, and hopes. 
Sometimes those awful things are going to leave scars. 

But what God wants to do is heal those scars, 
then use them to tell a story.

Are you in a getting-scarred-up time right now? 
I'm sorry. 
Know that Jesus' Eyes are on you, He wants to be close, and He wants to heal those wounds. 

Your wounds will heal and be scars that tell a story. 

Are you a bit scarred up from life? 
You're alive.
You have a Maker who loves you when you're face is scarred, your teeth are fake, and your heart is weak. 
He loves you in the middle of the battle, and He loves you when it's over. 

I used to be prettier, and that's ok. 

 what's happening underneath my crowns

post-wreck, pretty much normal smile

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.
-1 Samuel 16:7