By Karen Steinhauser
A few years ago I was home alone, barefoot and in the basement cleaning.
It was a very cool day, and the rain was falling. In the midst of my cleaning, I heard a racket upstairs on the level directly above me. I knew a burglar had entered my home and was rummaging through my things. I had no phone down there with me, and the sounds only got louder. There were no weapons available in the basement. I ran outside determined not to be a “sitting duck.” We live on fourteen acres so there aren’t neighbors right next door. After a few minutes of being outside long enough to be cold and drenched and seeing no activity, I found a brick to use as a weapon and decided I’d had enough, and I was going back in. Once inside, I still heard the same noise but made my way up the steps, while feeling as if my heart were going to jump out. I discovered the culprit, an out of balance washing machine!
A couple of weeks ago I found out I was going to have to have a tooth pulled. It had been over twenty years since I had an extraction. I had a very bad experience at the dentist when I was growing up, leaving me very apprehensive about dental appointments. This tooth had housed a temporary filling for four years, due to my postponing the inevitable. After more discomfort than I wanted to deal with, the time had come for it to come out. I prayed, fretted, prayed, worried, prayed some more and then fought my imagination going wild. I will share some different scenarios I played out in my head:
Scenario #1. The tooth had already broken off so when the dentist would begin to pull it, it would crumble to pieces but the root would stay deeply planted. It would have to be surgically removed, and I would need to be sedated, and they would take out the wrong tooth, and I would wake up in horrible pain (IF I woke up), while realizing I had to go through it all again.
Scenario #2. The dentist would have a terribly, tough time trying to pull it, as the dentist did when I had one pulled as a child. She would pull and pull and accidentally pull my head off and I would make the headlines as the first person to ever have their head sewn back on.
Scenario #3. The dentist would be attempting to pull my tooth, and she would have her foot pushing against the chair applying pressure, while pulling with her hand, and she would go backwards and fall out the window as the tooth came out and she would sue us for damages and we would end up homeless.
Scenario #4. The dentist would not be able to get me numb and the pain would be so bad it would make childbirth seem like a breeze!
I’m sure you’ve got the picture by now. I was SCARED! I am a woman of faith….. normally, anyway. I read my Bible regularly, and I know it fairly well. However, fear tells you lies and I had been listening to them. I am always the first to tell people, if God is trying to get a message to you, He knows how to do it. My wake up call from this madness came in such a sweet and special way and it caused me to snap out of it! One of my facebook friends posted a video of her son giving a testimony at their church, and I clicked on it. My friend is Sandy Bonny and it was her son Caleb. I know he has made the news quite a bit lately, but he probably never dreamed God was going to use him to help some 53 year-old woman in a nearby town have the courage to get her dental work done. Caleb was talking about peace in the midst of his basketball game or whatever situation you happened to find yourself in. I knew all that he was saying to be true; but fear had crowded everything out. He elaborated, and it was just what I needed to hear. I also walked away knowing that if my head came off and was going to need to be reattached, God wanted me to have peace and trust Him to make it happen!
The actual scenario of my appointment was the dentist fooling around with my tooth for a couple of minutes tightening something, and then pecking on it. I asked her how it was going and did it seem like she was going to be able to get it out. She informed me it was already out!
Very seldom are things quite as bad as we imagine them to be. I always remember my mother telling the story of when I was only four years old. She and daddy were in a horrible traffic jam in the middle of Cincinnati. Daddy was having a tough time maneuvering through the traffic, and mother was a nervous wreck. She said I began to sing, “He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.” Although I am much older now, I am reminded many times over just how much I still need that childlike faith.
In making mention of Caleb Bonny, I want to congratulate the basketball team and coaches. What a beautiful representation of Estill County all of you were. Sometimes you are winners not because you won the game, but how you played it. I was and remain proud to be an Estill County girl.
I hope we will meet up again next week. As you settle down someplace quiet. Right now I’m not sure if you will need a cold glass of milk or a hot cup of cocoa, to go with some warm, ooey, gooey chocolate chip cookies. Maybe you will be looking out the window at snow or a slightly warm, sunshiny, spring day. Whatever the case may be, we will talk about what’s on my heart; but most importantly what can be learned from it.
As always, God bless.
Karen Sparks Steinhauser is an Estill County native that now resides in Richmond, Kentucky. She is a Christian Children’s author and speaker. If you wish to contact her or schedule her for an event, you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 859-893-1758.