In the famous YouTube video, “David After Dentist,” little David is experiencing the aftermath of a tooth-removal surgery as well as the effects of lingering medication. Here are some parts of the conversation he had with his dad.
Dad: “How did it go?”
David: “I…didn’t feel anything.”
. . .
David: “Uhhhh….is this real life?”
. . .
Dad: “Stay in your seat.”
. . .
David: “Do I have stitches?”
Dad: “Yeah. Don’t touch it. Don’t.”
David: “Why can’t I touch it?”
Dad: “Because it’ll mess up the stitches.”
. . .
David: “Is this gonna be forever?”
Dad: (chuckling) “No, it won’t be forever.”
Recently, I have felt like David after the dentist. However, instead of recovering from an extracted tooth, I have been healing from a broken friendship. If you’ve ever been betrayed by someone you love and trust, you may understand how my confusion might compare to the mind-altering effects of David’s drugs.
At first, like David, I didn’t feel a thing. When I reflect on the moment of “extraction,” I remember feeling a supernatural sense of peace. I didn’t cry. I didn’t hurt. I wasn’t angry–just numb.
Then came the moment of confusion. Befuddlement. Straining to see through the fog of my naiveté that had, for so long, clouded my perception of reality. I suddenly found myself questioning the sincerity of everyone around me. I felt like I couldn’t distinguish “real life” from the pretending and the lies.
I heard my Father telling me to simply be still. Instead of filling my heart with the peace He so freely offered to me, I became anxious and afraid. I refused to acknowledge my vulnerability, even to myself. I thought that maybe, if I smiled long enough, the pain would go away. And then I snapped. Inside I was screaming. I was not okay.
I’ve been learning more and more that it is okay not to be okay. It’s okay to be hurt, broken, or wounded. Sometimes, the pain is a reminder of my need for a Doctor. As I heal, I am sometimes tempted to “mess up the stitches,” or try to sabotage the very things He has put in place to hold me together. He gently reminds me that true healing is possible if only I stop struggling against, and start trusting in, His goodness.
God may not change my circumstances, but I trust that He will change my heart. And, “no, it won’t be forever.”