Sitting on the closed toilet seat in the downstairs bathroom of my childhood home, I stared at my sister and in all seriousness said, “I don’t have a choice. I have to run away.” Growing up, my sister and I hated the dentist. We took good care of our teeth, brushed twice daily and rarely had a cavity. But the “ducky” – the foam, gel-filled plates pressed over both top and bottom teeth, oozing fluoride that inched itself irritably close to our hangy ball for five dreadful, gaggable minutes – that was enough to make the dentist terrifying. And most definitely worth running away from. I’m not sure how my sister responded, or how I decided not to run away but what I do know is that fear and anxiety is still very real in my life.
Sunday evening as I looked at my upcoming week, my shoulders began to rise up by my ears as tension increased and anxiety waved hello. And guess what one of the causes was? The good ‘ole dentist. I don’t know whether to blame the ducky, or the fear that Dr. J might find something deathly wrong in my mouth, but every 6 months, when I drive 20 miles to my childhood dentist, I fight nerves. Feeling overwhelmed and defeated by my upcoming week, I aimlessly scrolled through Instagram to find a post from a fellow Influence Network gal with a visual that said, “Be strong and Immovable.” Without even reading the caption, I knew that this was the mantra I needed for my week.
Anxiety is a mental conflict between lies and truth. What could simply be a harmless dentist appointment and a busy week, suddenly becomes a crippling, “I’m going to have 17 cavities and maybe a few root canals. Stress is going to dominate me. I’m not going to have a moment to breathe. I’ll probably end up getting sick and well, crankiness is inevitable. I’m not going to be able to handle it.” But the truth is, because of God – I am strong and immovable. Through Christ’s death on the cross, the same power that God used to part the Red Sea, to move mountains, to defeat the evil one through Jesus, lives in me. A song called “Same Power” by Jeremy Camp says this so well as the chorus proclaims, “The same power that rose Jesus from the grave, the same power that commands the dead to wake, lives in us, lives in us.” This truth, this awe-inspiring, earth shattering truth that Christ’s power lives in me, that is what makes me strong and immovable.
Challenged by the words from 1 Corinthians 15:58 that say, “So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable” my dreary, dentist-clad, perspective for the week flipped. Instead of preparing for a week of heaviness and defeat, I geared up for a battle that I was certain to win. Halfway through my week, with zero cavities might I add, I can honestly say that claiming this gospel-filled mantra 100% impacted my week.
Friends, let me tell you – you too, are strong and immovable. If you believe in your heart and proclaim with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you too have His incredible power living in you. There is no mountain you face, no dentist appointment too scary, no health report, no anxiety too great, that you cannot counter with the help of our awesome God.
When anxiety ensues, take a deep breath and utter "I am strong and immovable". I know this may seem silly, but speaking truth is powerful. Own it, proclaim it, and watch how it affects your day. I promise you, it’s worth it.
-- image from our recent trip to South Dakota
This was taken at one of the outlooks on Needles Highway --