By Tracey Lemming
Think back to a moment in your life when a call was answered. When a prayer was answered. Was it immediate, or did it take years to receive? I believe that we all have times in our lives when we can look back and see the connection of a call and a response in our life. Sometimes it feels as if we will never receive the answer, but if we keep our mind fixed on what we want, it will come to fruition. Is there a question that you have been asking to a higher power? Are you sowing seeds of expectancy, or seeds of doubt?
Growing up, I knew that I needed jaw surgery to correct my bite. It was hard to chew and only my back teeth touched, putting a lot of pressure on them. This could lead to serious problems if it wasn’t corrected. When my older sister was in high school, she had the same jaw surgery that I needed. At the time, my Dad’s insurance paid for her surgery, but when I was old enough for it, the insurance companies considered it a cosmetic/elective surgery and would not pay for it. Knowing at a young age that this condition existed, the orthodontist gave me a dental appliance to wear to try to correct my bite. Unfortunately it didn’t work. Surgery would be the answer, and surgery was very expensive.
After college, I again met with my orthodontist and he referred me to a specialist. Again, I heard “well you really need to have this surgery, but it will not be covered by insurance.” The specialist and orthodontist wrote letters and sent x-rays to the insurance company showing why the surgery was medially necessary, but the claim was denied. Of course I adapted and was able to chew, but the jawline affected my profile and how I appeared to the world. I was always self-conscious of this. I didn’t feel as confident or as beautiful as I wanted to on the outside. I didn’t want to draw a lot of attention to myself, and I didn’t realize it at the time, but now I see that it affected my ability to speak my truth. It was easier to blend in and not be seen.
When I moved to North Carolina, I asked my Human Resources contact for recommendations on finding a dentist, and I went to the one that she recommended within a few months of moving there. Of course, on my initial exam, the dentist asked me if anyone ever told me that I need jaw surgery. Well yes, I’ve been told this my whole life I explained, but the cost is so much, and wouldn’t be covered by insurance. Of course, I would love to have this surgery, but it really did feel like a dead end road after years of hearing no. My dentist mentioned an oral surgeon down the road who was great, and she encouraged me to meet with her. She said that she had a really good track record of getting this surgery approved by insurance. I agreed to meet with her and could feel some hope coming back.
When I met with the oral surgeon, I felt like I had finally gone to the right doctor. I trusted her and her opinion, and I felt comfortable with her and her recommendations. With this surgery being on my face, I really wanted to make sure that the doctor was someone who I could trust and cared for me as a person and patient. After going over options, she recommended upper jaw surgery only, which would be less expensive and invasive. After thinking of the expense as a really expensive car, I decided to go ahead with the process, whether insurance covered it or not. I knew that this would be the best for me in the long run and decided to invest in myself. I would have braces for a year, which would actually make things “worse” but give my teeth room for the the surgery to be performed. The next year of braces, would be pulling everything back together to perfect my smile. I was so thankful for this process, and I knew that it would not only help me to chew easier, but I thought that it would also help my confidence as well. It did just that, and I really felt beautiful inside and out.
Throughout the 2 year process, friends and family were there to help. I was thankful to have the time to go to my appointments. My parents and niece Claire came down for the surgery and stayed for a week. I know that they wished they could have stayed longer to help, but when they left, my Mary Kay director was there to take me to appointments and make sure that I had enough food (mostly mashed potatoes, soups, ensure protein drinks), since I couldn’t chew for a few weeks. At this time, I also learned the power of visualization and listening to healing tracks. I now know the power that your mind and subconscious have on your body, and this definitely sped up my healing.
About 6 months into the braces and process, the insurance company partially approved my surgery, and I was so thankful that I only had to pay the max out of pocket expenses. I learned that when you take a step towards what you want, you will always be provided for in some way or another. I truly believe that one of the reasons that I was led to North Carolina was to have this surgery. The doctors in the area (UNC and Duke) are some of the best in the world. I even was able to have my surgery in a specialty hospital that had the lowest infection rate in the state of North Carolina. And at this hospital, I was assured, even when my 24 hours were up, I would not be “kicked out” and would be given the time to be discharged when I was ready. It was truly a great experience from the start to the finish.
After another year of braces, I could finally see my vision realized. I was so happy to finally feel as beautiful as I always wanted to. My prayer wasn’t answered when I wanted it to be, but there was a better and more aligned time for me to go through this process. I truly believe that finally having the surgery that I had hoped I would someday have was a huge reason that my journey led me to North Carolina. Within months of arriving, the 2 year process was set in motion. The right people showed up at exactly the right time. Had I had the surgery when I wanted, I may have had both upper and lower jaw surgery as recommended, which may not have been necessary. I may not have been as happy with my results and the process as I am. I may not have had such a great experience and the insurance approval of the surgery. It was truly a great experience, and I know that this call was answered in perfect timing.
So, the next time that you have a prayer, know that it may not be answered on your time. But, it may be answered in a more aligned and perfect time for you. It’s easy to give up hope, and the surgery was something I wanted for many years. I knew that it would improve my quality of life, and it did. It was truly a gift, and I believe if you hold a vision in your mind and let go of how and when it “should” happen, you may be surprised when your call is answered. But when it is, you will know without a doubt that it was. Plant seeds of faith, and know that your desire is on it’s way. Allow yourself to relax and let go of the need to control. Allow the higher power in your life to surprise and delight you in the unfolding of your journey. There is so much unknown, but do your best to remain positive, and celebrate the signs that you are headed in the right direction. When you are call is answered, you will know and the winding roads will all make sense. Is there something you have been praying for for years? Are you keeping the faith?