Oct 12, 2012
Go ahead — call me a wimp.
It’s not mostly the pain. It’s that I’m claustrophobic.
When I’m trapped on my back, head-down in that chair, with torture utensils stuck into my mouth and someone’s face two inches from mine and I can’t move or a drill will cut off my tongue — I can become overwhelmed with panic and terror.
I remember one dentist saying — “Are you all right? You’re looking a little green around the gills.”
Little did he know.
The clock is ticking
In a couple hours I’m heading to the dentist.
So to help me — and any of you who are afraid of dentists — I’m going to go over my battle-plan against fear.
It all starts here. God has the power to free me from fear and fill me with peace.
And He says —
Ask and it will be given to you. Matthew 7:7
What is impossible with people is possible with God. Luke 18:27
You have not because you ask not. James 4:2
So I’m coming to the Father in Jesus’ name — asking Him to give me His peace.
Peace is a fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and God provides the Spirit as we hear His promises with faith (Gal 3:5).
So I’m going over some promises now — and will continue to go over them while the dentist is working on me.
Here are my favorite promises for the dentist’s chair —
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
You keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. Rom 15:13
Exercise? That’s right — exercise.
Maybe it has to do with endorphins or dopamine.
But whatever it is — getting in a quad-burning, sweat-pouring, heart-pounding mountain-bike ride before I go to the dentist helps me relax.
Before the dentist starts working I remind her that I’m claustrophobic.
I just say —
“So — I’m claustrophobic, right? If I raise my hand while you are working on me — could we take a break so I can have a little space?”
I’ve never had to raise my hand — but it helps to know I have the option.
Certain thoughts lead to fear and anxiety, like —
- How long is this going to take?
- Am I ever going to get out of here?
- I’m not sure I’m going to make it!
So instead, while the dentist is working on me, I try to —
- meditate on Scripture — especially promises
- talk to the Father — asking for continued help
- pray for people — lifting up urgent needs
- worship Jesus — beholding His goodness, wisdom, power, love
So here goes —
I’m going to take some time right now to pray, go over God’s promises, and exercise.
Then — it’s off to the dentist.
I’ll let you know what happens.
Well, I’m back.
It was one of my easiest appointments ever.
God gave me grace to —
- set my mind on Him,
- pray for neighbors who don’t know Christ,
- and thank Him for ways He’s been working.
I felt no fear. Only peace.
Thank You, Father.
What about you?
How have you dealt with fears like this? I’d love to hear — leave a reply below. Thanks!
Do you know someone who is afraid of dentists? Email this to them — or share it with your friends on Twitter or Facebook.
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And here’s some related posts you might find helpful —
- Fearful or Worried?
A Toothache and the Fight of Faith
How To Pray About Problems
Does God Ordain Every Trial?
(Picture on everystockphoto by Conor Lawless.)