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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confident (07/05/07)

TITLE: Bridging the Gap
By Janice S Ramkissoon


I walked with this fear for over a decade. It hindered me from fully engaging in things I now believe God wanted me to do. On many occasions I was asked to join choirs but refused, because of this fear. Then recently, having travelled through hurt and pain, I started to clearly recognise the voice of the Holy Spirit and for fear of not being obedient and denying someone of their blessings, I no longer hesitate. However, the fear I once knew, resurfaced and I began to run the opposite direction, once more. When I realised what was happening I took my fear to God, confident that He would remove it.

As a child, I noticed I had gaps between a few of my teeth which seemed to get wider as the years passed. I grew used to the spaces and had no reason to worry about them until…

“Oh my gosh! No!”

The end result was obvious to all. People stared, with horror in their eyes. Then …

“Bang! Crash!”

I survived the accident but lost a front bottom tooth.

Prior to this accident, I remembered my dentist telling me I had a hereditary gum disease which caused the loosening of the affected teeth and that they had a life-span of 5-10 years. The thought of having dentures, at the end of this anticipated ordeal, was somewhat scary for a teenager. It all became real after the accident. I now had an obvious gap in my mouth, and of all the places it could have been! Sure enough there was a dent in my confidence. My brain would tell me ‘people are staring’ (even if they weren’t) and if I had to speak in public it would make me more conscious of it. To add to this, the following years saw another gap developing, causing one of the top front tooth to protrude. This deteriorated after giving birth and my confidence level took a dive.

Eventually, I grew used to this gap being there. But recently, I’ve been getting invites to speak in public places and the fear resurfaced. Though I am totally submitted to doing God’s will – gap or no gap, I wanted to feel comfortable and confident. I didn’t want to have my thoughts diverted to the gap and lose concentration. So when I saw my gap as a potential stumbling block, my new quest was to get rid of it.

I spoke with two separate dental surgeons who recommended a ‘bridge’ as a solution. I started the process with one of these practices but wasn’t comfortable with the whole process, including the constant change in the cost and the level of hygiene. One night I was troubled, I couldn’t sleep and I felt something terrible was about to happen should I proceed. I put my concerns to God and asked Him for direction. I then went on the internet and did some research on gum disease. That’s when I found ‘CONFIDENT’, the dental care through which my prayer was about to be answered.

I got the answers I needed. A week later I had my consultation; was diagnosed with ‘juvenile periodontitis’, and given a treatment plan. That day I knew God had answered my prayers. Had I proceeded with the other dentist I would have had to replace the bridge sooner than expected which would have doubled the cost. The lack of treatment for the gum would also cause me to develop further health problems. I thanked God for allowing me to escape this ordeal and I am grateful to have found a dental surgeon who was thorough in each step of the process. Finance was an issue but I knew placing it in God’s hands, He would take care of it. I was confident of this because never before had He failed me. The treatment was done in stages including, bringing the gum back to a healthy state.

Work was carried out to replace my gaps. My confidence has been restored and my fear removed. Previously there would always be an element of fear, whether through reading, storytelling, singing or just through everyday conversation, but I trusted God to remove that fear and now I speak and smile with confidence. The answer to my prayer came through ‘Confident Dental Care’ and before the process was complete, opportunities were presented for me to speak in public. God always answers prayers and He’s always on time.

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This article has been read 1169 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 07/12/07
Oh dear, I have a major fear of dentists, and this piece made me cringe--but in a good way, because your writing was engaging and I really, really needed to keep reading to be sure your teeth were all right in the end!

I was a bit confused by the first few paragraphs, when you were vague about "this fear"--I suspect that was an intentional device, but it disoriented me slightly.

I'm so thankful that everything is well with your teeth now! Thanks for sharing.
Dee Yoder 07/13/07
I also fear dentists! But I too, had major dental work that took weeks and weeks of chair sitting and hand wringing. I'm glad I did it. :) God cares so much for us, even in the seemingly small things that worry us. I have no doubt He made sure your needs were met by the best dentist! A nice slant on being "confident".
Beth LaBuff 07/15/07
You've certainly been through a lot, but I'm sure your are stronger because of it. It's hard when we're younger to not be self-conscious of our looks and also to not look on the outward appearance of others. You have a good story! Thanks!
Joanne Sher 07/17/07
This is a neat testimony. Love the title too! Enjoyed the read.
Kristen Hester07/18/07
I think the title for this is so clever. Very nice story. Thank you for sharing this.
Helen Dowd09/24/07
I agree with another "commenter," your title is very clever. Good for you for writing about a subject most people would shy away from. It surely helped you gain the confidence you said you were lacking. This may help others to overcome their timidity of personal hang-ups. I am sure this was a challenge for you as a teen-ager. I too was a teenager forced to get dentures (at my own expense). I have never regretted it.