Not the ones you are probably thinking.
The crowns that go in the mouth. You know, the dental kind of crowns. [insert an eye roll]
I have put these off for the better part of a year. Maybe more, but who's counting?
Dread is an understatement.
I abhor dental work of any kind. I get anxious. I get fearful. I just don't like people's hands in my mouth. Ever.
As I drove to the appointment, I asked my daughter to pray.
I felt some peace as she prayed a sweet prayer.
But, soon after, my stomach was in knots again.
When I arrived, they took me back. They plopped me in that big leather chair, and my hands were shaking. Really, I mean shaking.
I was thinking of every excuse possible to escape. I could tell them I was sick and needed to go. I could tell them there was an emergency and I needed to flee. I could tell them this was all a big mistake and I was fine without having crowns in my mouth!
Suddenly, I heard in my spirit the words, "Be thankful, Jill."
Huh? Who said that?
Thankful for what??
I immediately began praying. Not out loud. Because you know, they already think I am looney.
I thanked the Lord that I was able to have dental work done. I thanked the Lord that I could afford to pay for the "crowns" in my mouth. I thanked the Lord for my dentist and all who had studied the mouth and teeth and knew what the heck they were doing.
I prayed for our missionary friends, The Dubose's. Josh Dubose and his family are in Peru doing missionary work, and helping with the dental needs in that area. I thought about the many needs they must come across every single day.
I thanked God for how blessed I was to be able to have medicine to numb my mouth when many others do not have this privilege.
Eventually, my heart stopped racing. My hands stopped shaking, and I began to feel a huge rush of peace.
Half way into our little crowning session my dentist said, "Jill, you are so much less anxious than usual. I know you don't like dental work, but you are extra calm today."
I gave him a crooked, numb-mouthed smile, and said, "Prayer is powerful."
Replacing my fear and anxiety with gratitude changed everything. Instead of just praying for the fear to go away, I replaced the prayer with thankfulness and praying for others.
Maybe this is why Paul tells us:
Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Are you dreading something today?
Pray and give thanks.
Peace will come swiftly. Just ask my dentist.