Repeat that a few hundred times and you have what I feel on a daily basis. Each time I open my jaw, whether to eat, yawn, breathe, speak or sing, I get a variation of the three sounds above combined. And if they sound atrocious, they feel worse.
Over the years I'd got used to what my doctor says could either be a congenital weakness in my jaw, or the effect of countless small physical traumas that have built on each other and resulted in what I now have. I think that was the problem, getting used to it.
Patience and tolerance are commonly seen as good values to cultivate. But in some cases, I think, I should have been less patient. Less tolerant. Less permissive of small annoyances causing me discomfort. Because if I had put my foot down and sought medical care for this as a teenager, I don't think I would now be a breath away from ripping through the walls from the discomfort and constant dull pain.
Nonetheless, I am giving thanks as I write for the healing that I know will come. I'm not sure how -- my doctor uttered some not-so-sunny possibilities that included the words "surgery" and "replacement" but also, we're leaving the door wide open for other methods -- but I know it will.
It's easy to come to the end of a rough patch and say "I knew all along that things would be OK." To me, that isn't faith, it's cliche, and if there's one thing that annoys me more than a bad jaw...
So I'm going to sit here, while my jaw is in its present very imperfect state, and declare that "I know that it's going to be fine." That one day soon I'm going to wake up in the morning, yawn and stretch without getting the sound effects of a pachinko machine loading up. I can believe that I will completely overcome my present trying circumstances and not feel like an utter loony, because I know whom it is I'm relying upon. Not a bunch of flaky New Age affirmations or a vague, misty idea out of a book, but my faithful God who's seen me through many storms in the past.