Autism comes with a whole lot of sensory issues and going to the dentist or the orthodontist can be a chore for those sweet kids. It is filled with anxiety and the issues that come with extra sensitivity.
We thought we had time, perhaps a year, before these braces had to come but there is a problem that is now presently seen. The stretching and pulling of the face just to get those pictures and x-rays were enough to stress my girl out. The sensations that come with it are almost unbearable for her. Then to hear they need to be put on the teeth now. It was too much.
After the shock
We took time to pray and process. She is at an age where she can reasonably see that braces would be beneficial. She asked all the right questions to the orthodontist. She knows the consequences of not getting them on her teeth. So at this time in our life, I decided to leave it up to her. I will let her decide whether she wants them or not.
I am not suggesting that you do this in every situation but as our children grow, they will become adults and will need to make these kinds of decisions on their own. They will need the freedom to do this and it is now while they are under our roofs that we can help coach them and discuss with them how to make the most wise decision.
In light of eternity
Braces, in light of eternity, don't really matter in our case. I desire that she grow into a woman of grace and truth. Braces will not affect that. Braces are something that can be applied at any age or stage in life. Braces will not make her a better person or a worse person in the long run. So to me, it is a non issue. After processing all the information with her, I can trust her to decide.
If she says yes. It will be because she decided. She will be able to feel proud of taking the risk. I will admire her bravery because only we truly know how hard these sensory issues really are for her. I know the professions think they understand it but they really don't. Any kid who has extreme sensory issues who go through with braces is extremely brave. These little victories after every appointment are a celebration of true bravery! These are great opportunities for them to trust God in the hard places of life. My heart swells every time I see her bravery and it makes me want to be more brave.
In the context of the verses above regarding the James text and how to make a wise decision, it speaks about making ungodly decisions as well. It calls them demonic wisdom. It states that selfish ambition and jealousy are part of this kind of bad wisdom. So essentially if I force her to do this because I fear what the orthodontist might think of me, this is selfish ambition and therefore demonic wisdom. Get what the Scriptures are telling us? If she gets the braces because she is jealous of another's straight teeth then again, it fights the category of demonic wisdom.
If however, the decision is made out of godly wisdom, it will be from a pure heart, it will be full of gentleness and open to reason. It will be full of mercy and good fruit. It will be sincere and impartial. It will be peaceable and it is here with this kind of wisdom that we walk in that we bring the most glory to God. I am trying to weigh all my decisions this way while asking myself, in light of eternity, will this really matter? How will this decision bring the most glory to God?
Father, thanks for giving us a clear guideline to wise decisions. Please help us pause so we can think of you before we make decisions. Thank you for not leaving us alone. In Jesus Name. Amen.
~ Angela Parsley