Trusting God in the Good Times and Bad Times



I saw another specialist today. The visit with the X-ray cost me $445 in total but I did it for peace of mind. I’ve been dealing with phantom tooth pain that had me going to three dentists in one day. My endodontist thought I might have had a cyst but it turns out that I might have a microfracture instead which explains why all the other dentists haven’t been able to catch it.

The specialist today was really nice but he is expensive as heck. I don’t want to play the waiting game and wait for my insurance to come in so the plan now is to go implant-shopping (because I have to get it removed, since I had the tooth treated twice). If it comes down to it, I might just have to eat the cost. I guess it helps that I graduated with zero student debt haha and that I’ll be getting my paycheck in September.

I was really angry with God after walking out of that office because I didn’t understand. I brush my teeth and floss meticulously three times a day. I get checkups every half-year and 99% of the time have stayed away from any hard foods. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had saltine crackers? Do you know how many bananas I’ve eaten instead of Frito chips?

in all seriousness, I cried about it for a little bit and then, with my mom’s help, I realized that God never promised me I wouldn’t have tooth problems in this life. He only promised me that

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

I realized that yes, I’m upset about the pain and upset about the cost. I took audit with a toothache and I don’t just have $6,000 lying around my house. But God has blessed me with so much. For one thing, He’s given me the resources that I need to be able to afford this implant.

As a freelance writer, my business has been thriving and I’ve been making more this month than I ever have. I made enough this month to cover the expensive consultation. People pay me for my writing and that in itself is already a huge blessing.

It sucks to have to get expensive dental work and no, I don’t feel like I ‘deserve’ this pain… but God let it happen for a reason and I need to trust Him even when times are bad.

This is a huge and critical lesson for me to learn in trusting God because I’ve come to realize that trusting in God and walking with Him means doing so even when you’re in pain.

These past six months have been full of trials for me health-wise. I’ve never felt so vulnerable in my life. But I feel like I’ve grown more than ever as a person.

The biggest step is in the realization that God won’t always give me prosperity but He’ll give me the strength and the resources I need to get through each and every trial. I don’t know what’s waiting for me in the future but I’m ready to just learn. Even if it hurts.

So Lord, I’m ready to trust You. I do trust You. And I hope this will all pay off someday. All I can do is wait and trust and depend on you. Amen.


Diiiiirty Laundry

So it’s been a few days and I’ve been feeling a little bit better. I felt normal again enough to exercise once or twice this week. Hopefully and prayerfully, I can start to just exercise again every day. Really looking forward to that.

I realized that everything that’s happened has been a crazy experience that I would never have expected. But it’s helped me come back to God and learn a powerful lesson about His discipline. I’ve learned that to be judged by God and to experience His discipline is beyond anything I’ve ever dreamed of.

In the past, my fears consisted of awkward social dinners and not getting promoted or people taking advantage of me. I realized though that even if I get to a point in my life where I’m doing well, making a steady income, in great health and etc, God is always watching me. It sounds paranoid but it’s true. What if during that time I get prideful again and I start to just be a big douche to people? God sees and then, like a loving Father, He’ll just help me learn – albeit through some not easy lessons – to come back to Him and to become grounded in Him again. To walk in a way that is worthy of Him.

It took just four hours this morning for me to realize just how very ‘urgh’ I can be. I try my best to be a good person and to be nice and easy to get along with but I never realized that I am actually more snobby than I realize. I made some comments this morning about my neighbors that, immediately, made me feel ashamed.

If I had said those words a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t even have blinked an eye to be honest. But what I said and thought just made me realize, “I’m not who I want to be right now.”

Then when I went to take a stroll in the park with my mom, I would see people pass by and think angry thoughts about them. Even old people. To be honest, and this is really hard to admit, seeing the weak and vulnerable stirs up a sense of anger and disdain in me. It never hit me as hard as it did today. Because I was always too afraid to admit it. That I’m very bitter and angry inside and that  I’m afraid of being hurt and taken advantage of so I lash out at people. I build up a wall of ice that keeps people just far enough away so that they can’t touch me.

I guess that’s why I only have one best friend and the other one I have is slowly drifting away from me and won’t take my calls.

When I’m at home and reading a Christian book, it’s easy to get excited and then feel like I can go out there and love the homeless and start serving in the soup kitchen asap. But in reality, I’m more angry and my heart is made of stone more than I realize.

Then I went home and I saw an angry message from someone who wanted my help on his biography. He submitted this long and outdrawn document and asked me to help him summarize it. It’s exactly the type of project I don’t like. Things have been busy and chaotic lately what with the influx of work I’ve gotten along with BEC drawing near so I haven’t had the time to reply to him. He kept sending me messages like ‘hello’ ‘hello’ and ‘any update’. If you want to work with someone, maybe try showing more enthusiasm.

So I sent a message yesterday respectfully declining, saying “Hi! Thanks for reaching out but I won’t be able to take on this project currently. Best of luck to you!”

He wrote back, “So why did you waste my time?”

And I took his bait this morning. Without stopping, I wrote back, “Hmmm, I’m not the one who kept messaging these past few days to someone who’s clearly not interested. I’m grateful that I won’t be working with you and I do not need to reply to your messages. Good luck and God bless!”

Then I immediately felt ashamed after pressing send cause I realized that no matter who’s right or wrong, this wasn’t the way I wanted to treat someone. Yea, he’s rude, but that doesn’t mean I have to be rude either.

I’m proud to say though that after he sent another message trying to bait me into getting angry, I just reported and blocked him.

What scares me the most about myself right now is my lack of love for people who need help.


Waiting, Anxiously

So last night, just as I was feeling a little bit better from the TMJ, I ended up tearing off half my toenail on one of my toes. It started bleeding and was really painful…

And then I just really ran to God and started asking Him how I could make this stop. And the answer I got was from Hosea. I realized that I really have changed in ways that have distanced me from God. So I’ve been praying that He would stop these health incidents and I feel that the key to it is really deepening my relationship with Him again and walking more closely with Him like I did those years ago.

I’ll do just that. Every day is its own battle but I’m going to stick by as close to my God as I can and just pray, pray that He won’t let another health incident happen. I pray that it will end here.

Hoping and praying…

I have no idea what to expect.


Giant Lightbulb

So right as my mosquito bites were healing, I got extreme TMJ pain … the worse that I’ve ever had. And I used to have TMJ pain that I would have to take four ibuprofen four at a time. But I’ve been using ibuprofen so much that I feel like it doesn’t even have an effect on me anymore.

Like I mentioned a few posts ago, things have finally gotten scary. I went from feeling, “okay, well, this sucks but it’ll get better” to “now I’m getting worried, what am I doing wrong?” to “what’s going to happen next?”

And so today, as I was swimming in a sea of pain while lying in bed, I realized that I’ve been praying to God about this pain and looking at random verses but I have never really been investigating His word. So I decided to put on a sermon about God and health issues while laying in bed trying to not throw up.

As I listened to the sermon, I had a couple of strong realizations:

First, that maybe this is happening because I need to become humble again. If you know me, you know that I love to be active and workout. It’s what gives me that extra burst of energy. But I haven’t worked out in months because it’s been one health thing after another. And each one is getting worse.

The ideal image I had of myself was always of an energetic and athletic person. Before all this started and went into full swing, I was doing more cardio and loving it. Now I’m lucky if I get my daily walk in.

If you asked me to envision a scenario where not exercising would ever be good for me, I’d laugh. But now I realize that maybe this is happening so that I can become more down to earth again.

Second, maybe God wants me to slow down. Part of the reason why I was so anxious about going out there and exploring new things once I graduated (had plans to travel, go to resorts, sky dive, learn a new sport, etc) was because I felt insecure whenever I slowed down.

Even just lying down there was a huge obstacle for me. Unless it’s to sleep, I don’t like to down and just close my eyes and wait. It took this huge wave of pain radiating across my face and my shoulders and my neck and even my stomach to make me lie down and be still.

I realized also that life won’t end when I work. I can do these things when I work too. Maybe not as much but maybe just on the weekends. The hours will be rough but I can still live life and be happy.

Third, I was keeping most of this to myself. At first, when it was all unusual and not normal and chronic, I told my friends about it and they would all be very sympathetic. But like I mentioned before, it’s only a matter of time when people get sick about hearing about your problems. Eventually when they see you it’s the first thing they ask, “how’s your pain?”

But then in this sermon I realized that I haven’t really been going to other Christians and trying to investigate why this is all happening. The speaker spoke about going to the elders of the church and being prayed over. Why, in these six months, have I not done that?

Instead, I’ve been praying and reading random Bible verses but maybe God wants me to go to church so that I can ask other Christians – especially my pastor – about it.

Recently, I’ve been wondering, “What WILL God do next? Am I going to break my arm? Am I going to get yet another infection? Is all my hair going to fall out?”

But really, the only way to find out why this is happening is to ask God. And I’m barely starting to realize that to find out what God thinks, maybe I have to turn to other Christians too. Maybe I can’t just rely on my own prayers and random Bible verses.

So when the speaker mentioned ruthless independence in his message and how sickness can move us to want to go to other people in church for help, it struck me. I plan to go to church this Sunday and prayerfully, I can talk to the pastor after service and ask him.

Before all of this happened, I really did live in my own world where life was like a television show and I was the main character. It was the Ophie Show. But now, now maybe it’s not. What do you do when all the lights in your studio turn off and the cameras stop working? You start to realize who you are beneath that once confident, slightly arrogant exterior whose biggest worry was that her arms would get flabby again.

If you are a Christian and you are reading this, I really ask you to pray for me. Any prayer will help. 


A Realization About Pain


Shortly after writing my last post, I prayed to God a very angry prayer. I asked Him, “Lord, what is it next? :/ What’s going to happen next? I don’t even want to know. I don’t understand You.”

And in a moment of clarity, He showed me that by choosing to trust Him even IF something else happens and even when I don’t understand – I’m honoring Him and making a decision to move forward in my faith.

Once again, my jaw and the left side of my teeth hurt. But I choose to trust in Him even when it’s hard. There’s a reason for all of this.


Trying to Understand

After visiting three – yes three dentists – on Monday and being told that I might have a cyst, I got two mosquito bites that turned into these huge swollen bumps. The first one was over 4 inches in diameter and the second one is a bit smaller but equally as itchy. Thus, I couldn’t go play tennis with my friend on Wednesday nor could I go and have coffee with someone I met from church on Thursday. It was hard to even walk on Wednesday morning and I ended up sleeping half the day away after taking Benadryl.

I really don’t understand God and I would say I’m starting to struggle but the struggle to understand what He’s doing has already started. When I ask Him about it, I always get turned to verses in Job or places in Psalms where the psalmist speaks about God’s discipline in light of the trials in life.

I don’t know if I will ever understand what He’s doing. What I do know is that there’s this fear in my heart as I’m wondering ‘what’s next’. A dental cyst when I take meticulous care of my teeth? A car crash? Breaking a limb? What does God have planned for me next?

The upside to this that I understand Job now better than I ever have before. The reason why God allowed Job to go through those trials wasn’t to prove Satan wrong or to see whether or not Job was really true. It was to reveal things to Job that Job didn’t know about himself. Job claimed that he was perfect and free from sin and that he was a just man but God showed him that he wasn’t.

And something occurred to me the other day that maybe these trials are happening in anticipation of what God is going to do in my life for the future.

As I’m writing this, I’m still slightly in pain and just feeling 50% miserable. I don’t get it. I really don’t.

I wish God would show me why. What am I doing wrong?


Updates on Health

A.) I’m 100% going to get a new general dentist. The one I have now was super sweet and really great to work with initially but my visits recently have changed my mind about her.  A few months ago, she gave me free movie tickets when I got my wisdom teeth removed (definitely not something that was done for everyone) and even gave me a huge discount on Nitrous. I got discounts for a lot of stuff and know everyone in the office on a first-name basis (since I’m usually the type of person who will go to one dentist, one optometrist and etc for life, I like to get to know as many people in the office as possible to establish a relationship). But I feel like through this health saga, she has gotten impatient with me and so I feel like I could get better care somewhere else.

Also, I wish she would charge me for all the times I come to see her. She doesn’t charge me for a lot of my visits and then she ends up rushing through some of them which is not good. So I’ve decided to just try out a new dentist in the area who looks really good.

As someone who does client work, I know that most people who don’t get paid to do their work won’t do that great of a job at it. So that’s why I’d rather pay. I’d pay over $500 if you just give me the care that I need and not rush through.

The first time I went to see her about this pain, she gave me amoxicillin and then rushed to her next appointment. Very disappointing.

B.) It turns out I might have a cyst where my teeth have been hurting on and off for the past month. I take great care of my teeth and brush and floss three times a day. So this is rather discouraging :/. It might not be a cyst but my endo wants me to see a specialist to make sure. He said it’s not root canal related.

C.) I’m exhausted. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt normal.

The bright side is that I have two coffee dates with two new friends from church this week. I had coffee with one this week and she is just so energetic and easy to talk to. I feel like it was a success!

I have another one coming up so that’ll be fun :).

I also have a tennis date with my good friend this week too. I can’t play tennis really well but it’ll be fun.

And finally, I have a movie with date with another girl friend on Saturday. We’re going to see Wonder Woman at this fancy upscale movie theater with big leather seats and where they deliver food directly to where you’re sitting.

I’m also planning to check out Toastmasters soon. The last time I went to a meeting, I ended up winning a ribbon for best table topics (: . I stopped attending once I got involved on campus but it was a really great experience.

I’m still in pain right now but I’ve learned that life doesn’t stop when you feel uncomfortable.

God also gave me these two verses:

16 So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self[a] is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

2 Cor 4:16-18
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
John 14:27