I know its cliché but it’s also very true, the tongue does have power to heal or break, create or destroy.
I grew up with a dental abnormality (long story & testimony for another day). I had gone to almost every single dentist in & out of the country, each one I went to, took x-ray photos & freaked out saying ‘this is an abnormal case’ or ‘I’ve never seen anything like this’. In brief, it pierced straight through my heart & created a lot of insecurities in me as a young girl and got even worse in my teenage years.
The strongest voice in my head was that I was ‘Abnormal’.
It hurt & bothered me a lot. In primary school (even later), some kids even laughed at me & mocked me, hence made things really worse for me. It’s like no one but my father saw that pain in me, my mum didn’t even know it was an insecurity (bless her) till I told her in 2015. I was good at hiding my pain I guess.
In 2008, I had 2 major surgeries on my upper gum at King Faisal Hospital. That was when I met this wonderful dentist called Msafiri. He almost cried when he saw my file & took it upon himself to see that I got better. He became my friend although I was 14 at the time & really had no major conversation to have with him. But it’s like the minute he saw me, he saw through the facade, my pain & insecurity & was determined to make me feel better.
He started telling me that I was so beautiful, that I had a pretty smile (I almost rolled my eyes every time he said it). I didn’t believe him at all but it made me smile hearing those words. As a teenager, I also had boys that told me I was pretty & had a nice smile & I thought they were just being boys or mocking me or wanted something from me, and I wanted to beat the heck out of them each time they uttered those words.
But with my dentist, I knew he wanted nothing from me & meant well so I started believing him, started liking what I saw in the mirror. Fast forward, I lost touch with him & drowned back in my insecurity. To make things worse I got braces in 2010 & at school we were only 2 people with them, it started attracting much more attention to my face/teeth & people were asking questions, I hated it. I stopped showing teeth while I smiled & covered my mouth most of the time.
Some people would joke about my dental, to others braces were a new thing so they would stare at me & ask many questions. People’s words really got to me & magnified even the smallest bits of my insecurity. The braces started affecting my gum. In 2012, while in Kenya with my dad, I was told I needed 5-6 more surgeries to fix everything I had wrong & follow-up treatment would take 2 years, then it really confirmed how ‘abnormal’ I was.
My best friend at the time, noticed that in all my pictures I never smiled or if I did, it was with my mouth closed. He asked & I opened up & told him my insecurities & he was shocked, he said ‘what? No way, you have a gorgeous smile, you’re beautiful, etc’. From that day on, he started speaking positive into my insecurity, I smiled more often, started showing teeth 🙂 I became more confident & with time, I got over the insecurity. Generally, he is one that’s intentional in letting a person know they are beautiful & it’s precious.
Msafiri found me again years later, he still carried the burden for me. He even decided to research on my case when he did his PhD or Masters (not sure). I met him recently, he’s now a orthodontist at KFH.
I’ve healed in that area through him & my friend’s many encouragements & God’s work really (who physically healed by the way). But they both still speak life into me & it’s so beautiful. I appreciate them.
Words were what broke me in the first place & magnified my insecurity & words were what also helped me heal.
This is one of my own examples that challenged me to be intentional in speaking positivity, life & great things into others.
SPEAK LIFE INTO YOURSELF & INTO OTHERS, you never know whose life you may impact.