You're Running Out of Time!

BY: Deana Bell, Director, Restored Marriage
I was 26, newly married, and ready to do all kinds of adult things. One of the things on my list was taking better care of myself. And because I now had real insurance from a real job, I could afford to go to the dentist. This felt super adult-like until my new dentist took one look in my mouth and exclaimed, "You're running out of time!"

I was horrified and scared by what the dentist told me next. He said that because I had never had my wisdom teeth removed and I was over 20, I was in "serious" danger. What I recollect was something that went like this: for every year over 25 that you wait to get them removed, you risk greater effort to get them out, greater chance of infection, more bleeding, more pain, and so on. I was shocked, because this was the first time, I had heard anything of the sort. I grew up going to the dentist, but because my parents didn't have dental insurance everything was self-pay. We did the regular cleanings, but things like braces and wisdom teeth removal were never even on the radar.

I remember running home in a panic and telling my husband, who coincidentally had his out at 18, just what the dentist had said. I don't remember his response, but I certainly remember mine: How could I have them taken out if I could be at risk? I was a teacher and only had summers off. And even then, I needed to keep up with continuing-ed credits and my Master's degree. It seemed that having my wisdom teeth taken out would have to wait at least 2-3 years! God forbid if I waited until I was in my 30's!!! What would I do then? Would I be risking even more? At times, I had to push back fears of dying during what should have been routine surgery. Fear was in control of my thoughts when it came to dental visits.

Life took a turn, as it always does, and shortly thereafter I became a mom for the first time. My goal of taking better care of myself was put on the back-burner as I navigated my new job as mom. We moved, got a new dentist and I went for my regular cleaning. But as I walked into the new dentist’s office, I broke into a cold sweat just thinking about having that wisdom teeth conversation again. I prayed each time that I visited the dentist that he wouldn’t bring it up. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into years and I had long forgotten the words of that original dentist, until one day 10 years later, I was forced by insurance to see another new dentist. This dentist casually mentioned, on my first visit, that I "should probably have my wisdom teeth removed." The panic and the sweats came back as I asked him a few basic questions. At this point I had no reason NOT to have them removed - other than pure fear. The new dentist assured me that my age was not really an issue (I was 35 by then) and that he would refer me to a great dental surgeon that he knew.

I hesitantly made an appointment with the dental surgeon and went for a consultation. He was super nice and laughed a little bit when I spewed out all that the original dentist had told me about my age and the risks. He said, "Don't worry, I do this surgery multiple times a day. I will have you out of here in an hour." I couldn't believe my ears! Could this really be true? All the things I had run through my mind and had believed for TEN YEARS weren't true? How could this be? Had I believed the lie of all lies? Still hesitant, I made the appointment and scheduled the day of my surgery.

On the day of my surgery I was scared, but because I had experienced a paradigm shift, removing those long-held false assumptions, I was willing to trust this new surgeon. And as he promised, the whole procedure was done in less than an hour - 40 mins to be exact! The recovery was also a breeze. I barely had any pain, had no swelling whatsoever, and was basically back to normal within a week. I couldn't believe that it took me 10 years to do something that ended up being so easy.

Why had I wasted all of those years believing the lies, being scared and avoiding what I thought the devil had planned for me? I was so mad at myself for believing in that original dentist who scared me out of my wits. Isn't that just like the devil though? Scaring us into submission. Fear-mongering us into being frozen. Twisting the truth so that we subscribe to his tunnel vision.

None of that is God's plan, my friend!!!! And you can sing a BIG HALLELUJAH for that!!!!!

It wasn't until my marriage crisis that I kicked the devil's backside out of my house and, more importantly, out of my thoughts. I learned, through my Covenant Keepers group, how to take my thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 10:5) to make them obey the mind of Christ. Through reading the Word daily, I learned what God said about me and what His promises were for my life. As I started to memorize Scripture, spend time in prayer and learn to hear the Lord speaking to me directly, I gained “God-fidence” in His plans for my future. The more time in the Word I spent, the more powerful I felt at being able to do my part to keep all doors closed to the enemy.

If I had only known at 26 what I now know, well into my 40's, I would have been able to tell that original dentist, "Well maybe that's what statistics say about my risks, but I don't listen to that. I listen to the Lord's plans for my life!"

I wonder what the devil has been telling you about those places in your life that you are “running out of time” in? Have you believed the lie that you are running out of time for restoration? For children? For the ministry He promised you?

YOU ARE NOT RUNNING OUT OF TIME!!!!!!!!!

God's timing is miraculous and supernatural. He is always right on time. Never late. Never delayed. If your miracle hasn't happened yet, it's because it's not God's timing yet. The devil hasn't been successful in delaying ANYTHING. Don't believe his lies. Believe God's TRUTH. And if you don't know what God's truth is for you or your marriage, start with this:
  • John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
  • Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
  • Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

If you DO know God's promises, but you've started to entertain the lies of the enemy, it's time to REPENT and move forward. Did you know that repenting not only means saying you're sorry, but also turning from your former ways? So, you need to sincerely tell God you’re sorry, then turn from believing the lies of the enemy. Remember that the enemy is subtle. His trick is to condemn us. But condemnation is not from the Lord. The Lord promises us in 1 John 1:9, that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

So when the devil knocks on your door again, you will be all the wiser. He won't fool you. You KNOW what the Lord's promises are for you and your marriage and you will STAND on them this time and tell the devil to go back to hell, where he belongs.

May I pray for you?

Dear Heavenly Father,
We love You and we bless You and we know that Your timing is always perfect, even if we can't see it ahead of time, even if we start to believe the lies of the enemy. Lord, You are still perfect in all of Your ways and we praise You. That which we do not understand here on earth is completely and fully understood by You in Heaven. Thank You that You are not a god of fear or of condemnation; You are the God of Hope, the God of Restoration and the God of Peace. Thank You for showing us right now the areas in which the enemy has lied to us. We repent and we turn from our unbelief and doubt. We thank You for loving us and for sending Your Son Jesus to die the death that we should have. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit that is in us and with us and guides us in our daily lives. Thank You that we are Your sheep and we hear Your voice. Thank you, God, for being the everlasting God that You are. Never changing. The same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Amen.
Would you consider giving a donation to Covenant Keepers? Our goal in 2020 is to spread the word of covenant marriage to all who have ears to hear. We need your support, prayerfully and financially. Every little bit helps. Every seed that you plant with us helps us to reach our goal and broaden the knowledge of those who are yet to learn about God's special promise in marriage. Please know that we are thankful and blessed for any way that you can help.

Also, consider meeting others like you in 2020. We are a FAMILY. Join us for our Covenant Keepers Conference July 23-26, 2020 here in BEAUTIFUL Charlotte, NC. I promise, you will leave changed, blessed and encouraged in your marriage journey!!!! Can't wait to see you then!!!
DEANA BELL:
Deana is currently one of the Directors of Covenant Keepers, International. She graduated from the Dove School of Leadership through Chesapeake Bible College and received her Pastor's license in 2019. Previously she and her husband, Koji, served as the Mid-West Regional Directors of Covenant Keepers and as small group leaders in that area. She has a degree in Secondary Education as well as experience in counseling from a biblical standpoint. For the last 20 years, she has also served her family as a stay-at-home mom and homeschool teacher. Deana's marriage has been restored since 2013.
 
She is passionate about having a relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. She has seen many miracles in her life as well as in the lives of the people around her. At her core, she is an encourager and disciple of Christ, spending most of her days ministering to people and digging into the Word. She also speaks at conferences, loves to write, and teach the Word of God. She and her family currently live and attend church in the Charlotte, NC area.

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