• Valerie

How Floss Tested my Faith


I know this title sounds kind of silly but stick with me.


First, I’ll start by saying I am not a frequent flosser. I know gasp! Especially since I’m the daughter of a retired dentist/dentist professor. I know… I know <shame face>


But four years ago, I came home from teaching a class on writing, and for some reason, in my bedtime routine, I decided to floss.


So, I pull out the above floss and lean over the counter to give my gums some love.

I attack the left side of my mouth and then move to the other, but as I try to paste on that ‘dentist’ grin, I can’t get the right side of my face to move. I can’t even pull it back with my fingers. My brain races, ‘am I having a stroke?’. I call in my husband and then call my dentist-dad.


My Dad tells me it is more than likely a case of Bell’s Palsy.


I had NEVER heard of this, and if you haven’t here’s the low down. Bell’s Palsy is a condition that causes temporary weakness or paralysis of the muscles in the face, typically only one side. Fewer than 200,000 cases per year in the US, and often treatable by a medical professional.


While I was glad that I wasn’t having a stroke, going to bed that night was terrifying.

What if it isn’t Bell’s Palsy? What if it is a stroke and I never wake up in the morning?

Not the greatest thoughts to have racing in your brain at 10 PM. My mind was racing and jumping down so many rabbit holes that I was surprised I was able to lay still at all.

But then I paused and took my thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 5:10) and grasped for the simple truths I say with my kiddos when they are overwhelmed and stressed.


Simple truths that I’ve highlighted here before (LINK to 5 Key Truths)


God is Good

God is Holy

God is Love

God is in Control

God doesn’t make mistakes.


With fear so rampant in my brain, these truths were hard to believe. The What ifs were overpowering, but as I said these key truths over and over and over my mind started to remember the truths, I hold dear.



Eventually, I did fall asleep, and waking up the next morning (though it was early) was a sweet relief. I was so thankful for sweet little truths to cling to when the world goes upside down.

But you know it wasn’t six months later that God would lead me down another medical conundrum. The work he did with that piece of floss is what grounded me and guided me through the next hard things that were being said by the folks with an MD and clipboard.


How is God showing himself to you in this season?