Five weeks ago, I got braces.  I’m 44.  I’m not 14, but now when my cheeks are rubbed raw and I can only eat soft food, I feel like I am.  I was so nervous the day I became a brace face.

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I wasn’t concerned about whether or not I would learn something by having braces.  Wasn’t even sure you could. But I have.

I’ve actually learned a couple of things.  Well, I shouldn’t say “learned.”  That means it’s over.  I’m done.  I’ve learned everything I needed to.

Not even close.

I am learning some new things.

I wish I had been more sympathetic to my children when they had braces.  Now that I can empathize, it makes me wish I had been nicer.  Why didn’t I make them mashed potatoes?  I should have bought the smoothies they asked for.  (In my defense, they ask for too many smoothies.  The bank account won’t support the buying in relation to the asking.  Ya know?)  I don’t think I even cooked them a special you-just-got-braces dinner with easy-to-chew foods.

But, now when they tell me they have a headache, I pause.  I listen.  I try to help.  I ask myself, “What if I had a headache right now?  How would I want to be treated?”

I know.  A mom should naturally have that skill.  It took braces for me to improve.

Who knew that becoming a metal mouth would help me be more empathetic.  Not just to people who have or had braces, but to everything in general.  Something difficult does that to us.  That is why the only way the Savior could really understand us – really feel what it was like to be sad, depressed, lonely, hurt – was to experience it for Himself.

I’m so grateful He did.

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In the moments when we wonder if anyone knows?  He does.  He knows perfectly.

Hilary Weeks
Hilary Weeks is a professional singer/ songwriter in the inspirational music industry with ten completed solo albums. She is also a Motivational Speaker and Entrepreneur who founded the BillionClicks.org community, a community that focuses on the power of positive thinking. She is the author of two books and a series of musical parodies. http://billionclicks.org
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