Compassion, Courage and Connection
When my husband and I started our practice in one room at the back of the building, we had no idea that we would someday be serving some 7000 patients. I didn't even know if anyone would come to see us. Our first day, my aunt came, the second day my mother in law came. The entire family had seen us in our first month. I just remembered thinking - "God how can I partner my gifts with my love for you and for others?" As we have grown, we have experienced growing pains; bigger office, more staff, and to be honest a vulnerability that I never thought I would face. By all intents and purposes, I am a people pleaser. Yes, I could stand at the front of the room and say, "My name is Suzanne Hubbard, and I've been a people pleaser for 54 years of my life". In truth, it is what allows me to love on people, but the fall of it is that my feelings can get hurt in the process. The struggle when you own your practice, is that your name, your integrity and your whole heart is wrapped up into what you do. You cannot hide from a hurtful Google review, or those that choose to blame you, or when a patient has failed for the fourth time and a dismissal from the practice is looming. It's hard! My people pleaser wants to scream out. Our industry is one where, let's face it, most people don't want to come to you. Now, in fairness, I have about a dozen of those folks that say, "I love getting my teeth cleaned, or I love coming to the dentist!" I even had one little boy say to me, "You know I bet people would come to see you more if you had a candy shop!" Oh the irony of it. Maybe that could be my second business, set up shop with a candy store next to the dental clinic. That's what I call an ROI (return on investment).
What I am finding as I write this, is that I have to find the compassion, courage and connection to face the fact that people are not always going to like us, like what we do, our approach or our standards. We profess the name of Christ in our office and we are not ashamed of the gospel. The fact that we love on people in spite of pain or blame is our call to action. It's our mission. Right now we live in a cancel culture, a blame game where we could do our best and it still is not enough. At the end of the day, I have to rest my head knowing that I did my best. I try to put God first and that every day as I kneel to pray at the very door I walk into and pray for my staff and my patients that it is enough and that the very people I serve may judge, blame or condemn, but that my ultimate peace comes from knowing that God is pleased with my service.