“The most I have ever been afraid is when circumstances have arose that were totally out of my control, especially when it comes to my kids. The fear of what bad thing could happen to my children is what terrifies me more than anything else.”
These were the words I spoke to a ladies Bible study at 7:00 pm on March 22, 2017. I was so excited to finally get an opportunity to teach a ladies Bible study at Barrington Ridge. I had written a short study on some of my favorite Psalms and the first night was going to be focused on Psalm 56 and the Christian’s struggle with fear. This passage meant a lot to me because I have struggled with fear and anxiety for a long time, but I was finally at a place where I felt I was making progress. I had been off of my anxiety medication for a couple months, and was starting to finally feel settled in our new home.
It was a great night with my new church family looking into God’s Word. I felt pretty confident as I challenged everyone in the room to trust God during life’s hard times. I used my own life’s challenges as an example. Our family had been through quite a bit over the past year and I was fully believing we were about to catch a break. Little did I know that these would be my words on Facebook just two hours after Bible study ended…
One moment, one drop of blood, and BAM! Our lives are changed and I am now face to face with the words I had just so confidently spoke just hours before.
I wish I had this amazing burst of faith and I could tell you that I immediately remembered the words of the Psalmist in chapter 56, but instead I became lost, living in my own fear. I stayed lost in that fear for quite awhile. And now, exactly two years later I still have days when I feel lost. People tell me frequently to lighten up, but I don’t think that is a fair expectation at this point. Even after two years, this is still new and we are still learning. This year we added puberty and an insulin pump into the mix, making things even more exciting.
Today marks two years…our 2 year diabetaversary. I didn’t make that up, it’s a real thing. For two years we have never left home without packing a bag of supplies. We have spent thousands of dollars to keep our son alive and spent hours traveling back and forth to appointments so he can see the best doctors. We have sat on the sidelines of every basketball and baseball game he has played and calculated the perfect balance of insulin and juice to ensure he can play at his best. He has had 6000+ finger pokes, 100+ Dexcom sensor changes, 3500+ shots, 60+ pump changes, hundreds of juice boxes, Cokes, and starburst. His father and I have had 730 sleepless nights, helped count a good 100,000+ carbs, Watched 730 days worth of blood sugars. I have hoarded supplies in case of the apocalypse, we have had weekly conversations explaining that Type 1 cannot be cured by the latest fad and that he did not get it from eating too much sugar, and frequent moments of explaining to strangers that my son is not on drugs when they hear me say “Jayme you’re high!”
730 days filled with a fair balance of laughter, tears, anger, frustration, joy and mostly – thankfulness. Thankful to God for his unending love and grace in our lives. Thankful for my girls who have never once complained even when their own lives often get interrupted for diabetes. Thankful for friends and family both near and far who rally around us, send us messages to let us know they are praying, make us adorable little signs to hang on our home, and always let me text vent when I just cant handle it anymore. Thankful for our church family who have been there every step of the way helping us raise this kid and keep him alive. Thankful for a job that provides our son with the best health insurance so that we don’t have to sell extra body parts to keep him alive. Thankful that we have access to the best doctors. Thankful for coaches who have never once made my son feel inferior and challenge him to push himself. Thankful for friends who really get it because they live it everyday too. So many things to be thankful for!
I am not trying to sound dramatic, but this is hard. I am tired and I still cry on a regular basis for my child. You don’t have to tell me things could be worse. I am aware of that, but that doesn’t take away from how hard THIS is for us. There is a tendency to want to compare our problems with other people’s problems and I hate that. At the end of the day, we all go through hard stuff and just because things could be worse doesn’t negate what each of us feels as we deal with whatever struggles we have been given. These struggles also give us reason to pause and reflect on what God has done.
You see, even if I never “lighten up”, which is a real possibility, I will never stop praising God for saving my son’s life. If you don’t believe in the sovereignty of God, read Jayme’s diagnosis story. There’s no way that happened by chance. Even if I never lighten up I will spend every day asking God to help me trust Him. I know my limitations and I can’t do anything in my own power. He’ gonna have to do it for me.
“For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17
This has become one of my most favorite passages of Scripture. How can you just skim past that verse? You can’t! It’s too beautiful!
As much as we all hate suffering, our eternal fate is dependent on it. The suffering of Christ is what gives us salvation. It all comes back to the cross!
Because of the cross, we have eternal life!
Because of the cross, we have hope that our suffering is temporary!
So tonight, we will celebrate our son! Jayme will get to choose dinner and I am sure it will not be a healthy choice, but that’s ok. We will probably watch basketball or re-runs of Drake and Josh. We will stay up late watching blood sugars move in all directions and we will wake tomorrow ready to see what year three has in store for us.