I have spent my holiday weeks doing several things: I have worked on some work projects, I have spent some time reflecting, I have enjoyed just relaxing at home and being with my family and setting some 2015 goals for ministry and family life.
I have also spent a fair amount of time at doctor’s offices having medical tests.
The latter has been the hard part, but it was necessary. I have not felt well for quite awhile, experiencing several random symptoms. I knew something has been “off” but needed medical care to determine exactly what was causing me to feel sluggish and extra tired all the time, suffering from ongoing headaches and debilitating dizziness, unable to find enjoyment in much of anything, and unable to fix any of this even by changing my habits in the past few months.
Applying Truth to the worry about the costs of our medical care (knowing God provides our needs even in a tough financial season for my family) and setting aside my fears of what could be going on with me physically and emotionally (is it worse to know or to not-know? I had to ask myself if I really trust God) I started the long process of getting a thorough checkup to rule out the possibilities. I had started to notice signs of depression, which is not something I am prone to normally. Could it simply be that? Or is there a physiological component?
If a woman was sitting across from me in my counseling office telling me these things, I would tell her “first thing you need to do is to go get a thorough checkup to rule out anything physical causing you to feel this way.” So I took my own advice after avoiding it for long enough.
I was given a diagnosis during this holiday season.
I have Diabetes, Type 2.
I was not all that surprised, to be honest. Having gestational diabetes when I was pregnant and being overweight most of my adult life set me up to be a ticking time bomb. I have always known this and have never dealt with it properly. I let it slide and avoided adding discipline to my life that would at least prevent the weight issues.
All that is in the past, and I repent. Actually, it is still in the present, too, and I must choose to repent daily so that I can walk in the freedom that Christ bought for me. This is how we all must live, not just because of a diagnosis, but also because of Jesus’ finished work on our behalf.
The consequences remain, and they are in my court to steward.
I am very aware that I am a walking example of the consequences of sin. I also know that I walk in Christ’s forgiveness and that all of this was put on Jesus at His death. How humbling.
My gut reaction was to not tell anybody but family and a couple of close friends. I also wanted to hide and cave in to discouragement and just avoid this whole thing, although I know better than to do that.
In time, I was convicted of my pride and “fear of man". I am coming clean so that I don’t pretend that I have my “act together” any more than you do. I relate to others better when I (and they) remember that we are all sinners and that it’s a level playing field at the cross. You are right there next to me, so why do I need to pretend that that I don’t struggle just like you?
1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
After a few days of feeling very discouraged and scared about the word “Diabetes” – frustrated with myself, frustrated with my body feeling so physically drained and feeling depressed and overwhelmed, I am starting to see the light.
I have a stewardship challenge now, a new assignment from God. I am educating myself about the blood sugar issues. I am working with a Nutrition Counselor and my doctor to find the right method of bringing the Diabetes under control. That includes testing my blood sugar, taking daily medication, losing weight, and exercising. I no longer have a choice if I want to live longer. And I do want that!
High blood sugar causes symptoms that feel like “depression” but so does disobedience.
Some people call this a “wake up call.”
I call it God’s mercy.
It is also an opportunity to know Him better. Spiritually, this is an opportunity to apply the Gospel to an area of my life that has too long been avoided (by my choosing, which is sin.)
I have walked with God long enough and counseled enough people to know that our struggles are not ultimately about us. They are about Him. They are Gospel-opportunities. How will I steward this opportunity? I hope and pray that by refusing to hide about this will allow my testimony to help others. I am nowhere near ongoing victory, but by God’s grace I will get there. I purpose to choose it.
What in your life have you avoided dealing with? ~
A relationship conflict?
Lack of forgiveness towards someone?
Pornography? Overeating? Drinking too much?
A sinful thought life that nobody else would know about?
Discontent with your circumstances?
Laziness or a poor work ethic?
Hiding your sin from others out of pride and fear of man?
Avoiding God and His Word?
Forsaking fellowship with other believers?
Not serving others in your church or community?
Withholding intimacy from your spouse?
An angry heart?
Neglectful or legalistic parenting?
Fill in the blank_______.
See, we are all there - at the foot of the cross. Where forgiveness is granted.
1 Peter 2:24 “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.”
2015 is going to be a year of change for me.
This is not a New Year’s resolution.
1/2/2015 08:20:23 am
1/2/2015 08:27:53 am
Thank you, Tami. Have been praying for you today!
1/2/2015 11:35:43 am
So sorry to hear this diagnosis....let's talk soon!! Praying for us both as we go into this new year with our marching orders!!
1/5/2015 01:24:59 am
"Marching orders" - that's a good way to put it. This certainly IS a battle.
1/3/2015 01:01:06 pm
I was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago and experienced the same feelings you have shared. By God's grace I've been able to make some changes in my way of eating similar to what is suggested on this website http://www.bloodsugar101.com
1/3/2015 01:13:37 pm
Thank you for commenting, Georgene, and sharing the link. I will check it out! Blessings,
1/4/2015 11:50:45 pm
Ellen, your transparency is so refreshing. Thank you for the public heart check and for causing me to look into my own heart as well based on your words. It is so "natural" to want to isolate when things like happen...boy do I have to work on that one! I will continue to pray for you and look forward to reading updates on how God is working in your life!
1/5/2015 01:25:47 am
Thank you for the encouragement, Karen!
Dearest Friend, I can only imagine how difficult this post was to write. I'm so proud of God for helping you to write it so that you can encourage all of us in this very particular way. Oh, none of us have it all together. No not one! And that's why we need the Lord Jesus so desperately. At the end of October the Holy Spirit convicted me of my sin in neglecting to read and meditate on His word daily. Since then He has helped me to make Him the priority in my morning, and as I continue to yield to His call, studying scripture and not just going through the motions of reading it as if it's something to check off my daily to-do list, I am being shown more and more areas of my life that need to be under His control. Sorry for the long comment, but I'm right there with you, Ellen. Hugs. ~ Nancy
1/5/2015 01:24:07 am
I've never seen anything good come from pretending and hiding. It's not like we can ever hide from God anyway! There was a freedom in writing this post (and admittedly some fear and trepidation at the same time once it posted.) All for God's glory. I sure miss you, friend, love you so much!
1/5/2015 01:27:26 am
^^^that comment was for you, Nancy.^^^^
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