I Give Up!

So in case you’ve been wondering if I dropped off the face of the blogging earth, I have not. I have been crazy busy between work, church, weddings, and battling mono. Yea, I know…who gets adult mono? Contrary to popular belief (Looking at you , Mom) mono is not just “the kissing disease” you can get it other ways so get the kissing questions (again, looking at you Mom) out of your head.

Besides my diaversary post, my last posts have been about my struggle through a hard time in my life.  About a month ago, I listened to a sermon from Rick Warren about surrendering your pain to God. EXCELLENT sermon. Listen to it.  http://www.saddleback.com/mc/m/33f39/

 I’ve been trying to put into practice his sermon and wanted to share a few points with you all.

There are three things you can do when you encounter pain in your life, you can let it: destroy you, define you, or develop you.  I’m going to pick option number 3 and go with development. Sounds great, I’m going to let this pain in my life develop me…who doesn’t want that? The problem arises in how I let my pain develop me.  I think at the heart of development is surrender. So how to surrender…

First…Accept What Cannot be Changed

This has, by far, been one of the hardest things for me. For the longest time, I did not want to accept that my relationship was over. I did not want to accept that I would probably have to take insulin for the rest of my life and prick my finger a bajillion times a day. I wanted to live in this place of denial. When I heard this sermon, it was like a smack in the face. How can I surrender something painful if I’m living in lala land about it happening…answer…I can’t.

In 2 Samuel 12, David is dealing with the same issue.  His infant son becomes ill and David begs the Lord to spare his child, but his son passes away. In verses 22 and 23, David accepts reality.  22He answered, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting?” 2 Samuel 12:22-23a (NIV).

Accepting reality sucks (sorry, not one to sugar coat). For me, it was a very painful process, BUT (and it is a big but), there is freedom in this first step.  I can now honestly say I would much rather be going through the pain associated with accepting what I cannot change than continue living in denial.

Second…Remember Its Not the End of the Story

It is so easy while you’re going through the painful acceptance period to default to a bleak, dark place of thinking.  In pain, I fought against hopeless feelings and its normal to feel that way.  In reading the same story about David in 2 Samuel, I found David living out this step.  He says, “I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:23b (NIV).  David got it.  He understood that the loss of his son (the reason for his pain) was not the end of the story.  He would see his son again.  I know the end of my old life (aka my functioning pancreas life) and the end of my relationship is not the end of my story.  One day, maybe on this earth or maybe in heaven, I’ll be healed.  And I might not be in a relationship anymore, but that doesn’t mean I won’t ever be in one (I mean I might be single forever if that’s what God wants, but my momma tells me I’d make too good of a mother for God to let that happen…so we’ll go with that).

When I start to doubt that this is not the end of my story, a simple prayer…”Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.”

Third…Keep on Loving, Even in Your Pain…

David kept loving in his pain. “Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;” 2 Samuel 12:24 (NIV).  In case you just read that and think the last step is to go shack up and get preggo (or boys, knock some girl up)…not the point.  The point is that David kept loving Bathsheba and because of their love, they created Solomon. Solomon…one of the greatest kings/kingdoms in the Bible…came out of a painful experience.

Jesus knows what its like to keep loving while you’re in pain…the Cross.  “We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 (NLT).  So in response to this step…I’ve been loving the heck out of some people.  I meet with a small group of high school girls every week, I’m more intentional with the time I spend with my family and friends, and I’ve joined a small group of women that go to my church.  Love equals pain, but I’m not living in fear of that pain.  I’m embracing it and letting it deepen my love for others.

PS…sorry this is so long. This is what happens when I go radio silent for awhile.

ALSO, I’m getting ready to re-launch my blog with a totally new design.  In preparation, my… awesome/fabulous/beautiful/talented/etc…friend, Claire, took some head shots for me.  Here’s a sneak peek. Here’s the link to her website as well.  Stalk her.  http://clairemariephoto.com/.  Also, the always fabulous PinkLoulou did my hair and makeup.  http://pinklouloudesignstudio.com/

Sneak Peek

The D-Word

5,110 finger pricks, 2, 160 shots of insulin, 60 insulin pump injection sites, 3 ER visits, 3 blood gas tests, numerous bruises, 300 glucose tabs, and one terrible, unforgettable gusher (see here http://wp.me/p37uFu-6X)   That’s what 2 years of diabetes looks like in numbers.

This week marks two years since I’ve been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  In October of 2011, this skeletor girl (seriously, I weighed like 105, as a result of the diabetes I didn’t know I had, in this picture…and home girl normally has some curves she’s working with) …

The weekend before I was diagnosed with diabetes
The weekend before I was diagnosed with diabetes

Couldn’t read the power points in her Corporations class (sorry Professor Gulinello for blaming my lack of sight on your power points, but I still think you need to change the contrast on your power points…yellow font, really?), eating a ton, thirsty all the time, and waking up 3 times a night to use the restroom.  One WebMd search later and I was in the doctor’s office having my blood glucose checked.

It’s been two years since that very scary and confusing week.  Honestly, I cannot remember what life was like before diabetes. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, ha!  Last year on my one year diaversary (yea, that’s what we call our diabetes diagnosis anniversary date), a very kind friend created a website where my friends, family, etc. could leave me encouraging words (here’s the link if you want to check it out,  http://diaversaryweekend2012.wordpress.com/ thanks AM!).  You don’t know how many times I’ve gone back and read your sweet messages…they’ve kept me going on some really hard days.

I have typed and backspaced (and cried, ha!) at least 10 times while writing this post.  I very rarely dedicate a whole post to my diabetic life.  Self-psychoanalysis…probably because I try so hard to integrate my diabetes into my normal life that I sometimes forget I’m not totally normal (well, who really is normal?!? But, I forget my silly pancreas isn’t normal 🙂

Since last year, I celebrated with the sweet words of encouragement you all left me…I decided this year I would give you all some sweet words of encouragement.

If you know me well, you know that I am fiercely independent and stubborn.  One of the biggest life changes I’ve been forced to make because of diabetes is the loss of independence.  I’ve had to rely on people more often than I’d ever imagined.  This is has been such a blessing in disguise.  I’ve had to open up and ask for help from my family, friends and co-workers.  I want to very briefly try to thank all of you for the things you do everyday that mean so much to me.

A Brief Thank You List

  1. For stopping what you’re doing to wait while I check my blood sugar
  2. Making sure I have a snack when I’m low or waiting for me to give an injection when I’m high
  3. Texting, calling, or stopping by during my hospital visits
  4. Eating cheeseburgers with me in the hospital or spending a weekend in Nashville celebrating my one year diaversary
  5. Praying for me
  6. Supporting the JDRF
  7. Raising money at work to help me find cure
  8. Listening to my fears, whines, or complaints
  9. Seeing beyond the diabetes and treating me like the same person
  10. Texting me late at night when you know my blood sugar is low
  11. Asking for me to prick your fingers so you know what it feels like—Katie and Anna—I’m looking at you
  12. Leaving a sporting event to take care of me when I have the flu and my blood sugar keeps dropping.
  13. Accommodating all of my crazy diabetic needs.
  14. Loving me

In two years, I’ve learned a lot about myself…but I’ve also learned a lot about you all! You all are far more kind, supportive, and loving than I could have ever asked or hoped for.  This verse really sums you all up “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV).  Because the most important thing I’ve learned about the people in my life….You all are strong when I am weak.

Words cannot express how appreciative I am for your strength on my behalf.  I would love to write a specialized thank you for each and every one of you, but I think wordpress has a word limit! I hope that one day I can be strong for you when you are weak.

And a very special shout out to my wonderful parents who deal with the brunt of my diabetic craziness.   You two are angels. Thank you for showing me grace and loving me like Jesus does. You’re the bomb. God must definitely spent a little more time on you all 🙂