2. It's dangerous. Before my nephew was diagnosed, I thought of diabetes in terms of someone feeling faint or needing to avoid sugary desserts (because so many older church members in our old church had diabetes - but that's type two, not type one). But our nephew spent many days in the hospital getting his ketones under control. The hospital, because diabetes is dangerous, and if it's not treated, it is deadly. The only reason my nephew can live with this is because of researchers like Sir Edward Albert Sharpey-Schafer who, in 1910, discovered insulin - the substance produced in the pancreas of non-diabetics, but not in my nephew's.
3. It's a game-changer. Our nephew's life changed overnight. So did his mom's and dad's and his whole family's. He takes insulin shots. Not just takes them, but gives them to himself. He monitors his blood sugar. He has learned how to calculate how much insulin he will need for the lunch he is planning to eat. His parents use a baby monitor at night so they will hear his alarm go off if his levels drop too low. Yes, he lives a normal, wonderful life, but he also takes his diabetes with him everywhere he goes.
4. It's manageable. Praise God for this! The research that has been done in the past makes type one diabetes manageable. In spite of diabetes, our nephew has a normal life. He plays Minecraft and Legos, he runs around outside with his brothers and sister, he learns, he creates, he loves, he lives.
5. It's a faith-stretcher. I have learned this especially from my sister-in-law. Whenever something bad happens, especially to one of our kids, it is easy to be scared and mad and confused and wonder what on earth God had in mind when he handed this challenge to our family. I would bet that some of those thoughts crossed her mind, but what has risen to the top is her faith in God's goodness and love and His ability to carry them through the storm called Type One Diabetes. And that is beautiful.
6. It's a glory-giver. This follows number five, but when our faith is stretched, and we respond with trust in who God is more than what we think he will do, then He receives the glory. I have seen my brother and his wife respond with faith, and I have seen my nephew respond with wisdom and faith beyond his years, because of their faith in Christ. Can people survive type one diabetes without Jesus? Well, duh, yes. People do everyday, just like they get through babyloss and cancer and financial woes without Jesus. But we don't have to, and learning to walk with God through life's trials and seeing what he does in and through us as a result opens up a whole new exciting world of seeing his glory shining through our darkest circumstances.
If you would like to know more about Type One Diabetes, go to this website: http://jdrf.org/
If your journey includes Type One Diabetes, what has it taught you?