The May issue of Reader's Digest arrived this week. On the cover was a picture of Michael J. Fox with the headline "What my illness taught me". I was compelled to read the article.....which was really good....but after reading it, I began to contemplate all the life lessons diabetes has taught us. Some of the life lessons I've shared on this blog, but I'm realizing that the lessons never seem to end. As I face new and difficult challenges the lessons I've learned from J.J.'s diagnosis are being applied.
This week the application had to do with my pregnancy. It seems like this pregnancy is finally becoming somewhat of reality. Up until this point I've refused to let my heart even think beyond the particular day or week I happened to be in the pregnancy......losing four does that to ya!!! Even at 12 weeks when the doc was trying to talk to me about decisions that needed to be made concerning genetic testing, etc......I couldn't listen to her....and I told her as much. I was living only in that second, not 5-6 weeks from then. However, with the reality that I am indeed pregnant I am now forced to think beyond week 15!!!
Seems like when you turn 40 all sorts of red flags go off in OB's heads. Like nothing is NORMAL now. Pregnancy, which is a perfectly normal thing, becomes a disease or illness. So I'm considered HIGH RISK for like.....EVERYTHING!!! And you know what? It began to FREAK ME OUT!!!!
Downs syndrome, neural tube defects, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, twins, premature babies.....yada, yada, yada.......the list seems endless. And...as a side note.... what's even more scary to me right now......THIS BABY IS GONNA HAVE TO COME OUT SOMETIME!!!! Having five children doesn't make me want to rush to the delivery room that's for sure!! I don't know about you, but I'm not fond of pain!!!
So as the weight of all this came crashing down, and the absolute FEAR that gripped my heart, and the tears that were shed over possibly carrying a downs child or severely handicapped child.......my heart didn't say "No! God!! No!!" as I had with J.J., my heart now said "Lord I trust You!" And that's what I've been saying all week.... "Lord, I trust You."
And instead of thinking "Oh, I couldn't have a child like that. I'm not cut out for THAT." or "What a shame to parent a child with __________." I was thinking "Wow, it would be hard, but think of how it would change us. What God could do through that." So I began to welcome it....I began to think of another "disability" as a badge of honor, not a code of shame.
I can tell you with 100% certainty that I would NEVER have thought those thoughts without having gone through what we've gone through with J.J. God taught us to welcome trials, to embrace them and glory in them and see the beauty in them. Too see them as His instrument in refining us for eternity.....to make us more like Christ. He taught us that as we go through them, He is there....Psalm 23!! Lest you think I'm painting some rosy picture..... He taught us that in the earthly sense the trials can and will be HARD & PAINFUL......Yes, God is with us but we will still FEEL the flames of the refining fire!!! He's taught us to ACCEPT what He chooses to bring into our lives. He's taught us not only to ACCEPT but to be filled with JOY AND GRATITUDE. Really??? Joy and gratitude over diabetes, death, disability??? Yes... JOY!!! Yes....GRATITUDE!!!
And the lessons never cease!! There are more.....too many to list....and I keep adding to the list.....as I'm sure Michael J. Fox does. Diabetes is forever with us.....teaching us.....changing us!! Thank-You God....for diabetes.....for without it... and the lessons we've learned, this week of fears would have crushed me.