Friday, July 27, 2012

His Grace is Sufficient for Me

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  but he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians, 12:8-9

His grace is sufficient for me, with diabetes.  His grace is sufficient.

I am just a jar of clay.  Flawed, breakable, mortal.  Walking, impending death.  I am going to die one day, obviously, but the truth is that diabetes makes me more susceptible to an early death. Infection, heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, cancer, all of them statistically more likely in this little clay jar.

Yet I hold a treasure inside.  God's perfect power.  The Holy Spirit, the spirit of wisdom and revelation.  The power of eternal life.  Every spiritual blessing in Christ.  The freedom from sin, redemption, restoration, the blood of Jesus.  And that is sufficient for me. 

Through my weakness, His power is made perfect.  If I were perfect already, how would His power be made perfect?  There would be no process of perfection.  People would not see Him at work. 

We carry around in our bodies the death of Jesus, our remembrance of His blood and our brokenness, our sin, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed.  So that healing and redemption and restoration would be evident.  And we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians, 4:7

Change that lasts--redeeming power--is the Lord's, not mine.  He uses me...he uses my flaws, my imperfections, my pride, my critical Spirit, and yes, even my diabetes, to show His sanctifying power...that has nothing to do with me.  I have handled this diagnosis very messily, but praise God the Father, who brings me to my knees so gently...  

I think I was trying the "do more and try harder" approach to my diabetes, to prove I could handle it.  I was wanting to take the reins and do it myself instead of relying on my source of strength.  I kept trying to show myself that I could make this lifestyle change and do the "right" things.  Problem was, I would always wind up falling, messing up, miserable.  Praise God He has reminded me of my source of strength.

I surrender this and look to Him.  I know He is the only thing I can cling to for redemption and sanctification.  I know His perfect power is  the only thing perfect in this jar of clay.  And because his power is being made perfect through my diabetes, I will choose to delight in it.  To God be the glory for this weakness.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Diabetic, really?

I found out in October of last year that I am diabetic. I was getting blood work done and going to the gyno before Billy and I got married, just to make sure everything was ok. Turns out it wasn't.

The first indicator was a urine test. I had sugar in my urine. They immediately asked me if I was diabetic. Well, no....not that I knew of. A week later the tests came in to confirm my type 2 diabetes.

After the initial shock and disbelief I handled it incredibly well. I had the perfect Christian responses--God is good, I was thankful for the health that I did have, I know God had a plan in all this, diabetes was very manageable these days, everything was going to be fine. My close friends and family were so sympathetic, but for some reason I really didn't need their sympathy.

Then it sank in some more. Wait…what? Am I really diabetic?  Really?  Because that SUCKS.

I don't want to watch what I eat for the rest of my life. I don't want to think about it every time I have a meal, for the rest of my life. Do you know how often you eat? It's multiple times a day. The next meal or snack is constantly around the corner.

I don’t want to poke myself with needles and draw blood to test my blood sugar multiple times a day for the rest of my life.  For the REST OF MY LIFE, the first thing I am supposed to do in the morning is poke myself with a needle.  What a way to wake up!!  And I am not even on insulin, not yet, anyway.  I am just on meds.  I imagine someday I will be poking myself with insulin needles, too.

Guess what else?  At friend’s houses where people are serving food I don't need to be eating it.  Very unlikely for people to cook stuff that is good for diabetics at those types of things.  And at birthday parties or celebrations where there is cake and sweets, I probably shouldn’t have any of that, either.  I have noticed more and more since I’ve been diagnosed, there is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate somebody’s something.  And so I am ALWAYS either feeling like I need to deny myself or going ahead and pigging out like everyone else and then feeling super guilty.

Oh and the best part?  Alcohol is terrible for diabetics!!  I probably should really limit my drinking if not stop altogether, especially with beer which is only my favorite alcoholic beverage. 

I am angry. Diabetes feels like a constant state of denial.  I feel indignant, undeserving. I took care of my health. I was not overweight. Except for the 2-3 beers a night over the weekend and the occasional splurge, I was a nut.  I usually watched what I ate and tried to work out 4-5 times a week at least and even ate a lot of organic and tons of vegetables and green tea every morning.

But that didn’t work for me, and so now I am inclined to eat whatever I want.  For the past month and a half or so, I have fallen off the diabetic wagon.  It’s my way of denying that I even have this awful disease.  It’s my way of saying, I tried to do things the healthy way, but forget it.  It’s my way of sticking diabetes the finger.

I know it’s not right, though.  I feel bad both mentally and physically.  After eating whatever I wanted to most of this weekend, my blood sugar was very high this morning and I am just exhausted....

God, how do you want me to see this?  I need you…I am wrestling.  I know I am supposed to see your goodness in this...I know I am supposed to see this as a blessing.  I know I am being a big baby about it.  How do you want me to cope with this?  I need you to change my heart.   

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Letter to My Girls

As we talked about new relationships we are entering into or possibly entering into last night, I have to admit that I am troubled today.  The reason for that is, I want the very best for you…for all of you.  I don’t want you to miss out on being blessed immeasurably more than all you could ask or imagine because you settled for less than God’s will for your dating life. 

This morning, I went to find a Christian dating advice blog, or something to talk about this kind of thing, but they were all hoakey and lame. Maybe I am about to be hoakey and lame.  I just know that nothing I could find said what I wanted to say to you.

What I want to say to you, what I want to urgently tell you, is this:  Seek Him first when it comes to dating.  You can save yourself so much heartache and turmoil and dysfunction and sexual sin if you do that.  What does that look like?  Try to think of what He would have you do, and pray about it.  Pray before you enter into any dating relationship and think about whether or not this guy is good for your walk, or someone that the Lord would have you with.  Ask the guy questions about his spirituality at the beginning, and let that be a determining factor for you.  If he is not a Christian or if he is not on the same page with you in terms of being committed to growing in Christ, chances are he is not going to be good for your walk.  If you have a bad feeling or hesitations about whether or not it’s right, chances are, it’s not.  When you know it’s from God you will be sure.   

The second thing is: Do not be impatient when it comes to dating.  I have no doubt that any of you could be blessed with a husband who is a strong man of God, but you can’t get ahead of Him with your own will or understanding  or wanting to fill a lonely spot, because He wants your heart FIRST.  Does He want to sanctify you and make you ready for a husband?  Probably.  He will most certainly want to sanctify you, and odds are, you will probably get married.  Will it be on your time?  Probably not.  Will you have to be patient and go through some growing pains to be ready and in a place where God can bless you with a Godly, healthy marriage relationship?  Most likely.  Is it hard?  Yes.   But I know… I know with all my heart that it is WORTH IT. 

If anyone had reason to doubt seeking Him first or being patient in Him, it was me.  I was 28 years old when God got ahold of my heart.  As I entered into my 30’s and continued to surrender my sexuality and dating life to Him, being single for several years, I thought, What kind of guy is going to want me?  I am thirty years old and a former lesbian—and I am still screwed up.  What kind of guy who is strong in the Lord would be willing to accept my past and sometimes even my present…AND be willing to not have sex until marriage? I don’t even know how it’s going to work out, God!! Sexually or emotionally!! I have never even been in love with a man!!   

 But God is so faithful.  He showed me that I could not rely on my own understanding.  I sought Him first with all of that, and He paired me with a man who accepted me, past and all.  Not only that, but Billy waited for me until we were married, and now we are in a healthy, Godly marriage.  And if that happened with me, that can happen with any one of you.  It is my hope and prayer and vision for all of you…Godly men, Godly marriages, blessed and upheld by the Lord.   I am praying for you!!  I hope you will take this to heart.