At first, I was sad and scared. I knew very little about this disease, and I’d heard horror stories of long-term complications involving blindness and amputations. I dreaded what it could mean for my son. I was quickly told that we can expect him to live a full, normal life; yet as a mom, I can’t easily dismiss thoughts of what is now possible. I’ve learned it’s best not to dwell on it.
We live on a dangerous planet. Prolonged seasons of peace are unusual, for both nations and individuals. We face war, broken relationships, disease, financial fears, and natural disasters. Sometimes, a life storm explodes overhead without warning, spinning us out of a false sense of security. But storms have a silver lining. They can draw us closer to God and refine our character. They can establish a deep level of trust and intimacy with our Creator, equipping us to love and empathize with others.
I’ve noticed several actions that help me cope with our storm. First, I can resist the temptation to deal with it in my own strength. 2 Corinthians 12 examines the paradox that we are only as strong as we are content to be weak. Jesus tells Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12:9) When we rest in the arms of Jesus, we can receive His strength, wisdom, and power.
We’re also invited to connect with God through His word and prayer. Here we find promises to which we may confidently cling. These promises change our outlook. They remind us of God’s presence in our situation.
By keeping a record of God’s faithful words to us, we can set aside some hope for our dark moments. A friend reminded me of Joshua 1:9: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” The verse in my planner for the week of my son’s diagnosis was Psalm 56:3: “What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee.” And here's part of a devotional I read, the day my son was diagnosed: “Entrust your loved ones to Me: release them into My protective care. They are much safer with Me than in your clinging hands.... Watch to see what I will do.” (From Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young.) Recalling these and other encouraging words strengthens my faith when I feel afraid or overwhelmed.
It’s important to act on any inspirations God might give us. I felt led to set up a prayer page online for my son. As we progressed through the diabetes learning curve, it was so encouraging to know that people knew what was going on and could pray accordingly.
At some point, it’s time to pick ourselves up and deal with reality. This follows acceptance, and of course, it’s best done in the strength God gives us (see point one!). 1 Peter 1:13 tells us, “Prepare your minds for action.” I’m learning all I can about diabetes, without developing an unhealthy obsession. Educating ourselves tends to rob our troubles of their power. When we know what we’re dealing with, we gain a sense of control.
How have you dealt with your trial? Has God led you to take any unusual action? Do you have a miracle to share?