One Year Later
It’s been one year today since our son went to the Emergency Room and we began our lives with Type 1 Diabetes. A lot has happened since that time. The traumatic first few weeks shifted into months of small victories. Somewhere along the way it became normal.
Sometimes I have to stop and remember how, “It’s time to change Pumpy!” was not a routine part of our family conversation. I wonder at how I used to be able to put food on a plate without doing a running tally of mental math in my head. I laugh when I pick up a hidden used test strip on the floor and think about how these items have now become so commonplace.
As this week has loomed ahead, I’ve been trying to come up with the words I want to say, but I’ve struggled to get them out. Honestly, we’re doing pretty well. These days I look at my growing boy, and notice the fat building up around his body, and I inwardly rejoice for his healing. I stare at him while he furiously practices jumping rope in my kitchen, and I thank the Lord for the energy he has been given thanks to insulin. Every three days I marvel at his patience as we switch out another insulin pump on his body. There is much to rejoice over.
Yet in these same days, I still grieve. I hear the weariness of my son in having to decide yet another meal in advance. I look back over a day of high blood sugars and second-guess my math, my portions, and all my decisions. I wipe off a portion of his skin and see the marks from previous tubes and adhesive strapped to his skin, and I silently mourn for the next seventy plus years of this. I read a Facebook post about teenage diabetic burn out, and I fear for what’s ahead. There are still moments of grief.
This is the way of all of life though, isn’t it? Joy next to sorrow. Highs followed by lows. Herman Bavinck wrote that “Man weeping is constantly giving way to man laughing” (The Wonderful Works of God, p. 29). Everyone of us walks this road each day in our own various ways. We grieve because the world is not yet mended. We weep because all is not yet made right.
Oh but at the same time we rejoice. We rejoice, for the God of all comfort draws near to us when we need him. We smile for the gifts of his goodness that demonstrate his care. We sing for the ways he has redeemed our suffering and brought beauty from ashes. We laugh because our King sits on the throne and his good purposes will never be thwarted. We hope, because one day we know the mending which began on the cross in Christ’s death and resurrection will be fully complete at his return.
Tonight our family is going to eat strawberry cupcakes and celebrate. We aren’t celebrating diabetes. We’re celebrating one year of being cared for by the Lord amidst this particular brokenness. We’re celebrating one year of persistence, patience, and courage exemplified by our son. We’re celebrating one year of faithfulness of our Father who has and will continue to hold us all. We’re celebrating one year of sorrows sidled next to innumerable more moments of laughter and prayers of thanksgiving.
Tomorrow we’ll continue traipsing this road of ups and downs. I think you will too. Yet please remember with me– this road has an end. When laughter will give way to only more. When tears will become only a marker of joy. When justice will reign. Bodies won’t break. People won’t die. Pancreases will work.
But while we anxiously press on toward that end, we can squeeze tight to our Father’s hand. It’s he who heaps upon us hope, joy, and grace right next to every sorrow.
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