January 18th is an anniversary for me.
Technically, it might be strange to declare it something to celebrate, but on the other side of that is mourning, and that is not accurate either.
Even after 25 years, it is still changing me. Creating me. Defining me.
But, in all honesty, I wouldn't change it. So what is left but to celebrate?
I rejoice in my diabetes!
Twenty-five years ago I was 12 years old. I had had strep throats a few weeks earlier and just couldn't seem to get well. I had lost weight, but my mom thought "must be puberty"... until I just stayed tired. So we were back at the doctor- And it only took one finger stick, one drop of blood, for the doctor to know.
At 12, I knew absolutely nothing about diabetes. It was a foreign word that sounded just as scary as cancer or leprosy. So my first question was "Am I going to die?" (But very quickly behind that followed "Can I still have babies?" I knew my priorities even then.) 😊
Then, almost immediately, diabetes became part of who I was. I have talked to people who hate that; Who fight against letting a disease "define" them. To me, making it part of my definition accepts it, rather than fights it... and let me tell you, fighting it will not change anything.
So, I celebrate it!
Things change, obviously.
I grew up. Got married. Had those babies. 😊
New medical problems were discovered, and treated, and became part of my definition.
Twenty-five years later I am still learning.
I am still growing.
Some days I am, sad to admit, still fighting.
But who I am, what defines me, is completely in the hands of God.
How can I do anything except celebrate it!?
My diabetes decided to rebel a few weeks ago. My blood sugar hit 500, and anyone who knows anything medical knows that is not good. For a few minutes in the middle of fighting with my body (for several days of a very frustrating rebellion) I forgot Who I belong to. I forgot that I am beautifully and wonderfully made. (Psalm 139:14) I forgot that every part of what defines me is made for a reason.
All I had, on my own, was hate for my body. And a very strong jealousy of healthy people.
Thankfully, I also had a Savior who is full of grace, and family who is not afraid to point to Him, and His Word, when I need it.
The Psalms are my retreat when I am struggling. They seem so heartfelt and real- so aligned with my sometimes faulty human emotions- crying out for help. So I have read a lot of Psalms in the last few weeks. (And a lot of Streams in the Desert by L. B. Cowman, if anyone else is looking for someone to share in their emotions)
I have been reminded, over and over, that sometimes the need to wait quietly, when you would rather be yelling enthusiastically, is the answer.
So, through grace, and some intense time in the Psalms, the unexplainable peace has returned.
The ability to celebrate my faulty body is renewed.
And today's anniversary is perfect timing.
I am not physically healed. For that I continue to wait quietly, with my hope in Him. (Psalm 62:5)
But my spirit is healed, and that is far, far, more important.
Today, like every other day, is an anniversary.
Whether you see it as something to mourn or to celebrate is up to you.
Choose today, and every single other day, to find something to celebrate.
Be blessed my friends!