Even with God On My Side, It's My Diabetes and I Own It

A friend and I were recently chatting about our mutual belief systems and how our faith guides us in our daily lives.

Diabetes was a part of the discussion, since we're both longtime Type 1s.

At one point, I made a mention of "my own diabetes" in how we describe our own Lazy Pancreas Syndrome and the particular styles we each may have in managing diabetes on a daily basis.

And that's where our religious beliefs came full-force into this diabetes discussion.

Here's what my friend told me:

"Personally, I believe that disease or any affliction is from the enemy (Satan) to kill, still or destroy (John 10:10). I believe once we 'claim' the affliction then we’ve made it easy for the enemy. "

This is what she was quoting:

Huh... interesting. Wasn't quite what I was expecting when that all came up.

Anyhow, I let my mind chew on that for awhile.

Now, I'm a Christian. Grew up on the. Protestant Lutheran persuasion in. The background, but never really had much exposure to the church except those holidays and special ceremonial moments. Almost a decade ago is when I came into the Methodist line thanks to my wife's family and the church where we married, and since then we've explored a few different church homes but found one we're most comfortable with that has the "United Methodist" in its name.

It's at that point in my life that I opened up a Bible to actually read, for the first time in my life. Since then, I turn to it quite often in reflecting on many different aspects of life -- including diabetes and how I live with it. I'm by no means a person who can quote Scripture and it may not be a dominant part of my conversation, but I like to think it guides me in good times and bad. Like many, we don't make it to church as often as we should and I certainly fall out of my Bible-reading and prayer routines way too often.

With all of that said, this D-chat got me flipping through my Bible verses once again and really reflecting on what I believe, as far as health goes. It also came up in conversation with a few other religiously-minded people in my life, and we all shared our varying views on the topic.

Good conversation all around, and it gave me some new perspectives to consider.

I am not going to say my friend's beliefs are wrong, because they aren't. Each person is entitled to believe what they want and feel how they do. I find the interpretation of John 10:10 and how it influences healthy living to be a very interesting one.

But I'm not sure I see it the same way as my friend.

For me, when I say "my diabetes," that to me is the equivalent of "claiming" diabetes as my own. That's exactly what I want to be doing.

Type 1 for me is not the same as it is for anyone else. As the saying goes: Your Diabetes May Vary.

More than that, I want to embrace my diabetes. Because that means I am accepting and doing all that I can to manage it and stay healthy, using whatever practical or Biblical beliefs I may need to use.

The way I look at it, I could almost see type 1 being a test bestowed by God.

"They" say that God only gives you what you're strongest enough to deal with, and so type 1 could easily be viewed on that same note. If we want to go all religious on the topic, look at it this way: God gave me type 1 diabetes, which brings a whole bunch of uncertainty and challenge. At times, it makes me question my purpose and how I live. But it makes me a better person, allowing me to not only help myself and be more healthy but also to reach out and help others who might need it. With all of that, it's a matter of free will, and I can embrace His word and listen to his teachings to be the best diabetic I can, or I can choose to not listen and go down the road of less-than-healthy and thinking only about myself.

On a practical note, I choose to claim my diabetes because it doesn't own me (most of the time); I own it. I'm the one who has the power and makes the decisions to manage as I should.

Just like I'm not blindly following my doctor without having a dialogue and offering my own thoughts, and using that doc's advice as I need to in my diabetes management, it's the same way I see God in my life. I listen (or don't listen), and choose to either follow my teachings and use the tools and knowledge I'm given in the best way I know how.

By owning my D, I don't see it as "giving the devil a foothold." Instead, I think you can pray for good health and ask God to grant you health. But at the end of the day, His purposes are higher than ours and what we want may not necessarily be how it's supposed to be. Our timing isn't the timing.

At times, I have faltered and that continues to be the case. Kinda like every day, to some extent. I'm sure it will be for as long as I'm on this Earth, though I certainly hope to do my best as I see it. Giving myself the ability to use the tools and knowledge I'm given is what keeps me going, and I choose to be an active participant in my life and not regard diabetes as a passive force that owns me.

To each their own, of course. And that's my food for thought today.


Anonymous said…
Larry said…
Well said. Both views can be correct. Much of the Bible is subject to personal interpretation.

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