I went to an event this weekend in Houston that was put on by one of my diabetes group members. It was at her church out in Cypress and I found it to be very enlightening so I wanted to share...
Now, first off, I am not a religious person. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. Spiritual, yes. Religious, no. I converted to Judaism when my girls were born so we'd all be the same religion. I believe in most of it, I guess, but I still do Christmas and plan to do Easter. I just cannot imagine childhood without Santa! I still wouldn't mind going to a church or temple every now and again to listen to a motivational sermon. I belong nowhere in organized religion and I'm okay with that. My point in this is that I am not promoting anything in any way. This was a message that I found helpful to me in my life right now.
The Family Life Pastor, Brian, gave a talk on Hope You Can Believe In. He was addressing parts of life that are beyond our control. He was discussing living with a chronic illness, fertility, etc. He said there are things in life that we do not get to choose. Among those are circumstances and feelings. I found this to be so true. None of us could control our children getting diabetes. None of us. Do I think God gave it to them? I personally don't but that's just me. I do, however, believe that our children are special no matter what. The father of a son with diabetes said he believed if God took his son's health, he replaced it with many other strengths. I found this comforting for some reason. Very comforting. Lily is seriously one of the strongest kids I know. She is no nonsense. She wants no part of the 1st grade drama. Her teacher said she literally walks away and finds someone else to play with if the girls are fighting, etc. She has told her teacher that she doesn't have time for that. She's 7...and very mature.
So, the pastor also said that the things we can choose are our responses to our circumstances and feelings...the things we think and do are completely of our choosing. I believe this to be very true. You can choose to live in a depressed state of a diagnosis or you can choose to celebrate that your child is alive. I firmly believe that you make choices each morning...you choose what to eat, what to wear, how to spend your day, and what kind of mood to be in. Do you choose to be a happy, functioning, positive person in society or do you choose to be upset, angry and pessimistic about you and your child's future?
The pastor said the things that infuence how we respond are personality, history, people, and information. The #1 influencer is what we believe. Now, he meant faith. I chose to take it as how I believe to live my life. How I choose to wake up each day and how I choose to handle all of life's battles. That is the #1 influence on me. He is correct in that my personality, my history of events in my life, the people I surround myself with and the information I seek heavily influence me as well.
So, I took all of this information this weekend and really let it settle. I have been at a crossroads for a while now and I have finally made some decisions to move forward, to forgive, to accept love, to work on myself, etc. One thing he said was "Life is bigger than me" (Psalms 139). This was huge to hear. And this is funny...but Carolyn, the BFF, told me the other night that "Sure, people will talk, people will have opinions, people will judge and you are going to be dinner conversation. BUT those who love you will trust your judgement and decisions and stand behind you. AND...you are not so important that you are all people think about." Kinda the same thing...more bluntly in full Carolyn style that I love so much!
The other quote I scribbled down was "Good things can come out of very hard things" (Romens 8:28). I believe this as well. I believe in a weekend of decisions for me that I was meant to hear this man speak. For many reasons. I believe that diabetes is a very hard thing. It has changed our course of life though. It changed my career. It changed how I view others and the fact that I no longer care to judge anyone. It changed my faith in humanity (thank you to the DOC). And it has helped in making Lily the beautiful, strong little girl she is. Now, I would gladly yank it from our lives at any time and I don't believe she was "chosen" to carry this burden. She is an innocent child. It has helped strengthen her though and make her who she is.
And lastly, the pastor said there is always hope...not that what I want will happen but that something will come out of what's happened. I love that. Love it.