“To everything, there is a season and a time to
every purpose under the heaven.”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8
Highly uncommon, extremely rare, not something I have seen before; all words used to describe me while I was in the hospital being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Going to have to slow down, not going to be able to do what I used to, my actual life was going to depend on a little serum in a vial, all seemed to be common themes that my doctors and nurses liked to throw out there. I don‘t like being treated like I am broken and I don’t like being told what I can and can’t do (not in a defiant way, but a competitive, challenging way), so you can imagine how well I was taking this news. I have always prided myself on being extremely healthy and active. I have never been in the hospital, never had a surgery and it had been years since I had a shot. As I lay there in my hospital bed crying after the nurse had given me my first shot and realizing that I was going to have to do this THE REST OF MY LIFE, I couldn’t help but let a little hopelessness creep up inside of me and think maybe the doctors and nurses were right. Maybe I was going to be a weakling the rest of my life and maybe I was wrong about the calling the Lord had on my life!
Meanwhile, as if to confirm this new declaration over my life, we received the news that our health insurance didn’t cover my insulin, which when we went to pick it up was around $1,300. My gift is finances and business and I was always the one on the giving side of things. Nothing brings me more joy than giving or seeing overall prosperity; in fact, finances, business, and the marketplace has been prophesied over me several times! It is my mountain! Once Andrew, the Senior Associate Pastor, heard the news, he immediately set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the medical bills and my insulin until we figured everything out. You cannot imagine my distress over this! On top of all these new announcements over my life, now I had a bunch of friends and loved ones sacrificing and giving me money! I felt so guilty, as if I could have done something to avoid being in the hospital, as if I should have been more prepared with an even bigger emergency fund (which was currently being drained by our house remodel.... perfect timing!!!), should have been more responsible with better insurance, other people could be using that money more, feed the children in Africa etc. etc.
It was my job to be there for people! It was my job to help provide for people and to solve problems! Then on top of feeling guilty about receiving the money, I felt guilty for my first instinct of not being immediately grateful! Double guilty! This is when the sneaky Spirit of Poverty comes into the picture, whom I have a personal vendetta with and who is always accompanied by his best friend, Fear.
“What can we get rid of and sell to pay these bills? What can we cut back on? I’m never going to have fun again or not have to worry! The doctor said I won’t be able to have kids now or if I do, it will be complicated! I won’t be able to help anybody else, I just have to take care of myself!”
That is what the Spirit of Poverty does best! Destroying any sign of prosperity, consuming you with yourself and trying to not only ruin your life but to rob you of your legacy! It makes you think that you are the only special one out there and the only one going through something like this and that nobody will ever be able to get it or possibly understand the tragedy you experienced! It makes you a victim and an orphan!
So, there I was laying in the hospital bed, with everyone telling me how my life was never going to be the same ever again, how helpless I was now, and starting to give in to all of these things when in walked the Monster-in-Law. I affectionately call her that, even though she is one of my biggest mentors and best friends because she is an absolute force to be reckoned with! Demons flee the room when she walks in! I mean, she did raise my husband! I was crying, telling her all the things that happened and how upset I was about the GoFundMe page and she said something that changed my course.
“Everyone knows how tough you are, so get over yourself.”
That was one of those pivotal, fork-in-the-road moments for me. This is what the Lord is talking about when he says are you going to choose to believe me or man? This is when you hold him to his words and promises! This is why it is important to only accept a word over your life if you know it is true! It is not your responsibility to give yourself a word, but it is your responsibility to choose and discern which ones are true because, in seasons like this, they become your biggest weapon. He is our living hope, and that is the combatant against fear!
I realized that I could choose the current diagnosis over my life, or I could pull all the words and promises that I had been given and choose those, choose life.
I pulled out the ones about our ministry as a family and how the Lord told me before I was going to marry Alyc that I was marrying the Healer to the Nations and I needed to be prepared for the big things that he was going to do with him, and how I was going to be the mother of a powerful legacy of children whose floor would be our ceiling and how I was called to the marketplace. I repeated those over to myself and I believed them and I got my fight back. I banished any sort of fear about how my body was going to shut down on me, how I would eventually suffer kidney failure and all the other medical side effects, and I laughed at Satan’s attempt to slow me down or stop our progress. I truly believed that I had the blood of Jesus Christ on the doorstep of my heart and that I carry his authority in Heaven here on Earth. I came back with a vengeance to be even more successful than I am now and spread even more joy and banish even more darkness wherever I go.
The Lord did not give me diabetes and I will not be defined by it. I will take insulin because it allows me to be the best version of myself, but I will not claim diabetes and it is not my identity. I will keep believing in Him for the miracle of a working pancreas or a cure, but in the meantime, he has given me the miracle of medicine, doctors, and technology so I can live.
When I was admitted to the emergency room, they told me they had never seen a blood sugar that high and never seen somebody as old as I get Type 1 diabetes. The cherry on top was the strep throat they figured out I had the morning after I woke up in the ICU. That also allowed the Spirit of Fear to enter the room, disguised as something unknown. That was yet another portal of entry for him, the thought that you are so “unique and such a special case” that nobody knows what to do with you and there is no help for you. I believe that everybody is unique and special and different, but I also think that to a point it can hurt us. It can allow for isolation and victimization and orphanhood. Thinking that you are so alone and that nobody knows what is going on is a very dangerous place to be.
That is where the Spirit of Poverty and Fear reside because orphan is the opposite of the kingdom. As I was getting all this new, “never seen before” information, Alyc received a phone call from our friend who also has Type 1 diabetes and who also had strep throat when he was admitted to the hospital. Weird, right? Not so special now. A few days later, I received a call from my mom about a girl on my cousin’s softball team that had a diabetic ketoacidosis just like me and whose blood sugar was over 1,000! That blew my record right out of the water! A week later, I went to my cousin’s wedding in Montana. I had booked the trip months ago and was nervous about going so far by myself. I felt like I needed to go and as if divinely planned, the groom’s aunt was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes right after her 25th birthday, just like me! Turns out, I’m not special after all! Turns out the Lord put those people in my life to prove that I can do this and that there is a support system out there! I’m not saying play the comparison game, but there is always going to be someone out there that had it worse than you. However, you cannot help them or remove the chaos until you get over yourself.
There is a season for everything, but don’t mistake a season as your new calling.
There is a difference between the Lord leading you in a new direction and you going through a season. There need to be times where you fight for what you know to be true and you challenge what is happening around you. It’s when you hold onto His promises that you literally bring the heaven you know down to the chaos around you. So, at the end of the day, I know the Lord loves me even though I’m not that special.