Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Why, when, how... all questions I have learned over the years that make God chuckle.  Did you know God laughs?

Oh, He laughs at things wondrous like Northern lights and colorful nebula and duck-billed platypuses (platypi?).

But He also laughs when I stomp my feet and ask any of these three questions... why?... when?... how?

Or... as that great theological thinker Woody Allen once said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell Him your plans".

I was sharing my questions with the nurse practitioner last week (it is okay to ask her why), especially my frustrations at waking up with blood sugar dangerously high and experiencing equally dangerous low blood sugar levels each and every afternoon... after trying to balance them for six weeks now.

She listened to me patiently and then in her British accent (which makes everything sound lovely), she reminded me that as a Type 1 diabetic, I am always "fighting my genetics".  She reminded me I cannot compare my attempts to that of a Type 2 diabetic.  My pancreas does not function and my life depends on five shots a day.

Sigh... genetics.  The word brought back memories of the last time I saw my mother's brother... slumped over, in a wheelchair unable to walk, blind... dying from Juvenile diabetes which caught up with him in middle age... just like me.  I was a little girl and I was terrified of him... and I share his genetics.

I have asked God why?!!  Why, me?  Why was I... the only one of all my siblings who came to Him not having lived a heathen existence (understanding we are all great sinners in God's eyes)... the one who was chased and caught by the family genetics?  Why?

I was pondering all of this yesterday as I was walking in the cold afternoon wind.  I'm in "no-excuses" mode right now, doing everything I can to regulate crazy blood sugars.  That means for most days, walking at least forty minutes a day and eventually an hour.

I was listening to lovely music and feeling as if I were going to die any moment from muscle aches (and I do know that the average person does not die from aches) when I saw in the distance a jogger coming toward me.  I knew who he was as he had flown past me earlier.

Suddenly I could no longer see him, I wondered if he had turned back and rounded the curve in the lane.  Then I walked just a little closer and there he was... on the pavement... doing push ups!  Not girlie push ups, either.  Manly push ups.  In the midst of running like the wind!

I wanted to laugh or cry or both...  He smiled at me and waved about a minute later when he once again blew past me... this time coming toward me... on the trail, much like a figure from the X-men or Fantastic Four (can you tell I have a son?).

However, he had an interesting affect on me.

Not wanting to be humiliated, I started walking a little faster and within minutes I had passed the pain and entered the walker's high.  Much like a runner's high (although I never experienced that), it is that moment when walking when one has pushed through the aches and pains and felt they could almost fly.  For me now it is at thirty minutes or so into the walk.

As a former power walker, I used to experience this almost daily and it has felt good to feel it again... inspired by one who was far superior to me in health and wellness and ability.  In that moment, God did not answer my questions but he gave me a clear vision of my past.

Those weeks and months in times of severe trial when I thought I was not going to live through the trial.  Those days of reminding myself to breath.  The years of stepping out in faith, knowing only what to do that minute and that hour and trusting Him as I felt myself stepping off the cliff of faith... into the unknown.

Terrible days and months and years at times... but yet... as I look back... times when I saw and heard Him the clearest.  Times of feeling His presence in my alone-ness... when even those closest to me could not tell me why, or how, or especially when this to shall pass.

Then there came a day, not all at once and never completely in the moment... but there came a day I realized I had passed through the valley of the shadow of death... that season of uncertainty when fear and the unknown lurked around the corner of each day.

There came a day when I felt I could fly.  I had experienced crisis after crisis after crisis and I not only survived but I was stronger than I ever thought I could be... spiritually, emotionally, mentally... if not physically.

Like the college student dropping in the midst of his run to do push ups, God had challenged me on the journey of life.  He made it much harder than the gentle walk through the park I had desired.

I don't know what had happened if I had turned around on the journey... deciding not to follow Him on the path because it was too hard... choosing bitterness instead of trust.

My spiritual and emotional muscles were in deep pain and I wanted to give up... but just at the moment (it always seemed) I could no longer go on... He would give me a gift of relief.  Sometimes in joy or peace... or a friend buying coffee for me at Starbucks.

Sometimes when I feel burdened and unsettled now, I think about the battles He has brought me through in the past and I can remain calm.  I may never know why but I know Him and His character... and I have a feeling when I see Him face to face... why won't matter.

Picture: Water Baby and the Moon


Anonymous said...

Love the last line 'When I see him face to face why won't matter.'

Medical science has come a long way since your uncle's time and sometimes men aren't very good about taking care of themselves like they should.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

Phillipians 4 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, and one of the many things said there which help and inspire me is this:
"I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Denise said...

Perfect thought from HIM-through you.Sister in Christ,Denise

becka said...

Lovely post, Brenda. You have a great gift for sharing what is on your heart in a way that is such a blessing to others.

Kimberly said...

and I have a feeling when I see Him face to face... why won't matter.


Anonymous said...

I too have health problems stemming from genetics that no one else in the family has gotten. For that I am forever grateful. I am praying it stays like that. Mine too came later in life.Once in a while the aches and pains stop and I can walk or sit comfortably like I hadn't been able to do for a while. It is like being a healthy kid again. It is like a glimpse into heaven. It may only last a few seconds or a minute but it is a wondrous time none the less. For all the years I did have a somewhat perfect body I am thankful. So many children know nothing but pain. Yes I believe all those questions we have about why..the ones that haunt us and worry us will not even matter to us later. They are a part of our sorrow on earth and in heaven there are to be no tears. Thank you for sharing your story further with us Brenda. I have been spared any problems with sounds like a complicated disease to control. Your story blessed me today. Sarah

Anonymous said...

I suppose we humans all have lots of why questions from our lives. Maybe by the time of our age anyway. I like the poem about the Tapestry...GOD from HIS view sees the beautiful picture and all we see from below is tangled threads. I NEED to be doing what you are, I have not been even taking my blood of late...and am afraid of the next A1C...and supposedly mine is diabetes 2...and if I could walk enough, eat little enough, etc to loose some pounds I have a hope at least of not needing the meds. But the doc says it is a progressive thing...but am reading several books of late too, to try to see if there are some natural things I can be doing besides the diet, etc. But we can at least look ahead to Kingdom life when none of these diseases will trouble us anymore!! I also take thyroid and not sure if you do or not, but I have read that it is imperative to have that gland working right or we will never get ahold of the diabetes either. I recently switched to the natural one (porcine, called Armour) and have to admit how much better I am feeling overall. Well, you are not alone in this battle, friend.
Elizabeth in NC

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda- I've been reading your blog for years, but never commented until now. Totally enjoy reading all your thoughts!

My family recently began taking a TBSP of food grade DE each day and are all experiencing some wonderful health benefits. I was looking for food grade DE for use in my garden and found this site which contained human testimonies. It might help you too if you are game for trying it- just make sure it's the food grade DE not anything from the pool store. My bag had ORMI organic label on it. I purchased from amazon and it's not very expensive.

Hope you are feeling better! Keep up that walking=)

Miss Amanda said...

As a homeschooling mom just starting my journey I have loved reading your wisdom. I also wanted to mention that I know you love Beverly Nye (my grandmother) and she has republished her two best sellers in one print. It may be something you'd like to share with your readers. I wrote about it here: and you can get more information at her website.
Keep that chin up and follow that "Walkers High" :)
-Miss Amanda

Nana said...

Hi Brenda;
My blessed friend, through your trials mine don't seem so bad. I have been a breast cancer survivor for over 5 years. I try to remember the first year of fear and chemo. But they fade with time. We are indeed strengthened thru our trials. You are such a Beautiful Person. Thank you for allowing me to share your life. Love in Christ, Nana.

Mrs.Rabe said...

Thanks for sharing this...I think that is why He brings trials our way - so we can see Him, our need for keeping our eyes on Him and to long for our true home....


Angela said...

Just like the man doing push ups was an encouragement and inspiration to you, your keeping on with life in the midst of difficulties is an inspiration and encouragement to many, many of us readers. You will not know the extent of that until you get to heaven.

Anonymous said...

Brenda, thanks for bring a smile to my face. I could very clearly see the young man creating dust as he scooted past, again and again . . .

You're still putting me to shame - now I feel challenged to do some walking of my own while. I'm 52 and have been blessed with good health but weight (too much of it) is such a battle.

Perhaps I need to start stepping and create a little dust of my own.

Thank you for your encouraging blog - I enjoy the visits. Isabel from SA

Vee said...

Oh I'm so glad that I read this today. I'll be pushing on through in that clutter on the second floor if it kills me. I think I may have just gained my second wind.

Anonymous said...

You must be a writer by profession. You have a lovely way with words. They seem to float around me when I read them , making me feel lighter than air. You will have many lovely days, you know.