I thought about going down, but my hands stayed clenched to the pew in front of me. I don't know why I didn't walk down, but I continued to sing the song the music minister was leading. Then singing led to just mouthing, and before I knew it tears were streaming down my face. Then I was full on crying. Forget crying, I was sobbing, snot running down my nose, Blair Witch-esque bawling. I could feel the eyes of the congregation on me, then Trey's arm around my waist. I hadn't really "come out" to my Sunday School members around us, so they didn't know why I was so emotional. In reality, neither did I.
It's not that I don't want a cure, I do. But at that moment I felt the extreme presence of God wrapping His arms me and giving me strength in that moment. I felt strength in being diabetic, and I didn't really understand why. That's why I didn't move that day, because I felt God telling me that I was meant to have this disease, for His glory.
It wouldn't be until a year later that I would really understand why. My pastor was preaching another sermon on healthcare titled "Why God Doesn't Heal". And the highlighted scripture was 2 Corinthians 12: 7-10:
7And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
10Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
I love these verses by Paul, especially the "thorn in the flesh" in verse 7. Some historical theologians believe his "thorn" was blindness, some believe it was leprosy, some even believe it was even a nagging wife! But I believe that he left it as an ambiguous analogy for a reason so that anyone can insert their own iniquity into the passage. But I love the phrase "thorn in the flesh" in particular because it reminds me of the literal
thorn canula in my flesh.
But most of all, I love the whole theme of the passage because it tells me that I am a stronger person for having diabetes. Physically, I am a little weaker because I have a broken pancreas, but my soul is stronger for it. And so are all of you, members of the DOC. I love you and feel so blessed to "know" all of you through this disease. I hope you find strength on this day, World Diabetes Day, and everyday.