As a continuation of my previous post . . .
“3. to avail oneself of: to embrace an opportunity.” I think it goes without saying that we would not have chosen diabetes for Ryan. But if we take a few steps back and look at the situation without our emotions (almost impossible sometimes), the reality is, this opens the door for unexpected opportunities. We believe that “all things work together for good . . . ” (Romans 8:28). We have NOT mastered this part of the definition, or any of them for that matter. But we are a work in progress towards looking for opportunities to embrace because of the disease, because of how it has changed our lives. We were just talking last night that this is already teaching Ryan an aspect of self-control that we could never have taught him ourselves. I mean, seriously, how many 5 year olds do you know would stuff a cupcake in his back-pack that was given to him at school and bring it home to eat later because he’d already had his afternoon snack for the day? As much as that breaks my heart because it is a necessity, it makes me VERY proud of him too. And another opportunity came when Jason suggested that I start this blog to be a support and encouragment to others who live with diabetes and see how the Lord can use our life to glorify Him and maybe even reach others who are not specifically touched with diabetes, but might somehow in some small way, see Jesus in our journey.
“4. to adopt & 5. to take in with the eye or mind.” Both of these definitions encompass what we have had to do in the last few months and what we will do for the rest of his life until we have a cure (which I am trusting will come in his lifetime). We have adopted diabetes into our family, we have seen it personified with our eyes in our precious little boy, and it is a constant presence in our mind. We have adopted changes in diet, in schedules, in activities and even in accessories he wears (the child cannot go without a watch so HE knows what time he needs a snack or eat and he now wears a diabetic medical bracelet). Ryan was always ours, but we have adopted diabetes as a PART of his life, NOT who he is, and we are in the process of taking it all in.
And finally, “6. to encircle; surround; enclose. 7. to include or contain.” I can’t help but imagine the battle Ryan must be having and will have, I’m sure, more intensely as he gets older. We are learning that diabetes often has a mind of it’s own, causing the sugar to fluctuate inexplicably, altering moods or behavior, and affecting him physically with a variety of symptoms. But this encircling and including reminded me of a poem entitled Outwitted, the author is unknown.
He drew a circle and shut me out,
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout —
But love and I had the wit to win;
We drew a circle and took him in.
If you let it, diabetes can and will shut you out of life leaving you to feel overwhelmed, isolated and alone. It will do the same for parents caring for their children with diabetes. But if you make the choice and have the “wit to win,” you can live life to the fullest, do all you dare to dream and draw your circle that includes the disease rather than letting the disease shut you out of life.
Embrace Diabetes? I say, “Yes!” Embrace is exactly what we CHOOSE to do . . . for Ryan.