After our six-year-old was diagnosed with diabetes just before Thanksgiving, our family was invited to take part in a study aimed at discovering the cause of Type 1 diabetes and finding ways to prevent it. We were great candidates — twelve biologically-related children in a single family, three of whom have Type 1.
When we first agreed to be screened, we assumed we were signing up for a one-time finger prick, but it was actually more involved than that. A full vial of blood was required from each child, as well as from their father and our grandsons. (Luckily Unfortunately, I missed the age cut-off by a few months myself and was therefore ineligible to participate).
The staff who were taking the samples were very kind and extremely good at what they do. They made it easy for our children to bravely submit to the blood draws, although we’re all grateful we don’t have to endure four blood tests and four shots a day like their brothers. If any of the screens come back positive, we’ll get to do this all over again. If they are negative, guess what? The kids can still come back every year for another blood draw until they turn eighteen.
So we’re adding this event to our “Christmas Countdown Calendar.” It’s our newest Christmas tradition, and one we’d highly recommend to any other family affected by Type 1 diabetes.
…. Life took yet another unexpected turn the day before Thanksgiving when our excessively thirsty Daniel tested positive for diabetes. That brings the tally to three children with Type 1, all diagnosed during major holidays. What are the odds? Daniel took the news like a real trooper, although he has since asked, “Mommy? When do I get to stop having diabetes?” The answer is that, unless a cure is found, he will have it for the rest of his life.
I think it is significant that Daniel’s diagnosis came at a time traditionally set aside for counting blessings and giving thanks. It’s easy to express gratitude for obvious graces like warm homes, good jobs, sound minds, and full bellies, but Scripture bids us count it all joy when we encounter hardships, as well (James 1:2-3), knowing that our Heavenly Father loves us and can be trusted, even amid tragedy, to work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
So this year, we are also thanking God for His purpose and plan in allowing into our lives some things we would not have willingly chosen for ourselves—things like diabetes and miscarriage and broken bones (five of them in five different kids!). But God is good all the time, and we can see His hand of mercy at work even now. Won’t you join us in offering up a sacrifice of praise this season?