Last night I attended my first Diabetes Support group. It was pretty much what I expected, though it was more of a "class" and less "discussion" oriented. It was very similar to the sort of teaching I am getting from Joan, my Diabetes Instructor from Kick Diabetes - St. Louis. We had a workbook of scenarios, dealing with nutrition, medication, feelings, exercise, etc. and had to get into pairs, read the "word problem" and then answer questions about what we thought the person needed to do. My partner and I had "hypoglycemia", which is low blood sugar. I have not experienced this in my brief diabetes journey, and my partner was a nurse who was observing the class as part of her continuing education. So.....I think we did pretty well, but I did note that our information was strictly theoretical.
I keep thinking I am outside of the norm for Type 2. Joan told me I was "the skinniest newly-diagnosed Type 2" she'd ever met (bless her!!) and last night I was definitely the youngest person in the room. Maybe not by much, but the next youngest were in their 50s with grandchildren, and there were a lot of ladies my moms' age. Everyone was very welcoming, and I do plan to go back. Next month we are meeting at Schnucks and then going through the store and learning how to shop. My initial thought was, "I am NOT doing this! And I already know how to read labels." But you know what - I need to do this. I thought I knew how to read labels and Joan showed me some things I didn't know.
I see it as a defect of character that I always think I already know so much. When I went to Weight Watchers four years ago I thought I already knew it because I had had gestational diabetes three times and had to learn to do meal plans, food journals, read labels, etc. Now I think I know it all from the incredible combined knowledge of that and Weight Watchers. And you know what? A lot of what I "know" is wrong. Or has changed. Nutrition science moves forward, constantly. The things I learned about food exchanges in 1998 when I had my first son are not the same as they are now.
Be Teachable - that is a good theme for life.
Yesterday I got a letter from a Christian sister who is in prison. I will give more info later when I have time, but for now, just know that Michelle is saved, and she is leading Bible studies and ministries within the confines of a womens' state penitentiary. The Big House, as it were, not one of the little jails.
It would be very easy for me, as a good church woman (and deacon's wife, have I mentioned that? Don't forget I used to teach Sunday School, too) to feel that my years of church experience and Bible exposure put me in the position of being somehow "more" Christian than this lady who is a fairly recent convert, and btw, is in jail.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. This lady is a spiritual giant, standing next to my puny faith. Yesterday I was grumping about, basically having a few extremely minor things not go my way. Then I get this, my first letter from Michelle. I had written her a month or so ago, sent a few pictures from the garden (the frog and butterfly over to the right, there) and a couple pictures the little guys colored.
She blows me away. She made me a card, with the inscription:
The light that is Brightest
the word that is Surest
the peace that is Calmest
the counselor that is Truest
the friend that is Nearest
the companion that is Dearest
And this is part of the letter:
"God has not only made us alive in Christ, but He has gifted us for His purposes. His Holy Spirit fills us and we are equipped to do any task He has ordained for us. Our service to Him must flow out of our joyful praise and adoration of Him. It must be more than an academic or mechanical theology or knowledge of God. It much be to God. W are not merely trophies of God's grace. Show signs of life! The born-again nature is FIT to do good works. How can a light not shine?"
I began to cry as I read this. This women, sitting in an incredibly dark place, reaches out and ministers to me, whose world is only light right now. I was ashamed of my attitude, convicted of my sin. And I have learned.
Keep learning today!