As I have been testing over the past few days (yes 7+ times!) I have noticed a change in the way that I process my blood sugar readings. I have been working hard to count carbs and know what I eat so I can cover for what I eat—and even still, sometimes the numbers aren’t exactly where they should be. In the past, that would be so discouraging for me because I would think, “I did everything perfectly, how could this not be perfect??” But now, when I have seen a high reading I think, “Well that wasn’t the right amount of insulin for that food–let’s make a note so I can change that next time.” (of course there are factors other than food like stress or illness or unknowns to take into account too!) I see unexplained blood sugar readings as more of a problem for my doctor to help me solve or something that I can learn from instead of a personal judgment.
For many, many long years, I have struggled with thinking that a “good” number reading made me a good person and means that I did everything right that day; whereas a “bad” number made me feel guilty, frustrated, discouraged, and sad. When honestly, blood sugar readings are fairly predictable with a fair amount of certainty, but there are unexplained, uncontrollable highs and lows. I am not saying that highs and lows are outside of my control, because to a large degree, they are tethered to the decisions that I make with food and insulin coverage. What I am saying is, I cannot get caught up in the few readings that are wandering off somewhere in no-man’s land. In the myriad of times I have started again (or dreaded starting AGAIN) to really seriously control my diabetes, I thought that I needed to have every “plate” spinning perfectly: exercise, meal planning, testing blood sugar, doctor’s visits, eating healthy (and loving it!), sleep schedule (does this mean no sleeping in?? Gasp!) — and if I’m going to do all these things, I might as well do everything else in life right too like sending birthday cards to my relations, entertaining regularly, brushing and flossing 2x’s a day, keeping my nails painted, making meals for the sick, volunteering at church, etc… I mean, if I’m going to figure out diabetes, I probably need to figure out EVERYTHING while I’m at it. It goes with out saying that I barely made it twenty minutes before I decided it was impossible. I’m exaggerating slightly about all the things I try to figure out at once, but truly, only slightly. For some reason, in my mind, everything will run together smoothly and fit, or out of frustration, I will ignore it and complete and under chaos will ensue. Those seem to be the only choices. If I’m going to do one thing right, I need to do ALL things right, or what’s the point?–that’s how I think. That’s how my flesh thinks. God says that I cannot, no matter how many ducks I get in a row, attain perfection. In fact, He says the good I can do is like a “polluted garment” (Isaiah 63:6). And His love for me is not tied in any way to my performance. He chose to love me while I was “dead in my sin” (Ephesians 2:5) knowing fully who I am from toe to tousle. He didn’t choose me because of my goodness or despite my badness–He chose me because He wanted to!
“He predestined [chose] us for the adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will.”
(Ephesians 1:5 ESV)
It doesn’t stop there—God doesn’t just choose me and leave me be. He also promises to finish the good work He has begun in me. (Philippians 1:6) Meanwhile, I need to remember that He will be the one that accomplishes it–not me and my mile-high recipe-for-discouragement checklists!