Monday, July 30, 2012

Healing and Divine Mercy: In Between

I've been working on this series for a long time. Since Easter, in fact. I thought I would save it, to give you something interesting to read while I am up during the night changing diapers and feeding a baby and only half-awake during the day, trying to make sure a few meals make it to the table and I don't set anything on fire. I will publish it in four parts.

This is the fourth and final post in a series in which I explore how to ask for healing from diabetes without losing faith, and without experiencing disappointment when it doesn't happen immediately.

I finally realized that diabetes is, in fact, a problem.

When I asked for healing, and didn't receive it, it was, in fact, very disappointing, and made me worry that maybe God wasn't faithful towards me, or loving towards me. He was holding out on me, so I thought, just like Eve thought that God was somehow keeping her from something she deserved or needed.

Then, I was reminded that God wanted me to ask for his mercy, and that I just needed to wait. Just like if Eve had waited, she would have received the great perfection she desired.

So now, I am figuring out what to do in the meantime. What to do in the meantime, until I am healed? Especially if this lasts the duration of my earthly life and I don't see healing until the resurrection of the body at the end of time?

Well, I don't have an awesome answer to that question, but here's what I've been doing.

I pray, because Christ asked us to pray. He asks us dozens of times in the Gospels, and he renewed his request in his revelations to Sister Faustina. "Let the sinner not be afraid to approach Me. The flames of mercy are burning Me - clamoring to be spent; I want to pour them out upon these souls." Prayer draws us close to his heart, and a non-immediate answer requires us to quell our childish fears and trust him every single moment.

I keep doing my best to manage my diabetes, to safeguard my earthly life for my children and others who depend on me. If my health is exactly what I'm asking God to restore, so that my life may be enhanced and prolonged, then treating my body like a piece of junk will never get me closer to the end that I seek. If my body is a gift that God has given to me, treating it like a piece of junk will probably actually make him angry. So I do my best to give it the care it needs.

I imagine what a life without diabetes might look like if it happens before the end of my earthly life. Maybe I could have more children. Maybe I will drink a milkshake without feeling guilty. Maybe I will give all the money that I would have spent on doctor's appointments and health insurance for the rest of my life to someone else who needs it. Maybe I will give thanks for my health every day. Maybe...

I meditate on the glories of heaven. Even if I am healed tomorrow, I will still almost certainly suffer death as he did. My health will not be permanent if it is restored to me before the resurrection of the body at the end of time. So pondering healing makes me mourn the loss of health that all human beings experience at death, whether their health in life has been good or poor, and punts me into meditation on the beauties of heaven, where health never ceases.

I am afraid that if God doesn't heal me, it's because I'm just not good enough, or he doesn't love me enough. I am afraid of living with diabetes for the rest of my life. I am afraid that my kidneys will fail, and I will die before I get to see my grandchildren grow up. I am afraid for every child that will be conceived in me in the future, that he or she will suffer birth defects because of my condition. I am afraid that I will not have the self-discipline to control my blood sugars - that some day I will just give up - and suffer the consequences.

This quote strikes the heart my fear (Notebook 1, Entry 2 in the Diary of Sister Faustina). For me, the fear was and has been that, if I pray for healing and don't receive it, it will mean that God doesn't love me. But in truth, my relationship with God comes first, even before healing. He need not prove his love to me in healing because he has already proved it on the cross. The present moment is sufficient for God to lavish his love upon us, and for us to know and respond to God's love. I will be healed in heaven, I may be healed before then, but God's love is for me at every moment between now and then:

When I look into the future, I am frightened,
But why plunge into the future?
Only the present moment is precious to me,
As the future may never enter my soul at all.
...

O present moment, you belong to me, whole and entire.
I desire to use you as best I can.
And although I am weak and small,
You grant me the grace of your omnipotence.

And so, trusting in Your mercy,
I walk through life like a little child,
Offering you each day this heart
Burning with love for Your greater glory.


2 comments:

  1. As a non-religious person it's really strange and sad to see you beat yourself up over why god's not answering your prayers. No god is not going to heal your diabetes or mine. If a cure is found within our lifetimes it will be due to tireless researchers, dedicated physicians, and advocacy groups like JDRF who raise the necessary funds. My faith and support is with them. -Fellow T1

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh! You don't need to be sad for me! I understand eternity much better now.

      Delete