When I am Weak Round 2

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.” ― Bilbo Baggins

I wrote “When I am Weak” back in March. I was weak then. I am even weaker now. On Sunday, I began to experience nausea after church. I went to a friend’s house but could barely eat. By the time I got home around 4 pm, I barely made it in the house before I started throwing up. Sorry to use the T-word, as we called it in elementary school, but for the point of this post, it’s necessary to say. I threw up every 30 minutes for the next 9 hours, finally calling 911 at 1 am. Turns out my insulin pump wasn’t delivering insulin, and I was experiencing my first serious bout of diabetic ketoacidosis (in 26 years as a type 1 diabetic).

After calling 911, six very tall, very handsome fire fighters walked into my bedroom. I, of course, was not at my best after 9 hours of the T-word. Despite feeling 100% the worst I’ve ever felt in my life, I did have a little bit of humor left in me that appreciated the juxtaposition of that moment – the rescue of many a woman’s dreams and my complete inability to appreciate it. I was only moderately incoherent (I could answer their questions by the 2nd or 3rd try), and I could sort of walk. My bedroom is on the top floor, and I was determined to make it down without having to be put in a stretcher. So down we went to the ambulance, with one tall, handsome firefighter gently helping me on one side and another walking down in front of me in case I started to fall down the stairs.

Fast forward a few days. I’m out of the hospital, and, in theory, better. But I’m still wobbly. The show must go on, though. Kids need to go to school. Welders need to learn math. Dogs have to be let in and let out. Laundry has to be done. I have a lot of support here, for which I praise God. But I have to keep going at some level. Today as I finished up my class at the community college and started the long trek back to my car, I noticed myself leaning left. Or was it right? Regardless, it wasn’t exactly a straight line. I’ve said often the last few days, “You’re going to help me, right, Lord?” And He does. As I walked to my car today, I prayed that. I had the clear sensation of the firefighter coming alongside of me taking me by my right elbow and walking with me to my car. Except it wasn’t a firefighter, but the One who fights for me. My Father. My Savior. My Bridegroom. I could almost physically feel His support. When I am weak, then He is strong. I get it.

The funny thing about the firefighters is that they represent a stereotypical female fantasy – rescue by the tall, strong, and handsome hero. But that stereotypical fantasy reflects a deeper longing for which we were created – an eternal longing for rescue by our strong Savior. This latest episode of weakness has heightened my longing to see Him face to face and rest in His arms. But it’s also raised my awareness that He is not far off now, and He is walking this walk of weakness beside me, upholding me. His strong hand is under my elbow, and when I stumble, He catches me. Not theoretically, but truly. He is there. He is real. And that makes all the difference.

Psalm 63:8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.

Psalm 73  23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you <sup class="crossreference" value="(A)”>hold my right hand.  24 You <sup class="crossreference" value="(B)”>guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will <sup class="crossreference" value="(C)”>receive me to glory. 

13 Responses to When I am Weak Round 2

  1. Pia May 25, 2014 at 12:16 pm #

    I read this yesterday and laughed and cried at the same time.
    Similar but different story for myself when at eight months pregnant I had pneumonia. (That pregnancy just had his 13th birthday this last week.)
    Cried when I read your story because I am sorry you had to go through this. I hadn't picked up in any of my past readings anything about the diabetes you deal with.
    Laughed about the firefighters and God's grace to give us a sense of humor.
    Cried again about Him taking you by the elbow. I can see in my mind's eye as clearly as if it was yesterday, going up the stairs in my home eight months pregnant with pneumonia and with just one stair from the top I had not one ounce of strength left, when sensed a hand come under that leg and get me to the top.
    He is sweeter still.

  2. Wendy May 25, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Thanks for sharing that, Pia. It's neat to hear of others' similar experiences. God is real.

  3. B May 25, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

    Oh Wendy! Praying for your recovery. Thank you for your courage in sharing your struggles with us.

    It will sound rather shallow, but I had a similar feeling when I saw the first “Superman” movie back in the 70’s. Perhaps it was because I had just given birth to my first child, or more likely it was because I was a new Christian with a very incomplete understanding of the sovereignty of God, but I so wanted Superman to be real, and to keep everyone safe.

    I’m reminded of the C.S. Lewis quote:

    “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

    Thank you for sharing your experience of finding Jesus there with you to comfort and care for you.

    Please get well soon…..we need your sane, fair, clarion voice.

  4. Anonymous May 26, 2014 at 12:31 pm #

    This was just what I needed to read today. After a few days in the hospital myself and hoping that today I might get to go home…this was very encouraging. Thanks 🙂 ~Ann-Marie

  5. Irene Sun May 26, 2014 at 5:11 pm #

    Dear Wendy, You not only have the support of your friends nearby. People you've been serving and teaching throughout the years are also lifting up prayers for you. I, too, read your story laughing through my tears, knowing all too well the weight of my flesh, and the strong arm of our Savior. Grace and peace to you and yours this day, gifts that surpasses our understanding and expectations.

  6. Irene Sun May 26, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    From your friend who should not hit “publish” when babies are wiggling on her lap, and who really should edit her comment before sending things out via the internet. =)

  7. Wendy May 26, 2014 at 11:57 pm #

    Thank you, Irene!

  8. Curious Thinker May 28, 2014 at 12:01 am #

    That was a touching story, I hope you are feeling better. Diabetes has run in my family, although I don't have. Take care and God Bless

  9. Jen May 28, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    What if you beg God to “show up” during a painful time, or a time when you need help, and He doesn't?

  10. Wendy May 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    He is often silent in the room, isn't He?! But he's there. “I will not leave you as orphans …” Jesus says.

    I often cry out to God for His mercy to open my eyes to His presence. Help me see you there, Lord. Sometimes, in His mercy He does. Other times, also in His mercy I trust, He does not. I value the Scripture on waiting. Wait. Wait. Wait. Over and over the Bible encourages us to patiently wait. He will show up.

  11. Anonymous May 28, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    This where my favorite quote by Amy Carmichael comes in: “We say, then, to anyone who is under trial, give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth. Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky, or out upon the wideness of the sea, or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound. Give Him time and, as surely as dawn follows night, there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken.”

  12. Cheryl May 30, 2014 at 12:30 pm #

    Dear Wendy,
    I am praying for your recovery. Your words are a source of encouragement to me. I wish I could encourage you. I pray that God will strengthen you and you will experience rest in Him.
    A New Jersey reader,
    Cheryl Frueh

  13. Anonymous June 3, 2014 at 2:52 pm #

    As the parent of a child with Type I, I understand how difficult it is to manage this disease. You have probably also run into more than your share of ignorant and/or cruel comments. I love insulin pumps, but the major drawback is the rapid possibility for ketones when your site has an issue. Praying for you.