Tuesday, July 26, 2011

And of a Sound Mind

One Bible verse that I cling to for dear life is 2 Timothy 1:7,  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.  That would be KJV, of course, because what good is a promise like, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline," when you feel like you are losing your sanity?  I don't know who did the latter translation (yes, I do -- it's NIV), but "sound mind" and "self-discipline" aren't the same words in any language.  How did "sound mind" get translated into "self-discipline"??? Or, how about this (per)version, from The Message, "God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible." The NIV and The Message are both dynamic equivalency translations, meaning that the translators kept loosely to the main idea of the text, but put in the words they felt should be there in English, based on the current culture, ideologies, political correctness, carnality, and personal bent of the particular guy in the committee who worked on that particular passage.  Dangerous, that, if you ask me.  Didn't God say not to add or take away from his words?  Yes, he did.  Am I ever glad I have a Bible I can trust.  But I digress.  This post is not about Bible translations, but the promise of a sound mind.

I'm an insulin-dependent diabetic.  That means my pancreas is non-functioning, that my brain has to be my pancreas by telling my hands when to give me insulin, and how much, by injection or by infusion pump.  I have had diabetes for over 30 years, with NO complications, praise God, but I am becoming less and less sensitive to the symptoms of LOW blood sugar.  Low blood sugar can occur if I exercise, or if I don't eat enough, or if I take too much insulin to cover the carbs I am eating.  That is a bad thing, because the human brain needs sugar, or glucose, to function properly, and really, truly, my brain needs all the help it can get.

Back in the early days of my diabetes, I noticed hypoglycemia symptoms right away (low blood sugar < 70mg/dl -- normal is 100).  As is typical in the early stages, I felt shaky on the inside, saw spots, and broke into a sweat if not treated immediately with something sweet. It was not -- and still is not -- uncommon for me to behave as though I were a bit drunk, talking loudly and with exaggerated gestures. (That is embarrassing, considering I don't drink at all.)  

Symptoms of Low Blood Sugar

Lately, though, I am often not aware of "dipping" until I am on a fast slide into the later stages of hypoglycemia, in which confusion and personality changes are not uncommon.  Yesterday as I sat and listened to my husband's preaching, I was wondering what was wrong with him.  His message wasn't making any sense. I thought, Oh dear Lord.  How are we ever going to build a church with that?? THANK YOU for not bringing anyone to hear this! This was the first time since we started our church, that we have not had any visitors. I was overcome with a dread feeling of hopelessness, that God has brought us to Minnesota to starve us to death, and that this little church is NEVER going to get off the ground.  I felt like I was of absolutely NO USE to God or anyone else.  All of a sudden I began crying profusely and made a vain attempt to do it secretly.  Sitting next to me, my Emily stared at me as if I were growing feathers and horns and turning into a fantastical creature (little kids do that sometimes when they see their mommy cry), and, since it was now time to give hymn requests, I began frantically looking through the hymnal index for one about hopelessness and despair.  I chose "Little Is Much When God Is in It" then continued to cry and sing at the same time.

We cleaned up, locked up, and drove home.  I stared out my window with tears streaming down my face, trying to control those grotesque contortions your face makes when you are trying to keep from crying, all the while wondering, What is wrong with me, and why am I crying like this? Am I losing my mind?  I am!  I must be!  I went straight to my room to drop my stuff, then into the bathroom.  While in there I forgot what I was doing. Where has my mind gone?  My poor husband and children, having to have their wife and mother committed to a mental hospital!  How dreadful!  Oh dear Lord save me from this!  Let me keep my mind!  Sobbing again, trying to keep quiet so no one will hear me. I know my family thinks I'm insane. What am I doing?  Oh yes, better test my blood sugar.  


Oh.  It's not my mind after all (oh God, thank you), it's my blood sugar.  Still crying, I return to my room for some glucose tablets, a quick fix for crashing glucose levels.  Dear husband looks at me like he is a bit afraid of me, probably wondering if he should call a doctor in a white coat to bring a straight-jacket.  "I'm sorry, I'm sorry!" I kept repeating. I collapse on the bed. "It's my blood sugar, and I can't control myself!"  Loony, I know.  But it's terrible to feel like your body or your mind is doing its own thing without you. 

This has happened at least twice before, and both other times I was pretty convinced I was going to have to be tranquilized and shipped off to the insane asylum.  But there was a little echoing in my head... that verse, the one about the sound mind... oh, thank you, Lord, for writing it on my heart.  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mindJust yesterday I made the connection that this is all diabetes-related!  What a relief!  God is so good to me.  The promise of a sound mind is true.  Of course it is!

If you see me acting strangely, please ask me to test my blood. Of course, being "low" I will probably be belligerent and refuse to do it, but at least you will have tried to keep me out of the mental ward.  When I have recovered you can say, "Welcome back.  And I told you so."  :)

Still.  I don't like it when my mind goes off by itself...


  1. Oh dear Sally, I'm glad you got it all figured out before the men in the white coats arrived. Blood sugar, hormones, it all sure can do a number on us, huh? Glad the LORD hears and sees.

    Don't worry about the church, it will get better.

  2. Better eat eggs for breakfast before church from now on! Keep up the protein! ;-) Praying for you.



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