My oldest son Caleb’s job on this earth is to prove adversity as lies and disparage. And he has done so further than I could have ever imagined after he grew sicker than I could have dreamed at the tender age of four.
A season that threatened to take my first born son away gutted me deeper than anything had up to that point in my life. Caleb was four years old and deeply energetic and gregarious. His smile was larger than the world and his body seemed invincible. Until it wasn’t.
He ate all the time, yet lost weight. He was tired yet couldn’t keep his eyes open and vomited more than he didn’t. My boy was sick. And I was scared. More like terrified.
This was before “Google” and “WebMD.” The days where we simply had to trust our doctors, and they were telling me he was okay. But my son was far from okay, he was leaving us and I knew it. I feared cancer, I felt the worst knock on my door that whispered to me, “you are going to bury a child.”
I demanded a blood test.
Indeed, he was sick, he was declared a type one diabetic, insulin dependent for life.
My immediate response was relief, I get to keep him! I don’t have to bury a child, he can live with diabetes!
After a week-long stay in the hospital nursing my dying son’s body back to life we faced a scary yet comforting reality; that our lives would never be the same, but we did in fact, get to keep him. He wasn’t leaving us, he just had to try a lot harder than other kids who weren’t burdened with constant insulin shots and finger pokes. Endless carb counting and ketoacidosis monitoring. I would wake up in sheer panic at 3 am running to his bedroom with a juice box in hand terrified his blood sugar had dipped too low, and more times than I’d like to admit it saved his young life.
Exodus 23:25~Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.
Cameron his brother closest in age, was his diabetes manager. His dad and I nurtured him to health and held each other up as we grieved the failure of our boy’s body. Later my husband and I divorced and Caleb’s step dad took over the main scheduling of diabetes appointments, insisting that Caleb be placed on the latest technology, an insulin pump. Alan called and called until he found a doctor who could help Caleb in Madison, Wisconsin. We came together as a family, rallied around our Caleb as families do.
June 18, 2002, will always be special. It both saved my son and took something from us, our innocence. But in the midst of struggle and health issues, I can say this…my son has overcome impossible odds.
He was told he couldn’t, yet he said he could.
Caleb is a black belt in Taekwondo…a fighter indeed. He was recently third in his graduating class, winner of more awards than I can count. He is smart, logical, and deeply emotive as God has given him the gift of song.
My son is smarter than 99.999% of his peers, could be a doctor, a lawyer, a chemist, or scholar, yet God has laid upon his heart to be a music pastor.
And I told him to follow his calling. If God says to live a life of touching people’s life through worship and song, it is just as powerful (or more) than performing a surgery.
My boy is on the brinks of his own life. He is ready to go into the next part of his life and he takes his disease with him… as he owns it, it doesn’t own him.
Fourteen years ago we met type one diabetes. We welcomed needles and medicinal liquid into our lives because we had to. But today we are blessed. Simply because we got to keep him.
The world got to keep him. And oh, so many lives he has touched already. And more he will with his heart, drive, and spirit to serve the God he loves and praises every day.
As a mother who loves her babies more than life itself I am left humbled that God chose me to be a type one diabetic mom. I’m honored deeper than you’ll ever know that the world gets to keep my boy, my joy, my first born child who has been chosen for a purpose greater than I could have ever imagined…to defeat the lies of his disease in order to serve his God.
Songs of inspiration…
Caleb wrote this song as an expression of his testimony of strength, grace, and perseverance that God has given him along the way…