A Little Bit Longer

Lauren - bauxite, Arkansas
Entered on April 30, 2009
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: illness, setbacks
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I believe in “a little bit longer.” Every once in a while, I feel like the world is going to end. Hopelessness overwhelms me and happiness vanishes. Trusting God will get me through it.

When I was twelve, I was diagnosed with Type One diabetes. Barely able to move, my mom took me to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. Within minutes, I was lying on a tiny bed with a saline IV in my left hand. The doctor told us the news. All of my self control suddenly disappeared, bringing oceans of tears. I never thought “why me?”. I only wondered how this could happen.

The next few days in the hospital were an emotional roller coaster. My science teacher brought me a poster full of signatures and reassuring words. I never imagined that a simple card would be so meaningful. One girl wrote, “Don’t worry. Everything happens for a reason, for the greater good. Look to the bible for answers. God has a plan.” Her words were so encouraging. The poster hangs in my room as a reminder of how much people care about me.

The main emotion I felt was unfairness. It wasn’t fair that my friends could eat without thinking. I hated taking five shots every day. Then I remembered Audrey, my cousin, who also has diabetes. When I first learned of her diagnosis, I felt sympathetic, but my sympathy turned to empathy. We were going through the same thing. However, a few months later, Audrey got an insulin pump. Now she wouldn’t have to take shots. It was like a slap in the face. Not the kind that hurt, just that overwhelming feeling of being left out. I was just starting to catch up to speed with her when I did shots and finger pricks. Now she’d be able to do it faster? I was happy for her because already, I understood the frustration of shots. I knew she deserved it. After all, she had been living with this for three years.

Nick Jonas wrote the song “A Little Bit Longer” about his diabetes. One line states, “You don’t know what you got till it’s gone”. It’s a cliché, but there is some truth in it. Sure, everyone knows the possibilities, but do people really think about what could be taken away from them so quickly?

Jealousy was soon extinguished, as I have a pump now too. I feel guilty because Audrey is more excited for me than I was for her. A year of having diabetes myself has changed my perspective. Now I see how much I took simple things for granted. I never thought I’d have to calculate the carbohydrates I ate.

Unfair things are inevitable. That’s when I have to hang on just “A Little Bit Longer”. If a frustrating situation arises, I remember 2 Corinthians 4:17. The little troubles we suffer now for a short time are making us ready for the great things God is going to give us forever.