Purity and Truth Menu



Beware the Phantom Future

By Jesse Jost

One of the unexpected challenges of dealing with Type 1 diabetes is the fear that another child will develop diabetes. I’ll have stretches of feeling fine, but then I’ll wonder if our two year old wet too many diapers in a day or is drinking too much (these things are so subjective and hard to measure!) and then it becomes an obsession.

I’ll get chronic stress, and have painful, vivid flashbacks to our son’s diagnosis (he was in severe DKA). And a sense of impending doom just becomes hard to shake.

In the night our two year old had a diaper that leaked in the night and the fears just gripped me. I weighed him in the morning and he had gained two pounds (a reassuring sign, as T1D causes weight loss). I did a finger poke and two hours after eating waffles and cold cereal he was 7mmols (126 US). Everything I found online says that under 7.8 (140) two hours after eating is normal, but I just can’t shake the stress.

I know there is just no assurance anyone can give me that he won’t develop diabetes and that is the part that is hard to accept.

I reached out to our Facebook support groups for advice about how they deal with this anxiety. It is a common issue, but the majority said that what helps them is knowing that if it happens with another child, this time they have the knowledge and the tools to deal with it.

One mom who has had a second child develop T1D, said that while it is hard to accept, you do adjust. She added that worrying about it happening was worse than dealing with the real problem.

This got me thinking. One of the symptoms of developing diabetes is excessive peeing. So when I hear a kid peeing copiously, my heart skips a beat. When I find out it’s our T1D son, there’s a wave of relief. We’ve found a level of peace with our T1D son, and I’m sure we’d reach that place eventually again with another child if we had to.

I realized that if we had to deal with a toddler developing diabetes, it would come with moments of holding him still to inject a painful needle while we both are crying. It would mean even less sleep and more mental stress as now two kids would need constant monitoring and more night checks.

But I also saw that if this were to happen in real life, it would be accompanied by God’s grace and tools to deal with the situation. In contrast, the phantom diabetes of my imagination makes me feel helpless. Because of its unreality, there is nothing I can do fix the problem I’m imagining. No shot of insulin to make the high go away, no gummy bear to give to fix the low.

Phantom diabetes of my imagination comes at me with vivid force all at once, with the painful moments compressed into a collage of terror. Real life diabetes comes at you one moment at a time with huge amounts of normalcy in between.

Dealing with the phantom diabetic toddler causes a selfish focus on what it will cost me and fills me with terror. Dealing with a real life child fills you with an overwhelming love for that child that gives supernatural strength to do whatever sacrifice is necessary. It would come with a sense of purpose that quiets the mind and steadies the will.

Phantom diabetes has no value, it doesn’t make me more aware of my non-T1D’s kids needs, it doesn’t help prepare or stock up on needed supplies. It does nothing but torment me and waste the precious time we should be savouring while our kids pancreases are working and they can eat and sleep without worry.

The phantom future is one of Satan’s favourite tools to torment us, rob us of peace and joy, and take our eyes off God and the gifts we should be grateful for. The phantom future comes as an angel of light saying that this worrying is the responsible thing to do. And that if we aren’t actively worrying about it tragedy will strike again. But that is all a lie.

So if you find yourself tormented by a possible scenario in the future where some difficulty or tragedy strikes, be it job loss or cancer, ask if there is some wise step you can take to avert the crisis or prepare. But if there is nothing you can do in the present to prepare, then be ruthless in identifying the distressing imaginings as unreality from the enemy. There is no value dwelling on it.

Jesus sternly commands us not to worry about the future, then adds compassionately that each day has enough troubles.

Real life will be hard, and the hardest things you will have to deal with will probably be the things you never saw coming rather than the things you worry about.

But real life will come with God’s grace, strength, comfort and wisdom, and a sense of purpose to deal with it effectively, and the support of family and community. So be ruthless with the phantom future, and trust our wise Heavenly Father to guide us into the real future with Him always by our side.

  • Thanks for leaving a comment, please keep it clean. HTML allowed is strong, code and a href.


9 Causes of Depression

By Jesse Jost

Johann Hari is someone who has struggled with extreme depression and was on antidepressants for 12 years. In his insightful book “Lost Connections,” he questions the common story peddled by many in the drug industry. For years he believed that depression was caused by a broken brain – a chemical imbalance – and the way to fix it was through pills that altered the brain chemistry. After years of pills that only caused a temporary upswing in mood, followed by years of nasty physical side effects, Johann wanted to take a closer look at the causes and remedies for depression. He found that depression has many causes other than simply biology. There are psychological and sociological causes as well. Rather than a mere imbalance in the brain, depression is mental and emotional pain that is a natural response to a broken world.

Here is my summary of the 9 causes of depression that Johann discovered.

  1. Disconnection from meaningful work

Some depression can be caused by work that makes people feel they have no control over their roles or position and that their opinions don’t matter. Other job factors that lead to depression include a perpetual sense that you are falling behind and the work keeps piling up no matter how hard you try. Also jobs that have a low reward to effort ratio make a person feel trapped, i.e. hard work that is unnoticed and under appreciated.

      2.Disconnection from other people

Loneliness, a sense that you are alone, that you are not part of a group that protects and values you, can play a large role in depression. The scary thing is that loneliness snowballs, and causes people to “shut down socially and be more suspicious…You become hypervigilant. You start to take offense where none was intended, and be afraid of strangers. You start to be afraid of the very thing you need most.” We all need to feel like we belong, that we have people who will listen and accept us, and that we play a valuable role in their lives as well.

  1. Disconnection from meaningful values

We are motivated by two categories of motivations. One is “extrinsic” motivation. We will do something we’d rather not do, so that we will get something that we do want. For example, we will take a job we hate so we have money to pay the bills, do a painful workout so we can have a better body, etc. The other type of motivation is “intrinsic” motivation. We do something just for the sheer pleasure of it, or the action matches our convictions so we want to do it regardless of attention or reward. Johann argues that the more your day is filled with time spent doing only the things that are extrinsically motivated, the more likely you’ll spiral into depression. Johann also believes that our culture places too much significance on wealth, status, and material goods, so that people feel the acquisition of these things is what will make them happy. But people end up living years of drudgery, doing the things they hate, trying to chase the hollow dream. Continue reading…

  • Thanks for leaving a comment, please keep it clean. HTML allowed is strong, code and a href.