How God is teaching member to trust in Him while she struggles with diabetes

Mary Kay Rumbold  ·  Jul 01, 2015

I am amazed at the way God has worked in my life, and I would want others to see how He has glorified Himself. I feel like I have been so stuck in where I live in my life with the Lord that I knew He would have to do something pretty big to pull me out of it. He did. He has come and shown me Who He really is, and the relationship I can have with Him.

I would describe much of my Christian life as very “familiar.” I was familiar with God, I was familiar with church. But I did things more out of duty, because I thought I had to, and not so much out of love and gratitude for His love for me. That’s how I lived.

God has given me the kind of personality that sets my mind to do something and does it. I didn’t really feel like I needed Him very much. Yes, I would pray little prayers of “help me, help me, help me,” but then I would get up in the morning, and make a list and check off the things on my list. I could be frustrated if I didn’t get them all done and be excited if I did, but I was mostly thinking I had done it.

Last July, my husband, Gary, and I had gone out to Ohio to see my stepmom, and we’d come back home and gone to bed that night. During the night, I was lying in bed, and suddenly realized I had no feeling in my arm. I tried shaking it, thinking that it would all come back. I got up and walked around a bit. I told Gary I was going to get up for a few minutes and go the bathroom, and I’d be right back. After I was up for a while, I realized that I still couldn’t do anything with my arm.

When I got back to bed, I found I wasn’t able to talk to Gary. I couldn’t say anything. It was really a strange feeling. It really scared Gary, so he called an ambulance, and one thing led to another. At the hospital, they thought I might be having a stroke, except that I knew everything. Even on the way to the hospital, I started regaining the ability to talk and to use my arms, so they really didn’t think that’s what it was.

I’m a person who likes to avoid scary situations, so when I was in the hospital, surrounded by all these people looking at me while I was trying to figure out what was going on, it wasn’t very comfortable.

Finally, they switched from a neurological team to a kidney team, and determined that I had very low kidney function. I’m a diabetic and take insulin. Apparently I had not been as disciplined as I thought.

With me believing that I can control everything, I had thought that if I just ate right and did the right things, everything would be OK. I had ignored all the warning signals of being really tired and really weak.

I was in the hospital for about a week, and I had very high blood pressure. I’ve always said that I have “white coat syndrome.” It seems like when I hear the cart coming down the hallway to take my blood pressure, it automatically goes up. They kept increasing my medications to try to bring down my blood pressure. Finally I told them I thought that if they would let me go home, my blood pressure would come down. They did their best to get everything regulated, then they allowed me to go home.

I remember telling Gary, “I’m going to be perfect.” Instead of looking at the fact that I have a perfect Savior, my thought for everything has always been, “I have to do it right; I have to do what I’m supposed to do; I have to be perfect.”

So I told Gary, “I’m going to be perfect.” We started eating mainly vegetables and fruit, and did away with the desserts and all the sweets. A week later I had a blood test, then I got a phone call, “You need to go back into the hospital immediately.” I had no idea what was going on.

I found out that things you think are good for you, like vegetables and fruit and meat and even nuts, are high in potassium. When you have a kidney problem and your potassium goes up, you can go into heart arrhythmia and die. So here I am in the middle of life, being told I need to go in to the hospital or I might die.

I went back in, they had to regulate some things, then I returned home. When I got home, I was face-to-face with, “What do I do now?” I have never been so depressed in my entire life. I knew people were praying with me, but I felt completely alone. I didn’t know how to reach out to God. I would pray. I loved to read the Bible. I would journal, and sketch everything out. But my relationship with God, really trusting, resting, and believing that He would take care of me, was not there like it should have been.

When I came home, I kept an iPad by my place at the table, and looked up every single thing I ate. How much potassium is there in a cup of green beans? How much potassium is there in broccoli? I would just sit there and cry. I saw the world going on around me, but I felt like I wasn’t in it. Most of the time, I was very discouraged and depressed.

The things that followed continue to amaze me. I remember praying that God would help me through this, then thinking He was asking, “Are you going to trust me on this one, or not?” That was significant to me, because there were many times I didn’t trust Him. I’d think “I should trust You, but perhaps this idea I have is better.”

I found myself saying “I’m going to trust You,” but then giving up and feeling I was completely without hope, because I didn’t know how to do things with Him leading me instead of me leading.

We made several adjustments and completely changed the way we were eating. My life has always been about food. When I go to someone’s house, I look forward to it, wondering what they are going to have to eat. It was very different for me to be saying “I can’t have this, and I can’t have that.”

As I went on, I found that God was gradually taking away my cravings for everything except wanting to know what He wanted. This amazed me, because I had never been like that before.

Besides changing our diet, I now soak in Epsom salt baths to pull toxins out of my body. Because I have a kidney that doesn’t work, the toxins stay in my body. You actually get to the point where you can’t get out of bed and you can’t do anything, which leads to the part of this story that is so amazing to me—that is where I should be now.

On paper, it doesn’t look good. Blood tests show that my kidneys are functioning at 7 percent. People with kidney problems go on dialysis when they are in the teens, going down to 14 or 15 percent. My doctor also does not know why test images of my kidneys look so good.

I have been dealing with this for nine months, and every day I find myself coming before the Lord and saying, “What do you want me to do today? Where should I go today? What should I do?” The way He has laid everything out has been amazing to me. I’m not on dialysis. My kidneys appear to be working fine in every other way. I don’t know what God has in store, I honestly don’t.

I know that I treasure each day more than I have before. I’m excited each day to think about what is ahead.

When I first found out about this I would go to bed at night thinking, “Oh no, I have to go to bed again.” I would lay awake, and then I’d get up and walk around. Gary would reach for me, see that I wasn’t there, and come looking for me.

I was very afraid, and I didn’t know what to do. I felt very alone. I had an extremely supportive family and husband, and yet I felt really alone.  When I woke up I’d think, “Oh good, it’s morning,” even though I’d had only a couple hours of sleep.

It’s incredible to me how much strength I have and how good I feel every single day.

I don’t know how long it’s going to last, but it’s amazing to feel like I do and to know that God has brought me this far.

He’s taken away cravings for food. He’s given me great contentment. He is training me especially in trusting and resting in Him.

Every day I pray, “Lord, if You want me to tell my story, please bring somebody to tell it to.” It sometimes is awkward to tell how excited I am, when there are so many people who are having problems, and there’s no reason I should be doing well. One thing I’m really convinced of is the truth of 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show the surpassing power belongs to God, not to us.”

I found the treasure I have, when my health brought me to my knees. It’s in a jar of clay that is nothing. The power belongs to God, not to me. My strength comes from God, not from what I’m doing or where I’m at, but from the fact that God is choosing to sustain me each day.

My story is actually God’s story, just as all of our stories are God’s story, because He’s the One Who orchestrates our lives and plans things, yet we can miss it for so much of our lives.

I don’t mean in any way to portray what I’m doing as the only right way, or that others should look at my story as the correct way to do things. I’m simply telling how God chose to work in me, and how it has made a huge difference in my life. God reveals His treasure in many ways in the many jars of clay He has created.