Key Things Learned from Toby’s Diabetes

Posted on Posted in Family, Kids, Prayer Update

Toby loves legos. Here is his latest creation.

We haven’t posted an update on Toby in quite a while. Here are a few things to note first off:


~  Toby’s overall health is extremely good

~  He leads a normal life – including playing soccer this fall (see photo below)

~  All Type 1 Diabetics like Toby must receive insulin by injection multiple times daily

~  Type 1 Diabetes is different from Type 2. Most cases of Diabetes are Type 2 – only about 10% are Type 1.


Heart lessons from going through this with Toby:


Disease and God’s Goodness

Painful, ugly and sometimes terminal diseases happen. They just do. They happen to adults and to cute little kids too. It’s been that way since Adam left the Garden. But this reality does not negate God’s total Goodness and the fact that He is always in control. I sometimes struggle to see how the reality of disease meshes well with His goodness and control, so this is a life long lesson. A hard lesson. Yet we see Christ as our kinsman in suffering and as a Tree of Life in the corrupted garden much clearer through walking this path with Toby.

Toby breaks to the middle on the soccer field
Toby breaks to the middle on the soccer field

Jesus chose to drink a cup of suffering given to him by his Father.  He certainly knows our sorrows of disease and He swallowed our ultimate sorrow (spiritual death) so that we could drink Living Water.


Managed, but Out of Control

Type 1 Diabetes is a manageable disease, but there is no cure nor can it truly be “controlled.” As we shared in a previous post, this cute little girl in this video explains Type1 in plain 1st grader English. Best explanation we have ever heard:

Prolonged effects over many days and months from overly low or high blood sugar can be toxic for your body. For diabetics, blood sugar levels can vary widely for reasons beyond our control or understanding. Even when Toby is “following the rules” of good diet, insulin and blood sugar management, his glucose levels can inexplicably be sky high or extremely low. Good management definitely helps, but it is no guarantee of preventing the extreme highs and lows of blood glucose.

What is Type 1 Diabetes?

Shot in the stomach
Sometimes Toby's injection is in arms & legs, sometimes in the stomach!

This is the part that is most frustrating to me personally. A + B should equal C! Our culture (even Biblical principles) teaches us that following good rules, planning wisely, avoiding overeating and leading a modest lifestyle generally yields benefits. There is always an asterisk attached to this equation because good health and general rewards of well being are never guaranteed, but we certainly expect good results. We expect our hard work and investments to count!

But the good results we forecast and desire in life are not always equivalent to the ultimate good that the Lord is building into our lives for eternity. I gain more contentment, fulfillment and rewards from simply abandoning everything to Him instead of trying to manage my own limited success formula. Simply knowing Christ yields infinitely more. This must be a sliver of what Paul was talking about when he said “I want to know Christ and the fellowship of His sufferings.” And similar to Jesus’ admonition: “Come enter my rest. …Abide in me. …Put down your nets and follow me.”


Gospel Lesson for Diabetics

The gospel turns my above mentioned formula upside down: People who are the most needy and undeserving receive ultimate, pure Goodness. Jesus gets what we deserve and we get what the King deserves. The gospel frees us from the formula! Receiving and knowing Jesus Christ heals and fills our core need. Nothing we do or don’t do can surpass his amazing gift.

So when glucose readings are above 250 for no apparent reason, we don’t lose hope. It is frustrating or discouraging but we don’t lose hope.  We focus past our management formula and delight in our source of all good – Jesus Christ.


Insulin Needles


Blood Glucose Meter - Toby uses it daily
Blood Glucose Meter - Toby uses it many times daily



How do you see God differently during or after an illness?


  • Milan

    Hi Dave and Shannon, 

    I just red your information about Toby. You are great parents and I am sure you are doing your best for Toby´s health. My sister just found out a few weeks ago that not only their daughter, but also one of their sons has the diabetes – pretty frustrating. So I understand what you are going through.

    Unfortunetely our world is fallen world and even the Bible is showing us that to follow rules doesn´t need to lead necessarily to positive results! Book of Job is my favourite in this one…

    Any way, what I wanted to write is that God knows about you and Toby, you are great parents and Toby is for usre a great kid. Be blessed. Milan

  • Nathanparker

    Hey Hands! Have yall considered the possibility of getting Toby a pump? Nicole got one after about a year and a half with Type I and it is the best thing in the world. Whether insurance would cover it or not depends on what type of insurance you have. It has made life infinitely easier for her. Instead of 5-6 injections a day, she has one (usually non painful) site she injects into, every 3-4 days. Email me if you like. Hope you guys have a wonderful Christmas!
    God bless.
    Nathan Parker

  • Anonymous

    Nathan, great to hear from you.  How is foggy UK?  Yes, the insulin pump is on the horizon but not the immediate horizon for Toby.  Maybe in a year from now – he’s just not quite “there” yet.  He’s actually doing really well with only getting Humilin N (baseline) insulin usually 2X a day and that’s it.  If his glucose levels go too high, he gets Humalog for an additional 3rd shot per day but that has not been too often the last couple of months.  He had a very good A1C report last month.  Thanks for praying!

  • Anonymous

    thanks Milan.  It is all in the Lord’s hands – a great place to be.  Sorry to hear about your nephew.  Taking care of kids – especially giving shots – can be stressful.  But Toby is doing really well – he had his best A1C report ever last month – and we are truly thankful.  God is truly good.

  • E Kamnde

    There was nothing rwong with Toby, but why him?

    Let us pot our hands together and pray  our Father God for Toby:
    O LORDour Lord how excellent is thy name in all the earth!.

    Then let Toby to larn Psalm 23:
    My the God bless  Toby and you who prayd.