Growing Up with Childhood Type 1 Diabetes
Laura MacLean grew up in Calgary, Canada as a normal girl. Almost normal. When she was just 6 years old , she was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. She had always been a thin-eater enjoying normal foods. She never worried about what she was eating and did not find her diabetes to be much of a hindrance.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which your body no longer produces the hormone insulin. Because insulin is essential for life, diabetics have to replace the missing insulin through injections. According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, about 15,000 children are diagnosed each year in the USA.
When Laura entered middle school and high school, she began picking up dieting and food rules. She desperately wanted to be thinner and began to strictly control her eating and exercise. She explains, “I became obsessed with trying to maintain perfect control over my blood sugars.” This took a great toll on Laura both mentally and physically. By age 16, she was seeing a child psychologist at the hospital that specialized in kids who were struggling with Type 1 diabetes.
Desperate to End Her Depression, Anxiety and Hopelessness
She says, “I was quickly entering a downward spiral of depression and anxiety, losing hope that I would ever have peace or true joy ever again. I would wake up every 2 hours throughout the night to check my blood sugars, and was so exhausted that one night I even gave myself insulin in my sleep. I remember waking up from that night with a fear of God in me and knew that what I was doing—living in extreme worry and anxiety—could NOT continue!”
Laura gained over 30 pounds in a year and a half as a result of her dieting, over-exercising and binge-eating. She was growing increasingly desperate for something that would actually WORK. “It seemed as though I was unable to lose a pound no matter how hard I worked or how much ‘clean‘ meal-prepping I did. I sought the truth and knew that there was an answer out there somewhere. I even saved up my babysitting money to pay $150 for an hour-long ’emotional eating’ counseling session! All to no avail and less and less hope.”
Laura Finds THE Answer on YouTube – Weigh Down!
Laura had attended church all her life and prayed nightly for God to show her the answer. Then God heard this seeker’s heart and intervened. “One day in May of 2014, at age 17, it hit me to google ‘Christian weight loss’. After doing this, somehow I ended up watching the Weigh Down at Home videos posted for free on YouTube.
“From the first second of that Weigh Down video, I KNEW that this was my answer and was in incredible awe and tears that God would be so personal to answer my prayer. I dropped dieting, over-exercising, and obsessively controlling my blood sugars that same day, putting into practice what Weigh Down was teaching, and have NEVER gone back – constantly being refined and learning new things every day! I love God more every day!” Little did Laura know this was the beginning of a whole new life with God!
A Total Connection with God & Healed Relationships
“My faith grew with more answered prayers and fruits of the spirit than I could have EVER imagined. I lost 30 lbs following my body’s cues of hunger and fullness like I learned in Weigh Down, and my blood sugars were the best that they had ever been – without me having to worry about them. I started sleeping peacefully. Instead of being angry at God every time I tested my blood sugar and gave myself insulin, I started connecting to Him. Diabetes was the one thing I was always angry at God about. NOW, it has been biggest blessing of my life because it has led me to a 24/7 connection to God Almighty!”
As amazing as the weight loss has been, the changes in Laura’s heart has surpassed her weight loss and improved health. Her incredible JOY is not shaken by the circumstances in her life. Her anxiety is gone and replaced with inexplicable peace.
Prior to finding Weigh Down, Laura mentions that she was was extremely disrespectful and rude to her father. By putting these teachings into practice, that relationship has been completely restored. From wanting to spend zero time with her father, now, he is one of her favorite people to be around. Laura says, “I deeply respect and admire him – he is truly incredible. I want to serve at home and it has been so fun to find ways to help my parents and honor them.” In addition, she has made so many beautiful relationship with the many righteous young women at Remnant Fellowship.
Finding Weigh Down 2000 Miles Away!
One of the most incredible things about Laura’s story is that all of these changes happened in Canada – 2000 miles away from the Weigh Down building! Thanks to the internet, these teachings can be accessed by anyone around the world. Laura explains, “It is absolutely possible to put the teachings of Weigh Down into practice anywhere. The technologies that God has provided us with are TRULY mind-blowing! Last year, Laura was baptized to begin a whole new life of total obedience to God. This summer she is living with the beautiful Law family and volunteering at the Weigh Down office using her gifts as a writer for this blog Remnant Fellowship News.
“Weigh Down All Access has been HUGE in keeping my focus up, and I turn it on whenever I have a spare moment because I know that I need it constantly! Along with the Bible, The Tablet and the History of the Love of God books have been a huge help. My favorite Weigh Down class is History of the One True God. When I took this class, it clicked for me that hunger and fullness was all about a connection to God – NOT weight loss or my body, first and foremost.”
Even though Type 1 diabetes never goes away, Laura is able to wear an insulin pump. She does not focus on her challenges, only her blessings. Laura says, “Every day just gets BETTER! MORE joy, MORE peace, and MORE love for God, above all! I am truly so grateful to God, Weigh Down Ministries, Remnant Fellowship Church, and Gwen Shamblin, for so selflessly sharing these teachings on how to develop a personal love relationship with God. My prayer is to grow more in love with God daily and glorify Him all the days of my life!”