When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I required insulin to not only sustain my life, but to bring me back from the dead. I wasn’t completely dead or if I was, I wasn’t dead for long, thankfully. I was unconscious in my bathtub for an unknown amount of time from the extremely high levels of sugar in my blood.

Insulin was literally my life line. Even though I am now on oral meds, insulin remains the life line for all people with Type 1 diabetes and many people with Type 2 diabetes. When I was pregnant, insulin was the lifeline for my unborn daughter and me.

Insulin is beyond important, it is essential.

As a church-going Christian woman, I didn’t think that anything could come in between me and the way I worshiped God.

But, the price of insulin did.

For example, at the core of my religious belief is the idea that I am blessed through my financial giving.

The Bible verses Malachi 3:8-10 state, “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, ‘In what way have we robbed You?’ In tithes and offerings [you have withheld]. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing Me, this whole nation!10 Bring all the tithes (the tenth) into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you [so great] a blessing until there is no more room to receive it.’”

I believe that if I don’t tithe that I am robbing God.

In the time following my initial diagnosis when I required multiple injections of insulin per day, my monthly co-pay for insulin was $180. This didn’t include the price of ice packs needed to keep the insulin cold when traveling, a carrying case, needles that can’t be reused, alcohol wipes, and the many other supplies and costs surrounding my diabetes management. Total, I spent at least $300 each month to do one thing-keep from dying. The bulk of my monthly expenses were spent on insulin and/or the $75 co-pay for doctors’ visits.

I couldn’t afford to tithe. The price of insulin caused me to rob God.

I was forced to make a choice between putting $50 in the offering plate at church or paying for insulin.

I had to move my usual church attendance time from 11am to 9:15am in order to accomplish attending both church and the gym on Sundays. I couldn’t afford the additional cost in gasoline needed to maintain attending the later service. The price of insulin had an impact on how far I could drive and how often.

The 9:15am and the 11am services are not the same. Not matter how high the spirit is during the 9:15am service, it ended at the designated time because members for the latter service waited outside to enter. So, I learned to be more reserved in my weekly worship.

The price of insulin changed the way I worshiped God.

The emotional stress of robbing God and feeling like my blessings were being cut short because of the financial burden of diabetes management was very heavy.

When the church asked tithers to stand and be recognized. I couldn’t stand anymore.

When the church celebrated those who helped with the building fund (and my church actually did build a new building), I couldn’t be celebrated.

The price of insulin impacted me financially, emotionally, and spiritually.

And, I’ve kept this to myself for all these years.