Before discovering my diagnosis, I first found out about God and his son Jesus. They together came and got me before I knew I needed to be saved. Before I lose you, let me explain what I mean by this. I grew up with no instruction around the spiritual part of me. I learned about taking care of my physical, mental and some emotional parts of me. This spiritual part was only talked about within the walls of the church. As a child, church was a place you went when forced by your aunt or your friend's family. It was not a place you felt compelled to go to on purpose. I related everything spiritual to a building and threw it away. When I was 18, almost 19, I walked into a church and gave my life to Christ. It was one of the best moments of my life.
What I didn't know was that just two nights before, I was given HIV from a man I thought loved me. I thought we had a future together. It was a short-lived situation as most of my relationships in the past were. I just knew this one would last because I had grown up - or so I thought. I was saved and reading my bible and then I was sick like a dog for two weeks. I had all kinds of symptoms and nothing seemed to help. It took a while to recover after the flu-like symptoms. I knew God would heal me and for a moment I thought he did.
A few months later I went to the doctor to get the news. It left me in a spiritual state of madness. Why? Why? Why? was the only question I had. I believed God could have saved me, and I felt like he didn't. I soon understood that he was trying, and I wasn't sensitive enough to hear. Why? Because, in my opinion, I didn't know God. I didn't know the true creator of the heavens and the earths. I knew of the religion that was confined in the walls of this place they call church, synagogues, masjids, and kingdom halls. I also knew I didn't have the right key to get in the doors of these places. I was against everything I now understand to be God. For me, my own personal sins led me to not knowing the voice of the one and true living God.
I separated myself from the one spirit that gave me life and a purpose. I did it because of the religions of others. I didn't take the time to pray, study, and get to know God. On that cold winter day everything changed when I gave my life to God on purpose. I did it not out of force but out of a longing to know him. Although unchurched, I wanted to have a relationship with him, so I did. After this moment of spiritual madness, I came back around. He welcomed me with open arms. He wasn't what religion called him. He was so loving, caring and forgiving. His mercy and grace really endure forever. I embraced him even more.
What I learned during this whole ordeal is that I believe it's important to get a clear understanding of the God (or higher spirit that you believe in) who loves you above all else. The one where there is nothing you can do to separate him from you. When it comes to looking at spirituality to me, it's not about religion, it's about a personal relationship with my God. I no longer fear what others think, I no longer condemn myself or spend days in self-pity. Now, I seek to gain complete clarity from my father in heaven who loves me.
Yes, my lowest point in life led to the greatest discovery. What was that discovery? I am not my mistakes and HIV doesn't determine what happens next. Yes, I am human and mistakes happen but that will never take My Lord and Savior away.