AIDS: Is it bad or is it hard?

I’ve written a lot about my feelings on AIDS and how it has affected me and my family (ok, mostly in my private journals but I’ve still written a lot). Throughout the years what has come out of my pen has changed. A lot.

Like most of my family my initial question was “why us?”

This time the resounding question is: Is it a bad thing or a hard thing?

By definition bad means inaccurate, incorrect, or faulty…

While I don’t believe in luck or circumstance, I do believe in a perfect God, with a perfect plan…which means He is never incorrect or faulty (even if it makes absolutely zero sense to me).

That leaves me with only one answer to my question: it (AIDS) is a hard thing.

Fortunately, that does line up perfectly with my faith.

The Bible never says our road, our life, our walk with God will be easy (or make sense).

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” Matthew 7:13-14

It specifically says it will be a narrow (i.e. difficult) path; that few will find it and keep to it because it will be hard.

It also says:

 “We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.”

2 Corinthians 1: 8-10

Notice it doesn’t say God will take away all the pain and explain everything so you understand and it will be easier to handle. The Bible simply says….I will be with you, and when the road gets rough you may have to learn to walk with rocks in your shoes (ok I’m paraphrasing at the end, but I think God agrees).

I can’t possibly list the ways AIDS has changed my family’s lives. It’s affected each one of us very differently. My dad is not living with AIDS, we all are.

Yes, physically his body takes the beating. But every single day we all live with the side effects with him and for him. And every single day is different than it was before.

I firmly believe AIDS is something God allowed to happen to us because He knew we could handle it. He knew we could do more than survive it. We would rally and learn to thrive among a debilitating, stereotyping illness. We would and will leave just as big a mark on AIDS as it has on us.

It’s taken years to come to this conclusion and to be able to say, with a smile on my face and full faith:

AIDS is not a bad thing that’s happened to my family. It is a hard thing.

And when the road gets rough there’s only one thing to do…you’ve got to learn to walk with rocks in your shoes.

– J

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