There are lots of days that can be celebrated and I started looking up some of them highlighted from a world-wide standpoint…International Day of Pancakes, International Hello Day, International Earth Day…there is a day of Families, Peace and even, Monkeys. No, I am not joking. I have celebrated for many years in the World Day of Prayer which is always held on the first Friday of March. I never, never, expected to recognize World AIDS Day, December 1st – yet here I am.
Perhaps some would say my “life” stopped March 8th, 2011…it certainly changed. My husband of 25+ years, the love of my life, my best-friend, was diagnosed with AIDS. He had actually been infected almost a decade earlier due to what I consider an evil, terrorist attack. How he was infected is almost not important (and I could go on and on about that), but due to the protocol at the time he was misdiagnosed…as in not diagnosed at all. Everyone followed protocol for 3 months, tested him again and declared him “uninfected.” Fast forward to 2011.
By the time he was diagnosed he had full blown AIDS. He was months from death (doctors’ words, not mine.) Yes, he had many symptoms over the years, yet always misdiagnosed and he was never tested for two (2) tests…pregnancy and HIV. He didn’t “fit the protocol”.
From the world view there is much to be angry about. There is much to be bitter about. I can’t though. I just can’t. It requires energy I am unwilling to give evil. Please do not misconceive my message as holier than thou. I spent weeks/months on the Mount of Olives. Literally reading over and over Christ’ words.
“Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” (Luke 22:42 NIV)
How could this be our lot…our life. AIDS? Really?
The question going around our minds was “why me?” Why not me?
Really it is or can be an honor. I have been allowed the privilege of knowing what is really important. We don’t wait for when we retire. We run away from reality for long weekends. My children will never take us for granted. I decided that we would celebrate every day. We use cloth napkins (I do laundry anyways) we use wine glasses (okay from the dollar store so I can throw them in the dishwasher) for milk with dinner ~ DAILY.
Job talking to his wife …He told her, “You’re talking like an empty-headed fool. We take the good days from God—why not also the bad days?” Job 2:10 (MSG)
What we have is not as important as how we spend our time. And really who am I to question to the wisdom of the Creator of the universe?
I do not begin to imply that Dan or I am anything near Christ. We seek to serve him and claim him as our Lord and Savior, but I kept running over and over and over and over in my head; Jesus knew what was coming and he accepted it. He didn’t want it. Would have taken any acceptable way out, but kept walking forward, because that was God’s will.
We were less than a year into our diagnosis (because when two become one Genesis 2:23 it becomes ours) and I literally hit the floor with my knees in tears when I read this because THIS is faith for me:
Even though the fig trees are all destroyed, and there is neither blossom left nor fruit; though the olive crops all fail, and the fields lie barren; even if the flocks die in the fields and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will be happy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; he will give me the speed of a deer and bring me safely over the mountains. Habakkuk 3:17-19 (TLB)
Over and over and over again God spells out His love for me. I have clung to Jeremiah 29:11 long before we found our lives changed by AIDS, because life is not just one thing. My life is a journey and I can choose to trust that, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to you a hope and a future.”
I am all over the place and I completely acknowledge that. What I believe and KNOW to be true in my heart is that God loves me. He loves Dan. He loves our children and even knows and loves our grandchildren….He sees the big picture ~ as in eternity. To Him? This is a means to an end. My job as wife to Dan and mom to his three children is to live out His love in the humanity He sent to earth. My life will NOT be defined by a disease. I choose to trust that He will bring me safely over the mountains and it is here I will live the rest of my days.