I received a very touching email from a loyal reader which literally had me in tears. What’s sad is…we get a LOT of emails just like this one! So this time I asked our reader if it was okay to do an open letter (as long as I promised to keep her anonymous).
Hi my name is XXXXXX . I love your blogs and your tweets but I’m having a hard time believing anything you say or tweet. Not calling you a liar, but lately I havent been feeling like faith is enough. i consider myself to be a woman of God but I don’t understand why God would allow me to go through so much pain, heartache, and struggle. Where should I begin? umm let’s see:
2 years ago my husband became very ill and passed away suddenly. Turned out he was was living a double life on the down low and had contracted HIV. After learning about this, I decided to go get tested and I tested positive as well. We have two kids together. My oldest did not contract the virus, but my youngest did. A couple of months after that, my mom passed away. She was my best friend. Oh and did I mention every friend that I thought I had has disappeared. I lost my job, health insurance, home, and about to lose my mind. I’m beginning to think God hates me. I read your tweets/ blog and say to myself “How can I stay positive when God allows things like this to happen?” You probably don’t even believe some of the things you tweet yourself. But then again It’s easy for someone who has a decent life to be grateful. But answer me this… If you had my life, “would you be grateful?”
Hi XXXXXX , My heart really goes out to you and your family. I know it was hard for you to open up to me, so I’ll open up to you!
For starters , I wasn’t always the encouraging person I am today. In fact, it was my past situations, trials, and tribulations that made me the person ,I am today. Reading your letter I couldn’t help but cry because I used to be you! Our stories are way too similar. No, I don’t have HIV. But I know what it’s like to wonder if God hates you. Years ago, I went through a divorce, I lost my mom, job, I was homeless, Not knowing how I was going to feed my child. Oh and friends? Chile please…. friends are the first to go when you’re down and out. BUT, that’s the way God wants it to be. He wants you to depend on HIM, Not friends. Back then I wasn’t saved, so I didn’t know much about scriptures. But this one bible verse changed my life 1 Peter 1:6- “So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. ”
After reading that verse, I decided I had tried it my way (for 2 years) but my life continued to spiral downhill, So I decided to do things God way. I started praising Him for EVERYTHING! I was thankful that my child and myself was able to sleep on a family members couch instead of having to sleep in my car OR on the street. I was praising Him for food that I didn’t even like, but had to eat because it was all I could afford. My bucket would break down once a month, But guess what? I never complained, I was praising God it was $150 to fix instead of $1,500. The more I stayed in that word, The more things started to shift. The more I started to praise Him for the little bit I had, the more He gave me.
So trust me when I tell you, EVERYTHING I tweet/ blog about is real. I can care less about how many re-tweets I get. BUT when someone email, tweet, or message me just to say… They were about to give up, but my message encouraged them to keep going, That makes it all worthwhile. I do it because I remember where I came from. I asked God to use me to encourage others who are where I used to be.
I’m not downplaying your condition, BUT HIV is not a death sentence. You can live a long healthy life with HIV and outlive someone who doesn’t have HIV. Don’t stop living your life because you’re just waiting to die. Maybe you should think about using your condition to encourage others who are having a hard time dealing with HIV and thinking about giving up. Ask God to use you for His Glory and He’ll order your steps. And to answer your question… Yes, I would still be grateful if I had your life. You should too. You should be grateful everyday you wake up because somebody somewhere, DIDN’T!
God Bless you! You are definitely in my prayers.