Grief is funny ... you go through the stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Supposedly in that order.
I grieved the death of my husband for years, went through all the stages, but am finding that even after the stage of acceptance, one can revisit the stages all over again!
When I am at a gathering of any sort, I usually wear my HIV shirt -- which proclaims "HIV POSITIVE"; especially at religious gatherings. I can only imagine what goes through some folks minds.
It very well may be 'manageable' (if that's how YOU want to look at it) ...
It is a day that is forever ingrained in your memory, and if you were high or drunk when you received your diagnosis ... you sobered up real quick! Now this is not to say that most folks who are HIV + fall into that category. But if you were caught up in that lifestyle, receiving an HIV diagnosis was not something that you didn't remember the next day. Receiving that diagnosis was enough to blow anybody's mind.
The Holy Spirit strikes again.
I have been praying about this for the past week. It is settled, and it is well with my soul.
I have been raising the 'battle-cry' about the church's response to HIV for so long, and it just makes my heart sing when I read about congregations testing and getting tested. It makes me so happy to know that someone has actually taken the time to look into their communities and recognize an issue that needs to be addressed. It can be gun control, hunger, the children, education, whatever! Just do SOMETHING, besides 'gathering the assembly' and sitting in the pews!
I am vewy, vewy tired. The end of the church year is hella busy, with what seems like a month full of church services. The first week in December I went to speak in Minneapolis for a World AIDS event, came back and the season was off and running!
As a child, whenever you were outside playing and fell off your bike, or fell down as you were running down the block... chances are you ran inside crying, where your mom or dad would say: "What happened?" "Where does it hurt?" Chances are, a little antiseptic a band-aid and a hug (and a little nudge) to get back out there and play is enough to dry your tears and do exactly that: "Get back in the game".
In moments of quietude, before I head over to the Community Meal, I find myself meditating on God. I find myself wondering what God is gonna say to me this morning, through the many folks who will enter into 'our house' for a meal. I find myself, still basking in last week's Word about the 3 wise men, who entered the house and encountered the Christ child and Mary, bowing before Christ and offering up their gifts. I wonder what gifts the wise ones in the community will offer today, while understanding that just their presence is enough.
Before I take it upstairs, I was having a "Soul Train" moment, and scrolling through my timeline. I have been noticing this past year more that quite a few folks have been put in jail for knowingly not disclosing their HIV to others, and others becoming HIV +.