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Monday Reflection: Just Continue to Do Your Part ...

By Rae Lewis-Thornton

November 15, 2010

Monday Reflection: Just Continue to Do Your Part ...
The truth is I have been looking at the computer screen off and on all morning trying to find something to say that is meaningful, but I seem to be empty. Empty all the way around. My mind, body, spirit and even my ministry.

I can't believe that World AIDS Day is in a few weeks and I don't even have a gig. I mean, I'm one of the most name recognizable Black women in America with AIDS, Emmy Award winning AIDS Activist, educated, articulate and a true soldier, and no one has confirmed me to speak for World AIDS Day. My speakers fee is $23,000 less than Magic Johnson, and $13,000 less than Greg Louganis. I can talk my ass off and from what I've been told, I leave a lasting impression. But yet my date book is empty.

There's one part of me that thinks, maybe God wants my body and spirit to rest and rejuvenate from the back to back hits I've taken with my health in the last few months. But then I remember the days when my t-cell count was 8 and I was in demand and I responded. Even with a temperature of a 101 and PCP attacking my lungs, my health never stopped me. I was on a mission and I was clear that my ministry was greater than my health. But when my ministry and my health take a hit, I am lost. What seems like God's silence has left me void.

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I don't have any answers. None. There was a time in my life that I knew that I knew that I knew: My life was about purpose even in my suffering. But, my lack of speaking engagements leaves me in doubt. In the last two years my combined speaking engagements have not amounted to what a months worth used to be. And HIV/AIDS is worse than ever for African-Americans.

I sometimes even wonder how I have been able to keep a roof over my head. But then when I really think about it, truly God must be an actor in all of this. Just when my telephone or lights are are gonna be disconnected something comes so unexpected that God must be moving. Even last week when I was at the lowest I've been in years with my health I didn't crack.

Honestly, I was close on Tuesday. I was so close. But here it is six days later and I am still in my right mind. So I'm convinced that God moves even when I can't hear His voice. I may be empty but I am alive. I may not know what the future holds but I know who holds my future. So I will at least continue to do my part. Be all that I can be even when it's not how it used to be. Accept what lies in front of me and not worry about what's ahead of me. Blog when I don't feel prophetic, tweet my message when there is no formal platform, rest and heal. God no doubt will do the rest, for He is a keeper. Whatever your darkest moment may be, know that God will keep you, just continue to do your part.

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See Also
TheBody.com's HIV/AIDS Resource Center for African Americans
HIV and Me: An African American's Guide to Living With HIV
More Personal Accounts on African Americans and HIV

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Rae Lewis-Thornton Speaks


Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton

Rae Lewis-Thornton is an Emmy Award-winning AIDS activist who rose to national acclaim when she told her story of living with AIDS in a cover story for Essence Magazine. She has lived with HIV for 27 years and AIDS for 19. Rae travels the country speaking and challenging stereotypes and myths about HIV/AIDS. She has a Master of Divinity degree and is currently working on her Ph.D. in Church History. Rae has been featured on Nightline, Dateline NBC, BET and The Oprah Winfrey Show, as well as in countless magazines and newspapers, including Emerge, Glamour, O, the Oprah Winfrey Magazine, Jet, Ebony, the Washington Post and the Chicago Tribune, to name a few. She earned the coveted Emmy Award for a first-person series on living With AIDS for Chicago's CBS News.

Rae is an active user of social media -- read "Long-Term HIV Survivor Discovers the Power of Twitter," an article on TheBody.com about Rae's social media activities.

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