Monday, April 17, 2017

What On Earth Am I Living For?

My name is J****, will be 27 June this year, am a graduate of biochemistry. Am infected with HIV+ but I don't know how I got infected. I found out about my status in 2011 November, was writing my final year exams by then. I was always sick with frequent rashes on my body, my doctor referred me to go for screening and it came out positive.
As of then I have not even kissed any guy let alone having sex because I made up my mind not to have a boyfriend till I finished my studies. I was scared of getting infected, I love dignity and respect so much that I couldn't stand the thought of sleeping with any random guy and then having them discuss about me later.
I am from a godly home too, so the fear of God also made me took that decision, and I kept to it till I graduated. As I am writing to you, the result is still positive despite the fact that I have been to so many ministries for prayers and deliverance.

Firstly, I just wish I could know what really went wrong, (how it happened cos it's been a big shock to me and my family, I told them and they have been very supportive,) at least it will give me rest of mind.
My plans was to face my studies in school, graduate with good grade and good name, and then start a relationship that will probably lead to marriage but things didn't go as I planned, the very thing I feared most, that made me stay away from sex(HIV), eventually came upon me.

Secondly, I have not been in a serious relationship since then because I can't be in a relationship without telling him my status, I feel it's not right. I also don't want anyone to get infected through me, am more of the quiet and gentle type too.
Am 27, no fiancĂ© not even a boyfriend, the first in my family's history. All my cousins and siblings married at 23-25, almost immediately  after school/NYSC. My aunties are always reminding me that it's my turn, most of them are looking at me like " what's the problem with you".
Aunty I made a decision not to marry till am healed. My reason was because I don't want to marry a positive person, no one deserves HIV but I know I don't belong there. Marrying a positive person might make me more  angry, pained, and depressed.
I have an option of believing God for healing, and then getting married (though sometimes am scared of being single for life, many suitors have already come my way, I turned some down; opened up to some who left at the end) OR marrying someone same status  as mine, we normally drop our contacts at the  hospital, they could link you up with someone for a relationship but I don't want that. I just  want to be healed and okay, fall in love and get married, that has been my heart desire. I don't know if I made a wise decision, please tell me what's the best thing to do.

Another issue that have borderd me is that most ministers and prophets I have being to for prayers keep telling me that I am a star, I am a great person and I have a great future but I am not seeing anything.
I am even the least in my family in terms of expectations, my aunties have always looked down on me since I was a kid, I don't have a job; no source of income, no relationship at my age.
Aunty I have always been borderd about finding God's purpose for my life in my heart but I don't know how to go about it. I have heard so many preachers and books talk about finding God's purpose for your life. How do I know it? I don't even know if the course I studied is his purpose for me.
I will start my MSc MAY this year by God's grace, I still don't know if I am at the right place, if I am taking the right steps, if I am in God's purpose for my life, am just  moving.
Some  people do say they knew they were going to be doctors, nurses, engineers, pastors at a very young age, that they have always dreamt of it but I didn't have any ambition. I only knew I was very intelligent then, I got admiision and went to university  because I have finished secondary school, and the next step was university, no ambition, in fact my main concern in school was to graduate with a good grade even when I did not have passion for the course I was studying, get married and live happily ever after.
How do I retrace my steps? How do I discover the purpose why I am in this life? How do I find my passion? What am I meant to be, and what am suppose to be doing? Please help me, my head is spinning.
I want to live a fulfilled life

This last one is family issue, my dad suddenly decided to follow a prophet, everybody knows this prophet is not a true prophet of God, he is diabolic but my father have paid deaf ears to my mum and siblings' plea, he said the man made him what he is today. He said without the man, he wouldn't win so many land court cases he won for our community, and my father is a community chairman.
My fear and concern is that I heard things like this normally affects the children's progress and succes. Am scared that his actions might boomerang on us, he loves this prophet so much because the prophet does not criticize or correct him instead he keeps giving him prophecies of prosperity and how rich, and how he's going to be given an important position in the government in furture.
Please ma'am, how do we handle this? I know you are embedded with great wisdom, am concerned for my family's future especially my two brothers.

Am sorry for the very long writeup, I had to pour out my heart. One last thing please, when I newly discoverd about my status, I was really depressed so I confided in a very good friend of mine, a guy. He had always wanted us to date right from my second year to final year, I liked him too but I couldnt date him because of my stand then. He had plans that we will get married after school, he proposed to me but I had already known my status and could not accept his proposal, though I didn't tell him my reasons then.
It was after our youth service that I opened up to him, I told him everything and he has been there for me, supporting and encouraging me, but right now I think he has moved on with his life, he has a pretty girlfriend, he's doing very well, has a good job, and is living fine in Lagos.
Am happy for him but I feel like a fool, I shouldn't have told him anything, now I don't know what he will think of me, he might think I cooked up the whole story, he might think am lying, and he might see me as a bad girl who was only pretending back then in school.
I feel inferior to him now and I don't know if I can comfortably face him again. God knows am telling the truth, I don't know how this happened and sometimes I wish there was a way I could prove to him that am still a virgin at least to maintain my integrity and respect, even if we don't end up together.
I need your advice and encouragement. Ma, am awaiting your reply. Thank you. 

Dear Beautiful J****, 
I may not have the answer to all your questions but there is one thing that I must not fail to tell you, I love you from the very depth of my heart. 
When you feel rejected, confused, crushed, and hopeless, always remember that you have a friend, a family, who understands what you are going through and will always be there to support you to the very end. 
No matter the afflictions that may test our convictions in God and in life, we will always overcome them with love and faith in God's Word.
I had to start this way because though I can't tell what's going on in your mind, I am convinced that you need all the love that you can get at this point in your journey. 
Many focused on sexual intercourse as the only means of contracting HIV thereby ignoring some of the salient means by which individuals may contract HIV. 
HIV can be contracted from blood transfusion. If an unscreened blood or an infected blood is transfused into a healthy patient, the patient will be infected with HIV even when he or she have no sexual history. 
HIV can be contracted from the use of sharp and unsterilized objects. While I read your mail, I remembered how many ladies go to the salon to make their hairs, fix their weave-ons, do manicure and pedicures, and the piercings. Some people contracted HIV through these media, and they had little or no idea that they could contract HIV by just making their hair and looking beautiful. 
Some contracted HIV from having a contact with the blood of the infected patients. If an individual is helping a pregnant woman put to bed without gloves, he or she maybe exposed to sexually transmitted infections which includes HIV.
While sexual intercourse is predominantly one of the ways one can be infected with HIV, it doesn't mean that there are no other ways one maybe infected with HIV. 
So maybe you were exposed to one of these above mentioned environments and you were infected even when you had no idea about it. 
I believe strongly in the healing capacity and ability of God, so I won't discourage you from praying for divine healing because we serve an Almighty God who is able to do exceedingly above all we can ask or think. 
While you pray for divine healing, I will suggest that you follow up with every medical interventions that you need to live a healthy and purposeful lifestyle. 
The first way to fulfill God's purpose in life is by staying healthy. An unhealthy individual have one purpose which is to stay healthy. 
Always take your antiretroviral drugs; always eat healthy foods, fruits, vegetables, and minerals; always protect yourself from malaria by sleeping in a mosquito treated net; and always be mindful of your environment to avoid contracting any infection that may weaken your immune system. 
With antiretroviral drugs, healthy eating habits, you can live for as long as you desire. HIV doesn't kill, what kills is our attitude towards the infection and the perception of yourself when you are infected with HIV. 
I want you to know that though the devil may have struck with this infection, you have victory in Christ Jesus, and this will never deter you from fulfilling God's purpose for your life. 
I know that for the past six years plus, you have been fighting yourself, and wondering why God allowed you to contract this infection even after your personal discipline, your commitment to God and academics, and your sacrifices to keep your body pure before God. I know that you must have asked God millions of questions, and this has reduced you to a shadow of your personality, but this is not the time to question God or lose sight of your personality. 
This is the time to embrace God with all your heart, and accept this as a test of your commitment to God and your vision. This is the time to accept that you are actually infected with HIV but not destroyed by HIV. This is the time to assure yourself that there is no sickness or infirmities of life that is strong enough to stop you from fulfilling your purpose in life. 
You don't need to worry about the perception of others about you, you don't need to worry about losing your integrity and acceptability, you don't need to worry about what other people may make of this infection, if they are not God, their opinions are the least relevant. 
Embrace yourself, and decide from today to live passionately and positively towards fulfilling your purpose in life. Choose to strive to the greatest heights and be a model to those who may be struggling with low self esteem as a result of HIV. 
What is your purpose in life? Your purpose is something that you can do without demanding anything from anyone, and it gives you peace of mind and fulfillment. It is also something that pleases God, and something that you can earn a living from if you choose to monetize it. It is something that you are passionate about, something that you can do all the days of your life and not get tired of it. 
For some, they discovered their purpose while they were younger because of their environment and exposure, for some they discovered their purpose through life experiences, they experienced it and their experiences became the driving force for all they do, for some they discovered their purpose after their education. 
To help you discover your purpose, these questions will be helpful... 
What are you passionate about in life? It could be anything. 
What can you do with great love that will add value to humanity? What is that thing that consumes your thought that you wish to give your all to? 
What can you do that even if you are not paid, you will still do it with all your heart? 
What is that thing that you love doing which you know that God will appreciate in your life? 
That is actually the purpose of your life. 
It can be singing, writing, or teaching or impacting into lives. 
To help you understand fully your God given purpose for your life, you need to consciously develop a personal relationship with God, and allow him to turn your mess into a message and a purpose for your journey. 
There are some individuals who have decided to use their lives as a message to encourage youths to live with the consciousness of HIV virus, that is the purpose for their journey. 
When you discover your purpose for your life, you won't allow the circumstances of life to decide the outcome of your journey. 
As for your father's choices and decisions, he has the right to choose where to worship and who to believe, your own duty is to pray for him, and hope that God will transform his life and help him understand God's purpose for his life. 
I will not wish to tell you what to do with respect to whether to marry a man living with HIV virus or to wait until you're healed to marry a man who is HIV negative, but I will encourage you to accept yourself and the status of your immunity. 
The moment you accept your status, every fears, worries, doubts, and concerns will be history. 
People living with HIV virus can actually live a normal life, fall in love, have children, enjoy the best of life, and fulfill God's purpose in their lives. 
People living with HIV virus are not alien to humanity, nor does it make those who are HIV negative better individuals before God and man.
Please don't cage yourself by your fears and concerns, but embrace the best of God and allow him to guide you to his purpose for your life. At this point in your life what matters most is pleasing God in anything you do, irrespective of the perception of those around you. 
When you surrender everything to God, he will surprise you with the very best in life. Don't try to fix God in your limited thoughts, instead allow God to heal and make you whole in every aspect of your journey. 
It is well with you and I see you exceeding every limitations and challenges in your journey. In his time, God will bless you with your own husband, please avoid comparing yourself with your siblings because your path and that of your siblings and friends are not the same.
God will grant the very desires of your heart, choose to live positively.

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