Thanksgiving is two weeks away (where has fall gone?!) and I am trying to be more mindful in my day to day life about gratitude. There are so many things that I am grateful for each day that seem to be minimized in the rush of life, and this is a blessed season where we can all slow down and let those things rise to the forefront of our thoughts.
Sometimes, perspective can lend itself to gratitude. I want to share a client story this morning from Kenya. Millicent’s story reminds me of the great and unimaginable blessing it is to be part of a ministry that changes people’s lives, both in the current world and eternally!
“I used to wait for my death,” says Millicent Atieno. “But then someone from the CARE for AIDS program came to visit me, and now I know [HIV] is not the end of my life.”
Unlike many Kenyans who have been infected by the virus, Millicent has learned the truth about this devastating disease. It doesn’t have to be the end. In fact, for many women and men living with HIV, it is just the beginning of a healthier, happier life.
It seems strange to think that contracting a disease with no known cure could ever be something positive, but Millicent believes God is faithful, and nothing is without purpose…so long as He is present.
“When I first found out my status, my husband encouraged me,” she says. “He was negative, and I was positive. But he told me, ‘We can go on and live our life together.’”
Sadly, though, her husband did not keep his promise, and they were separated soon after.
“I was so confused,” Millicent admits. “But being here in the program with my friends, I see that being HIV positive is important. There is so much we can still do.”
If Millicent can come to a place of gratitude in relation to her HIV status, I challenge you to come to a place of gratitude today in something that may not immediately seem like a blessing or opportunity. May we all put on some of Millicent’s perspective and find the blessing in all things!