“This is not a death sentence…”
On March 31, 2012, while on lunch at my internship, I received a call from the Health Department stating that I needed to come in and speak with a counselor.
The friendly face I saw a couple of weeks earlier called me back to her office and told me that my lab results had come back. I was already frantic because the test that I took two weeks prior was reactive, but I thought that test was invalid. I kind of amped myself into thinking that this test would be invalid or non-reactive as well. When this woman opened her mouth to speak, the words that escaped made my world stand still, as if I was pierced with a thousand knives.
“Mr. Wilkerson, this is not a death sentence, you will be fine,” she said as she reaffirmed my fear. “Your results came back positive.”
Sitting there, I tried to keep what sanity I had. I forcefully smiled and said, “I will be ok.” While inside I died a thousand and one deaths. My life from that point on spiraled–from thoughts of suicide, to questions about my faith, I loathed myself and hated everyone and thing around me. Pity was my friend and substance abuse was her sister. (#TempleFitTip: Scriptures to build confidence in God >>> Joshua 1:9, Philippians 4:13, Philippians 139:13-14; Scriptures to combat substance abuse >>> I Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 5:8-11).
For about eight months, internally I was in chaos, while every day I went to work, school, and my internship with a smile that was void. It was not until someone spoke life into me, that I knew that even though the person who was suppose stand by me, failed to do so. I still had friend in Jesus and my brother who spoke life. Proverbs 18:21 says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue…” So as it was spoken into me, I now speak life into others. ((#TempleFitTip: Another Scripture on the importance of what we say >>> Ephesians 4:29).
HIV was sent to steal, kill, and destroy all that was in me…
But my Father used what was set up for my demise to give me life, to show me the error in my ways, and to speak life into those I counsel and mentor.
Tirrell graduated with a Masters Degree in Social Work. He is now an advocate/educator for those battling HIV, and he mentors men and women as they embark upon the journey to reclaim life. He attends Jacob Chapel Free Will Baptist Church (Tallahassee, FL). He is dedicated to his time with God, his time in the gym, and his time in service to others. We are so blessed by his testimony, reminding us that no matter what man has to say, God has the final word.
But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. ~Genesis 50:20