I grew up with… parents who were divorced because of infidelity, and with terrible eating disorders…. A schoolmate sexually abused me, but… I believe that it was my fault because while very young I got to know things that weren’t appropriate for my age…. I met a man that I gave myself to in every way. My mistake was that I slept with him from the day I met him, but I did all of this to fill a big void in my life. He also abused me physically and verbally, but I stayed with him almost two years, until I finally realized that he was only using me to satisfy his needs and steal my money. I left him, and now, two years later, I found out that I am infected with the virus that causes AIDS. I feel like such a failure! … I feel very let down and overwhelmed.
My biggest dream was to have a family, and I know that my reality is now that no one will love me the way that I am…. I know that I sinned too much and that is why I received this consequence. I am twenty-six years old, and I feel like my life is worthless and that I have no future.
We are very sorry to hear of all the trauma that you have been through in your young life. You say that you got the virus that causes AIDS because you sinned too much. If that were true, then everyone in the world would have the virus, because we have all sinned too much. Since God is holy, any sin is too much, and therefore every one of us has sinned too much to be acceptable to Him. That is why God gave His only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross to pay for our sins. So this virus is not a punishment from God for your sins.
However, it is true that there are natural consequences in the world. If you put your hand in a flame, you will be burned. This is not because God wants you to be burned, but rather because the nature of fire is to burn. When you choose to have sexual relations outside of marriage, the natural consequence is that you risk being infected with the AIDS virus or with a venereal disease. In addition, you risk having your heart broken and your life permanently damaged.
We suggest that you begin a personal relationship with God today. If you accept God’s forgiveness, He will help you forgive yourself as well. He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”1 You have many gifts to offer your community. You can find joy and love in serving others, as well as people who will give you the love that you need to go on.
We wish you well,
Linda and Charles
1 Jer 29:11