I was the all-American good girl growing up. I turned my homework in on time, studied for tests, and got straight A's. I never drank or smoke or did drugs. I went on mission trips. I never dated. (I was, after all, part of the "I Kissed Dating Goodbye" generation.) And I saved myself for marriage...
I never even kissed a guy till I met my husband.
We fell in love as missionaries in his home country of South Africa. We got married and pioneered a ministry in the poorest region of the country.
It was the thing of fairy-tales...
So I never in a million years expected I'd ever have to get tested for HIV.
But I did.
Because my husband was unfaithful. And because we lived in the country with the highest AIDS-infection rate in the world.
He was with her for over a year-and-a-half before the truth came out. And when it did, he chose her. Over me. Over the ministry. He walked away from it all, in pursuit of a new fairy-tale all his own.
With my life crumbling all around me, I was forced to face things I'd never imagined.
Like an HIV test.
I couldn't hold back the tears as vial after vial of blood was taken.
My heart hurt far more than my arm did. I sobbed over the fact that I even needed to get tested. And I wished I had someone there with me. To hold my hand, literally and metaphorically.
My HIV test came back negative (for which I was—and am— overwhelmingly grateful), and I was given some heavy-duty antibiotics to kick any possibility of STDs. So all is well.
But, even two years later, I'm still trying to process the reality that someone who professed for-life love put me in this vulnerable position.
And I wrestle with feeling that saving myself for him was a waste. (Even when I know it wasn't.)
I wish there was a pill that could cure my heart of distrust, fear, and insecurities. But there's no quick remedy for broken trust, a violated heart, and a deep-seated fear of rejection.
All I can do is trust the Healer...
Even when it still hurts.