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PLEASE HELP ME!!!
Oct 22, 1998

Dear Father, I am a young Christian woman with a lot of problems now. I am married to a wonderful Christian man who I know loves me. My husban and I had to move to a new town because of his job. I was very lonely in this new town and had many mixed feelings about where to work, a new chruch, how to meet new friends, etc. I took a job and had to learn new duties and was going through stress beacuse of that and we started building a house which was very stressful. I was very confused, lonely, and I did not have anyone to talk to because I was so afraid to let anyone down. The Lord has blessed me in many ways and I did not want to be ungreatful. All of this led to me committing adultery. I immediately repented and told my husband soon after. He forgave me. Through his forgiveness and God's word that tells me that Jesus shed his blood for my sins, lets me know that the Lord has forgivin me. My real, and very hard problem to face, is that because of my symptoms and the symptoms of the person that I had unproteced sex with and now even my husbands symptoms, I feel very strongly that I may have HIV. I have always been very scared of this virus. I feel that becuase I was a Christian and yet let the devil take hold just long enough to commit such a terrible sin, that God may be punnishing me in this way. But what I can't understand is, I was already punnishing myself, I can't explane how hurt I was and still am over this. I feel that my quilt would have been enough punishment. And why would my husband who did nothing wrong have to suffer and all of our Christian family that will be so hurt over this. I love the Lord and I ask him every day and night to take this away. I know that our only hope is God in this matter. I would give anything to have just one more chance to change this, but I feel that I will not get another chance. I feel that the Lord is teaching me a leason. I am praying for guidance in this matter. I am just not sure what to do now. I told my husband about my fears and about thinking that we may have HIV, but he does not want to listen. He said that he will not face it until he has to. Please give me some guidance in this matter. Also please pray for me and my family. I would also like to have someone to talk to that is living with HIV. Please point me in the right direction.Thank you so much for being there:-)

Response from Father DeMartini

Dear Friend,Thank you for your letter. I can clearly hear your fear and stress and appreciate that you cared for yourself enough to reach out for some help. I know that you are aware of your husband's love and support even in the midst of the difficulties you have both faced. Please consider that God is even more capable of always loving and forgiving us no matter what may get in the way. Therefore, I hope you can let go of the stressful belief that God is punishing you--perhaps it is more honest to say that your unkowing and shame is punishing you! First of all, I recommend that you find out if in fact you are HIV+--don't assume it. If you contact your local health department or AIDS agency they can give you places where you can get tested anonymously. If, in fact, you are HIV+ they can also help you get in contact with people who can offer information and support to help lessen your stress. I would also be happy to recommend some individuals who could offer spiritual and emotional support --you can contact me directly at ncan@sonic.net. Please try not to punish yourself and add to the stress that is already there--I will keep you in my prayers, Fr. Rod



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