Celebrating Life in Recovery

Hiv With Love Behind It

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Barb Wise, Rick Wise


Series Code: CLR

Program Code: CLR000055B

00:13 Welcome back!
00:14 This is exciting, it's exciting to introduce you to
00:17 Barbara and later on Rick and to let you guys do
00:20 the presentation that you do all over the world for us.
00:24 I am thrilled, I have seen it before and was blessed by it.
00:27 I know that you are going to bless them.
00:29 I'm going to be over here praying for you the whole time.
00:31 - Thank you! Thank you!
00:32 You know when you have a physical pain, a doctor,
00:36 He will often look at a healthy person's body just to
00:39 try to help him understand what is causing you the pain.
00:42 Today I will be sharing my personal story,
00:45 but before I start telling my story, I'm going to use these
00:49 boxes just to set up a demonstration and give us a
00:52 picture of how a healthy person would learn about different
00:56 kinds of love, and different kinds of relationships.
00:59 Then I'm going to use the box as I tell my story to help
01:02 you understand the pain in my story a little bit better.
01:05 When a little person comes into the world,
01:08 one of the first relationships a little person has
01:10 is normally with their parents.
01:12 Parents are there to provide things like food and
01:15 clothes and diapers and shelter.
01:18 There are little babies in Romanian orphanages.
01:20 The babies has their food and their clothes and blankets,
01:23 but they didn't have enough people there to actually
01:25 interact with the babies and give them tender loving care.
01:28 The babies started to die.
01:31 When they looked into it what they found out is the babies
01:33 brains were actually shrinking, and they called it
01:36 Failure to Thrive.
01:38 So what they have learned all around the world is that
01:40 humans were designed that we need tender loving care
01:43 even in order for our brains to grow properly.
01:46 So you can think of little babies really as
01:49 just little storage units for love.
01:51 They are just fill me up with love, I mean that
01:55 they just want to be filled with love, these little ones.
01:58 Then as a little person gets going and they become a
02:01 toddler, you think of toddlers ready to see explored the world.
02:06 That is what they are doing,
02:07 they are learning to talk and walk.
02:08 They are running around trying to get their fingers
02:10 into electrical outlets, they're trying to get cleaning
02:13 supplies from under the sink.
02:14 Mom has to chase them around and put boundaries around them.
02:16 They are also ready to start to learn so you start
02:20 buying them their books, and their toys.
02:21 Now do most little toddlers like to share their toys?
02:25 No, generally not, once in a while you might need one or
02:27 two that will, but generally you need to teach toddlers
02:30 to share their toys with friends and then brothers
02:32 and sisters possibly.
02:34 So that is the next relationship that a healthy person
02:36 learns about, is brotherly, sisterly love, friendship
02:41 love and so that is the next kind of developmental love
02:45 type thing that a person learns about.
02:46 They also still need the support of parents,
02:48 they still need that.
02:50 The food, the clothes, the shelter that support and love.
02:53 Then as the person continues to grow they become a teenager.
02:56 I talk to young people across the country and when I ask
02:59 young people what they need they are quick to tell me
03:03 things like cell phones, iPods, and music, and cars
03:07 and foods, but they also I start getting deeper answers.
03:11 I'd like to get things like more privacy,
03:13 or independence, and friends.
03:15 Friends are very important for a young person right now.
03:18 Generally girls are making deeper friendships with girls,
03:21 guys are making deeper friendships with guys,
03:23 but they are also starting to check each other out.
03:25 They are trying to figure out what does it mean to be
03:27 a godly woman, what is it mean to be a godly man?
03:29 What is it mean to, who am I?
03:33 What is my identity?
03:34 What does that look like?
03:35 They are starting to ask those questions,
03:37 so they have to be very careful when they start looking
03:40 at these romantic relationships that they don't over
03:42 romanticize that other person in what they can do for them
03:45 Also right now a father or a father figure's voice
03:49 is very important.
03:50 A father is generally there to be giving his
03:52 sons and daughters certain messages.
03:54 It looks a little different for guys and girls.
03:57 Generally for a daughter, a father is saying to her,
04:00 hey I am a here to protect you, I will take care of you,
04:03 I love you, you are beautiful.
04:05 For a son a father is there to say things like,
04:08 hey you've got what it takes, you are worthy of respect,
04:11 you can do it, you are adequate.
04:13 But when a father isn't there, or a father figure to give
04:16 us those messages we might start looking to romantic
04:19 relationships to try to get those messages
04:21 a little sooner than we should.
04:22 I'm going to call this romantic, objective love.
04:25 It is a normal part of development, still need the
04:27 support of friends, still need the support of parents and is
04:30 all that develops in a healthy way it prepares us as an
04:33 adult to give what I am going to call, unconditional love.
04:36 Agape love, the sacrificial kind of love that Jesus
04:40 Christ showed for us.
04:41 A love that thinks about what another person needs the most.
04:44 Now because of that when the University of Chicago, they were
04:48 doing studies about which groups of people were most
04:51 sexually satisfied, they were looking at people who
04:54 were living together, people who were just dating,
04:56 people who were married.
04:58 They did a survey and all these questions from all
05:00 different angles and at the end of all their surveys,
05:02 what they realized was that people who reported being the
05:05 most sexually satisfied over and over were those people
05:07 who were married.
05:08 Because if you think about it, you have two people who
05:10 are truly committed to thinking about what each person
05:13 needs the most, and I know we have seen marriages were
05:16 that is not the case, but in a marriage where that is the case,
05:19 both people truly get the best just as God planned it to be.
05:23 When they wake up in the morning they don't have to worry.
05:27 They don't have to worry now that this person possibly
05:30 give me a sexually transmitted disease?
05:32 Is this person just going to leave me and break up with me?
05:35 And if you get pregnant is okay because of all that
05:38 unconditional love ready to flow down and start the
05:40 pyramid for someone else's life.
05:42 I am the oldest of four children,
05:45 I have two sisters and one brother.
05:47 When I was little in my home we had these little Bible
05:51 story books, I don't know if you remember Golden Arch books?
05:54 One of the ones I had was the story of a lost little lamb.
05:57 It was my favorite.
05:58 The story goes like this.
05:59 There was a shepherd and he had a hundred sheep in a pen.
06:03 And one day one of the little lamb gets out and he is
06:05 playing around and he's having a good time,
06:07 but the book would scare me.
06:09 Because in the very middle of the book was this page,
06:11 it was at night, and the page was all black except it had the
06:14 eyes of the little lamb wide open in fear.
06:18 All around the lamb were these big yellow Wolf eyes
06:22 ready to devour the little lamb, and it would scare me.
06:26 But I can always read the book, because when I turned
06:29 the page the next page picture would show the shepherd
06:32 reaching down and pulling the little lamb out of the pit.
06:35 And that was my view of God when I was little, but
06:39 somehow as I started growing my view of God started to change.
06:42 I start to think that God would only love me if I was perfect.
06:46 How do you know when your perfect anyway?
06:49 So I was always trying to be perfect for God.
06:52 I was also trying to be perfect in school and get the
06:54 A's, the A+ and when I was twelve years old there was an
06:58 adult male in my life who started to molest me.
07:01 My parents ended up getting divorced shortly after that
07:05 started to happen and we moved to a different state,
07:07 so that ended the abuse.
07:08 But at the time of my parents divorce what I found out
07:11 was my father was leaving my mom, and us four kids,
07:14 for another woman.
07:16 As we continued through the divorce I found out that my
07:19 dad actually been unfaithful many times.
07:21 Well if you saw me on the outside without my dad there,
07:24 I would seem just fine.
07:25 I was doing really good in school, I was still performing
07:28 for God and if you hung out with me I seemed very happy.
07:30 But my little demonstration here with the blocks,
07:33 what kind of love on the bottom did we say came from,
07:36 parents right?
07:37 Well one of my parents just got taken away.
07:43 On the outside everything looked okay for me,
07:46 but on the inside that's really how it felt for me.
07:49 And sometimes the pain for me was so real that
07:51 physically I can actually feel the pain.
07:53 It wasn't until I was older that I saw some healthier
07:56 families, but I started to realize my dad he was supposed
07:59 to be there to do certain things.
08:00 My daddy was supposed to be there to help provide for me.
08:03 He was supposed to be there to help affirm me.
08:05 He was supposed to be there to help protect me.
08:08 And he was supposed be there to give me
08:10 some spiritual leadership.
08:12 But I did know any of that.
08:13 All I knew is that something big was missing.
08:16 Like many girls when their dad isn't present,
08:19 and a dad might be in the home, he might clicking on the
08:22 computer, clicking on the remote, but not be present.
08:24 Or you might be there and don't have the words to be present.
08:28 Well without my father present what happened is I just
08:32 started to crave male attention.
08:34 If there was a guy around, I wanted his attention on me.
08:37 I started to evaluate my relationships with guys.
08:40 I start thinking what kind do I want?
08:42 Do I eventually want marriage?
08:43 Is it going to be worth it?
08:44 So I started looking at the marriages around me
08:47 and you know what I saw?
08:48 I just saw more couples fighting, I saw more divorce,
08:52 and I even saw more unfaithfulness.
08:55 I thought, you know what I don't think a good marriage
08:57 is possible, I don't think it's possible.
08:59 After seeing everything my mom just went through I would
09:02 rather be single the rest of my life than go through all that.
09:04 So I decided to just become self-sufficient,
09:06 emotionally, and financially.
09:08 For me that meant going to college and get the scholarships
09:10 I worked very hard to get good grades, I worked hard to
09:13 gain positions of leadership and it all paid off.
09:15 I ended up getting a Grant scholarship to one of the
09:18 major Universities in Denver.
09:19 Well I get there and now my focus isn't on my grades anymore
09:22 Do you know what my focuses is on?
09:23 Guys, right?
09:25 But now we are talking men.
09:27 We are talking hundreds of available men.
09:29 I would look out my dorm room window, these guys are just
09:31 running everywhere.
09:32 Even though I'm doubting the whole marriage thing I'm
09:34 thinking I'm going to do something about my craving
09:36 for male attention.
09:37 But I'm also still thinking I am not going to be used or
09:40 cheated on like my mom.
09:41 I will be in control of every relationship.
09:43 I thought I had really high standards,
09:45 but when I look back if somebody wanted to date me,
09:47 and I was available, I would date them.
09:49 It didn't matter to me if they had no faith.
09:52 It didn't matter if they had a drinking problem, or a
09:54 drug problem because I would tell myself I can just fix him
09:57 I would just fix him, but really what I wanted to fix,
10:00 was all this.
10:03 I also didn't do something else.
10:05 I thought I was on all this control, but never thought
10:07 about controlling sexual boundaries.
10:09 I would just get into these relationships with these guys
10:11 and start do things physically with them.
10:14 I never talked to any of these guys about their sexual past.
10:18 I mean I had no idea what these guys had done
10:21 physically before I met them.
10:22 When I started to drink, my sexual boundaries
10:25 they just deteriorated.
10:27 So finally my sophomore year I working late in the library
10:30 one night and this guy I was dating he was waiting
10:31 for me afterwards.
10:32 He lived in the apartment's and I live in the dorm and
10:34 he said, Barb why don't you come over to
10:35 the apartment tonight?
10:36 I knew I should go back to the dorm, but I just want
10:39 this guy to love me, I wanted him to tell me I was beautiful.
10:41 That he would take care of me and that he would protect me.
10:43 So I went back to his apartment, it became my first
10:47 experience with sexual intercourse, for me it was
10:49 horrible, it was awful, I just cried afterwards.
10:50 I was like take me home.
10:53 As I'm saying take me home I thought of how many times
10:56 that night I could have said take me home before it happened.
10:58 So I was getting in the car and as I was driving to a
11:00 place and was going up the stairs to the apartment.
11:02 That was the first time, a little bit later we broke up.
11:06 Well at the same time I was taking this philosophy class
11:10 And in this philosophy class they were saying that God and
11:12 religion were just man-made inventions to keep social order.
11:15 Well I was feeling so guilty from what just happened
11:17 that I thought yeah, there was no God.
11:18 We just invented Him, I don't need to feel guilty,
11:20 so I abandoned my faith.
11:21 I spent my next few years in school doubting whether God
11:25 or a healthy marriage could exist, and I did know those
11:28 things are so closely related.
11:30 I just kept thinking that dating was hard.
11:32 I would get this dating pattern and date a guy for about
11:34 three months while all the infatuation period was on and
11:37 we were all excited, and then start seeing things we didn't
11:39 like about each other and I start breaking up with him
11:40 before he could break of with me.
11:41 I graduate with honors, I don't know anything about
11:44 building a healthy relationship and I get out there.
11:47 Finally when I'm twenty five I have a friend of mine set
11:49 me down and start telling me about God's love for me.
11:52 And how God's love for me wasn't based on me being perfect.
11:56 It was unconditional love, it was a gift and I needed to
11:59 accept that gift.
12:01 I was so tired of trying to earn His love.
12:04 So I started reading Romans, Ephesians and I finally
12:08 started reading the Bible for myself.
12:11 I started realizing that He just loved me for the way I was.
12:16 I had to admit that I couldn't earn heaven and that I needed
12:22 Him as my personal Lord and Savior.
12:24 So I did accept Him as my personal Lord and Savior.
12:28 But did I change my dating right away?
12:34 I didn't, I didn't, do you know why?
12:41 Because I was still listening to all these lies that I
12:44 believed, had all these lies I was still operating off of.
12:47 Lies that it good marriage wasn't possible, that there
12:49 are no good guys out there waiting to have sex until
12:52 marriage, and even if there are, Barb you are
12:55 not going to find one.
12:57 With your past now, you don't deserve one.
12:59 Or I would believe the lies that it is okay if you date
13:03 someone that doesn't have any faith because eventually
13:07 this person will come into a personal relationship with Jesus
13:10 It is okay if you are dating him and pushing your
13:12 physical boundaries, God will understand because
13:15 eventually this person will come to know Jesus
13:17 and that's okay.
13:18 So I would get in these relationships were I still was
13:22 not following God's plan for a healthy
13:25 marriage and relationship.
13:26 But finally after having sex with six guys I was feeling
13:29 really depressed, my self-esteem was down and I couldn't
13:32 be transparent with God.
13:34 I felt empty, that is the best word I can describe it as.
13:37 I felt so empty inside, I kept wondering what is wrong
13:41 with me, and finally I thought you know what I really do
13:45 want somebody who is going to be committed to me.
13:47 Will love me and stand by my side no matter what.
13:50 I started realizing, even though I was doubting marriage.
13:52 I did want this I just didn't know how to get there.
13:55 So I start looking again at marriages around me.
13:57 This time I was a different group, have people who have
14:00 Christ is the center of their marriage.
14:02 So I started asking them, OK help me understand I am
14:05 looking at these marriages and see happily married couples.
14:07 So help me understand what makes a good husband,
14:10 what makes a good wife?
14:11 What would I be looking for in a man?
14:13 Who do I try to become as a woman?
14:15 That is when I started to understand that dating is more
14:17 about becoming the right person then finding the right person.
14:20 I also started to realize that the relationship between
14:24 a man and woman is a picture in a marriage.
14:27 The relationship between God and His Church,
14:30 and He calls His Church's bride.
14:32 The point being our relationship with one spouse is a
14:36 picture to the entire world of our relationship with one God.
14:40 I also started to understand there were some real pain from
14:44 my dad being gone, there are no perfect families,
14:45 there are no perfect moms there are no perfect dad's.
14:48 When you become a mom or dad you will not be perfect.
14:51 But I had to go ahead and that there were some real pain
14:54 for my dad being gone and I had to start grieving that pain.
14:57 and letting God help me to forgive my father.
15:00 Asking God, the Father, to give me those messages
15:03 that I longed to hear.
15:04 beautiful, that I would be protected, that He loved me.
15:07 For a guy I know it is different a man a guy needs to
15:10 get from God, a man that is
15:13 worthy of respect, he's got what it takes, he's adequate.
15:17 So I started turning to God and ask God for forgiveness
15:20 over my sexual past and I just started over.
15:22 I mean I had done things with my body but I decided
15:25 to make new decisions that I wasn't going to have
15:27 sex again until I got married.
15:29 It was just starting over, making new decisions to start
15:32 protecting my future marriage, and my future kids.
15:35 So finally when I was twenty seven years old I met the
15:39 man of my dreams at a Christian singles group.
15:41 Then I knew what kind of guy I needed.
15:42 I knew I was looking for a guy that would help protect
15:44 me, provide for me, affirm me an offer spiritual leadership.
15:48 This guy could do it he truly had God first.
15:50 He wasn't going to make me first, he wasn't going to
15:52 make his career first, he was in the make money first.
15:55 Now this guy when he was younger he had gotten involved
15:58 and drinking and pornography.
15:59 He wasn't raised in a Christian home, but he became a
16:01 Christian his first day of college and got in with a
16:04 group of Christian mentors and they taught him the value
16:07 of setting boundaries and protecting his future family.
16:10 This guy he wanted a strong marriage.
16:13 He was tired of seeing all the broken marriages and
16:16 he really wanted his wife to respect him and love him.
16:18 He knew in order to get her respect and love,
16:21 that he needed to be faithful, and faithfulness
16:24 takes self-control.
16:25 So he started working on the self-control
16:27 before he was married.
16:28 Since he had been involved in pornography he was very
16:31 careful to guard his eyes because they're so
16:33 much coming at him.
16:34 He got into accountability with others and he had to
16:37 keep reminding himself, in Christ, he was still a man
16:40 worthy of honor and respect so that the enemy didn't
16:44 weaken him and bring him down.
16:46 He didn't go to parties where there were drugs and
16:48 drinking that would take him out of control.
16:50 When he started dating a girl he would have a
16:52 conversation with her about sexual boundaries.
16:55 He did not do it because he thought he was so great,
16:58 he would set up the physical sexual boundaries because
17:01 he knew he was so normal, he knew that if his body gotten
17:04 certain situations how his body would respond.
17:07 So he did it to protect everybody,
17:08 he had the heart of a protector.
17:09 So when I met this guy he really honored me.
17:13 That is one of the things that attracted me to him,
17:16 and like you said on one of our first dates he told me
17:18 he's a virgin, twenty seven years old, he's a virgin and
17:21 waiting until he gets married to have sex.
17:23 Well by now I think this is awesome but I sure don't say
17:27 anything because I have my sexual past.
17:30 I'm thinking what is this guy going to think of me when
17:33 he hears about my past, will he still like me?
17:35 So I'm waiting for the right time, we are definitely headed
17:37 towards marriage, so I got with a friend and prayed.
17:39 I went to this guy and told him about my sexual past,
17:42 and when I told him honestly he was disappointed.
17:46 Because he knew I had actually bonded with those other
17:48 men, and if we got married I would be taking sexual
17:51 memories of other men into our marriage bed.
17:53 That can cause problems, but he said Barb I see who you are.
17:58 He said I know that God has offered you His forgiveness
18:03 and I just want to offer you my forgiveness.
18:06 He said I am not so concerned with your perfection as
18:10 much as I am in your direction, and he said I see your
18:13 direction and I love you and want to keep going on
18:17 with this relationship.
18:18 I was like Woo Hoo, the hard parts down right I've got
18:23 this great guy and am heading toward marriage
18:25 just like I wanted.
18:26 My relationship with God, I'm ecstatic, I'm so excited.
18:29 I'm thinking about us all the time, and as I kept
18:31 thinking about it I'm thinking this guy is a virgin
18:33 and I wasn't and
18:35 I had never been tested for all the sexually transmitted
18:37 diseases and I thought I would go get tested and put my
18:40 past behind me and I won't have to worry about it anymore.
18:43 So I went into this anonymous testing center, I had to
18:46 wait two weeks to get the results.
18:47 I was not worried, and I go back after the two weeks.
18:50 I'm sitting in the lobby and they had these little home
18:52 decorating magazines and I am flipping through them just
18:54 thinking about how I would decorate when I get married.
18:56 The counselor calls me and looks at me and says
19:01 your HIV test, it came back positive.
19:13 I just stood there and thinking this cannot be me, right?
19:18 This kind of thing happens to other people, it can't be me,
19:21 I'm only twenty seven years old, I'm in love, and I want
19:25 to get married so how can this be me?
19:30 So I'm trying to figure it out, so I started thinking
19:34 okay maybe there is some big mistake somewhere, right?
19:37 There's just some big mistake somehow, that's what I asked
19:41 the counselor, could there just be a big mistake?
19:43 He said we will do a retest, I say great can
19:45 I find out tomorrow.
19:46 He said no, it would take a week.
19:47 I said a week I have to wait another week?
19:50 Yes this was 1993 and it would take a week to get the results.
19:53 So he took out a needle into more blood and we get up
19:56 and I think we are leaving, but instead he takes me
19:59 into another room.
20:01 When we get into this room there is a woman in there and
20:04 she says I am from the Colorado State health Department.
20:07 This disease is so dangerous the only way we can keep
20:10 this disease from spreading is to get anyone who might
20:13 have been exposed, we need to get them all tested.
20:16 She said, we need you to get the names of anyone
20:19 who might be exposed.
20:20 I am in shock and know very little bit about HIV and AIDS.
20:23 Now this woman she wants me to tell her my whole sexual
20:27 history with names.
20:28 She says, it's anonymous, we don't know your name
20:31 and we call them to be tested, but we won't tell
20:34 them your name.
20:35 So I said okay and I gave her the six names.
20:41 I drive home, all the way home I am in shock, I'm numb.
20:46 But by the time I got home my thoughts were loud and clear.
20:53 Basically Barb your life is over,
20:57 because everyone is going to reject you.
20:59 The man you are wanting to marry, your family, your
21:03 friends, coworkers, church members and honestly most
21:06 people in the world because this was 1993 as I said.
21:09 And at that time AIDS was viewed as leprosy.
21:13 I thought if anyone touched me they would get AIDS,
21:17 so I thought no one could ever touch me again.
21:19 I just pictured myself covered from head to toe in
21:22 sores, real thin, weak, dying alone on a mattresses
21:25 in an empty room all
21:26 by myself from the things that I have been hearing.
21:30 For the first time, for the first time I faced the fact
21:34 that going outside of God's plans for sex within the
21:38 protective boundaries of marriage.
21:40 It wasn't just a walk in the park called dating is hard,
21:45 but there was a real spiritual battle going on.
21:49 A spiritual battle to destroy so much of
21:52 what God had planned for me.
21:54 I started to realize that my doorway wasn't just there
21:58 for my own pleasure, my sexuality.
22:00 It wasn't there for my own pleasure, it was actually a
22:03 doorway for so much of what God wanted to share with me,
22:05 and so much what I could share back with Him.
22:07 And I laid there that night and the enemy of my soul was
22:14 in my face saying, Barb it is too late for you.
22:18 It's too late, you didn't listen.
22:22 You didn't listen!
22:24 I was in terror, I had this sense of terror and I was
22:29 running to all these identities that I had created to
22:35 give myself a sense of accomplishment.
22:38 I had created this perfect career woman, or the perfect
22:42 daughter, perfect teacher in church, all these things that
22:45 I had done and then kept picturing the news of the HIV
22:49 hitting all those different identities.
22:51 And as I had pictured the news of HIV hitting I saw them all
22:55 start to crumble, and I was so scared I just laid on the floor
23:00 that night, because it was the only thing that felt
23:03 solid enough, it was floor.
23:04 I'm laying on the floor in the dark with my eyes wide open
23:10 in fear, and the big yellow Wolf eyes of everything that was
23:15 going to devour me were all around me.
23:17 And even though I felt too guilty to talk to God,
23:22 I couldn't even talk to Him, I just felt too guilty.
23:27 I knew that He would not let me go,
23:33 I knew that He would reach down and with everything
23:38 crumbling, He would still hold onto me.
23:45 That night it was very important to me was that it
23:47 wasn't some God who loved me, it wasn't just some God,
23:50 it meant something to me that it was Jesus Christ.
23:54 Because I knew He had actually died and conquered death,
23:59 and risen, and He was now offering me His life.
24:03 I still had the hope of eternal life.
24:07 I had that hope, if the whole world rejected me I had
24:12 the hope of eternal life.
24:15 I spent all night crying.
24:17 In the morning I am still crying and remembered the guy
24:20 am in love with, I'm supposed to have dinner with
24:22 him that night.
24:24 Now I wasn't going to say anything to this guy until I
24:27 found out the retest results, but I couldn't stop crying.
24:30 I thought there is no way I can hide this from him.
24:33 He was a really good guy and deserved to know, but I knew
24:35 when I told him he would leave me and I would be alone.
24:38 So we drove to the park and I wouldn't look at him,
24:40 because if I look at him I will start crying and I won't
24:42 be able to stop.
24:43 But finally I get out there I said, remember
24:44 when I told you I wasn't a virgin?
24:46 Well I went to get tested for STDs and the HIV part
24:49 came back positive.
24:50 I did a silent scream and he goes to hug me but I pushed
24:53 him away, no don't touch me.
24:55 Because I still didn't understand about HIV and AIDS.
24:58 But he said no, it is okay, he said I was trained at
25:01 work about HIV and AIDS, it is okay I can touch you.
25:04 So he just held me.
25:05 We were crying, and I thought okay I'm just going to get
25:08 this over with and I won't make him end the relationship
25:12 because it is not fair to him, I'll do it.
25:13 So I said I know this is going to change our relationship.
25:17 He said I want to show you something and he gently
25:23 pushed me back - I gently pushed her back and I told
25:29 Barb that I had committed in my heart to asking you to marry me.
25:35 I don't know what the future holds, but I love you and I'm
25:39 and sticking by that commitment and nothing you do or say
25:44 is going to change my mind.
25:45 That sure was not the reaction I expected.
25:53 This guy his name is Rick and I don't know if you can
25:58 imagine just the night before I truly believed that every
26:04 single thing in my live was lost.
26:06 Everything, but the next day here is Rick and he commits
26:12 his life and his love to me, that's when I realized that
26:18 maybe this kind of love was possible.
26:21 Maybe this kind of love did exist.
26:24 That's when I realized that Rick, the first time he
26:29 pictured for me God's unconditional, unfathomable,
26:34 love in a real way.
26:35 And he pictured a man that was committed to God and
26:38 could be committed to me.
26:39 That's what I also realized that Rick didn't love me for
26:45 sex, we weren't having sex, Rick truly loved me for me.
26:50 Well then I kind of got this sick feeling inside.
26:53 It was like, why did I give up my hope that
26:57 he was out there.
26:58 Why hadn't I just waited for him?
27:00 - when Barb told me, I was devastated, I was in shock,
27:06 but I had remembered that she had shared with me,
27:09 a few weeks before, that she wasn't a virgin.
27:12 We had talked about that and I had forgiven her.
27:14 So my decision wasn't can I forgive Barb now that there's
27:18 real consequences, the decision I had to make was could
27:21 I love this wonderful godly woman
27:24 through terminal illness?
27:26 I knew that I wanted to,
27:28 I knew if I relied on Him that I could.
27:30 While we were sitting in the car I remembered something that
27:33 I had heard a few weeks before, that if your hope isn't
27:36 big enough for any eventuality, for anything that could
27:39 possibly happen, your hope isn't big enough.
27:43 I told Barb our hope is Jesus Christ,
27:46 and He is big enough for this.
27:48 - so we are waiting for the retest results.
27:51 We are hoping and praying that they come back negative,
27:55 but when they came back they were positive.
27:58 So they said you will need to see a doctor because
28:00 you will need medicine.
28:01 So I went and saw my doctor, now my doctor didn't
28:04 believe it, my doctor didn't believe it, you know why?
28:08 I wasn't sick, there wasn't anything wrong with me
28:11 so I got little hope.
28:12 So yeah maybe it's just a big mix-up at the lab, but they do
28:15 a retest, in another test and Rick couldn't get off of work,
28:17 so I back to get the results and am sitting there alone.
28:20 In came the doctor and he was literally shaking, he said Barb
28:23 they were right, you do have AIDS.
28:26 He said is what we do a test when a person's body gets an
28:30 infection they have these special cells in their body
28:34 they call T-helper cells and a cry for help.
28:36 They call these fighter cells to fight off the infections.
28:40 What HIV does, it comes in and destroys your T-helper cells.
28:44 The next time your body gets an infection now there is
28:46 nothing there to cry for help so nothing comes to fight and
28:49 infections can just take over your body.
28:51 He says that's why people with AIDS we die of cancer,
28:55 pneumonia, tuberculosis, different big infections.
28:58 He said a healthy person, when we look at how many T-
29:00 helper cells a healthy person has they have between
29:03 800 and 1200.
29:05 We did your T-helper cell count and yours came back at
29:08 147, under 200 is considered AIDS.
29:13 He said you probably have two weeks to a year to live.
29:17 Because again this was in 1993, and at that time they only
29:20 had one drug to fight AIDS and it was working very well.
29:23 He said what is happening is that most people, when they
29:26 had that low T-cell count they will get something big
29:29 like pneumonia and will be trying to fight it and pick up
29:31 a second infection, staff or strep and the
29:33 two infections usually kill them.
29:35 I stood there in his office and kept thinking this isn't
29:39 me, right? This isn't me.
29:42 This cannot be me.
29:47 I'm at home and I just called Rick it was worse than
29:49 we were thinking.
29:50 I started going through the grieving process, the anger,
29:53 the bargaining, depression, denial come at me slinky
29:55 over and over.
29:58 Rick would come over to comfort me and I kept crying and
30:00 getting his shirts covered in mascara right here.
30:03 - I started to wear darker shirts.
30:05 - at night before Rick would leave he'd do something
30:09 I thought that was strange.
30:10 He would start giving me all these Bible verses,
30:12 he stand there and give me Bible verses and I would be like,
30:15 what is he doing?
30:16 But the next day when I would get to work, I would have
30:19 all these thoughts, Barb you're going to die real soon.
30:23 Guess what? You deserve it! You deserve it!
30:28 The only way I can stand up was to remember the verses
30:31 that Rick had given me the night before.
30:33 - well I was overwhelmed and I knew I didn't have the
30:36 words, the wisdom to give Barb to get through this.
30:40 So I use God's words, I used to verses like Isaiah 41:10
30:44 and it says "do not fear for I'm with you,
30:46 do not be dismayed
30:48 for I am your God, I will strengthen you and help you,
30:50 I will uphold you for my righteous right hand. "
30:53 Or 1 John 1:9 that says, "if we confess our sins he is
30:57 faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us
31:01 from all and righteousness. "
31:02 Or 2 Corinthians 5:17 that says, "therefore if anyone
31:06 is in Christ he is a new creation, the old is gone,
31:09 the new has come. "
31:11 - I really clung to the last verse about the HIV
31:14 being made new.
31:17 With HIV running through my body I felt so contaminated
31:21 and I kept thinking how can I be made new?
31:24 But Rick kept reminding me that no matter what sexual thing
31:27 we have done, no matter what hateful thing we've done,
31:30 no matter what addiction we have that God is always there.
31:32 If we turn around and ask His forgiveness,
31:33 He's always there ready to offer us a way to be new.
31:36 So I just clung on to that, I clung on to that.
31:41 We started to see a counselor, because this affected both
31:45 of us in every part of our lives, physically,
31:47 intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually,
31:50 and financially.
31:51 We're going to talk about just a few of the ways that
31:54 this has impacted our lives.
31:55 - I go see the counselor and the counselor says Barbara
31:59 there something you haven't done and I said okay,
32:01 what do I need to do?
32:02 He said will you need to tell your family.
32:04 I was like what?
32:07 He said yeah you should probably tell your family and I
32:09 got mad and said there was no way I was going to tell my
32:10 mom and dad, my sisters and brothers, I'm not bringing
32:12 this all into their life.
32:13 He is like no, you need to calm down, Barb really think
32:17 about what you want to do, do you want to wait until
32:20 you're dying and try to tell everybody this then?
32:23 Is that going to be fair to them?
32:24 I'm like no you are right, I guess I better tell them now.
32:28 So we did not know where they would all stand on the
32:30 issue of AIDS, they said don't tell them all together, it's
32:33 better if you tell them one-on- one, so that is what we did.
32:37 We called each one of them up and Rick go with me.
32:39 I just want you to know that everyone of my family
32:41 members as I told them they were devastated.
32:43 Especially my mom, believe me, believe me you never want
32:50 to have to tell your mom something like that.
32:52 But you know something, whatever I thought was this
32:56 perfect girl in here I was with all my dirt showing they
32:58 all still loved me, they all still loved me.
33:02 Rick would sit there and tell them, I love her and
33:05 I'm going to be there for her.
33:07 At a time when I sit there and think all I could think,
33:09 I was worthless, I'm worthless, I'm worthless.
33:12 Rick kept speaking the truth, no she still has value,
33:16 she still has value.
33:18 Now I remember any time we feel worthless God is always
33:22 by our side, saying you still have value.
33:26 You still have value.
33:29 - we had to tell my parents, Barb had only met them twice.
33:34 So she came to me and said Rick, I can't do that, I
33:37 cannot go talk to your parents about this, I am too
33:40 emotionally drained right now.
33:42 I said okay I will go talk to them myself, could you
33:45 just write a letter?
33:46 It took Barb over eight hours to write that letter.
33:49 - I couldn't figure out what to say, basically all I
33:52 could say was I was pretty stupid and your son
33:55 is pretty awesome.
33:56 Then the past boyfriends started calling up, because
33:59 they were notified by the state that they had been
34:02 exposed and needed to be tested, even though they
34:04 didn't tell these guys my name, they just got curious
34:07 and started to investigate their sexual past.
34:09 One of the guys calls me up and tells me he is newly
34:12 married and his wife is pregnant.
34:13 This guy was going nuts and wondering what he just did to
34:16 his new family and for the next two-week while they are
34:19 getting tested, I'm laying there every night going is this
34:22 guy give me the HIV possibly come or
34:24 did I give the guy HIV possibly?
34:26 Does the little baby have it?
34:28 But thankfully and with God's mercy, they came back negative.
34:32 But then Rick said Barb we need to sit down and go
34:35 through your past, not every detail but enough that we
34:38 didn't have to do this each time somebody called.
34:39 Because every time some it would call I would be sitting
34:41 there thinking is Rick going to leave me.
34:44 I mean it this guy hears one more detail,
34:46 won't he just be gone?
34:48 But Rick said Barb let's go over all the details because
34:53 I want you to know for sure, I want you to know for sure
34:57 that my love and my forgiveness are going to cover all
35:01 the details and you do not need to keep worrying that
35:04 I'm going to leave you, because I am not going to leave you.
35:08 Well we figured out I got HIV from the first guy, the
35:12 guy who had the apartment is a guy who had it when
35:16 I was 19 years old.
35:17 I didn't find out I was HIV positive till 9 years later.
35:20 You couldn't tell by looking at me that I was HIV positive,
35:23 can you tell now?
35:24 I couldn't tell that HIV was inside of me,
35:27 it was inside of me and I couldn't tell.
35:30 So those next five guys I didn't tell I was HIV positive,
35:33 now I wasn't lying because I didn't know, but every one
35:36 of those guys is taking a risk of contracting anything
35:38 that I might have contracted from someone else.
35:40 I just didn't realize that my sexual choices were going
35:43 to impact anyone except me and maybe the other person.
35:45 I didn't really think about it.
35:47 Well during this time Rick and I kept dating, and Rick
35:51 kept telling me he still wanted to get married.
35:53 I just kept asking are you nuts or crazy I mean they are
35:56 only given me a couple weeks, a couple months to live.
35:59 Are you sure?
36:02 - well we wanted to get as much advice as we could
36:06 so we asked doctors and counselors, Pastors
36:09 if we should get married.
36:11 Barb thought that all of them would say no, but to her
36:13 surprise everyone of them said yes, an HIV-positive
36:16 person can still get marriage but there will
36:19 be sexual restrictions.
36:20 So on October 9,1993 we did get married.
36:26 This last October we celebrated our 15th anniversary.
36:32 Yes we are so glad, we did not expect that to happen.
36:38 We were celebrating it at a romantic restaurant and just
36:42 looking at each other amazed because at the same time,
36:46 this will sound dramatic but it is true, at the same
36:49 time I was making all my wedding plans I was also making
36:52 all my own funeral plans.
36:53 When most people get married they can now have sex without
36:57 any worries, like God plans is to be, but every single
37:00 day Rick and I we have to consider the HIV,
37:02 every single day.
37:04 I just keep thinking why did I bring all of this in the
37:08 relationship, why didn't I just trust God.
37:09 Why didn't I listen to His voice?
37:11 Why did I try to take control of everything in my own power?
37:15 Well fourteen years later and you may be looking at
37:18 me thinking oh she looks okay and everything is good,
37:21 it's not that hard have an HIV and AIDS.
37:23 It has been a difficult road and we've had to give up
37:26 children, because they said there was a 1 in 4 chance that
37:29 I could pass on the HIV to a child.
37:32 Now they can get the mom and baby certain drugs in the
37:35 United States they can get the transmission under 1 percent.
37:37 But I would have to use some drugs that make me really
37:40 sick and I don't know how I will feel and to put a
37:43 little person through all that.
37:45 Also when you fight a disease and make use a high pile
37:50 of drugs called a cocktail, in the medical world right now
37:55 I am on a medical cocktail to help me fight this.
37:58 But the drugs have a lot of side effects, so I have
38:01 rashes, headaches, fever, it's hard to have the energy
38:04 to get through a full day.
38:05 I get blurred vision, in one set of drugs I was on in
38:09 the morning I would just feel like I had
38:11 a hangover every morning.
38:13 When I needed to drive to work, because if I lost my job
38:16 I lost my health insurance.
38:17 My drugs without health insurance are over 2000 dollars
38:20 a month, with health insurance is 2 to 300 hundred
38:23 dollars a month, so I needed my job.
38:24 I would drive to work and feel very sick until about
38:27 eleven thirty and then I would go home and
38:29 start it all over again.
38:30 I would think I do not want to do this anymore, this is
38:32 not how I want to live my life.
38:34 With that I think of how there are millions of children,
38:37 or thousands of men, women and little children all around
38:40 the world who die from AIDS every day because they don't
38:43 have medicine, I say Barb at least you are someone who
38:45 has medicine and you better take it with
38:47 a grateful heart.
38:48 So we kept the secret for about nine years and finally
38:51 on December of 2000 they came up with some new drugs
38:53 that I am on in my body is doing well with these drugs
38:55 so I was asked would I please tell the story to some
38:58 young people?
38:59 At first I didn't want to do it, but God said Barb that is
39:01 your pride, get it out of the way,
39:02 this is not about you, it's about My love for
39:04 these young people.
39:05 So I told my first youth group and it was the young people
39:07 that came up and said thank you, you should be telling
39:09 our friends and they invited me to the classrooms.
39:11 So were going around telling our story now over 800 times
39:16 to hundreds of thousands of people across the country
39:21 and in Europe.
39:22 It amazes me because that first night the enemy lied to
39:25 me and said there was nothing ahead of me but an empty
39:28 room and pain, but the truth was right around
39:32 the corner was Rick.
39:34 God has provided this marriage and love for us and
39:37 is given as opportunity to meet some of the most
39:40 fantastic people in the world.
39:42 And I hear stories because I hear young people all over
39:45 the world caught me and talk to me and
39:47 tell me their story and
39:48 I don't know what everybody gets blocks looks like,
39:51 but I can tell you that I honestly look people back and
39:54 tell them I have hope for you no matter what you stories are.
39:57 Because I realize the pain in people's lives are because
40:01 of all the lies we believe when our blocks are broken,
40:04 we have pain and we believe lies instead of the truth.
40:07 Well I want to let you know that God can restore.
40:10 He is in the business of restoring and reconciliation and
40:12 He can bring in the first row, He can bring back the
40:16 truth that we are valuable, that He knew before we were
40:19 born, who we were going to be, that He planned for us
40:22 to be created.
40:23 That we are valuable and worth being cared for.
40:27 That we can learn through the body of Christ fellowship and
40:31 friendship, what it is to be listened to, and cared for,
40:35 any given truth, and how we can be friends
40:37 for other people.
40:38 How we can be there to help them in their time of need
40:41 and handling communications and conflict solving.
40:43 And then the truth about our identity as godly men and
40:46 women, what does it mean to be a godly woman, what is
40:51 the truth about a godly man, whom am I that we can see
40:56 ourselves as God sees us.
40:58 That He delights in us as you were saying earlier, that His
41:03 delight is in us and He restores this part of our lives.
41:08 As we realize how valuable we are, then we are able to
41:13 understand the value of committed love really be an
41:17 agape love towards putting people in a place
41:20 where we commit to do loving actions for them.
41:23 Even though we might not feel like it, we do the actions,
41:27 and the actions creates the loving feelings.
41:29 That is really agape committed love, and that brings us
41:33 to committed love and marriage that allows us to have
41:36 children and start the whole cycle building
41:39 up pyramids with truth.
41:41 - oh man, I just have to say I love you guys.
41:47 Because I think about, we are going to go ahead and
41:51 break but I just want to say that as I'm listening to
41:55 you I'm watching that whole thing is that what trashed you
41:58 was what your belief of who you were, your father left
42:01 and all that stuff, and that you literally brought that
42:04 back into her life.
42:05 None of that was true and definitely God reinforced that.
42:09 We will be right back, and as you saw this presentation,
42:13 it is so important because we all have something that we
42:17 believe that has never been ours to believe.
42:19 It is never what God intended in our lives, and God
42:22 says you know as those blocks are put up, I just want
42:25 you to know that I can come in and just bring people
42:29 into your life that will just help you to restore
42:33 everything that was knocked down.
42:34 Man, I hope you were blessed by Barb and Rick's story.
42:39 I know that for me, it changed me.
42:43 It changed me that all of a sudden I realize, it
42:45 doesn't matter what I am holding on to.
42:48 What is hitting me is that God is faithful and I can
42:51 hold on to it in His love, and definitely in the love of
42:54 the people around us, and I am so glad I met this couple.
42:58 We will be right back! stay with us!


Revised 2014-12-17