Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast
Gospel-Centered Pro-Life Podcast

Episode 154 · 1 month ago

Leaving Sorrow Behind

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We experience a lot of sorrow in ministry at the abortion centers. It’s very difficult to watch women walk into the abortion center day after day and leave with the heaviness of that situation unscathed. In this episode, we talk about how to process all of this and stay effective on the sidewalk.

https://sidewalks4life.com/equipping-articles/

At the end of the day, if we carry a load of guilt or sorrow with us from circumstances that we have no control over, that stuff will weigh us down. I Am Yours, I am yours, I am yours, and me, Lord, I am yours, I am yours. I'm welcome to the Gospel Center Pro Life Podcast, a podcast designed to equip, encourage and challenge you in pro life ministry, and always with a focus on the Gospel. Stay tuned. I felt show passish, touch your heart. Use He there. Welcome to the Gospel centered pro life podcast. I'm Vicki Cos yerk. I'm here with Daniel Parks. How's it going? So we're here in Charlotte and, as always, hoping to encourage and equip you with these weekly podcast this one was really pretty interesting because three times this very week, three of our volunteers came to me with basically the same question. Yeah, and that's the the crux of this of this podcast. Okay, they they said, they all three, had seen some pretty awful things. We always see awful things on the sideback, but this was for them all pretty particularly awful and sorrowful. And they said, how do you fully engage your heart, do what you need to do, feel the level of compassion, the the gravity of what you're facing while you're on the sidewalk and then, when your shift is up, disengage right and be able to leave all that behind you go home and live your life without guilt and without sorrow. Yeah, that's basically the crux right, the crux of their question. Yeah, yeah, I mean I think there's a sense in which, as we talked about this episode before we started recording, there's a sense in which you feel guilty when you leave the sidewalk. You feel guilty for kind of going on with your life right, feel guilty. Okay, after you get done with the sidewalk, if you're there in the morning and you're hunger you go eat lunch. Yeah, and like realizing, okay, I just left from a place, Hmmm, where babies were dying inside, and now here I am at chick fil a or nonmals or whatever, eat lunch, enjoying life. It's two babies died today, to tell you the truth, that that did happen today and they're all going out for lunch today to build to immunity. And that's the disconnect that that is what these three counselor said. How, how do we do this? Yeah, yeah, absolutely, yeah, and it's a very to me it's a telling question. It's these people understand the gravity of what they're doing exactly, and I think that's a good thing. It's a good thing that we don't just kind of we're not doing this to check a box, and I would say the vast majority of people that are involved in this ministry are not just check in a box, right, right, doing it because their hearts are engaged. So I guess the crux of the issue is, how do you how do you keep your heart soft before the Lord without hardening your heart? How do you deal with the guilt of like, yeah, just left a place that babies are dying and even sometimes no babies were saves? We don't know that allows or change yeah, and go home, for example, and play with your own kids, like there's just this weightingess there that I think is a necessary weightingness, but it's also necessary that we deal with it and, like we've always said, we cannot be driven by guilt. I cannot be driven by guilt. Now, does God use guilt and can God use guilt in the lives of Christians to get them to do things that they're supposed to do. Yes, he can, God can use guilt. Guilt is not a bad thing. It's not a bad thing as far as like an initial motivator, but it's a horrible sustainer. Right, right, and so guilt might get you on the sidewalk, but it's not going to sustain you there. Yeah, what's going to sustain you there and keep you from going bonkers, because that's what can happen, is a love for Jesus and an acknowledgement of who Jesus is, right,...

...that he's the Lord over everything. Now, he's not controlling the abortionist forceps, he's not influencing the abortionist to kill babies. Right, God's against that stuff. So God's not doing the wickedness, but he is Lord over everything and he's going to right all the wrongs. It's not our charge to right all the wrongs. Yes, we should, we should right the wrongs that are within our control. Hey, but what's within our control? Using our voice, HMM, being out there, reaching out, offering literature, speaking the truth and love, proclaiming the Gospel, like we can do those things. But what's not in our control is the changing of a human heart. Yeah, Paul, the this man of God who walked more closely with God than probably anybody, said that basically all he's doing is planning seeds and watering seats. Yeah, and God gives the increase. Even Paul, a man of faith and power who God used to turn the world right side up, realize that he couldn't do more than just plant seeds and water. Yeah. So, a matter of fact, that one point. He says, I'm going to butcher the scripture. It's in First Corinthians, of believe, first couple of chapters. But he talks about people who are rebellion against God and people who are receptive toward God. And he says to one we are the fragrance of life unto life, and to other the fragrance of death leading to death. And then he says, who is sufficient for these things? The question is like a rhetorical question. We're not sufficient. Where the fragrance of life to life, death to death, like we're going to be received in some ways, we're going to be rejected in some ways. WHO's sufficient? Like who can do this work? Nobody can. The Lord the Holy Spirit, he can do it through us, and so we've got to be yielded to him. And so I guess what I'm getting to is it's not our job to change hearts. We can't take ownership of the babies that were like we said, we don't take ownership of the victories. Are Glory and God for the victories that are aught, but we can't take glory for those things things. It's God doing the work. Yeah, in the same way, we can't take ownership of the apparent defeats, like fifty two babies dying. Yeah, those women, those men that are associated with that, the abortionist, the abortion workers, all they're accountable to God. We warned them, we shared the truth and it's between them and the Lord. We did what we were called to do. We planted seeds, we watered seeds. It's between them and the Lord if the increase comes. Yeah, so once again we could probably step right here. Daniel has summarized in five minutes, but my long article. But actually we do have an article. Yeah, the company says, and what Daniel did, I think can what you always do so well, is kind of give us summary of the issue. Yeah, and and what I did in this article was I really thought through how do I deal with it, because I of course I have to deal with this. Anyone who's been out here for any length of time has had to deal with this, and I kind of broke it down into this steps of how I deal with it. Okay, I'm sure you'll have some stuff to add to that, but but well, I hope to be able to teach you guys something at the end. Hopefully we'll have enough time. We'll try and leave teach you kind of like you know, I've taught about putting on the armor of God and and that sort of thing, and just something the Lord's taught me over the years. I don't think I'm great or anything, but the Lord's been very gracious to teach me some things and just ways to pray. That helped me to process and unwand by mine and kind of, like the Bible says, cast my cares on the Lord. Yeah, because we have to do that. So I'm going to teach you guys, maybe a little something from the gospel of John that that I do on a regular basis. That really helps me and hopefully it will help you guys. Okay, that would be a great way to end to end all this. But I think the very first step is to acknowledge the horror. Don't deny it, don't intend it's not there. It is there. This is a grievous, unspeakable sin. Yeah, unbearable sin, knowing what really happens out there, and I think to just kind of gloss over that fact doesn't help us. I think we have to first acknowledge. Yes, what we are facing is absolute horror, right, and it grieves the heart of God deeply and that's...

...part of why we're coming back out. We recognize the incredible depravity that that we are seeing day after day. So, like in in all this isn't an illness. The question that they're asking it's how to cope. But in anything that needs to be healed in a way they're asking, how do I heal from this? Well, the first step in any healing is acknowledge that that this is an assault, this is this is horrible. I think that some point in this article I say it's clear that there are mothers that are being wounded, babies are clearly being worded. Yeah, but what we do need to recognize as so are we? So are we as we watching? Yes, and I think to one of the kind of, I guess, perspective things that we need to understand is, yes, this is horrible to us, it grieves our hearts, but how much more does it grieve the heart of God? Right, God, God created these children in his image, he formed them in their mother's womb, and he's actually seeing, because the Bible says the eye the Lord is in every place. He's seeing the the the graphic and the gruesome reality that's happening. We're we're spared from seeing that, right, for the most part. Yeah, and we don't see all the repercussions. We don't see all the family members, all the society, all of the all of the effects that God does. Yeah, and so if he grieves our her how much more the heart of God's wo just helps us to just know that the Lord is in this grief with us. He is him. But we can't stay there, we can't rest, we can't abide in that grief because we'll never be effective. Yeah. So the second thing I think you touched on really well was we need to recognize our role right in the in the face of this grief. What is our role and what's God's real and you've already said that perfectly. Our role is to show up, to speak, to do everything that we are biblically commanded to do and expressing truth, compassion, offering help, but we're not responsible for the results. Those totally up to God. And the third step really blends into that, which is look for God. Yeah, and what I mean by that we've talked about that another podcast. Looking for God, looking for his miracles. They are always there, even in the darkest of darkest place, God is always there and if you seek him, you will find him and you can see him moving, even if it's not a save to baby like. Think at about the little things, the fact that there's a friend next to you who may be a charm around you and notice it you tears. Yeah, knows that you're sad and it is is there to offer help. And Yeah, the fact that team member show up at all, right, the fact that a mom ever stops and takes her there to church, every one of those things are miracles. Yeah, and if you start to look at look for the miracles, I think it helps you to see past the darkness. I think so time. Yeah, we do kind of look at and certainly the wins, the big wins, or when people come to the Lord, when babies are saved, right, those are those are big wins. But sometimes we miss sort of, I guess, the little wins, but they're kind of big wins. Yeah, so some of the things we get to see his churches getting mobilized judges. I was in a church just a couple of nights ago. WAS ONE BIGGER CHURCH HERE IN CHARLOTTE, a church that about ten years ago, I would have said is never going to be involved there, that pastors never going to talk about abortion, he's never going to do with the issue. For Fourth, rightly, I was in a service the other night where the pastor was plainly from the pulpit calling abortion murder. Wow, and plainly saying the church, we need to do something and step up. Yeah, open it up the whole service to talk about the issue of abortion. They've adopted a week with love life. That's like a massive victory. Yeah, another victory. I just heard from my team in northern California and anyach there and there's a guy who now is volunteering on the sidewalk. He's kind of getting trained up to volunteer on the sidewalk. He was driving by the local plan parenthood and the Holy Spirit spoke to his heart and essence like what are you doing? Where are you at when...

...this thing's happening? Where's my people? And so he saw, ended up seeing the team out there. Got Actually came to a prayer wall, got plugged in at sidewalk out reaching. was broken over the fact that he's done nothing about abortion and now he's doing something. So those are victories. Like you're talking about people standing next to you. God's building a team of people in your city, maybe slowly, but surely he's building that team, and that's something the glory in as well. So I'm going to share a scripture. Okay, let I think is helpful and I hope I could find it here in Philippians, and this is Paul the Apostle encouraging the church in Philippi to meditate on the things, to think on the things that are good, because we can. I was I was just cheering with my family last night. We're going through the doing a scripture a day, just kind of talking through it. I'm kind of teaching my family through it, and this is what it was. The scripture for yesterday, and just telling my kids. My wife like how our minds gravitate toward the negative. Look at news, or all the news is negative because they know that's how they get ratings and stuff. As our mind's, a human mind, gravitates toward the negative. And so Paul says here. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things over or of good report, if there is any virtue, if there's Anything Praiseworthy Worthy, meditate on these things in mad and so he's not just talking about kind of letting your mind just. You're freeing your mind now. He says, think about like what you're going to eat when you get home. He's saying, look right here at there is something lovely here. Focus on what that is, focus all meditate on. Yeah, think on the things that are lovely, even on the sidewalk. Fifty two babies dying. Yeah, but are there are some things that we can meditate on that we could have a thankful heart toward God. They're happening. Yes, God is raising up an army of people. Yeah, God's Word is going forth. Yeah, right, there's a you have a team that's with you in this thing. They're speaking truth, despite being taunted and ridiculed, they are speaking truth. How many people will do that? What amazing people we get to stand alongside. Yeah, those are good and worthy and noble things to think absolutely and to dwell upon this. That feeds into the fourth thing that I came up with. What I do, anyway, is trust by faith, not by sight. We are told the word of God never returns void. We are planting seats, we are speaking the word of God. Very briefly, I come from the perspective of being an atheist, agnostic at best, and there were so many people that witness to me early in my life and as a Nonbeliever, I remember making fun of them, taunting them, even sometimes to their face. I was downright nasty to some of them, but and some of them I never knew. They were strangers. But as I look back, once I came to the Lord, every one of them, God brings them to my mind. I remember those faces, I remember those things they said that I made fun of, and I didn't even know their name, but God does, and they were planting seeds that did come to fruition many years later. Trust that we are doing the same. Yeah, God's word never returns for it. Amen. Yeah. I think a fifth thing is to keep an eternal perspective. I think that is really important. Remember who wins, who wins? In the end, everything will be made right, justice will be served, every wrong righted. Everyone will basically give an accounting for their life. And and Jesus has the victory. He's had the victory. Hates had the victory ever since he rose from the grave and overcame death, proved he was Lord. Satan was defeated at that moment. So we know that God has the victory and we need to cling to that perspective. Yeah, yeah, some, some...

...preachers have said, and I think it's good to say this, we are battling from a place of victory. Yes, right, yes, we're already victorious. If you're in Christ, yeah, you get everything that he gets. Yeah, and if you're in Christ, eternal victory is one right. You don't have to fight for your own salvation, right, you don't have to fight for favor with God. You're already in. and Jesus has already won the battle between the devil is the devil still live and doing his thing currently, but he knows his time is up very soon and we're on Jesus side. So we're winners, because Jesus is the winner. We're victorious in him. Now that doesn't mean we lay down our you know, and go eat chocolate cake and we are still called to the battle until it has been all played out. Yeah, but bating from a place of victory correct and so and we know the ending, we know God wins. Thinks that we can think about. Did you show up? Did you speak his truth? Did you consuct yourself in a math manner worthy of the Lord? Are you faithfully presenting Jesus as his ambassador? And if you've done those things, praise God. Those those are all keeping an intern eternal perspective. The last thing, and then we'll get into your little scenario that you wanted to tell us, is at when it's over, when you have finished with what you've been doing on the sidewalk, brush off the dust of that place and find something where you abide in and recharge in the Lord. Yeah, that you love, something enjoyable. Maybe it's a you're just being with your family. For me, I've said this many times, it's it's being alone on the river in my Kayak, but but do find that thing that restores your your spirit, your soul in God. Yeah, absolutely, so. So two things. Okay, that helped me and they tie into one another and I'll share this, these things with you, guys, and in my mind this is okay. The scenario is I'm leaving the abortion center right I've just dealt with the heaviness of seeing sixty people go into the abortion center. I remember years back on a Saturday when I was out there volunteering, they would be sixty, sometimes seventy five people. I remember those stays staring out on the street. Parking lot was so full. Yeah, and that was heavy. And then on top of that, of course, you have pro abortion people yelling at you and all kinds of false accusations and you are I remember seeing scenarios where I saw a young girl, she had to been twelve, thirteen years old, her, I guess it was her mom or grandma, whoever, was driving her into the abortion center and as she was pulling in, the young lady got out of the back of the car and took off running and she obviously didn't want to have the abortion. And I've seen a couple of scenarios like that yeah, the grandma of the Moma whatever, went after her in the car, got her in the car. We called the police to hey, this girl's being forced to have an abortion. Police didn't do anything either. They couldn't do anything or whatever. I was heavy. So stuff like that. You've gotten cussed out by someone. You just trying to offer him help and they're cussing you out and they're accusing you all these things. Again, the pro abortion people are accusing you of all kinds of things, right, and that's stuff. Sometimes it'll kind of stick to you don't even realize it, it'll kind of stick to your psyche. Right, it'll start to if you're not careful, these false accusations and the things that people say about you. Um, you know about you, Ikey, Vicki, Vicki. Yeah, they call me little D chrhyind. You know, these people, these pro abortion people, are really just bullies that when they were in school it wasn't really socially acceptable to bully people and now it is because we're in opposition to them. So they're just bullying people and all of that. And you think what doesn't really affect me, and for the most part, if you been out there for long enough, it really doesn't, because you've learned to kind of not take it personal and not, you know, kind of pray these things off of you. But still, these things can stick...

...to you you don't realize and they start to define you and they start you start to think, okay, am I actually like that? Am I actually harassing people? I don't think I am. I'm not trying to harass you know, these things will kind of stick in your psyche, yeah, and start to weigh you down. And so one of the things that I do, and I tried to be conscious about this, especially if I've had some kind of heated thing happen at the abortion center, somebody yelling at in my face or threatened me or whatever it might be, is what I'm leaving the abortion center. I do something called debriefing with Jesus, okay, and this is me praying back to the Lord the things the Bible says again, the eye of the Lord is in every place. He sees everything. He knew it all, he knew it before it was going to take place. Right, but it does help you to get it out of your psyche, out of your mind, out of your heart and kind of cast your cares on the Lord to pray it back to the Lord. Lord, you hear, you saw that person come at me and threaten me. You heard what they accused me of, Lord, and I just want to bring it before you got so I'll just be kind of rehearsing what happened, if especially if it's an intense situation, and just debrief it with the Lord. And even if there's some things I need to repent of, because sometimes there are. The Devil can really get you on that. If you got in the flesh or something. Listen, just because you got in the flesh and you responded in a way maybe you shouldn't have responded. Maybe you responded, you snapped back at somebody. That does not disqualify you for being on the sidewalk. Let me just say that. Okay, but you might need to repent before the Lord. Just just bring it to the Lord and you can do that. And so that's one thing. Debriefing with Jesus, that's a good one. Yeah, but this is kind of taken it to the next step, to the next level, I guess. And and this is really a powerful thing, and I call it this is kind of how I encourage people asking Jesus to wash your feet. HMM. And it comes out of John Chapter Thirteen, and I can there's a whole like teaching I can do with this, but I won't go into all of that. But kind of the picture is one of Barnacles. Ships. They're in water, sea water. By virtue of the fact that they're in water, they get these barnacles on them and these barnacles calls drag on the ship. Actually it costs us about fifty million dollars a year in the United States of America to deal with Barnacles and also the fuel inefficiency on our navel ships that barnacles calls. So there's barnacles has to be removed so that that ship can the glide through the water like it needs to. Great symbolism lot that. Yeah, and so the barnacles need to be removed or they'll cause drag. They just not the chips not doing anything wrong. It's where it's supposed to be. It's in the water on the sidewalk. We're not doing anything wrong. We're doing what God's called us to just by virtue of the fact that we're on the sidewalk, just living in a sinful world. It's going to be barnacles that attach themselves to us. Yeah, I think Jesus gives the example of dirty feet here in John Chapter Thirteen. So, John Chapter Thirteen, the disciples are in the upper room with Jesus. Jesus gets a basin and a towel and begins to wash their feet. We all know the scenario, right. This is during the the Last Supper here and John Chapter Thirteen, and he comes to Peter and Peter says you're not going to wash me right, you're not washing my feet because after I should be washing your feet. That's kind of what what peters implying here. And Jesus says and John Chapter Thirteen, verse eight, he says, if I do not wash you, you have no part with me. Well, Peter, in his zeal, says, okay, Lord, not my feet, then everything just okay. I want to have a part with you, like Lauren. I want to I'm going to serve you, want to follow you. Right. And he says in verse ten, he says he was bathed, needs only to wash his feet, but it's completely clean. You're clean, but not all of you. And so he's talking. I want to shift gears too much. He's talking about his betrayer, so about Judas is not clean. But he's saying in essence, guys, you're clean because you're my disciples, like you're clean from the sin of the world, like you've been washed. Hey, he's talking about ultimately, his...

...sacrifice on the cross and what that's going to do to take care of the problem of sin. But he's saying we don't need to be cleaned the whole of you. Listen, believer in Jesus, follower of Jesus, under daughter of God, you're already clean. You're washed in the blood of Jesus because of your faith in him. But sometimes you need to have your feet washed. Sometimes you need some maintenance to happen. Just like that ship. It needs some maintenance, needs to barnacles removed. Sometimes, just by virtue of the fact that you're walking through a dirty, dusty, sinful world, you get stuff on your feet, right, that's the picture here. You can take a bath in those days and just walking from the place where you took your bath to the house you're going to get dirt on your feet because they didn't have paved roads and gravel and all that stuff. Right. So just by virtue of the fact that you're walking in the world, just by virtue of the fact that you're on the sidewalk, you're going to get barnacles, you're going to get dirt, sin, stuff's going to stick to you, stuff that other people say, stuff that other people do. It's going to stick to you and and start to try to define you and weigh you down. And so what I've learned to do is to sit before the Lord and, just like Jesus, remember in this passage Jesus not only washed John and James and Peter's feet, but he also washed the feet of Judas. It is straight right. Yeah, if he would wash Judas feet, who betrayed him, how much more would he wash your feet, as you're serving him, as you're doing the best you can to love and serve Jesus and serve people and Love Them? And so what I do is I get along and I sit in a chair and I just say, Lord, would you please just wash my feet, and I might I might voice some of those things that, you know, kind of stuck in my mind. I'll ask the Lord, like Lord, bring anything to my mind that I've let stick to me that's defining me circumstances, people's opinions, false ideas, these things. Like bring anything to mine and I'll just bring those things before the Lord in prayer and I'll just say, Lord Jesus, would you just come and would you wash my feet? Would you wash the stuff off of me? Lord, if there's anything I need to repent of, Lord, I repent right now. If he brings it to my just repent of it. Be Specific, but also if there's anything that's defined me, Lord, would you wash my feet, and I'd actually literally do put my feet out in front of me and I just imagine. God has given us an imagination, air and not. I don't have the basement and and a towel. I let the Lord bring those things, okay, but I use my imagination. The imagination is a powerful thing and it's a God given thing and we can imagine, Jesus, and I believe there's a spiritual sense, and let me not get cooky and weird here, guys, but there's a spiritual sense in which the Lord does that, like he graciously removes that stuff from my mind. Yeah, and I feel a weight lifted from me. I feel like you know that ship, you can imagine that ship that's had the barnacle scraped off of it and now it's it's smoothly gliding through the water. Right, you're ready to go at it again the next yeah, with that person has this build up of cake mud on their feet and they don't know what's dragging them down, but in reality it's like that's that mud. Yeah, and the Lord just comes and washes that stuff off. Yeah, and I believe the Lord will do that. So I don't encourage all of you guys, if you've never done that. I want you to do that. I want encourage you. Just get before the Lord in quietness alone and just let the Lord bring those things to mind that may have stuck to you, and just bring it to your mind and just imagine Jesus washing that thing off of your feet. Yeah, yeah, and then do this on a regular basis, I would say. Even let me ask you because, as yours talking, I'm thinking so much of what these people expressed to me was it was sorrow. It wasn't so much the attack and the dirt, it was the sorrow. And I was thinking when you said anger, I forget what you said. Will never be a motivate or it will neither will sorrow. Right, sorrow will not be what will motivate you to keep coming back. Joy Will. Yeah, joy in the Lord, and there's many verses about joying the Lord. But would you do that in your feet washing thing would you say? Would...

...you say please wash away even the sorrow? Yeah, yeah, I mean when I'm debriefing with the Lord or when I'm doing this before the Lord, I'll say things like God, you saw that young lady walk in and her heart was broken. Yeah, the fact that she was going to take the life of her child and she thought there was no hope. You know, you saw this, you saw that, all of that stuff, anything that kind of wighs you down, it could be sorrow of what other people are doing to themselves or they're doing to others, what's been done to you. So, yeah, just not not just stuff that's been done to you, but stuff that you've seen. It's like, yeah, at the end of the day, if we carry a load of guilt or sorrow with us from circumstances that we have no control over, that stuff will weigh us down. Right, you don't have control over other people and what they do, and so we've got to just bring those things to Jesus to wash off of us so that those things don't weigh us down. That's the point. Yeah, sorrow, shame, guilt, anger, failures, victories, all of that stuff. We've got to bring it to the Lord to ask him to wash us, and I believe you'll do it. Yeah, that's good, Daniel. Yeah, Great. So, guys, hopefully this episode was a blessing to you, guys, and we encourage you to share this episode with who are, whoever else you think it would be a blessing to. We also encourage you to reach out to us. Maybe there's other subjects that you would like for us to cover. We'd love to cover those subjects. You can reach me, Daniel, at Love Life Dot Org. You can reach her, Vicki, with a why I love life dot Org. Also leave us a review. If you're able to do that, that would be a tremendous blessing to us. But until next time, God bless God. That's you all. Our love for love. Give me our love for gratitude. I know it will cost me my love, if nothing's too precious. Since I met you,.

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