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

Episode 130 · 1 week ago

Ministering to A Suicidal Mom

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

We encounter women and men with a multitude of issue going into the abortion centers. Some situations are more extreme than others. In this episode, we talk about a recent experience that Vicky had with a post abortive women who was suicidal and some things she learned that will help equip you.

I Am Yours, I am yours, I am yours. And Me, Lord, I am yours, Iam yours. I'm welcome to the Gospel Center Pro Life Podcast, a podcastdesigned to equip, encourage and challenge you in pro life ministry and always werethe focus on the Gospel. Stay tuned. I felt show passish touchs your home. Use Me. Look. Hey, there, everybody, welcome to theGospel centered pro life podcast. I'm here with Daniel Parks. What's up? And and today's topic is another cheery topic. We're going to talk aboutsuicide. So, like so many of our issues that we bring up,this one we thought about because of an actual situation that we faced, yeah, where there was a mom who contacted me. Actually, she was themom of a baby that she had killed. Yeah, so she hit aboarded andshe's she was suicidal, at least I would describe passively suicidal. AndI realize, man, this is a little bit out of my comfort zone, a lot out of my comfort zone. We Are we're not trained suicide preventioncounselors. So I thought it would be good for me personally, butfor anyone involved in sidewalk ministry to have researched and know a little bit aboutwhat happens if you come in contact with someone who is either passively or activelysuicidal. Yeah, they're out there. I know. I have definitely interactedwith many women that I would I think, our suicidal, which is, youknow, no big surprise, right. Sure, they're in desperate circumstances,there to kill their child. Yeah.

Yeah, and of course the realityis that that lie that women don't regret abortions is dispelled in the factthat we deal with women who are suicidal. Yes, and are suicidal not becauseof what we told them, not because we told them that abortion waswrong, but because they know it's wrong and they're suicidal because, I mean, essentially, the devil is a destroyer. He wants to destroy their baby anddestroy them. Yeah, and so it speaks to the destruction that abortionbrings. Yeah, and the reason why we're talking about this topic, inthe conversation that you have with this woman, speaks to the fact that we're notjust for the baby, we're also for the mother and even if shehad an abortion, were for her. Yeah, and really, more toyour point, because we hear it all the time, the reason these womenare feeling shame or guilt or suicide is because we've instilled it in them.This woman never met a sidewalk counselor yeah, there were none on the Sidebok,and in fact she called me saying where were you all? She sheheard about our organization, she found my name through that and contacted me.So she had never heard a word of someone other than her own guilt andsorrow speaking to her heart. That was causing the shame and and the deepsorrow. So you're probably going to face it, if you're on the sidebalk. You're going to you're going to face this. Yeah, and so whatdo we do? Yeah, and you may even face it. You mightencounter women at the abortion center coming out after they had the abortion, maybedirectly after they had the abortion or they're there for a follow up appointment,and they share with you the depression that's set in, suicidal thoughts and allthat stuff. Yeah, you may encounter from women who are coming into theabortion center to have an abortion, who...

...had a previous abortion. And there'sthe suicidal tendencies, the self destructive tendencies, which manifest themselves in suicidal faults andactions, but also manifest themselves in there they're killing another child. Yeah, it's that cycle of sin and death and destruction. It's that sense inwhich all hope is lost. There's no hope for me, may as wellhave another abord prison, may as well take my own life. And,spoiler alert, the only way to break that cycle is not through some twelvestate program not some hotline or something like that, but it's through the powerof the Gospel. Yeah, and you know that. You raise a very, very important point and I will I will tell you that when I firstencountered her, did go through my head. This is not my training. Yeah, and I need to connect her with a suicide prevention hotline. Sokeep that in your heart. So I'm thinking that I had mentioned, Ithink, to my sister that I was counseling this woman and that was thefirst thing she asked. This is not something you should be dealing with.You should be contacting a suicide prevention hotline. So I did connect her with asuicide prevention hotline, but I will tell you for exactly what you justsaid, Daniel, I had reservations doing so. A suicide prevention hotline isnot necessarily Gospel oriented. They're not Christians necessarily it's not even necessarily in anyway God based, church based. It is a secular hotline and that alwaysgives me concern because the counseling, I know, you know everyone who isfollowing this podcast because they love and know the truth, that only the GospelSaves, only the Gospel pull and that cycle of sin and desperation. Whywould we be referring them then to a secular world view? So I hadthat tension. Yeah, I know I'm...

...not really trained and but I alsoknow that I do know how to share the Gospel. Yeah, so I'lltell you what I did and what I found out and then we can kindof go from there. What I did initially was I shared the Gospel.I asked a lot of questions so that I could find out enough to knowwhere to go with the Gospel discussion. I found out she was she hadhad the abortion several months ago and she was suicidal, passively suicidal, justwanted to die. Okay, so let's let's define some things real quick.I started out using those terms passively and actively. Yeah, we can allpretty much figure out what that means, but let's define it just in casefolks are wondering. Okay, so passive suicidal thoughts are suicidal ideation or voiceseeing a desire to die. Yeah, but not a plan, an activeplan to bring it about. Yeah, so, and that she was at. That's called passive. When they're when they're not really they don't have aplan. They they maybe don't even really want to take action. But thereis they still have a desire to die. And really, the way she wasvoiceeing it, it did get a little bit worse over the course ofme talking with her. It started with there was no reason to live,to it evolved to I hope someone kills me. Yeah, so she didwant to die, but she would was not necessarily going to take her ownlife. Active would be they have devised a plan. This by far themore dangerous, although the passive con turn into active, but active, thesuicidal they have a plan, they maybe even have the weapons and they aregoing to take action or they are threatening to take action. That's an activelysuicidal person and that's a much more dangerous, high risk scenario. Yeah, neithergood, but but so so.

With her, I did share theGospel, I did go I did directly address sin and the consequence of sin. Hopefully in a loving, compassionate manner. I'm sure I never did. Yeah, that's yeah, how you do it? Yeah, and and sheit. There was a lot of discussion. It was like three hours our firstdiscussion and then in many, many hours over the course of the nextfew days. She ultimately, I would say, was still feeling desperation anddespair, but she knew there was no way out of out of it outsideof coming to the Lord, and she did submit her life to the Lord. Yeah, so, but I also did recommend that she contacts suicide preventionhot line and I gave her the the hot line number. Yeah, Ididn't know that they're even were Christian suicide hot line numbers. There are,but they they don't have a national manned hot line phone number. You cansometimes email it's it's just it's not it's not nearly as easy and neat tofind as it is the suicide hotline. I didn't think she even contacted them. It wasn't a later as she had come to the Lord. She'd saidshe was sounding better, but then she was cycling back and that was whenI started researching. What what are some specific strategies to to deal with asuicidal person and I also found out that she had actually contacted the suicide preventionhotline and she told me it didn't help. Yeah, now I will say thisthat there's obviously some pretty good people. Well, maybe not obviously, butI have some fair amount of confidence...

...that there are some good people thatoperate those lines and that I'm sure have good intentions. There's probably some solidbelievers there, yeah, that love Jesus and they want to help people.So I don't want to paint that whole suicide prevention hotline thing in a badlight. I'm sure it's helped people and all of that, definitely, butthe reality is that there's parameters that they have to stay in. They probably, I don't know, maybe you can, maybe, you know, probably notare able to mention Jesus, probably not really able to share the gospel. And you know, if we believe what the word of God says,that the Gospel is the hope of God to salvation, the power of Godto salvation, Yeah, then the Gospel can't be neglected in these conversations.Just principles of this world, ideas from this world, philosophies of man,are not going to set people free. Right. I want to read ascripture here which I think probably can encourage all of you guys, and Iwill say too that, yes, there are situations that we get into andconversations that we get into that we ourselves cannot handle, that we're not equippedto handle, and that we need to bring maybe other voices into the conversation, maybe pastors or counselors, Christian counselors. They can speak more clearly into thesesituations. So there are times we need to leverage our connections in thebody of Christ and get other people to speak into these conversations. Yeah,obviously with the woman's permission, because we only preach confidence, that sort ofthing, our confidentiality. But there's a scripture that I think is really powerfulas it pertains to this and as it pertains to our confidence and really aswe look at ourselves. Or I'm not equipped to do that. I'm nota counselor I'm not trained counselor I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, and sowe would think I can't speak to these situations and so I need to handit off to the professionals at the prevention hotline or whatever. Yeah, butin actuality the Bible says this. And Second Timothy, chapter three, itsays all scripture is given by inspiration of...

God and is profitable for doctrine,for reproof, for Correction, for Instruction and righteousness, that the man ofGod may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. So the Biblesays that scripture of itself, that scripture, is sufficient and that they that havethe word of God, that says that the man of God. It'sbecause Timothy is being discipled by Paul and he's speaking specifically to Timothy as aman, but I think you could also apply to women who are ministering theGospel. I don't think it's just exclusive to men. If you women,if you men, if you have the word of God, the word ofGod can thoroughly equip you for every good work and suicide and see a sidaltendencies and thoughts are included in every good work. So what I'm saying isbe in the word of God and God can equip you to answer these issues, to be a resource for these women, to speak to these women. Thatdoes not mean that you have to be the only one speaking into thesituation. Bring others into the conversation. As a appropriate. Again, bringyour pastor in. Bring maybe there's a Christian counseling center in your church,bring that into the conversation. Don't feel like you have to take ownership ofthe whole situation. Bring others in. Yeah, but also know that,yes, you are and you can be. You are equipped, if you havethe word of God and you can be confident in the word of God, to do a work in that way. Yeah. Amen, and there wereover the course of the discussion there would be I I did some thingsright. I'm going to go over the five key steps that I think arevaluable from what I learned to my research of dealing with suicidal people. Butbut there were times in the discussion when I would throughout these several days,I was sending her scripture or stories in the Bible and there were many timeswhen she would write back. It was most of it was by text andshe would say that really helped. So it was it was oftentimes scripture.There was something that I said in scripture...

...that that would help her through thatnext turtle. Right, and it's an ongoing process. But I do wantto get into so I did a lot of research into what kinds of thingscan, we should we do when we're interacting with them. Besides, Iagree and I feel one of the most important things is share it is themost important thing is to share the gospel. Yeah, but there are some keysteps that I guess the experts really agree on, these key steps.Yeah, and so just and we won't take too long, we wrote anarticle and there are a lot of websites that are included on that article sothat people can look for themselves and research for themselves some of the specifics.But some of them were very counterintuitive to me. The first one, whichI never came right out and said, are you thinking of killing yourself?Have you? Do you actually have a plan? And apparently you're supposed todo that. Okay, it. The research shows, according to the articlesI read, that if they start saying it, stating it, with awitness to someone else, to eate, someone who is invested in them andlistening, it actually reduces the suicidal tendency. Now, I would not have knownthat. And you know what, there's in line with that scripture Iread in Second Timothy, there's a scripture that comes to mind. Okay,it speaks directly to that. Tell me I think, okay, and it'sfirst John and chapter one. Okay, we're John Talks about walking in thelight. If we walk in the light, is he's in the light. Wehave fellowship with one another in the blood of Jesus Christ, is Soun, cleansed us from all sin. Also Efhesians, is I, fees andEffesians eleven have no fellowship within frouful works of darkness, but rather expose them. And so it speaks of exposing. It speaks of bringing things to thelight, not dancing around the issue, be getting right to it. Andso I think if the experts say that,...

...well, they're just agree with withthe Bible. With okay. So I had not thought of that scriptureat all. That is that's perfect. That is what the experts say.Have have them to find out as directly. Do you have a plan? Yeah, it's is is this beyond just thinking about it? Right? Idid. Later, after reading this, I did ask her and she shesaid that she she believed that suicide would put her soul in jeopardy and shedidn't want that to happen, but she did not believe that that if someoneelse took her life, wishing for someone else to take her life she didnot feel was putting her soul in jeopardy. So at that point we were ableto have a discussion about that from a biblical perspective. But so that'snumber one. Go ahead and talk about it, bring it to light.I love that scripture. Secondly, is just being there, and that wassomething that it's just a part of my nature when I know that someone isin pain. I think that's why I do what I do out on thesidewalk. I want to be there. That's when I'm the best friend,is actually when someone is in pain. I'm a bad weather friend. I'ma better bad weather friend than a good weather friend, which is kind ofthe opposite of most people. So I was there for her because I knewthis was a woman who was in pain and I was staying in touch withher. And that's the second key step, that you be present physically, byphones in some way be there for that person. Being showing support isvery key. That suicidal people feel disconnected from everyone. Yeah, and sothat connection point is is really important. Yeah, I mean, I havea scripture for that. Oh, let's hear it. Okay, I maynot quote it exactly. Okay, it's a proverb eighteen one. Okay,man that isolates himself rages against sound judgment and seeks his own so this,this kind of isolation dynamic you see with...

...a lot of people that are suicide, sidle or depressed. Yeah, isolate themselves, and so we kind ofwe don't force our way into the situation, but we want to be present.Yeah, bear one another's burdens, and so if you fulfill the lawof Christ as, another scripture that comes to mind is that we're supposed tobe there, even if it seems like they don't want us there, tobe as present as possible. Of course, with you, you weren't physically presentin this situation, but you were present. They're sending her text messagelet her know that you care. Yeah, that's important that. That helps bearthe burden with someone right, know that you're there, right, andyou know, it was relatively easy because she actually lives very far away.There was no way I could be there with her, so I would sendtax just continually sending scripture, quite frequently at first, less so now.And I when I read this, I thought about our mentorship program through lovelife, having someone who is literally walking alongside that woman for a minimum ofa year so that she really knows she is not alone in this. Thethird key point is to keep them safe, and the only way you can dothat, first of all, you'd have to be there or you wouldhave to have connections with someone who is there. Yeah, with this woman, I didn't have that. But you can't keep them safe if you don'tknow if they have a plan, do they have weapons, and all thatkind of stuff. And so what this article recommended is you find that out. If you're not physically there, ask a lot of questions. Find outdo they have weapons, if they have weapons in the home, that isactually correlates with a higher likelihood that they will carry out the suicide. Yeah, so, so again, be direct, don't bring it to light. Findout do they and if they do, if they have a plan and ifthey have weapons, you are supposed to contact the authorities. Yeah,and that would be a breach of trust perhaps, but at that point,if that that this is serious, if they have weapons a plan and youcan't be there to physically intervene, someone...

...needs to be there to physically intervene. Yeah, I have a scripture for that. Oh Gosh, you areright on it today. Let's going to be one that really applause. Well, I think it can apply this situation. But we apply to the unborn theproverbs twenty four, verse eleven. Yeah, rescue those who are staggeringtoward the slaughter. Of course, this is self slaughters, self murders.Yeah, what suicide is? Hold back those who are stumbling toward death.Right, in a lot of ways, a woman who's suicidal, a manwho suicidal, is staggering, stumbling toward death. Yeah, and so we'resupposed to hold them back, keep them safe. Yeah, if that meanscalling the police, if we know they, like you said, got a planin plays and they've got the implements of their death right, it's like, yeah, we gotta interview for their Sake, because we care about thesethat's right. We don't want them to end up in Helle, we don'twant them to die, we don't want the destruction that the devil wants,and so really what we're doing is counteracting the works of the enemy. Yeah, they're like exactly. Number four is to help them connect. That's verysimilar to being there, but in terms of connecting with a safety net,not just you being there, but because a suicidal person is, as Ican attest, is incredibly draining. There were times when I would see atext from her where I just felt like crawling in a hole. Yeah,because it was so ongoing and it's so heavy. So having connection points forthem outside of just you. Yeah, a safety net. It in inlove life. It might be a mentor, it might be a counselor and acounseling or a counseling group, a group of friends, whatever, connectthe suicide prevention group. So helping them to connect church pastors, a church. Just think about what can be a safety net. And asked questions tofigure out what might be the best safety net for the for that particular woman. Do you have a scripture for that?...

Well, not one. I meanthe ones that I shared earlier kind of do speak to that, butyeah, not a one prescripture in one particular scripture in mind. Okay,okay, but maybe I'll come up with one. Oh, you probably will. Okay. So the last, the last one of the five key pointsfollow up. Follow up. Don't just be there for day one and thenforget about them. So follow up regularly after you've connect to even if you'veconnected them, with trained emergency hot lines are professionals, continue to stay intouch and studies actually show that there is a death. I'm sorry, thereis a reduction in deaths by suicide when follow up is involved. So besure to follow up. So another point that I want to raise. Youraised earlier, but with with this woman in particular, I was really feelingshe kept cycling back. She would be good for a day or two andthen she'd psycle back and at that point I felt like the I knew shehad contacted suicide hotline, I knew she had supposedly come to the Lord,I knew I was sharing scripture and I really was kind of at a deadend. Yeah, I had also shared post aboard of groups with her andand an online post aboard of group, and she was not taking advantage ofthose at all. So I ended up calling Stephanie Ryanhardt, Stephanie Reinhardt,as a name everyone should know. She is with Love Life Dot Org.She heads up the post aboard of program with Love Life and so she isvery knowledgeable about the specifics of dealing with a healing program with a post aboardof woman. Yeah, I first of all asked the woman I was counseling. Can I share the information with Stephanie and would you be willing to talkwith her? She said yes, so I called Stephanie. I gave herthe back background and Stephanie called her immediately...

...and the immediate aftermath of her talkwith Stephanie was that she felt better. Okay, and I asked for becauseshe's she sent me a verse. The next day this woman sent me averse saying this really resonates with me and it was so perfect. It wassuch a great verse and I said this is amazing, I love this verseyou. This is showing like a whole different kind of outlook. Are youto have you reached a turning point? Are you at a turning point,because this feels like and she said, you know, I think I mightbe. And what she said after sharing that verse was that Stephanie had sharedwhat she called, I forget what they were called, but it was,oh, declarations. She death. Stephanie Calls Them Declarations and she shares thisas part of her healing Post Board of program the declarations are all verses whoI am in Christ and what it's doing is shifting that focus on the problems, on the struggles on the grief, on the sadness, on the suicidalthoughts, shifting them back to Jesus. But who we are in Jesus andand this woman found those very useful. What some of them are like?How? Just say the first one, because anyone can go to our article. They're very there's many of them. But what what a suicidal woman issaying is I renounce the law. Wait, wait, she's saying she's rejected,she's on love, she's dirty, she's shameful, that she can neverbe accepted. All of that I had heard from this woman. Yeah,but what God says for is yet to to all who did receive him,to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become childrenof God. So I am a child of God, and repeating that declaration, I am a child of God,...

...and then the a verse that's linkedwith it, and there's many of them. Yeah, those were very, veryhelpful. Yeah, for this woman, of course, that really speaks tothe word of God being like let's let's believe the report of the ofthe Lord, in contrast our feelings. Right. Yeah, and if she'sa believer in Jesus, and you said You share the Gospel where and shesurrender her life to Jesus, then she has this declaration to make that she'sa child of God, that she belongs to the king of kings and theLord of Lords and she's his child and according to this scripture, in contrastto her feelings, right, I think that's good. Yeah, now whathappened later, a day, I think it was a day or two later, was I could tell from the text I was getting that she was cyclingback. Okay, so just remember not to be discouraged by that. Butremember those five key points. One of them was stay in touch, geta connection point and a safety net for her. Yeah, so we're workingon that. Stephanie has connected her with a post aboordive group and I amstaying in touch every single day. I send her scripture first thing in themorning. She agreed to join my email group. That is blind copied.So every single morning I know that she's getting that. But then I alwayssend at least one or two other texts throughout the day, just maybe ascripture that hips hits me or just saying hey, how are you? Yeah, so that is really critical, I think, for us to remind everyonedon't give up, even though it seems really depressing. Don't give up.Be there for any mom or woman, or anyone really who is in thiskind of a desperate situation, because the fact that you are fighting for themis is really important. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, don'tshy away from the word of God, don't shy word right away from thetruth of the Gospel, don't shy...

...away from the reality of sin.Yeah, and don't shy away from praying to the Lord and put in thissituation in his hands, because ultimately he's the one that's got to bring hiscomfort to them. Yeah, draw them near to himself. Yeah, andagain, it's the power of the Gospel is going to break that cycle ofsin that they're caught up in, that cycle of depression that they're caught upin. But I think again, the most powerful is the Gospel. Butthen beyond that is your presence, you following up on a regular basis.I will say one thing to be super aware of and to not do,because it can be a deal breaker, is to breach trust. Yeah,and confidentiality. Yeah, like you did. You asked first if you could sharewith Stephanie, right, and connector with Stephanie, you got to askfirst, right, if you're going to share, maybe you want people tobe praying for the situation. You certainly would. Yeah, don't share anyspecifics, right, don't want to breach confidential reality because that will break downthe conversation. I meily right find out, and it can. It can actuallyadd to some of that depression. It's suicidal thoughts. This idea thatthat buddies for me, the fact that she knows that she's got you,Vicky, in her corner. Yeah, and now, with your permission,you invited her to connect with Stephanie s right, Stephanie in her corner.Right, the more people they get in their corner that they know are presentand that are for them, yeah, the less likely are to go throughwith any suicidal right. And and I do want to add one other thought, is you may not be successful in terms of saving this life. Youmay not be, and you cannot take that on yourself. That is notyour fault. Should this woman end up committing suicide, I pray she doesand I don't think she will. But in the same thing, we urgecounselors. You can't take the depth of the aborted babies on your plate either. It's not your fault. We are...

...not responsible for the results, butwe are responsible for being faithful, in obeying God and in doing what wecan and leave the results to God. Yeah, yeah, Amen, yeah, that's good. Hopefully, guys, this was a blessing. This wasencouraging to you. Guys. Some things to dig into a little more.We have an article that you can check out on the sidewalks for life websitein equipping articles. So this article will be out around the same time thatthis podcast comes out. Also, when a key you guys into a resourcethat we created a couple of weeks ago. It's basically just a web page withall of our all of our gospel center pro life epid episodes on itand a search feature where you can search keywords, maybe like suicide, andit'll actually look at any of our episodes that mention that word. It'll lookthrough the titles, but also through the body of it, because it putsit out in a transcript. And so use that feature, use that website, Gospel Centered prolifecom, and share this episode with other people, share thepodcast if you think it will be a blessing to others. Share it withthem shared on social media. Reach out to us. You can reach me, Daniel at Love Life Dot Org. You reach her, Vicky at LoveLife Dot Org. If you have questions or comments subjects us like for usto cover. We'd love to hear from you. And until next time,God bless capless Y'all our love for love. Give me our love for gratitude.I know it will cost me my life. Nothing's too precious, andsome that you.

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