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

Episode 130 · 8 months 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, 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 were the focus on the Gospel. Stay tuned. I felt show passish touchs your home. Use Me. Look. Hey, there, everybody, welcome to the Gospel 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 about suicide. 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 the mom of a baby that she had killed. Yeah, so she hit aboarded and she's she was suicidal, at least I would describe passively suicidal. And I 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 prevention counselors. So I thought it would be good for me personally, but for anyone involved in sidewalk ministry to have researched and know a little bit about what happens if you come in contact with someone who is either passively or actively suicidal. Yeah, they're out there. I know. I have definitely interacted with many women that I would I think, our suicidal, which is, you know, no big surprise, right. Sure, they're in desperate circumstances, there to kill their child. Yeah.

Yeah, and of course the reality is that that lie that women don't regret abortions is dispelled in the fact that we deal with women who are suicidal. Yes, and are suicidal not because of what we told them, not because we told them that abortion was wrong, 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 and destroy them. Yeah, and so it speaks to the destruction that abortion brings. Yeah, and the reason why we're talking about this topic, in the conversation that you have with this woman, speaks to the fact that we're not just for the baby, we're also for the mother and even if she had an abortion, were for her. Yeah, and really, more to your point, because we hear it all the time, the reason these women are 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 she heard 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 and sorrow speaking to her heart. That was causing the shame and and the deep sorrow. 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 what do we do? Yeah, and you may even face it. You might encounter women at the abortion center coming out after they had the abortion, maybe directly 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 all that stuff. Yeah, you may encounter from women who are coming into the abortion center to have an abortion, who...

...had a previous abortion. And there's the suicidal tendencies, the self destructive tendencies, which manifest themselves in suicidal faults and actions, 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 in which all hope is lost. There's no hope for me, may as well have another abord prison, may as well take my own life. And, spoiler alert, the only way to break that cycle is not through some twelve state program not some hotline or something like that, but it's through the power of the Gospel. Yeah, and you know that. You raise a very, very important point and I will I will tell you that when I first encountered her, did go through my head. This is not my training. Yeah, and I need to connect her with a suicide prevention hotline. So keep that in your heart. So I'm thinking that I had mentioned, I think, to my sister that I was counseling this woman and that was the first 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 a suicide prevention hotline, but I will tell you for exactly what you just said, Daniel, I had reservations doing so. A suicide prevention hotline is not necessarily Gospel oriented. They're not Christians necessarily it's not even necessarily in any way God based, church based. It is a secular hotline and that always gives me concern because the counseling, I know, you know everyone who is following this podcast because they love and know the truth, that only the Gospel Saves, only the Gospel pull and that cycle of sin and desperation. Why would we be referring them then to a secular world view? So I had that tension. Yeah, I know I'm...

...not really trained and but I also know that I do know how to share the Gospel. Yeah, so I'll tell you what I did and what I found out and then we can kind of 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 know where to go with the Gospel discussion. I found out she was she had had the abortion several months ago and she was suicidal, passively suicidal, just wanted 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 all pretty much figure out what that means, but let's define it just in case folks are wondering. Okay, so passive suicidal thoughts are suicidal ideation or voice seeing a desire to die. Yeah, but not a plan, an active plan 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 a plan. They they maybe don't even really want to take action. But there is they still have a desire to die. And really, the way she was voiceeing it, it did get a little bit worse over the course of me talking with her. It started with there was no reason to live, to it evolved to I hope someone kills me. Yeah, so she did want to die, but she would was not necessarily going to take her own life. Active would be they have devised a plan. This by far the more dangerous, although the passive con turn into active, but active, the suicidal they have a plan, they maybe even have the weapons and they are going to take action or they are threatening to take action. That's an actively suicidal person and that's a much more dangerous, high risk scenario. Yeah, neither good, but but so so.

With her, I did share the Gospel, 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 she it. There was a lot of discussion. It was like three hours our first discussion and then in many, many hours over the course of the next few days. She ultimately, I would say, was still feeling desperation and despair, but she knew there was no way out of out of it outside of coming to the Lord, and she did submit her life to the Lord. Yeah, so, but I also did recommend that she contacts suicide prevention hot line and I gave her the the hot line number. Yeah, I didn'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 can sometimes email it's it's just it's not it's not nearly as easy and neat to find 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 said she was sounding better, but then she was cycling back and that was when I started researching. What what are some specific strategies to to deal with a suicidal person and I also found out that she had actually contacted the suicide prevention hotline and she told me it didn't help. Yeah, now I will say this that there's obviously some pretty good people. Well, maybe not obviously, but I have some fair amount of confidence...

...that there are some good people that operate those lines and that I'm sure have good intentions. There's probably some solid believers 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 bad light. I'm sure it's helped people and all of that, definitely, but the 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 not are 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 God to 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 a scripture here which I think probably can encourage all of you guys, and I will say too that, yes, there are situations that we get into and conversations that we get into that we ourselves cannot handle, that we're not equipped to 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 these situations. So there are times we need to leverage our connections in the body 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 of thing, our confidentiality. But there's a scripture that I think is really powerful as it pertains to this and as it pertains to our confidence and really as we look at ourselves. Or I'm not equipped to do that. I'm not a counselor I'm not trained counselor I'm not a psychologist or psychiatrist, and so we would think I can't speak to these situations and so I need to hand it off to the professionals at the prevention hotline or whatever. Yeah, but in actuality the Bible says this. And Second Timothy, chapter three, it says all scripture is given by inspiration of...

God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for Correction, for Instruction and righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. So the Bible says that scripture of itself, that scripture, is sufficient and that they that have the word of God, that says that the man of God. It's because Timothy is being discipled by Paul and he's speaking specifically to Timothy as a man, but I think you could also apply to women who are ministering the Gospel. 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 of God can thoroughly equip you for every good work and suicide and see a sidal tendencies and thoughts are included in every good work. So what I'm saying is be 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. That does not mean that you have to be the only one speaking into the situation. Bring others into the conversation. As a appropriate. Again, bring your 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 of the whole situation. Bring others in. Yeah, but also know that, yes, you are and you can be. You are equipped, if you have the word of God and you can be confident in the word of God, to do a work in that way. Yeah. Amen, and there were over the course of the discussion there would be I I did some things right. I'm going to go over the five key steps that I think are valuable from what I learned to my research of dealing with suicidal people. But but 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 times when she would write back. It was most of it was by text and she 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 that next turtle. Right, and it's an ongoing process. But I do want to get into so I did a lot of research into what kinds of things can, we should we do when we're interacting with them. Besides, I agree and I feel one of the most important things is share it is the most important thing is to share the gospel. Yeah, but there are some key steps that I guess the experts really agree on, these key steps. Yeah, and so just and we won't take too long, we wrote an article and there are a lot of websites that are included on that article so that 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, which I 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 to do that. Okay, it. The research shows, according to the articles I read, that if they start saying it, stating it, with a witness to someone else, to eate, someone who is invested in them and listening, it actually reduces the suicidal tendency. Now, I would not have known that. And you know what, there's in line with that scripture I read in Second Timothy, there's a scripture that comes to mind. Okay, it speaks directly to that. Tell me I think, okay, and it's first John and chapter one. Okay, we're John Talks about walking in the light. If we walk in the light, is he's in the light. We have fellowship with one another in the blood of Jesus Christ, is Soun, cleansed us from all sin. Also Efhesians, is I, fees and Effesians 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 the light, not dancing around the issue, be getting right to it. And so I think if the experts say that,...

...well, they're just agree with with the Bible. With okay. So I had not thought of that scripture at 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? I did. Later, after reading this, I did ask her and she she said that she she believed that suicide would put her soul in jeopardy and she didn't want that to happen, but she did not believe that that if someone else took her life, wishing for someone else to take her life she did not feel was putting her soul in jeopardy. So at that point we were able to have a discussion about that from a biblical perspective. But so that's number one. Go ahead and talk about it, bring it to light. I love that scripture. Secondly, is just being there, and that was something that it's just a part of my nature when I know that someone is in pain. I think that's why I do what I do out on the sidewalk. 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'm a better bad weather friend than a good weather friend, which is kind of the opposite of most people. So I was there for her because I knew this was a woman who was in pain and I was staying in touch with her. And that's the second key step, that you be present physically, by phones in some way be there for that person. Being showing support is very key. That suicidal people feel disconnected from everyone. Yeah, and so that connection point is is really important. Yeah, I mean, I have a scripture for that. Oh, let's hear it. Okay, I may not 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 of we 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 law of Christ as, another scripture that comes to mind is that we're supposed to be there, even if it seems like they don't want us there, to be as present as possible. Of course, with you, you weren't physically present in this situation, but you were present. They're sending her text message let her know that you care. Yeah, that's important that. That helps bear the burden with someone right, know that you're there, right, and you 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 send tax just continually sending scripture, quite frequently at first, less so now. And I when I read this, I thought about our mentorship program through love life, having someone who is literally walking alongside that woman for a minimum of a year so that she really knows she is not alone in this. The third key point is to keep them safe, and the only way you can do that, first of all, you'd have to be there or you would have 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't know if they have a plan, do they have weapons, and all that kind 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 out do they have weapons, if they have weapons in the home, that is actually correlates with a higher likelihood that they will carry out the suicide. Yeah, so, so again, be direct, don't bring it to light. Find out do they and if they do, if they have a plan and if they 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 you can't be there to physically intervene, someone...

...needs to be there to physically intervene. Yeah, I have a scripture for that. Oh Gosh, you are right 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 the proverbs twenty four, verse eleven. Yeah, rescue those who are staggering toward 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 man who suicidal, is staggering, stumbling toward death. Yeah, and so we're supposed to hold them back, keep them safe. Yeah, if that means calling the police, if we know they, like you said, got a plan in 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 these that's right. We don't want them to end up in Helle, we don't want 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 very similar to being there, but in terms of connecting with a safety net, not just you being there, but because a suicidal person is, as I can attest, is incredibly draining. There were times when I would see a text 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 for them outside of just you. Yeah, a safety net. It in in love life. It might be a mentor, it might be a counselor and a counseling or a counseling group, a group of friends, whatever, connect the suicide prevention group. So helping them to connect church pastors, a church. Just think about what can be a safety net. And asked questions to figure 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 mean the ones that I shared earlier kind of do speak to that, but yeah, 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 points follow up. Follow up. Don't just be there for day one and then forget about them. So follow up regularly after you've connect to even if you've connected them, with trained emergency hot lines are professionals, continue to stay in touch and studies actually show that there is a death. I'm sorry, there is a reduction in deaths by suicide when follow up is involved. So be sure to follow up. So another point that I want to raise. You raised earlier, but with with this woman in particular, I was really feeling she kept cycling back. She would be good for a day or two and then she'd psycle back and at that point I felt like the I knew she had 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 dead end. Yeah, I had also shared post aboard of groups with her and and an online post aboard of group, and she was not taking advantage of those 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 is very knowledgeable about the specifics of dealing with a healing program with a post aboard of 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 talk with her? She said yes, so I called Stephanie. I gave her the back background and Stephanie called her immediately...

...and the immediate aftermath of her talk with Stephanie was that she felt better. Okay, and I asked for because she's she sent me a verse. The next day this woman sent me a verse saying this really resonates with me and it was so perfect. It was such a great verse and I said this is amazing, I love this verse you. This is showing like a whole different kind of outlook. Are you to have you reached a turning point? Are you at a turning point, because this feels like and she said, you know, I think I might be. And what she said after sharing that verse was that Stephanie had shared what she called, I forget what they were called, but it was, oh, declarations. She death. Stephanie Calls Them Declarations and she shares this as part of her healing Post Board of program the declarations are all verses who I 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 suicidal thoughts, shifting them back to Jesus. But who we are in Jesus and and 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 is saying 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 never be 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 children of 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 linked with it, and there's many of them. Yeah, those were very, very helpful. Yeah, for this woman, of course, that really speaks to the word of God being like let's let's believe the report of the of the Lord, in contrast our feelings. Right. Yeah, and if she's a believer in Jesus, and you said You share the Gospel where and she surrender her life to Jesus, then she has this declaration to make that she's a child of God, that she belongs to the king of kings and the Lord of Lords and she's his child and according to this scripture, in contrast to her feelings, right, I think that's good. Yeah, now what happened 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 cycling back. Okay, so just remember not to be discouraged by that. But remember those five key points. One of them was stay in touch, get a connection point and a safety net for her. Yeah, so we're working on that. Stephanie has connected her with a post aboordive group and I am staying in touch every single day. I send her scripture first thing in the morning. 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 always send at least one or two other texts throughout the day, just maybe a scripture that hips hits me or just saying hey, how are you? Yeah, so that is really critical, I think, for us to remind everyone don'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 this kind of a desperate situation, because the fact that you are fighting for them is is really important. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, don't shy away from the word of God, don't shy word right away from the truth 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 this situation in his hands, because ultimately he's the one that's got to bring his comfort to them. Yeah, draw them near to himself. Yeah, and again, it's the power of the Gospel is going to break that cycle of sin that they're caught up in, that cycle of depression that they're caught up in. But I think again, the most powerful is the Gospel. But then 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 share with Stephanie, right, and connector with Stephanie, you got to ask first, right, if you're going to share, maybe you want people to be praying for the situation. You certainly would. Yeah, don't share any specifics, right, don't want to breach confidential reality because that will break down the conversation. I meily right find out, and it can. It can actually add to some of that depression. It's suicidal thoughts. This idea that that 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 present and that are for them, yeah, the less likely are to go through with 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. You may not be, and you cannot take that on yourself. That is not your fault. Should this woman end up committing suicide, I pray she does and I don't think she will. But in the same thing, we urge counselors. 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, but we are responsible for being faithful, in obeying God and in doing what we can and leave the results to God. Yeah, yeah, Amen, yeah, that's good. Hopefully, guys, this was a blessing. This was encouraging 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 website in equipping articles. So this article will be out around the same time that this podcast comes out. Also, when a key you guys into a resource that we created a couple of weeks ago. It's basically just a web page with all of our all of our gospel center pro life epid episodes on it and a search feature where you can search keywords, maybe like suicide, and it'll actually look at any of our episodes that mention that word. It'll look through the titles, but also through the body of it, because it puts it out in a transcript. And so use that feature, use that website, Gospel Centered prolifecom, and share this episode with other people, share the podcast if you think it will be a blessing to others. Share it with them shared on social media. Reach out to us. You can reach me, Daniel at Love Life Dot Org. You reach her, Vicky at Love Life Dot Org. If you have questions or comments subjects us like for us to 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, and some that you.

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