Tag Archives: deception

My interview with a disc jockey…

You guys hear from me all the time, so I wanted to switch things up a little this month. My friend, Mary Fainn was a disc jockey on a local radio station in Guntersville, AL when I first met her. The tables were turned then and she was interviewing me for the station. I traveled to Guntersville for the interview, not knowing I was about to meet a lifelong friend and SaveOne advocate. We have seen each other through incredible transitions in both our lives. We’ve cried together, laughed uncontrollably together, and celebrated great victories together. I cherish this woman. As a chapter leader of SaveOne you are never just left out on your own to fend for yourself and figure things out. We pour into you and forge a relationship that is strong. 

thThat’s the thing about SaveOne. We become family, not just business relationships. When we get down in the mud of life with each other we can’t help but bond and become brothers and sisters. So…see what my disc jockey friend is up to now! 

Sheila: Tell us about the pregnancy center where you hold SaveOne. 

Mary: (Gate Pregnancy Resource Center) We help women who are pregnant until that child is one year old.  We offer everything a new mom will need including maternity clothes and classes.  We offer SaveOne to our clients as well as the community.  I have been in Harrisburg NC for 2 years and before that Albertville AL for 12 years. 

Sheila: How long have you been a chapter leader with SaveOne?

Mary: 14 years I think?

Sheila: Why have you stayed with SaveOne all these years?

Mary: I believe in SaveOne and have had the privilege of watching God heal and restore women and men through this Bible Study.  The support of the SaveOne team is top notch and professional.  I know they pray for all the chapters and are willing to go the extra mile to help leaders. I know the scriptures used in SO are the healing balm God uses to restore people.

Sheila: What has been the greatest challenge in abortion recovery that God has helped you overcome?

Mary: Sharing my story.  I was so terrified to tell my secret sin but once I received healing and God called me to help others, I realized it was not my story to keep secret but that it was God’s story of redemption and love to share.

Sheila: What did you learn in that process?

Mary: I learned that the best way to fight for life is to share my story.  The best way to allow God to use me is to share my story.  The best way to show love and compassion to hurting people is sharing my story.  The best way to honor God is to tell HIS story of healing. Pray and keep “pounding” (sorry I live in NC).  Don’t give up, don’t be afraid to tell your story and share about healing even when people look at you weird. It’s ok to have just one or two in class, God brought them there.  Remember it is HIS ministry and HE will provide all you need and the words to say.  Keep yourself rested and renewed so that God can pour into you. Trust that lil voice that says I know I’m suppose to do this and ignore the but….  Utilize others who have been doing the ministry they are full of encouragement and information.  Pray.  

I just have to take a break right here and say BRAVO MARY!!!!! She gets it. She understands12047132_912408835518773_8345311759857520241_n the power behind her story and she has dedicated her life to making sure others find their story, their voice, that will save babies, save heartaches to moms and dads, and end abortion in its tracks!6. What is one piece of advice you would give to new chapter leaders that you wish you had when you started?

Sheila: What is the funniest thing that has happened to you in a SaveOne class, or while you were working with SaveOne?

Mary: I was going to speak at a church in the pouring rain and my sun roof popped the seal and I was drenched. They were great and I got some participants.  Another time, same car, my horn just went off and got stuck.  I pulled into the parking lot of the church with my horn blaring.  They had a mechanic there and he fixed it for me.  OYE

Sheila: What is the greatest moment that has happened to you in a SaveOne class?

Mary: I love it when someone has the break through and you can see it and hear it.  The best one was a couple who were going to get divorced, I ask him to wait until she finished the class, he agreed.  She had done every bible study, counseling etc… he did not give it much hope.  That was 8 years ago and they now do prison ministry together and she co-leads SaveOne.  God is so good! 

Sheila: Will you write a prayer for the other SaveOne chapter leaders?

Mary: Dear Lord, I ask that you cover each leader with your feathers, keep each one of us under your wing.  Whisper in our ears the words to say to those we encounter.  Bring us the hurting and broken and use us to minister your love and restoration to broken families.  Give us ideas and wisdom to reach out in our communities, state and country.  Guide each class and night of honor.  Use us to end abortion.  Give us boldness to proclaim life and love through Jesus Christ, the truth.  In Christ Name, Amen.    

See now why I cherish this woman? She is a Godsend and making an incredible impact on the men, women, and families in and around the Charlotte, NC area. 

Please don’t ever feel as though you are alone. You are NOT alone. SaveOne is here to help you, train you, and pour into you so you can teach this Bible study in your church or pregnancy center.

Love you guys all the way up to the moon and back! 🙂

 

Why YOU are not helpless this political season

So many of us these days are skeptical about the political process. We are looking at the th-2candidates and freaking out about our choices. I have friends who believe Trump will be the next Ronald Reagan, and I have friends opting out of the process because they are so disgusted. If you’re like me, this constant screaming in my ears is on my last nerve…

This alarming moment in my countries history is why I choose to remember not a Republican, Democrat, The Supreme Court, Donald Trump, nor Hillary Clinton, or any other politician is my source! As a Christian I cannot in good conscience opt out of the process. But there are things I can do to make a difference in the arena where I believe the greatest difference can be made…the local church.

thFor years we have been taught to believe the abortion issue is a political one. This is a myth; a lie that has been repeated so many times our society believes it. Life/Abortion is talked about plainly and very clearly in God’s Word. He hates hands that shed innocent blood (Isaiah 1:15, Proverbs 6:17). He formed and created us in our mother’s womb, knowing every day we would live before we even lived one of them (Psalm 139:13-16). Child sacrifice was considered a detestable act (Deuteronomy 12:31). He considered the life form in a mother’s womb to be a baby (Luke 1:44). I encourage you to do your own study and you will find God placed great emphasis on LIFE and every person created in His image.

With the world in the state it is in, it’s time we take the issues regarding LIFE back from politics and place it squarely where it belongs and that is in the local church. You may feel inadequate to tackle this issue, but I promise you, when you open the doors to help those who are hurting after abortion, or maybe duplicate your local pregnancy center services, you will see great things happen. You will see lives be saved, the stigma of abortion start to weaken, people openly talking of this issue and wanting to get involved, and you will see God at His best doing what He does so beautifully and that is transforming and restoring those who seek Him.

Abortion is a subject close to God’s heart. The enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy, so abortion is everything he is about! God sent us His Son, Jesus for LIFE…for us to live abundantly (John 10:10). When we come alongside in step with what is the very heartbeat of God, we experience a satisfaction and knowing God’s perfect will is being completed. There is no other feeling like it!

Please join us today by bringing SaveOne to your church, pregnancy center, or ministry. We have done all the homework for you. We can send you a pastor’s packet to take to your pastor, or answer any questions you may have. We are here to help every step of the way.

Also, check out our latest video on our YouTube Channel by clicking on youtube.com/saveoneinfo then do us a favor and share it as often as you can. Our message is being heard and we are growing by leaps and bounds and that is because of YOU!

th-1

Ways to help SaveOne…

Sign up for Community Rewards through Kroger here in Nashville and name SaveOne as your charity.

Use Goodsearch as your search engine and name SaveOne as your charity.

For all your purchases online go through goodshop.com and name SaveOne as your charity.

Give our books, t-shirts, and bracelets as gifts, the proceeds go to SaveOne and help us reach more people with TRUTH. You can purchase on our website at saveone.org

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT THROUGH PRAYER AND FINANCIAL GIVING!

Don’t Live with Mediocrity any Longer!

imagesforkGod’s destiny for you never included abortion. When you chose to take a left fork onto the road called Abortion, you veered off into an area that wasn’t part of His plan. He wants to steer you back on the road He created for you whether you are a man, woman, sibling, or loved one who is grieving a past abortion. He wants to take this experience and turn it into something beautiful for Him. Only God can do that, and He will do it if you allow Him to.

God knows your heart. He knows your sorrow. He knows your regret. He knows your shame. He has seen how you have tried to deal with this on your own for so long. He has seen the ways you have worked to keep it a secret. Now that you are dealing with the past, it’s not a shock or a surprise to Him. He is happy that you have chosen this time in your life to lay this burden down.

No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from His love. Death can’t, and life can’t. The angels can’t, and the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:37–39, NLT).

I believe this is one of the most beautiful Scriptures in the entire Bible. Nowhere does it say, “But if you have an abortion, God will not take you back, or love you anymore.” No, it says nothing can separate us from His love.

Stop for a minute. Close your eyes, and picture yourself with a heavy, wooden yoke around your neck. Imagine how your body has been damaged, carrying that yoke of abortion. Now picture God reaching down and breaking it, and crushing it. Not one piece is left that you can hold in your fingertips—all that remains is dust. Give this yoke to God right now. Only God can destroy the yoke so it can never resume its previous position.

Don’t accept this bondage from your abortion any longer. Don’t live in mediocrity. Set a imagesbondagenew standard for your life. Take the limits off God and allow Him to take the limits off your life. Step out in faith, and believe God is about to do a great thing!

If you are ready to start this journey contact me personally at sheila@saveone.org. We have an entire staff of people ready, willing, and able to help you. Don’t put this off another day. If you are a friend or loved one who has watched someone in your life implode because of a past abortion then by all means forward this blog or share it on social media. Thanks! The people you reach with this truth will be eternally grateful to you for your help.

5 WORDS THAT CAN CHANGE A LIFE

David and goliathThere are 5 words David (of David and Goliath fame) spoke on the battlefield to remind Israel’s fearless fighting force why they were supposed to be fighting.

“Is There Not a Cause?”

I borrowed these words for a book I wrote. I don’t think David minds…This week’s post is an excerpt from the book. With all the political speak being thrown around these days I wanted to calm it down and just bring revelation for some into the conversation.

You may have never heard this reasoning, but I am hoping my words will give you a new way of looking at this issue. I also hope my words will give you talking points for this debate. It’s time we take the blinders off and stop allowing politics to overshadow what is truly the matter at hand. From the book…”Is There Not a Cause?”

Personal Oppositions

Let’s look at another argument that I hope will appeal to your personal responsibility. The argument is the old saying we’ve heard for years, “Well personally I’m opposed to abortion, but I don’t think it’s right to impose or legislate my morality on others.” The truth is, this is a battle every Christian has been called to fight. You may defend this argument, and maybe that is why you have not engaged in this battle. But let me ask you the question: What law doesn’t impose morality? Laws against robbery and rape impose on thieves and rapists that their actions are wrong. The abortionists in our country have no problem imposing their lack of morality on the unborn, denouncing the life of unwanted babies.

And furthermore, a good question to ask is, why they are personally opposed? If the baby is not a child, then why be more opposed to abortion than say, removing your tonsils? Are they personally opposed to that? The answer, more than likely, is that their personal opposition is in knowing this is a living human being worthy of life. If a person recognizes this fact, they must join the battle or receive judgment from their Creator. Again, we need to reassess if we have lost our fear of the Lord for fear of what the world thinks.

A person who uses this argument wants to have their cake and eat it too. They want to sound morally correct to others by “personally opposing” abortion. They want people to think they are upright, goodhearted citizens of our society. But in reality they are truly whispering, “I know it’s killing, but I’m going to hide behind the excuse that I can’t impose my morality on others. I just want to still be accepted by you without actually having to dirty my hands by joining this battle”.

We could use different scenarios and see if this argument holds water.

“I’m against husbands beating their wives, but I don’t feel as if I can impose my morality on someone else.”

“I’m against rape, but I don’t feel as if I can impose my morality on someone else.”

Why do we allow people to separate abortion from every other vile act? Don’t let yourself be swayed by this thinking. It is undeniably from the pit of hell.

Rare Abortions

I’m sure several of us have heard some declare, “Abortion should be legal, but rare.” My question to that statement is, why? If abortion isn’t wrong, then why should we make it rare? We haven’t heard these same people saying we should make appendectomies rare. This question may be best answered by Dr. Alfred Bongioanni, professor of pediatrics and obstetrics at the University of Pennsylvania, as he testified to a U.S. Senate Committee regarding when life begins:

“I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception…. I submit that human life is present throughout this entire sequence from conception to adulthood and that any interruption at any point throughout this time constitutes a termination of human life….

I am no more prepared to say that these early stages [of development in the womb] represent an incomplete human being than I would be to say that the child prior to the dramatic effects of puberty…is not a human being. This is human life at every stage.”

Is this why we should make abortion rare? Because in the recesses of our minds we know it’s a human life we’re taking? If you answer the why question, then you must recognize this choice certainly does not leave untarnished a woman, a man, and most often their entire future.

Please feel free to comment below what you would add to this way of thinking. Others need to hear a collective reasoning, not just all mine. And occasionally we need to be reminded there is a cause worth fighting for…

An Army of Truth-Tellers!

I just returned from a marathon travel schedule over the last two weeks to Winston-Salem, NC, Santa Ana, CA, Oklahoma City, OK, and Casper, WY. I tell you that to first of all let you know that SaveOne is on the move! Several of the SaveOne team members got to go too so that was a real treat for me. There are so many great things happening at SaveOne, I am afraid I would run out of room on this blog post if I tried to write it all!

IMG_6549

Secondly I want to let you know of our travels because meeting these incredible people we have met over these last two weeks gives me great hope. To find like-minded individuals who are either thankful to discover SaveOne, or are already doing the work of abortion recovery is phenomenal. These meetings show us our circle we have locked arms with, is growing more and more every day.

13177590_10153675707958108_4347862629803183726_n

SaveOne is building an army of truth-tellers who are no longer willing to be silent about the devastation abortion brings into a man, woman, or families lives. It’s time…way past time the millions suffering in silence have a place to turn for help. SaveOne being offered in churches and pregnancy centers around the world is just such a place. We are so thankful for the chapter leaders being willing to push this hard subject.

IMG_6639

 

We met people in these cities I mentioned whose marriages have been restored; who were able to kick an addiction; who saved an unborn life; countless numbers who confessed abortions to us with one woman having held the secret for 40 years. All of these scenarios happened because these people were brave enough to step forward and deal with a past abortion. God then took their circumstances and turned them to good. Only He can do stuff like that!

IMG_6560

 

Please pray for us as we have meetings, speaking engagements, much more travel, and our first ever SaveOne European Summit, all still happening this year. We cannot do what we do without your financial help as well as your much needed prayers.

Feel free to comment below with any questions you have for us, or if you would like for us to come to your church to share SaveOne. Hope to hear from you soon!

THE HERO IN YOU

Have you ever been shaken out of your complacency? Or maybe you have witnessed something so horrific that you could no longer treat it as a nightmare, as though it never happened?

There have been many heroes who have gone before us who were shaken out of their complacency and drawn into a battle they didn’t necessarily want to fight. They were ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary feats simply because they saw an injustice and refused to sit silently. Following are just a few examples of some real heroes…

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr was an African-American civil rights leader who led the resistanceimages1 to segregation using non-violent methods. He could not ignore the injustice being served to blacks, nor could he wait on someone else to step up and fight the battle of the races. God raised him up to be a great man. He was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1963, and one year later was the youngest man in history to earn the Nobel Peace Prize. God had  a willing vessel in Dr. King and much was accomplished through his courage.

imagesEsther was a young Jewish girl who suddenly found herself queen of Persia. When she discovered a plot to extinguish all the Jewish people living in Persia, she had the courage, at the risk of her own life, to save an entire generation of Jews by confronting the king. Today she is remembered as a powerful instrument in the hands of our mighty God, simply because she refused to remain silent about the killing of innocent people.

Take time to read about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, William Wallace, Harriet Tubman, and William Wilberforce. All heroes who risked their own lives so others could live.

Looking back on these people’s lives, hindsight is 20/20. They are known as heroes today, but undoubtedly numerous people who knew them then, called them “zealots” and “Jesus freaks”. I’m sure they were told on more than one occasion they had “lost it.” Can you hear their family and friends warning, “Okay, now you’ve taken it just a little bit too far. The authorities are involved, so it’s time to back off and save yourself. You can’t go to jail, you can’t lose your life.” And I’m sure they heard, “This is not God’s will for you!”

I imagine they probably contemplated these cries repeatedly in their heads and questioned their own sanity. So many of these people, plus countless others unnamed, were in jeopardy of losing their lives. Some did become martyrs for a cause they refused to ignore.

These people seem larger than life to us. Because of the movies made about their lives, theimgres-1 monuments and memorials erected on their behalf, and stories we’ve read, we have a tendency to capture their images as extraordinary people with some kind of gifting you and I do not possess. In reality, they were ordinary people just like you and me. The only difference is, they understood the battle was theirs to fight. They were the ones willing to pick up the sword and charge into battle.

Thankfully, as Christians we possess the most powerful weapons. We are the ones with the call on our lives to stand up when everyone else is sitting down, gaining our courage from the all-powerful God who has our back.

When will we look at the abortion issue as a cause worthy of our fight? Yes, there are many causes that are worthy, but what cause is more gruesome, more devastating, and more horrific than the legalized killing of our children?

We look at our forefathers who justified slavery with such scorn. We read about our country’s history regarding slavery and then wonder how our forefathers could have ever acted with such horrific behavior. Will our children and grandchildren look back at us with disdain over this issue and wonder how we could have ever let decades of abortion continue?

As a Christian, this is our fight. We own it. We must take a stand for the issue of life! It will be that moment you find the hero that resides in you. When pushed into a battle, your strength, power, wisdom, and stamina will come forth and history will show you to be larger than life. As we look back on your efforts to fight injustice, history will judge you well. So my challenge to you today is to join this fight with us. Refuse to look the other way any longer and you will see the hero arise in you! images-1

Please comment below the injustices you wish to fight, and your dreams of how to accomplish their end. No idea is too crazy!

Crossing the Threshold

17135984132_f694fe1ab0_zShe walks across the threshold – perhaps the hardest thing she has done in years. I see the weight pressing down on her shoulders, like a thick dark cloud, no, it’s like a heavy yoke. The secret she has been carrying is apparent, it is clearly visible on her face and in the curve of her shoulders. I recognize this look, it’s obvious to me. I’ve carried the same weight before. I get up and hug her and welcome her like a long lost friend. We have met before but only briefly, not in person only by phone, however, we’ve already made a connection – we are connected by the sin of our past. I imagine that finally she feels a life-line has been thrown to her. Something, perhaps this class she is walking into, will pull her out from under the dead weight she has carried far too long.

This damaged soul has just walked across the threshold into my SaveOne class. Those heavy laden steps are some of the hardest she has ever taken.  She really doesn’t have a clue about the journey embarked on, but I do. And my soul smiles! Her life is about to change forever and I can’t wait to see it happen!

By the end of the first class, the “Introduction”, we have all shared our deepest, darkest, most shameful secret of abortion. We are all becoming knit together by the similarity of our abortion story and the dissimilarity of the circumstances. Some of the men and women in the class have never told another living soul. It has been a successful unburdening. I am always amazed to see the power of transparency. I begin to perceive the heavy weight lifting off their shoulders! By the end of the first, introductory class, I have already witnessed an amazing transformation take place – the unbearable weight is lifting, the guarded countenance in facial expression is softening, the monotone inflection in the tone of voice is brightening. God is already doing His mighty work of unburdening these men and women who have carried the heavy yoke of slavery to their past. God is doing what He has promised. He is making the great exchange…”Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28 – 30

1

And thus begins the 11 week journey to freedom called SaveOne! Over the next 10 weeks these precious children of God will learn how to be set free from the bondage of abortion and how to live in the fullness of victory Jesus Christ provided for them on the Cross of Calvary. “It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery”. Galatians 5:1

After experiencing healing by taking the SaveOne journey myself, I started the Salem Oregon chapter of SaveOne in September 2006. I have since offered 3 SaveOne classes each year and have seen many people healed and set free from a lifetime of suffering in silence. Now many men and women are empowered to tell their own story of restoration to help save one more person from living a life of guilt, shame, unforgiveness, anger, and depression. We, at SaveOne, believe it is these brave women and men, sharing the word of their testimony, that will bring about change in this culture of death and help to restore commitment to the sanctity of human life.

SaveOne is truly a life-transforming class. I am so blessed to be used of God, and humbled to be placed on the front lines of witnessing Him do His work of restoration in the lives of these precious yet damaged souls. …“This is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it!” Peace be to you all who are in Christ.” 1 Peter 5:12, 14

This post was written by the incredible Terri Nordone. She is one of our SaveOne chapter coordinator’s and one of my dear friends. I wanted you to hear her description of that life-changing moment we see so often in our classes. These moments are something we never tire of seeing, and never get used to being a part of because they are truly spectacular.

Please let us know if you would like to learn how to bring the SaveOne class to your church!

Blood money, venom, elections, and hope…

For many politicians, standing on blood money has been their ticket to getting re-elected. They tout themselves as women’s rights advocates and repeat the same venomous lies poisonmindwe’ve been hearing since 1973. Unfortunately, the public’s minds are still being poisoned.

Abortion is an ugly business. Its a gruesome, bone-chilling procedure steadily occurring in our world today. So it’s no surprise the church has tried to keep her hands clean by sidestepping this issue and handing LIFE/ABORTION off to the political world to debate. It’s just easier that way.

Where has this hand-off gotten us? Can we honestly keep our collective heads in the sand and act as though God will not judge us for this? We can no longer vote for a pro-life politician and then pat ourselves on the back for doing our part in helping end abortion. Sure, voting for pro-life candidates is important, but it’s not our answer to ending this war against life. Promotion of meaningful candidates is undeniably a step in the right direction. I have campaigned for candidates too and it’s a wonderful, victorious feeling when your man or woman gets elected. But church…it’s not enough.

Politicians are not our only means to this end. They do not wield the power that holds the key to lock or unlock the answers to this dilemma. WE DO!

Yes, voting in elections is imperative but we can’t get so enraptured in the politics of abortion that we forget who is truly in control. We cannot wait on laws to be changed and overturned. We cannot stand by until the “right” administration is elected, or the “right” justices are appointed. When we rely on politics to save us, then we are giving them all control and power over issues the local church should be controlling. We can do something about the issue of abortion now!

To change laws, we must change minds first. We have to get the church on the right page. We must educate the church first and foremost as to the importance of dealing with the abortion issue. This task starts with you and your church. Courageously make a stand and let people know your church values life and will no longer tolerate what’s going on. Sure, people might leave your church and you will certainly offend some. Most likely people will appreciate your spiritual leadership and stiff backbone.

LocalChurchWhen we avoid tough subjects because we are afraid of offending, and when we hand over spiritual issues for politicians to handle for us, we are giving away power God entrusted to us. We cannot allow the pro-abortion side of this debate to close our mouths about a topic that breaks God’s heart. The local church is the best-equipped entity prepared or knowledgeable enough to do something about this issue.

We can refer to Isaiah 1:15 and Jeremiah 19:4 to see what God thinks about innocent blood shed. When the local church finally takes a stand and reconstitutes the abortion/life issue as our own, then politics will follow us, and we will make abortion unthinkable before it becomes illegal! We don’t have to wait. We can do this now!

Don’t be left on the sidelines of the issue of abortion. King David is a great example of someone who chose not to stay on the sidelines. He could never have become the strong man of God he became by sitting on the sidelines. He entered the battle that was unwinnable and became one of the greatest examples for us to follow of bravery and courage.Lion

The church holds the power to take this issue back from the political arena, but we must wield that power before anything will happen. It will take brave pastors and courageous church leaders to step into an area where the battle for life takes place every single moment. That’s when the wind will be at your back and you will join the ranks of the heroes!

Hellerstadt…and why you need to know that name…

Imagine with me for a moment. You are having a minor surgery, like your appendix is being taken out. You have the opportunity to go to a clinic down the street from your house but you find out the surgeon is not allowed to admit his patients to your hospital that’s 30 minutes away. That doesn’t mean he can’t get you in to a hospital, but it does mean if something happens during surgery and you need a hospital he has to go through a lot of red tape and permissions before you would be admitted. You also find out with a little bit of research that this clinic is not up to the standard that a surgical care center needs to be. What would you decide? Would you rather have the surgery where you know the doctor is competent, qualified, and committed to your care? In a place you know has been inspected and is clean? It’s a no-brainer, right?

Today…March 2…right now…while you are reading this article, the most important Supreme Court case since Roe vs. Wade is being argued. This case had to go all the way to SCOTUS to force abortionists at abortion mills to have admitting privileges to the nearest hospital as well as raise their clinics to a standard required by law for a surgical center. The name of this case is Hellerstadt vs. Whole Woman’s Health. If this case stands, the abortion clinics across Texas will dwindle to about 9 or 10. That means there are about a dozen currently operating in sub-par conditions.

The pro-abortion advocates insist these requirements would place an undue burden on women to drive farther or wait longer for their abortion.  Why should women be subjected to doctors who may not be competent, and have surgeries in clinics less standardized than vet clinics and tattoo parlors? There are actually people fighting to make sure women get this atrocious treatment.

If you are reading this article on Wednesday, March 2, could you please take a moment and pray right now for this case? It’s time abortion clinics are held to the same standard, giving women the care they deserve!

Top 3 Causes of Burnout…or at least they were my top 3

I have been amazed how much the subject of burnout has resonated with so many pastors, their wives, and people in general. I’m very happy my transparency made others stop and reassess where they were. I have people who have scheduled vacations, sabbaticals, and are releasing some things from their lives. But this is my last post on burnout. I got REALLY transparent in this one. I may revisit this subject again at a later date, but I feel it’s time to move on…Enjoy!

17135984132_f694fe1ab0_zThe Christian/Church world is really no different in many ways than the world outside the church. I know we all want to believe it’s different, but it’s really not. We are just providing a central location for people who are screwed up to come and try to get themselves figured out. The difference that makes the church world really cool in my opinion is you get to do this “figuring” with others who are on the same road, going in the same direction.

I just came off a 3-week sabbatical where I removed myself from everything and everybody. Many people much smarter than myself told me 3 weeks was not long enough and I believed them. So I made the most of every moment being very intentional in my thoughts and actions. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with no phone, no social media, no work, and no appointments. I was living in this temporary utopia and I was determined to make the most of it. I realized I needed this adult “time out” to process some things that have happened over the last 8 years since we planted a church.

Before we started the church Jack and I had experienced great success at the church before us, at the same time as building a very prosperous, successful business. I was building SaveOne and every year had been better than the last. I went into this church plant thinking it would be more of the same. Success, growth, new friends, great people, locking arms, and marching forward into this new area of success! Everything golden, everything lovely. Before we planted we talked to some dear friends of ours who had started a church about a year before us. We asked them to tell us what we didn’t know. I will never forget my friend saying these words to me, “You’ll make more enemies than you ever dreamed.”

Fast forward 8 years later and I was in a place of believing we had more people who hated us than loved us. I could have never dreamed of the amount of people we would tick off, sometimes just by our very presence. I could lay out for you story after story of the lies, the betrayal, the rejection, the anger, from people that we considered friends and would stickUntitled design by us through thick or thin. I became very disillusioned through this process to the point of fantasizing about moving to a foreign country, going off the grid, or moving to a remote cabin in Montana, growing all our own food and learning how to sew. You know it’s bad if I was thinking about domesticating.

So here I was, 8 years later. I felt finished. Depleted. Done. I had tried everything I knew to do to fix myself and nothing was working. I had watched my husband over the last year head up the construction of our new church building. It was so stressful on him I literally laid awake at night sometimes, worrying if he was going to die. Being a part of this process did not help me and where I was headed. We were both a mess and needed a break, so I had the idea of a sabbatical. The church was completely understanding and even recognized we looked tired. 🙂

Off we went into the land of burner phones and empty calendars. Even now as I write this I’m sitting in a cabin in the woods (not in Montana) soaking in the sun squeezing every last minute out of my time. And I’m seeing more clearly as to the cause of my distress. Here are the top 3 reasons my life led to burnout.

1. Stuffing. As a pastor’s wife it’s kind of an unwritten rule that we don’t step in and get in the middle of church conflicts unless they involve us. It’s hard though to sit by quietly and be the good little wife when someone is railing on the hubs unjustly. I believed I needed to be quiet, and in most cases I still should! But one thing I failed to do is deal with those unresolved feelings of anger, resentment, and betrayal I felt from these people. Many times we have made friends with people in our church. We have loved on them, visited them in the hospital, helped them out financially, loved their children, and did everything I know a church should do/could do and then the people left and talked badly about my husband, me, or my church family. I stuffed those emotions thinking I was being the good wife. Instead of pulling out how I felt and dealing with the pain before the Lord, I allowed these people into my mind and my heart to fester and become an unresolved wound. The way I have always handled conflict is, we talk and we get it worked out and we love each other again. But when the conflict isn’t with me, but rather with the church that I love, or my husband, who I love even more, I’m unable to do that. I have to find another way to deal with this pain and it is through releasing it to God. The people who leave us are not our enemies even though they may act like it. They may treat us and think of us as an enemy,  but they only become my enemy if I decide they are. The real enemy is the power behind their actions; a very real devil who wants to upset us and keep us in turmoil and distracted from the ministry He has called us to complete. Years of stuffing this type of pain led to many, many layers of hurt that finally toppled into an ugly mess. Now at the same time, not everyone who leaves does so in a negative way. There’s a way to leave a church and remain friends, confidantes, brothers and sisters, and there’s a ways to leave a church that doesn’t cause hurt, division, gossip, and betrayal. When someone you love walks out of your life, do not stuff those feelings down any longer. Pull them out, grieve the loss, forgive them, and move on to the people who God has put before you.

2. Guarding. In my mind I knew I needed to love people. But loving people, letting them into my life, getting into their lives, and working through the muck and mire together was what led to the pain I was feeling. Several of these people left me and I felt myself backing away, guarding my heart, guarding my actions, guarding my words, feeling suspicious of every move, and it led to me being guarded with God. If God called us to start this church, then why was so much pain involved in the process? The process was what I could not back away from. I had to stay engaged and love people regardless of how they love me back. Men and women have been brought into our lives for a season. If someone is standing in front of me who needs my help, I need to give it. I cannot expect their loyalty, their friendship, their commitment or anything else in return. I need to give of myself and allow God to do the rest. If God has brought them before me for this time then He trusts me to help them. He believes there is something I can give that will better their life. So instead of backing away to avoid pain and thinking only of myself, I have to dive into the process and embrace the friendship, and everything that comes along with it. Guarding myself leads to isolation and that is all the devil needs to strike; an isolated heart and mind.

3. People-pleasing. Don’t pass by this paragraph thinking this does not pertain to you. It does. Or it will. I have a tendency to remember the negative. You know that moment when I can have 999 people I just spoke to tell me what a great job I did and 1 say something negative and I go home and obsess about the negative. It’s the same with the church. People say some of the most unbelievable things to pastor’s wives and pastor’s. I mean stuff you just can’t even possibly imagine. I don’t know why the public thinks the wife is the dumping ground. The place to come and complain about the pastor, a problem they perceive with the church, critique her clothes, her weight, her money, her car, her children’s actions, well you get the gist. Remembering these hurtful words led to me altering my behavior, my clothes, my actions to please different people who had said different things. I never saw that as people-pleasing, I started out thinking I was helping the church and being a good pastor’s wife. But in the process somehow I lost myself. I ended up being this person I didn’t like very much because I was just bland, gray, non-adventurous, saintly Sheila. I allowed others to set the rules and I bent over backwards to follow everyone else’s rules for me. I’m recognizing this and I’m trying to work out of it. I’m still discovering the areas in which I have allowed others expectations to rule.

These three areas are what I have pinpointed as my demise a few months ago. I don’t like sounding so negative like being a pastor’s wife is all this and nothing else. The positive moments equal no other. Like when someone has been through a harrowing circumstance and they call for help because they trust you more than anyone else. That is a privilege that still to this day brings tears to my eyes. That moment never grows old. There are people who left a good, secure, church (the right way) and came with us to the unknown to plant a new church, and are still with us today. These people are our lifeline. They hold up our arms, they pray for us, they are trusted friends. I could write a novel on the moments over the last 8 years that I will treasure forever. What I know for sure is there will always be people I have to keep my mouth quiet about…there will always be people the Holy Spirit warns me to guard myself around…and there will be times I need to get over myself and please other people. This is life, and it’s not all bad.

Recognizing these things in my life, and their out of control state, has helped me pinpoint my turnaround spot. While on this 3-week adventure I read 2 books, “Leadership Pain” by Sam Chand and “When Words Hurt” by Warren Bullock. I would recommend both books, but Sam Chand says, “You’ll grow only to the threshold of your pain”. Those are incredible words of wisdom. Time after time there have been examples all through God’s Word of people who went through an incredibly hard, painful time that led to an incredible victory. Well, I know Victory is coming! I can’t say I am completely out of burnout. I don’t feel 100% myself again, but I know I’m going to get there. I’m working diligently about being in the moment. That’s just a freebie. One of the things I recognized is that I was constantly thinking about what I needed to do next, where I needed to go next, how much time I had at this stop, determining ahead of time how much time I would give a problem, etc. Right now this moment is pretty cool and I want to bask in it. It’s freezing on this porch where I’m writing, but the cold mixed with the bright sunshine feels too good on my skin to give it up. My dog is sitting at my feet, I smell the fire in the fireplace waiting for me, and as far as I can see in front of me are mountains yet to be hiked.