Revive Our Hearts Podcast

The Courage to Get Involved

Episode Resources

Resources on the topics of abuse, abortion, and forgiveness are located at the bottom of the transcript.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: "The police have put out a warrant for your arrest.” As the True Woman ’12 conference opened, those words were running through the mind of a woman we’ll call “Susan.”

Susan: So the entire way through the first session, I was frantic.

Bob Lepine: Welcome to Indianapolis and True Woman 2012. Are you excited to be here? (Women in conference hall respond with enthusiastic cheering.)

Nancy: Right before the conference began, Susan got a text from her husband saying that the police were looking for her. As you can imagine, she had a hard time focusing on the conference.

Susan: I thought, “Man, this just has to be an attack of the enemy, to keep me from being able to hear what God has to say for me.

Nancy: It was a dramatic beginning to what was going to be a very dramatic conference experience.

Leslie Basham: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth for Thursday, July 28, 2016.

Nancy: When the Lord puts a difficult task in front of you, how do you come up with the strength to take action? I believe today’s program will encourage you to say, “Yes, Lord!” when He’s prompting you to take on the most difficult of tasks.

This story has a lot of twists and turns, and I think it will challenge you to be looking for opportunities that God may be giving you to get involved in other people’s lives. Let’s hear Susan’s story.

It’s one example of what often happens at a True Woman Conference. When we prepare these conferences, we work hard to make sure you’ll hear solid biblical teaching. And we also like to give time for reflection, time to respond and say, "Yes, Lord!" And we also like to bring you creatively meaningful moments. But God has a way of doing far more than we could have possibly planned, and He's always writing individual stories—sometimes surprising stories—in the women who attend.

Space is limited at this year’s True Woman 2016 conference. It’s coming to Indianapolis September 22–24. To find out if there is still space left, visit ReviveOurHearts.com. And don’t forget you can join the conference by livestream September 22–24. Now, let’s hear one dramatic story of what God did in one woman’s heart at True Woman.

Leslie: Thanks, Nancy. Let’s begin by explaining that text from her husband, the one that said, “The police are looking for you.” It all began when she was travelling from her home to the True Woman Conference. Along the way, she stopped to buy gas.

Susan: I paid with my debit card, went inside, went to the bathroom, and walked back outside.

Leslie: The problem was, the attendant at the gas station thought Susan had driven off without paying for her gas.

Susan: Apparently, what had happened was that a delivery truck had pulled up, and she hadn’t seen me pay with my debit card. The next car after me had been the one that didn’t pay . . .

Leslie: Now, when someone  drives off without paying, things go into action fast. The police . . .

Susan: . . . put out an APB on you.

Leslie: That’s an “all points bulletin.”

Susan: If they see you, they pull you over.

Leslie:  Susan hadn’t been pulled over, but someone did track down her home number. That’s why her husband texted her, and it’s why she was distracted that Thursday night at True Woman ’12. 

Susan: I was digging through my purse, trying to find my receipt, which I did. Then I just had a really hard time concentrating, just because this news was just dropped on me. After the session, I called my husband and called the gas station and got it all worked out. Everything worked out just fine, but during that session I could not concentrate at all.

I thought, This just must be an attack of the enemy, to keep me from being able to hear what God has to say for me.

Leslie: The next day, Susan volunteered in the Resource Center and attended all the sessions she could. She ate a lunch she packed from home, but at dinnertime she headed to the nearby mall. Her family had a tradition of eating pizza every Friday night, and she knew her husband and kids would be following the tradition at home.

Susan: So it was my goal to go to the mall and find a pizza place and call my family and be like, “Hey, I’m having pizza with you!”

Leslie: Susan didn’t intend on spending much time in the food court . . .

Susan: . . . but the girl at the table behind me was on the phone with her boyfriend. She was pretty animated and loud, and she was saying, "You know you got me into this mess; you’re going to have to get me out! You’d better come down here on Thursday to pick me up and bring me to my abortion . . ." and they were fighting.

I heard it, and it was really strong on my heart my heart to talk to her. I didn’t want to interrupt her phone call . . . she’s a stranger . . . all these things are going through my head. I thought if I interrupted her, she was going to think, Christians are nuts.

So I turned around after she was quieting down, and she actually waved at me with a sheepish, “sorry,” look, like, “Sorry I was being loud and yelling.”

Leslie: Everyone in the food court was able to pick up details of this loud conversation.

Susan: Her boyfriend didn’t really want to come pick her up because he thought it would make him flunk out of school. She had said, “Two days ain’t gonna make you flunk out of school.” She said, “I don’t want to raise another baby on my own. I can’t take care of two kids.”

She was just really, really upset, and she said, “It wasn’t my choice to kill our baby.” So she already had in her head, “This is a baby.” She wasn’t one of those people who would say, “It’s a fetus; it’s not even alive.” She knew this was a baby. The woman was already a mother—she has a baby—she knows what it is to hold a baby and to love a baby. So it was just tearing me apart.

Leslie: Susan wanted to stay and talk with this woman, but while waiting for her to hang up, she didn’t want to just sit there eavesdropping.

Susan: I actually got up and threw my things away because I didn’t want to just sit there by myself with a tray full of empty wrappers. There were two ladies at a table next to me that were from the conference, because I saw their bags . . .

Leslie: Every attendee received a True Woman tote bag. Susan started to get the advice of these other women. She told them the burden she was feeling for this woman on the phone.

Susan: [To the ladies] “I feel like I need to talk to her, but she’s still on the phone.”

And one of the women said, “You know what I do in this situation? I just pray that God will send somebody to talk to her. That’s what we need to do. We just need to pray that somebody will be there for her.”

Leslie: But Susan couldn’t shake the thought, What if I’m that person? But she had some reservations.

Susan: I didn’t want to make her think, Wow, these Christians are crazy . . . psycho ladies coming up to me at the table . . . I didn’t want that to happen. That was my biggest fear, actually. I didn’t want to embarrass the Lord.

Leslie: But she couldn’t shake the sense that the Lord wanted her to get involved.

Susan: In my heart I was just struggling because I am not the person to walk up to a stranger and say, “I’m going to talk to you about abortion." I don’t even do that with people I do know. So, it was a huge struggle inside. I just really felt led to talk to her. 

I thought, This is going to happen on Thursday. If I don’t talk to her, who will? It’s less than a week away. I don’t know what the other voices in her life are. It was really deep. I was almost sick to my stomach from not having done it yet, and I was starting to shake. It was just overwhelming.

The ladies looked over and motioned, “I think she’s off the phone now,” and that’s when I took the chance to go and talk to her. I didn’t have time to think or feel—“I’m on a mission. I have to do this. If I don’t do it now, I’ll miss my opportunity.”

I said, “Hi, you have no idea who I am, but I would really like to talk to you.” And I told her, “I overheard your phone conversation.”

She said, “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to be so loud.” She apologized to me.

But I said, “No, I am so happy that I heard it, because now I can actually talk to you. I know that you’re going through something really tough right now, and I just want to encourage you to know that there are things out there other than abortion.” When I told her that adoption is available, she was shocked. She didn’t even realize that it was an option.

She said, “Oh my goodness, I never even thought of that.”

I said, “Oh yes, that is another option. You don’t have to raise this baby by yourself. You don’t have to have an abortion, either.”

She honestly told me, “I really don’t want to have an abortion, but my boyfriend told me I had to, and I really don’t want to raise another baby.”

I think so many people don’t have any idea of the risks that come along with abortion, not just the aftermath. You’re undergoing a medical procedure that’s risky. It’s not advertised because it’s bad for abortion business.

She was in shock. I told her, “You will regret this every day of your life. I know, because I had an abortion seven years ago.”

Leslie: With those words, Susan opened up a painful story that she had hardly shared with anyone. The story began on what was one of the best days of Susan’s life, and it was also one of the worst. On that day, Susan came to faith in Christ, and later that night, she was raped.

Susan: For the last seven years, my heart-cry to God has been, “God, why did You let this happen to me? That was the day that I gave my life to You, and it happened that night. Why didn’t you rescue me? I thought You loved Your daughters. Why didn’t You do something?”

Leslie:  Some weeks after the assault, Susan knew something was wrong. She visited a doctor.

Susan: I went in to find out if I had an STD. They did a test on me for an STD and also did a pregnancy test. I had no idea at all that I was pregnant. They did not tell me I was pregnant. They gave me a pill and said, “This will make your cycle start up.”

So I took the pill and I passed a clot that, size-wise, was a little bigger than a grapefruit, with severe cramping. Twenty-two days later I went back to them because I was still bleeding. I told them, “Something is wrong. You need to give me a pill to make me stop bleeding.”

And they said, “Oh no, honey, that’s normal when you’ve had an abortion.” That was the moment that I found out that I had had an abortion, that I had been pregnant. That was devastating to me because I’m pro-life and have been my whole life.

The thought that I might be pregnant from that attack had not even entered my mind. I was young and had no idea. But when I found out, I still live with the regret of, Why didn’t I think? Why did I let them give me medicine without asking more questions?

That baby would have been born right about the time I was married to my husband. How would that have worked? I would have felt like Mary at the time . . . “By the way, darling, I’m pregnant, and you know it’s not yours and so do I . . .” But I still would have wanted to able to make sure that nobody died in the process.

I didn’t think enough to try to make life be able to happen.

Leslie:  For years, Susan never told her husband what had happened, but he knew there was something that needed to be resolved.

Susan: Finally, one day he said, “You need to tell me what’s going on.”

I said, “I need to tell you, but I don’t know if I can.” When I finally opened up and told him, he said, “We need to unpack this and work through it.” He was very supportive about it.

Leslie:  Susan’s husband knew a Christian counselor they both trusted. They went through a process about being very honest concerning what had happened, and Susan came to a place of forgiving those who had wronged her, just like she had been forgiven.

She knew what it was to be free from bitterness and resentment.

And let me pause here and say, this point is crucial. If you can relate to the intense hurt of something like this, visit ReviveOurHearts.com and take a look at today’s transcript. We’ll post some links and resources to help you find freedom through forgiveness, and also some resources on healing from abuse and dealing with the aftermath of abortion. [Links posted at the end of the transcript.]

Susan’s story seemed to make a big impression on the woman in the food court considering abortion.

Susan: She said, “I don’t even know where I could go. I have no idea who I could talk to or anything.”

And I said, “There are places like crisis pregnancy centers, things like that. You’re in Indianapolis—it’s a big city. I know you can find something like that here.”

She said, “You said, ‘crisis pregnancy center?’ There’s one right down the road from me. I didn’t even know what that was."

I said, “Would you please just think about going?”

She said, “I am going on Monday!”  So she’s going to go and talk to somebody.

The thing she said about adoption was, “I don’t think I could do it once I hold that baby. I don’t know if I could actually give it up.”

I said, “Honey, you’re already holding that baby.”

And she almost broke down in tears when she said, “I know.”

So it was really heartbreaking. I gave her my home phone number and said, “I want you to call me whenever you make that decision,” because she still has that decision to make. She hasn’t made it one way or another yet. But she wants to go and talk to somebody about how to get help through this.

It was really encouraging. I know she still has to go and talk to that boyfriend and she has to deal with him and his decisions, him telling her “You have to do this,” or “You can do whatever you want.” I don’t know what her situation is, but I know that she’s going to have a lot of voices coming into her life within the next week. Hopefully the right answer can come through to her and she’ll make a wise choice, a wise decision.

Leslie: At this point, Susan had hardly told anyone her story. But on this day, sitting in the food court in the mall, she realized that maybe her vulnerability could be used by God in the life of a single mom making a big decision.

Susan: So this was the first time, ever, in my life that I have been able to see God take my absolute worst circumstance and use it for good.

Priscilla Shirer (speaking at True Woman): He sees you my friend, and He will use the parts of your life that you feel are useless. 

Leslie: Later that night, at True Woman '12, Priscilla Shirer talked about God’s ability to take the broken pieces in your life and use them in powerful ways.

Priscilla: Here’s what you need to know: the season of your life that you’re trying to pray your way out of, that you wish you could circumvent, that you’re trying to figure out, “Why in the world does the Lord have me here?” . . . That segment of your life—even the segment that is a consequence of your own choices, your own bad decisions, my own sin and rebellion—He has a way of using that platform and making it a pulpit that He uses to proclaim to others how great He is, how powerful He is, and how worthy He is to be praised.

Susan: During the message that evening that Priscilla gave, I was like, “She’s talking about me. How did she find out what happened today?”

Priscilla: The Holy Spirit can take one message and divide it eight thousand different ways, so that everybody gets it in a very personal, practical way that matters to them. One speaker can’t do that. The Holy Spirit can divide it up into everybody’s hearts, not only in a way that matters to them . . . but He’s omniscient, and knows what’s coming in the next days and weeks of our lives and can already have that Word nestled in their hearts, to apply to what’s going to happen on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday.

The very fact that that can happen is a testament to the fact that the Word is alive—living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword. So to know that that the Lord would use that message to infiltrate the life of a woman who was in the mall, that I might never meet, was just completely humbling and honoring—that we get to serve a God who is that great and that personal and cares about all of us so individually.

Priscilla: People need to hear, not only the testimony that comes out of our mouth, they need to see the transformation in our lives. They need to see folks who can say, “Look. Look at me—I once was lost, but now I’m found. I was blind, but now I can see. I once was deaf, but now I can hear. Look at my life and see how Jesus has stepped in to the portion of my journey that I never thought He’d be able to do anything useful with.”

Susan: I got to see God use my absolute worst for His glory.

Leslie: On Saturday as the True Woman conference came to a close, our team asked Susan for an interview. She thought the questions would be like, “Did you have fun at the conference this week?”

Susan: I had no idea . . .

Leslie: She didn’t know that our team had heard about what had happened at the mall.

Susan: I didn’t know until you asked me what the interview was going to be about.

Leslie: And, again, she had to decide, “Am I going to keep the story of my brokenness to myself, or am I going to share it with the Revive Our Hearts audience in faith that God can use my story to encourage others?” And she decided to share the story with you.

I hope you’ll think about Susan’s story the next time you sense the Lord prompting you to get involved in someone’s life.

Priscilla: God can use all of the portions of our journey . . . those platforms that we’d rather abandon . . . those platforms that we’d rather not even have in our life . . . those situations that were devastating, or are right now still devastating in your life—you need to know He’s going to use that for His glory and for your good.

Leslie: Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is back to reflect on the story that we’ve heard today.

Nancy: I’m so thankful that the Lord can take our most painful episodes and use them in the lives of others. You may have your own darkest day, even as Susan did. Perhaps you’re asking the Lord, “Why did you let this happen?” Let me encourage you to offer up that hurt as an offering that the Lord could use in powerful ways.

Like Susan, perhaps you need to forgive your offenders, as you have been forgiven. And then, ask God to use your story to change the course of someone else’s life. 

We often pray and ask the Lord to take women deeper toward Him when they attend a True Woman conference or watch the livestream. He sure did that in Susan’s life. And I’m praying He’ll do that in your life when you join us in Indianapolis September 22–24 for True Woman '16. I’ll be there, along with Janet Parshall, Mary Kassian, Russell Moore, Steven Kendrick (producer of the movie War Room), and many others.

When you attend True Woman, you have the opportunity to sign up for a practical, helpful pre-conference track. There are several pre-conference tracks to choose from. You can learn:

  • how to pray more effectively. 
  • how God has moved in revival in the past and what that would mean for our day. 
  • how to engage in our culture with grace and truth. 
  • the value women's friendships and mentoring woman to woman.

If you’ve already registered for the conference, you may want to go back and add one of these pre-sesions to your registration. For all the details on registering for True Woman or how to join us on the livestream, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Leslie: Thanks Nancy. What is the value of praying together in a group vs. praying by yourself? Author Megan Hill has studied this, and she’ll be here to talk about it tomorrow. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

To close our time today, we’re going to hear more from the message that meant so much to Susan. Here’s Priscilla Shirer, from True Woman ’12. 

Priscilla: The sovereignty of God means that He is in control of every single thing that has happened on the spectrum of time, and in history—that you and me, we’re not here by chance. That means that what happened to you last week or the day before you left to come here . . . it was a shock to you, but it wasn’t a shock to God, because He’s sovereign.

I want to suggest that if He’s calling you “to the deep,” it is because it is a divine set-up for Him to demonstrate His glory and His power. The risk He places on faith is sometimes where that happens. I mean, think about it in the Scriptures. Can you imagine how Noah must have looked building an ark? Especially when folks said, “What’s an ark?”

(Noah): “I don’t know.”

“What’s rain?”

(Noah): “I don’t know.”

Can you imagine how silly Moses must have looked stretching out his staff over that big ol’ body of water as if it would actually accomplish something? Can you just picture Sarah shopping in the maternity department at K-Mart on the promise that she would bear a son in her old age?

Can you catch a glimpse of David facing an enormous giant with nothing more than a slingshot and five smooth stones in his hand? Look at the Israelites walking around the walls of Jericho for seven days, with the inhabitants looking out at them as the strange people who were waging war in a way they had never, ever seen before.

What about Esther going in to the king against protocol in order to save her people. What about Caleb at the age of eighty-five refusing the retirement package, continuing again to journey onward to Canaan. What about the wise men following a simple star, talking about, “We’re going to go see the Messiah.”

What about Peter stepping out of the boat when there was no solid surface to stand on . . . or the little boy with only two simple loaves and some fish . . . or the woman with an issue of blood approaching Jesus . . . or blind Bartimaeus, being willing to call out to Jesus in the midst of a crowd that was telling him to be quiet . . . or Mary, a pregnant teenager saying, “an angel did it.”

And the illustration of all illustrations, think about Jesus, Himself, how foolish it would have appeared to others, as He hung on a cross, because He claimed, to an unbelieving people, to be the Messiah.

All of them would have looked foolish except that:

  • It did rain, and Noah’s ark did become a refuge, an offer of salvation.
  • Moses’ rod did divide the Red Sea.
  • Sarah did get pregnant and bear the promised son, Isaac.
  • David, he did kill Goliath.
  • The walls of Jericho did come tumbling down.
  • Esther did save her people from annihilation.
  • Caleb did march into the promised land.
  • The wise men did follow the star and find the Messiah.
  • Peter did walk on water.
  • Blind Bartimaeus did become a seeing man.
  • Mary she did give birth to Jesus.
  • And Jesus Himself—He hung on the cross, but three days later He got up out of the grave and was resurrected for you and for me! (applause and cheers from women)

Leslie: That’s Priscilla Shirer, from True Woman ’12. To hear that entire message, visit ReviveOurHearts.com.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth is an outreach of Life Action Ministries.

RESOURCES:

Abuse:

"The Church, the Gospel, and Violence against Women" Justin Taylor

Rid of My Disgrace: Hope and Healing for Victims of Sexual Assault, Justin & Lindsey Holcomb

Abortion:

Confidential Help Line

"Post-Abortion Syndrome"

Forgiven and Set Free: A Post-Abortion Bible Study for Women

Forgiveness:

Revive Our Hearts articles on forgiveness

Revive Our Hearts store products on forgiveness

"Freedom Through Forgiveness" radio series

"Forgiveness: Setting Your Captives Free" radio series

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