The ProLife Team Podcast 111 | Becky & Jacob | Faith’s Transformative Journey

The ProLife Team Podcast
The ProLife Team Podcast 111 | Becky & Jacob | Faith's Transformative Journey
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Jacob Barr and Beth Bissonnette discuss her journey from anti-Christian beliefs and pro-abortion stance to becoming a dedicated Christian and pro-life leader.

Summary

This is Jacob Barr, and I recently had the privilege to chat with Beth Bissonnette on the Pro Life Team Podcast. Beth, who’s been at the helm of Haven Pregnancy Services in Plymouth, New Hampshire for 23 years, shared her incredible journey with us.

The environment Beth grew up in was supposedly non-religious, only attending church once in a while. It wasn’t until her teenage years that she got a closer look into the Christian faith.

She did stray away from God during her college years. She says she was a partier and was in to New age and got really bad into it, she says these things lead her into a bad depression.

Following marriage and the birth of her first child, she experienced a transforming hitch. Upon learning of a second pregnancy, she contemplated an abortion which didn’t sit well with her husband, followed by a miscarriage.

After many years, working in the prenatal care unit she even went as far as to recommend abortion to patients without hesitation on where to go.

It all was starting, when Beth began reading books about becoming a strong Christian when she found a book called, “Good Morning Holy Spirit”, by Benny Hinn then after that she was having many mysterious awakenings at night.

As she began to partake of this unceasing faith that consumed her, she was able to let go of the abortion mill in her life and step down from her role as abortion nurse in Ft. Worth. She joined Haven Pregnancy Services, known then as Sure Haven, as the Client Services Manager. Jen grew in her role and was promoted as the Director of Education and Volunteer Coordinator.

Also, the journey had its fair share of helpers that often gave Beth a push. Beth’s mother played a big part but Beth did not realize it until she started. She can realize now that her mom had an abortion when Beth was in elementary school. Her mom kept this secret until Beth started working at the pregnancy center.

The enormity of abortion became apparent to me.

Beth’s story is an incredibly moving testimony of conversion and redemption. From anti-Christian and pro-abortion to spirit-filled Christian leading a pro-life ministry is a powerful story of God’s grace and intervention in her life.

Another example of how college is a whole new way of doing things is that in high school you went to class in little rooms and were given little time to get to classes. In high school, if you missed class because you were sick, you could always get your homework from a friend and turn it in the next day without being late. In college, you don’t get any of these privileges. In college you take your exams with you to class and not all in one room together. Another difference is that you have plenty of time to make it to your class. In college, when you are sick you are sick, you have to go to the doctor get a doctor’s note and it has to be in at least two days before you have missed your class so that you can make it up. You are just allowed to turn it in late like in high school.

For those inspired by Beth’s journey or involved in similar ministries, here are some relevant hashtags to share: #ProLifeTransformation, #FaithJourney, #PregnancyCenterLeadership, #ChristianRedemption, #HealingAfterAbortion, #ProLifeMinistry, #SpiritualAwakening, #ChooseLife, #ProLifeTestimony, #PrayerAndSupport.

Transcript

The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

Welcome to the Pro Life Team Podcast. I’m Beth Bissonnette. Jacob Bar and I are chatting today about God’s amazing power to take someone like me who was very anti Christian and very pro abortion and transformed me to be sold out for Jesus and serving him in pro-life ministry. So Beth, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were speaking to a group or small group of Prancy clinic leaders or Prancy clinic directors? Yeah, my name is Beth Bissonnette and I have been an Executive Director at Haven Pregnancy Services in Plymouth, new hampshire for twenty three years. So been at it a long time. I have a lot of experience and not too long ago, God asked me to speak and share my story and so that is what I will attempt to do today awesome yeah so let’s just dive into your story so tell us, you know, tell us your journey on going from, you know, where you started and in this transition toward pro-life Tell us about that experience yeah. I did not grow up in a Christian home. We went to church on Christmas and Easter, and that was about it. So I was not familiar with God or with faith until I was almost a teenager and a friend of mine took me to Catholic Church with her family and I was introduced to the Catholic faith. I was attending their youth group at the Catholic Church and a few of the teen retreats in my state. But i never really got the concept that you can make Jesus your own. You know that he can be a part of your life, you can bring him into your heart i just knew about the outside faith. And so when I went to school, when went to college, I fell away from God and I partied hard. I dabbled into the new age things like Ouija boards and tarot cards and runes and Reiki, and I fell into a depression during my freshman year of school, didn’t go to classes and flunked out of my freshman year. And so I then moved into an apartment with a group of friends and continued the partying, continued the new age way of belief and I grew further and further away from God and still dealt with a lot of depression. Was walking away around with that. You know the big empty hole that you carry around in your inside of yourself that you can’t seem to fill? So I met and married my husband 38 years ago, and after we were married about two years, I gave birth to our oldest son. And when he was just about to turn a year old, about two days away from his first birthday, I was at work and I received a phone call from my doctor’s office and the nurse was telling me congratulations, The pregnancy test that you came in for yesterday is positive and I was not happy about that. I was struggling to be a Good Wife, to hold down a job, to be a good mom with this severe depression that I was dealing with. And so I went home and I knew what I had to do. I told my husband that the pregnancy test was positive and I’m going to have an abortion. And his response to me shocked me. He said, I don’t want you to have an abortion. I believe that abortion takes the life of a baby. And my thought was, wait a minute, you don’t want to have another baby any more than I do. How can you tell me what to do with my own body and tell me that I can’t have this abortion? And so the following days I just I wept about it. I was in a panic, and I knew what I had to do. Just a few days later, I wound up having a spontaneous miscarriage, and I was so relieved not to be pregnant anymore and so relieved not to have that abortion. Not because it concerned me that I was taking the life of my baby, but because I was concerned about how it would affect my relationship with my husband. Well, just a couple of years later, I get a job at a prenatal clinic at a local hospital as administrator and we supplied low income women with prenatal care who didn’t have health insurance. And so as the administrator, part of my job was to do the intake for the new patients and most of the time when they got to my desk, they had already decided that they were going to have their baby and they were entering into prenatal care. I remember the first woman who came in and sat next to my desk and asked me, do you do abortions here? And I said to her, no, i’m sorry i felt bad to say we don’t do abortions here and they don’t do abortions at the local hospital. But without even asking her any questions, I didn’t care what her story was i didn’t care why she wanted to have an abortion i just picked up the phone and I made the referral for her to go to the abortion clinic and to abort her baby and probably reap the emotional and spiritual and physical repercussions of that decision. And from there I worked at that prenatal program for 12 years and during the first ten years I remained very pro abortion and very anti Christian. I experienced at one point the depression that was so deep and so powerful. I can remember being in my office at work and i closed the door and I sat at my desk and I laid out four or five bottles of pills, trying to decide which ones to take first. That would have the biggest effect for ending my life. And as I’m sitting there and I’m contemplating and I’m looking at this group of bottles of pills, my friend and the social worker for the program, for the prenatal program, she walked into my office and she sat down next to my desk and she said, Beth, what are you doing? And I said, I’m trying to decide which of these pills i want to take first. And she said, so you want to take your life. And I said, yeah, I just, I can’t stand this feeling of hopelessness. And so she put me in her car, and she drove me to the hospital where I lived. And I was admitted on the psych ward for a week. And during that time I was given an antidepressant medication, and I was released after a week, began to feel somewhat better, but still feeling that big empty hole on the inside. And about a year later I’m home. My husband comes home from work and he says to me, a friend of mine came into work today and he was telling me about ATV show that’s on really early in the morning that we need to watch and I was like, OK, what’s the TV show? And he said, well, I said I can’t remember the name of it. I said, but give me a while, I’ll think of it. So I said OK, fine. Couple of days later, it was a Friday, and he and I had gone out to dinner and next to the restaurant was a bookstore. And so he and I went into the bookstore after dinner, and he had mentioned that he wanted to read the book Oral Roberts autobiography. Ok, that’s going back pretty far, Oral Roberts, right? So we go into the bookstore i go one way and he goes another way. And I wind up in the religious section of the bookstore, and I’m looking for the Oral Roberts autobiography. And you know how it is when you go into a bookstore, you’re picking up books, You’re putting them down, picking them up, read the jacket, put them down. So eventually he found me, and I had found the book, the Oral Roberts autobiography and so I said to him, look, I found Oral Roberts book and he’s like, oh, that’s awesome he’s like, what is that other book that you’re holding? And I looked down and I said, it’s just a book that I picked up I haven’t put back yet and he looked at it and he said, that’s the guy that’s the TV show that we’re supposed to watch that’s him. We have to buy that book. And I’m like, OK, so the book was Good Morning Holy Spirit by Benny Hinn. So we go home, we have the two books i sit down on the couch and I’m curious, so I open up this bin book it wasn’t very thick by Benny Hinn. And I read cover to cover this book. And by the time I’m done, I’m crying. And he says to me, what are you crying for and I said, i don’t know i don’t want to know about Jesus i don’t care about Jesus. This book is all about Jesus. And I threw the book down on the end table next to the couch, and I said, I’m going to bed. So I went to bed that night. 3:00 in the morning, I wake up out of a sound sleep, feeling like somebody’s shaking my feet, like trying to wake me up. And so I woke up i looked at the clock it’s 3:00 and I’m thinking, my husband’s woken me up, So I look over at him and he’s sound asleep, like, OK, that’s weird, go back to sleep. The next night again, I’m awoken, feeling like someone’s shaking me awake, shaking my feet at the end of the bed. I look over at the clock. 3:00 in the morning, my husband is sound asleep. I’m thinking, OK, this is a little weird now, Third night, same thing. 3:00 in the morning somebody’s shaking my feet. I wake up, I sit up in bed, and I’m getting ready to yell at my husband. He’s sound asleep. And I knew. I knew it was God. So I got up out of bed and I grabbed the Benny Hinn book that was still on the table next to the couch and I went down to the finish finished basement, and I looked in the back of the book. There was a sinner’s prayer there, and I said, God, I don’t know what you want from me. Whatever it is, just leave me alone. And so I read the sinner’s prayer. I cried for a while. I went back to bed. But over the next week I felt different. I felt lighter i felt like this big burden had been taken off of me. And I felt this joy that I don’t remember the last time I’d ever felt. And so after about a week at the back of the book, it said after the sinner’s prayer, make sure you tell somebody that you’ve received Jesus as your savior so I told my husband and I said, hey, I think I got saved. And he’s like, oh, why do you think that so I told him the whole story and he’s like, yeah, I think you got saved. And from then my life was transformed. That big empty hole that I was walking around with, Jesus filled it as only he can do, and I’ve never experienced that since. Now I knew about 18 months after I received Jesus as my savior that God was impressing upon me that I needed to quit my job at the prenatal clinic and find a different job but I didn’t know what that job was. So one morning I’m driving to work and I was listening to my new favorite radio station, which is New Hampshire Gospel Radio. And on the radio comes an ad from the pregnancy center about 40 minutes away from my house saying that they were looking for an executive director they had a job opening. I said out loud as I’m driving in the car all by myself, there is no way I am driving 40 minutes to and from work every day to go to work i’m not doing that. Don’t ever tell God what you’re not going to do, right? So about 3 weeks later, I was hired at the Haven Pregnancy Services in Plymouth, about 40 minutes away from my house. So I start my job there. And I was a baby Christian, right i was only 18 months in the Lord, and so the board very wisely decided that I wasn’t to be the executive director, So the interim director stayed on i was hired as client services manager. So I shadowed the executive director for two clients as she met with them for Options Education we weren’t doing ultrasounds at the time. And then the third client came in and the executive director said, OK, Beth, you’re the client services manager. You meet with this woman all by yourself. So she was a college student at our local college, local university, and she was coming in for a pregnancy test in options education because she didn’t think that she could finish school and have a baby. So I chatted with her and she shared with me that she grew up in a Catholic home, that her parents still attended the Catholic Church back where she was from. Her pregnancy test was positive. We went over options, education and i was thinking, aha, she’s got Catholic parents, they’re going to encourage her to choose life. So this was right before Christmas break. So I said to her, I said, Susan, go home, tell your parents that you’re pregnant they are going to help you to make a good decision. So Christmas break comes and goes. She comes back to school. I called her up and I said, hey Susan, how are you doing? This is Beth at the pregnancy center. And Susan says to me I’m doing terrible. I said, Oh no, what happened? And she said I went home, told my parents that I was pregnant and my mother took me for an abortion and I was devastated for her. And she said, no, I can’t sleep, I’m not going to my classes, I can’t eat, I’m crying all the time. It was the worst experience of my life i wished I’d never done it. And so I chatted with her for a while and made-up an appointment for her to come in to talk to the executive director to do some post abortion healing. And about two weeks after that, I was invited to go to a New Hampshire Right to Life luncheon where Scott Klusendorf, who you probably know from Life Training Institute, she was, he was the keynote speaker that day and he said the first thing he said if you want to defend your pro-life view, you need to be able to answer the question, what are the unborn? And So what is, what is abortion? And so he said he was going to show a ninety second video clip and if anybody in the room was post abortive, it was OK for them to close their eyes or turn away from the screen they weren’t going to hear anything, but it was going to be graphic and difficult to watch. And so I sat there and I’m thinking, well, I’m pro-life I can remember when I was first thinking about taking the job at the pregnancy center and I was pro abortion and I didn’t know what being pro-life was as a Christian. And so I went to my pastor and I went to a best friend who was a Christian and they shared with me the sanctity of human life from a biblical point of view. This is why you should be pro-life as a Christian. And I understood that. I understood what the Scripture said to me and I said I can get on board with this. Yes, I am now pro-life according to what God says in His word. So I’m sitting there getting ready to watch this video and I’m thinking I’m pro-life I don’t need to watch this. I’ve seen some pictures of aborted babies i know what it is. But the Holy Spirit prompted me to watch the video, and as I’m sitting there and the room is silent, the longest 90 seconds watching this graphic video and it was done. You could hear just quiet sobbing around the room as people just teared up. And I’m sitting there and I’m thinking, Lord, how can we do this every day? How can we take the lives of babies like that every single day? How can we do that? And then the full realization of my part in that just came rushing into me that I had and was perfectly willing to send women to the abortion clinic to do that to their own base. I had done that was my part in that. And all I wanted to do was just to fall on the floor, prostate before God and say, God, how can you even look at me? I just wanted to cover my head in shame and say, God, how can you love me for what I’ve done for my part in that? And then the whisper started. You know, the enemy who will lead you to the sin and then shout at you afterwards for committing the sin and trying to make you feel like the worst human being on earth and he was whispering in my ear, saying, you’re such a hypocrite. How on earth do you think God could ever use you in a pro-life ministry after what you’ve done? How dare you? You’re such a faker. So as I went to God in the following days after that luncheon and i went to him asking him for forgiveness for my part in abortion, wanting to abort my own baby and sending other women for theirs. And Jesus did as only He can do, right he redeemed me and He restored me and He forgave me. And I knew that I was healed and I knew that God had me and his grip for serving him in the pro-life ministry. I can’t not do this for it just when God calls you to it, you just have to do it. About two years after I’d been working at the prenatal, excuse me, at the pregnancy centre here at Haven Pregnancy Services about two years later, my mom asked me, So what do you do down there, where you work? And so I shared with her pregnancy centre, We’re pro-life we want to encourage women to choose life when they’re in unplanned pregnancies. And my mom shared with me that when I was in elementary school she had an abortion. And I never knew that. And she said that about two years prior to her divulging this to me, which was when I got the job at the pregnancy center. She said she’d gone to church she was a Catholic. She went to the Catholic Church in our town and she went in and she confessed her abortion to the priest. And she said the priest brought her out of the confessional and went through this whole process of healing and forgiveness with her. And she said when she walked into the church, it was late fall. When she walked into the church, she felt dirty. And when she walked out, it had snowed at the end during the time that she was inside the church and she said she walked out and everything was white and clean. And she knew that she was forgiven. And I thought, you know, this statistic is that one out of every four women who experience pregnancy, by the time they’re 45 will have an abortion. And my mom was one in four. And I never knew that and it made me realize that abortion touches everybody, right i had a brother or a sister who was taken by abortion and everybody. You may have a cousin or an aunt or an uncle or a brother or a sister who was lost to abortion and you may not even know it with that statistic it touches everybody and the fact that God could take me from being so anti Christian and hostile to the gospel and so pro abortion and transform me into someone who served him in a Christian pro-life ministry for 23 years. If you’d told me that 30 years ago, I would have said you were crazy. And in April of 2022 I was sitting at the banquet table of our banquet for Haven Pregnancy Services when our keynote speaker was just finishing her presentation. When I heard God share one word with me, he said speak. That’s it nothing else just speak. And in the following days He gave me two scriptures. He gave me Proverbs chapter 31 verses eight and nine. Speak up for those who have no voice for the justice of all who are dispossessed. Speak up, judge righteously, and defend the cause of the oppressed and the needy. And then he gave me Jeremiah 2911 which we’re all familiar with. For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope in a future. And I knew that God was asking me to share my own story and my own testimony. Little did I know that just a month after that banquet, when he asked me to speak, the Supreme Court leak happened. That’s was saying that Roe V Wade was about to be overturned. And of course, the attack against pregnancy centers was instant, right? Vandalism, firebombing and attacking. And we’re all as pregnancy centers trying to defend ourselves, saying, wait a minute, what the media and the lawmakers are saying to you, that’s not who we are. We help women and our communities. This is who we are. But our words just kept being twisted around and used against us, to the point where by the time we got to the fall of 2022 I thought even pregnancy centers don’t have a voice. And so God prompted me to start the podcast, The Heartbeat of the pro-life ministry, in order to share who pregnancy centers are and what we do. I share client stories. I share i did an episode with my medical director so that he could share why he’s medical director, why other doctors should be medical directors, what benefit it was for him to do, and the role of a of a of a medical director at a pregnancy center. And I’ve shared that podcast so many times with other directors who can share it with potential doctors for coming on board as medical director so that they would know being a medical director is a blessing. And the podcast is geared toward the pro-life believer who wants to see lives saved and changed. They don’t quite know what to do. And so I share about pregnancy center work so that they can get involved with their own pregnancy center wherever they are. They may be in California or Wisconsin or here in New Hampshire. And I also share information with pro-life believers about how to defend their pro-life belief because that’s a huge thing right now, especially in churches as more and more Christians are becoming pro abortion, it’s difficult for us to know, what do you say what do you say to them? And so I want the podcast to be used by other pregnancy centers to share with their supporters so that their supporters would know this is what we are, this is what we do, and this is how you can help. So that’s basically my story. Wow thank you so much for sharing. And also to for diving into the details that was really enjoyable and helpful to just sort of yeah hear that story and such good detail. So one of the three pillars that I often try and bring into these podcast episodes is what? Well, one of them is where are God’s fingerprints and I think you’ve already highlighted how where God showed up in your story and that was perfect and amazing to hear. One of the other pillars that I have in this podcast is what is something that you think a pricey clinic leadership team or a executive director, What’s an encouraging word or an encouraging idea? And perhaps maybe the question might be when that princely clinic director or leadership team talks to someone who is OK with abortion or they’re OK with abortion in certain situations, how would you encourage that leader or director to respond in that situation? I think there would be two different categories one is, are you talking to a Christian or are you talking to somebody who isn’t a Christian? Because if it’s somebody who’s a Christian, know what the Bible says. So one of the I just did an episode, my last episode, about the case of rape, right because abortion in the case of rape is used so often, especially as a Christian right because we think that we’re being compassionate to the woman who experienced that horrible violence perpetrated against her. And as a Christian, if we believe that God is the creator of life, which he is, the Bible says so in multiple different places. And if we believe that God is sovereign and that God doesn’t make mistakes, right? God does not make mistakes. So even in the case of rape, we may not understand why God created a life out of that. We don’t know why he would do that, but he has a plan and a purpose for even that child, for us so for us to say that she should have an abortion, basically what we’re saying is, God, I know you made a mistake in creating this life and I’m going to fix it for you. And how could we really ever say that to God? You created this human being, but you must have made a mistake so we’re going to encourage her to end her child’s life because that baby was created in an act of rape. That’s just a piece. So know Biblically, if you’re talking to a Christian, what to say. Care Net has a podcast called Care Cast where Roland Warren talks a lot about how to talk to Christians about being pro-life why they should be pro-life so there’s lots of references and lots of resources out there to use. The other is if you’re talking to somebody who’s not a Christian, if you start out with Scripture and talking about God, they’re going to go, I don’t care what you have to say, I’m shutting you off. So for them you need to use Logic Life Training Institute scott Klusendorf, you had, was it Michael Spencer on your podcast, who’s also been trained by Life Training Institute he speaks a lot. They’ll teach you how to talk to somebody who’s not a Christian, to be logical and use the sled method to defend your pro-life belief so I talk about that in the same podcast episode. So those are two things. It’s hard having those conversations sometimes because they’re difficult conversations but to be prayed up and ready to do it is what I would suggest. Yeah that makes sense and I think I think the Christian scenario is probably going to show up most often in this space. It seems like that’s what at least that’s what I experience most often is the believer who is arguing for abortions wrong and except in certain situations and one of my favorite well I have a lot of favorite pro-life speakers but one of one of the pro-life speakers who’s also amazing. His name is Stephen Finn and he is you know his first his origin story is out of a horrific story at where his mother was raped and in his life I believe is a testimony to how all lives are given to us by God including out of hard situations. And so i feel like his life, literally his life, speaks to the reason for why life matters even out of hard situations, right and how Rebecca Kisling is another one who falls into that same category. She was conceived in rape and we’ve had her speak at our fundraising banquet here. And really, when you think about it, is every time a Christian says that it’s OK for a woman who is raped to have an abortion for all of those people who were conceived in rape, like him, like Rebecca, basically what we’re saying to them is that their life has no value and that they shouldn’t exist. And if you’re a Christian and you’re hearing other Christians say that, how does that feel to them, To have your brothers and sisters in Christ say you shouldn’t, you should have been aborted and you shouldn’t exist? That’s pretty harsh. So I know we’re trying to be compassionate to the woman by saying abortion is OK, but that’s only focusing on her, not the life that God created as the baby. And also that’s just a temporary thing for her we’re actually compounding her trauma and her grief by adding abortion on to that. So the third pillar of this podcast is to identify ideas or to share ideas that are not commonly adopted or known. So from your experience, what’s something that you would like other executive directors rather Princeton clinic leadership teams to know that you consider maybe not common knowledge or maybe it’s you know, somewhat hidden or you know, not adopted commonly. I would say probably well, two things one is to make sure that you get help where you need it. For instance, in what you do, Jacob, and what stories marketing does in helping to market your center, well, appropriately, thoroughly. That means money because we have to pay for that. And back in the day, when I first started having somebody on the outside do that for me, having to spend the money to do it, because I’ve been doing this a long time, I remember Yellow Pages, OK i remember spending a thousand dollars a year to get a Yellow Page ad, and I thought that was a lot. We have to pay for this, but it’s important and it’s so worth it. So if you’re struggling and trying to do it on your own to get that advertising out, to get that marketing out, have somebody who does it best and well and is familiar with it, have them help you. Go to your donors and say this is what we need to do. Our clients are online, OK? We need to be online where they are, which means we need to do it well. And in order to do it well, it’s going to cost this amount of money. And please help us to pay for that. I don’t have a problem asking people for money i know a lot of people will come on a board or staff and they say, you know, I’m perfectly willing to serve but don’t ask me to ask people for money. I don’t mind asking for money because I love this ministry. I know what we do. I know saving lives and changing lives of women is important work. And so if you, if you need to have that kind of a help to get your name out there with advertising and being online, do that, get the help to do it. The other thing I would say is having done this for 23 years, there have been lots of discouraging times. Lots of times when I’m like, I don’t know how I’m going to be able to pay the rent this month or how I am going to be able to do everything I need to do because my staff member just quit, Don’t give up. If God has called you to it and there are days when you struggle, press into him, have people praying for you, have people you can go to and you can say, hey, I’m really struggling right now, I need you to pray with me and they will do that. Make sure that you take care of yourself. There have been twice since I’ve been here where I’ve had to take leave of absence to rest and just take a break and say, OK, I need to disengage for a little bit. I took a month for the first time i took five weeks the second time. If you need to do that, do that. Let your board know how you’re feeling and what’s going on, and encourage them to support you. If your center winds up, winds up being closed, you know, an extra day a week because you’re gone. And that’s what needs to happen because you’ve got to take care of yourself you need to be strong in order to do this work. You know, I joke with people that I know and I say, you know, there have been so many times when I’ve asked to God, can you release me from this ministry now because it’s, it hurts. It’s hard. My dream job is to go to the local grocery store and bag groceries. Can I just go do that now because that sounds really easy to me. And every time, God will say no beth, I’ve got you. I know what it is I’ve called you to do i know it’s hard, but I’ve got you can do this keep going. Wow, that’s really good. So I want to respond to a couple of those thoughts one is I’m a very thrifty person probably because of my grandmother on my dad’s side is very thrifty and so i definitely have inherited that thrifty gene. But I would like to say, you know, i have intentionally repented of that thriftiness when it comes to when it comes to spending money to save lives and further missions. Because if someone spends money to reach more women and couples and families and, you know, essentially these women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy, the mission can be accomplished more and so it’s really important to not be thrifty, but to be strategic and to be, you know, to have vision, to have a vision of growth and a vision of reach, to reach people in these scenarios because advertising is a way to reach someone who doesn’t know about you as of yet. And so that’s a way to increase the number of clients that will be impacted by everything that’s been set up the, you know, the medical services, the counseling, the you know, the volunteers, all that, all the prayer going into this work. And the advertising is the part of this engine that will draw in more people as part of that part of that work according to Care Net. So if someone’s budget is small or someone’s budget is big according to Care Net, and ideally according to Care Net, 10 % of the revenue should go towards marketing. And that’s for a smaller group or clinic. And then for a larger clinic, they say 20 % may be an expected number to use. And I definitely have spoken to many pricey clinics who will spend anywhere between under 1 % to 4 % and they use it, you know, and I try and maybe speak into that by saying let’s cast a vision of trying to work towards 10 %. I’ve also spoken to smaller clinics who are spending 20 % of their budget and they you know, but all that they say is if your budget is what it is, if the revenue is what it is, spending 10 % is a way to. You know, let that marketing budget grow as your organization’s revenue grows or if your revenue goes down, maybe that marketing budget also needs to go down so that you’re not upside down in your spending. That’s just those are some business thoughts there, right? And then when it when it comes to, you know, taking some time off or making sure that you’re receiving the care that you need, I’d like to share something that my church does. So every December we call it fallow month where we shut down everything that we do except for our Sunday services so like all of our small groups, all of our special things, all of it gets we take a month off and we call it fallow month. And really the intention is that Christmas in December is so busy and it’s really nice to have. Well, for the church, experiment by church at least slows things down because they know that, you know all the family events and everything else goes up. And the intention is, instead of going to that small group that you would normally go to once a week, you know, use that time to do something that you would not normally do, like maybe inviting someone out the coffee. Or another suggestion my pastor gave was, you know, do a super sleep, meaning go to bed at seven when the kids go to bed and try and sleep for 12 hours. That’s a good one. Really just yeah, like you might need some super sleeps during the month of December because you know, it’s the month of December and there’s going to be plenty of things even with us doing less it’s going to be very hectic and busy and it’s good for you to, you know. Anyways, all that to say is you know maybe think about just turning things off for a month but keeping your vital things going but yeah, and work in some super sleeps work in some special. Especially spend time with people that you haven’t spent time with in a long time. And by turning off some of the normal things for a month that’ll give you some of that space and bandwidth to do some of those. Yeah, to be intentional about doing things that are new and not always doing that trend every. Yeah, all the time And so. Right that’s just one. Yeah, that’s another alternative to the taking a few days off is just to go fallow, meaning keeping the vital things on but turning off all the extras for a period of a few weeks. Yeah and that that’s a really great thing to do but hard. As an executive director, I think it might be easier for other staff but as executive director, if something doesn’t get done, then it’s on you to do so it’s really hard to just do your own job and let the rest go unless you’re actually letting it all go for a little while, right. You know the other thing I want to say, I want to say about budget and advertising too is our center is a tithing center. So we tithe 10 % of our gross income quarterly to other pregnancy center ministries in need. And so i love when I hear that pregnancy centers are doing that because if another center has a need and they have a small budget but they would like more for advertising. I love to give to specifics like that you know to help them out to do what it is they need to do and don’t be afraid to speak about your ministry it took me a long time i’ve spoken at some pregnancy center banquets as keynote speaker lately, and it’s been such a blessing to be able to do that because we assume that people know everything there is to know about a pregnancy center. But when they think that they know, usually there’s always something more to learn. So don’t be afraid to speak and share with your supporters all of the different things that you do and ask them to share with their church all of the things that your pregnancy center does because that’s how you’re going to get more people on board to become givers and prayers. Oh, that’s good. Yeah and there’s always new stories to share and people like to hear about what you’re doing because it gives them what they need to pray and to be encouraged when donating and encouraged when, you know, inviting others to volunteer and join the team. And so I think it’s good to empower people with really good stories. And there’s plenty of stories and it’s sometimes it’s OK to tell someone the same story more than once, really. In the end, that’ll help them remember it better. But it’s also good to share new stories too, right? That’s what I One of the things I love about doing the podcast is getting to share all of those stories from women who’ve come in over 2 decades, you know, and just share their experiences and what a difference a pregnancy center can make in their life awesome So Beth, would you share any final thoughts and then maybe close us in, close out this podcast in a prayer with the expectation that those who are listening will have the opportunity to join you in that in that prayer as they’re listening down the road? sure. My final thoughts would be how precious it is to be called by God to serve in this ministry. And it’s not an easy calling, but we have been called. So press into him, Keep going, have scriptures ready that you can hang on to and make sure that you’ve got people who are praying for you, people that you can go to and say, hey, i’m experiencing this joy. I’m experiencing this struggle. Can you pray for me in this area and make sure that you connect with one another As executive directors? We are, we are different we have a specific role and in our area we have a coalition of executive directors and we meet every month and we do a retreat once a year. And that connection is so vital and so important for those of us who’ve been doing it for a long time, but also for the new ones, the new executive directors who are just starting out that need wisdom and need encouragement and need help being connected to one another is a big deal. So try to try to make an effort to do that in your state or in your region. Thank you, Jacob for allowing me to share today and I would be honored to close in prayer. Awesome Heaven, Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for who you are, Our good and gracious God thank you for calling us to this ministry. Thank you for sustaining us in the work. Thank you for keeping us going. Thank you for lifting us up and encouraging us. Thank you for one another that we have unity in this work that you’ve called us to do. We ask, Lord, that you would protect the pregnancy centers around the country and around the world. Thank you for how you sustain us thank you for how you provide for us. Thank you for how you love us and protect us. We pray, Lord, for the women that you send into our centers, and we lift them up to you and ask that you would touch them, open their eyes and their hearts and their ears to hear the truth of life before birth and also the truth of who you are lord Jesus and your sacrifice for them. May we have more opportunities to share the gospel with them and see the fruit of our labor as they come to know you as Lord and Savior. We pray, Lord for the media and for lawmakers who seek to shut us down. We pray that you would bring light into their eyes and their hearts about the work that we do. Thank you for those who step up and defend us in the public square and in the legal realm as well. I ask, Lord, that you would bring more women into pregnancy centers, more women who need tests and ultrasounds and classes and help and hope and life. I thank you, Lord, for who you are and what you do for us lord, I ask a blessing upon Jacob and upon his podcast as it goes far and wide to other directors who need the hope and encouragement to keep going and to keep steadfast in the work that you have called them to do. I asked Lord for the blessing. Upon our time and upon our ministries, and your wonderful and powerful name, Jesus we pray amen.