The ProLife Team Podcast 145 | Lori Navrodtzke

Lori Navrodtzke, Recovery Services Manager at Hands of Hope Tucson, shares her journey of healing from her own abortion experience, highlighting the struggle to reconcile her past with her passion for pro-life advocacy, and how finding trust in God helped her navigate the challenges of shame, brokenness, and rebuilding her identity, ultimately leading her to embrace her calling in counseling and speaking out against abortion.


The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.


00:05 :

So Lori, I’m excited to have you on the pro-life Team Podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were talking to a small group of pre C clinic leaders, pro-life leaders, pre C clinic directors, people like people of that caliber?

00:22 :

Ok, so yeah, my name is Lori Navrodtzke, and I am the recovery Services Manager at Hands of Hope Tucson. I’ve been on staff here for I’m in my eighteenth year now, which is kind of crazy that I’ve been here so long. I have a master’s in counseling and so on staff here what I do is the abortion recovery. And then I also do a grief counseling for all types of pregnancy loss, and then a smattering of other types of counseling as it comes up as a need in sessions that I’m having.

01:02 :

Awesome so tell us the story you know, the story of how you got started in this work, or on this journey.

01:11 :

Yeah, So that actually, it came out of my own experience with abortion. So back in 1984 February of 1984 I had an abortion when I was about 10 weeks pregnant i was 18. The pregnancy was the result of having been sexually abused by the youth pastor at my church, and he was the one who pushed the idea of abortion. It was something that I’d never really given much thought to. So over the next several years, I really struggled with that. Didn’t really know necessarily that the struggles I was having was a result of the abortion, but just a lot of emotional issues, some addictive behaviors, difficulties in my marriage. And it wasn’t until 20 years later, so 2004 that I finally decided to talk to a counselor about all of these issues and let him know that I had an abortion, just to see if there was any connection. And that was 20 years later, the start of my healing from that. And so then that became a gradual shift into honestly feeling like I was worthy of being pro-life and being vocal about being pro-life I always felt like I didn’t have a right to speak out against abortion because I had made that decision myself. And so as that all started to shift through the counseling that I was getting, I decided to become a volunteer first at Hands of Hope And then it was shortly after starting to volunteer that I came on staff part time and then within a year or two that turned into a full time position. So that that’s a real nutshell version of how I came into this kind of work.

03:26 :

Yeah thank you for sharing that your story there at least that you know nuts sized nutshell sized story. So can you speak more about the, you know, the idea that because we’re broken or we have we’re you know sinful or sin filled past. You know can you speak more about how that blocked and yeah and what and how to handle that shame or the idea of it’s, you know when it comes to someone choosing to do good in the midst of being broken.

04:01 :

Right and yeah, it was really, you know, when I think about it now, it’s ridiculous you know, we have no problem at all with accepting somebody who has been a previous drug addict or previous alcoholic now working to help people not get involved in that kind of an addiction. But for some reason, there seems to be this stigma of if you’ve had an abortion, you have no right to tell somebody else that they shouldn’t do it. And I think internally that does come a lot from just that place of shame. Like I, you know, I’m like the worst person in the world for having made this decision, which is often what we think and feel. And you know, who am I to tell somebody else that they shouldn’t do this so it really once. Once you heal from having had an abortion, it becomes, I think for a lot of people, a passion then to speak out against it and to help women and men make other decisions, you know, if they find themselves in an unplanned pregnancy. But i think that it’s a self-imposed restriction. Like i can’t speak to this because I’ve made that decision.

05:32 :

So what’s been your journey like when it comes to finding a new church or finding a new church body to connect with and being able to trust leadership? You know, what did that look like?

05:47 :

That took a long time. It really, I really had to learn that just because I was hurt by a person who was representing God, that didn’t define who God was. And that was not an easy thing to grasp because you know, the reality is that yes, we have to look to God for our salvation and for our healing and for all of our needs and all of those kinds of things. However, Christian people are supposed to be God in the flesh, so to speak, where we are really showing and shining the light of Christ. And so when we’re hurt by or when I was hurt by someone in the church like that it did shift very much over to you know i now don’t trust God. So that was a real struggle for me i shield away from church. I really didn’t want to have anything to do with God for a long time And it was, I would say it was the Holy Spirit for sure bringing me back and just kind of stirring up those feelings inside of me of the church itself isn’t what’s bad it was that person who was. And so it took some time and you know God put some people into my life who were trustworthy, who did have integrity. I was willing to start slowly taking risks to trust people in the church. And I’m not going to say that I haven’t been hurt by people in the church since then. But once I got over that hump, i was able to make that distinction between God is my savior he’s never going to do anything to hurt me. People may hurt me even if they are representing him, but he’s going to be there to help me through that. And i think that comes just from a different level of maturity. You know, when I was hurt by the youth pastor, I was 1718 years old. You know, now I’m much older than that and, you know, have a lot more life experience and so I can understand that distinction needs to be made now.

08:18 :

Wow yeah i thought what I’m hearing. Yeah, essentially is, yeah, there were a lot of, yeah, you’re terribly hurt. And there were a lot of false beliefs that were weaved into that experience. And you know, probably false beliefs about God, false beliefs about others, false beliefs about yourself. And it sounds like you’ve made a journey towards, you know, a longing or you made a journey towards identifying those false beliefs and found truths in Jesus and God that represent who you are. Do you, when it comes to you who you are today, your identity in Jesus, how would you describe that as of today?

09:05 :

Oh, gosh, completely different. You know, i think I, you know, I was a Christian when all of that happened, when I was 18 had been baptized, I had grown up in a Christian home, all of that but i think in a lot of ways there was a cultural and social aspect to my faith because it hadn’t really been tested and it was just it was what I grew up in. And So what I went through when I was 1718 years old really was a crisis of faith. But because it was the youth pastor and nobody knew about it, not even my family, I didn’t have anybody to help me through that. So I just buried it and honestly just let the enemy kind of take a hold and do what he wanted with my thoughts and my emotions and all of that and so you know, certainly community now makes a big difference for me you know, having people who I can trust, who I can get wise counsel from, who I can talk to, and even just seeing how i would say a huge part of my story is seeing how God changed so much in my life and brought me through healing. Brought me to a place of just being able to embrace where I was at. Getting rid of the shame that I had, knowing that I’m forgiven all of those things. I know that I can’t live my life without him. And so back eight years ago, seven eight years ago, kind of went through another crisis of faith. And it was, it was very different that time. And it was noticeably different because I was in a position where it was tempting to just say, you know, God, this just isn’t fair and it makes no sense to me and to want to push him away. But after everything he had brought me through, I knew that wasn’t an option because it was like, OK, I know I need him in my life and i can’t do this without him so I have to figure out a way to reconcile what just happened while still maintaining that relationship with him so it was a completely different kind of a reaction instead of just impulsively i don’t want to have anything to do with God because of this happening to me it was a I’m doing a lot of questioning right here, God and it is kind of a crisis of faith, but I know I can’t get through this without you. So a lot of that had to do just with the evidence that I saw in my own life of everything that he brought me through and being able to remember that.

12:10 :

Wow. So along this along your life journey, when you look back, do you see where do you see God’s fingerprints and you know throughout this experience?

12:26 :

Yeah, that’s interesting because I I’ve done a lot of going back to my roots, so to speak. You know, i was floundering for a while i got very involved in caring for animals and working at vet clinics and animal shelters and that kind of stuff, just because, you know, animals don’t hurt people hurt people so I didn’t want to have anything to do with people. But yeah, just looking back and the strengths that I see in myself, the giftings that I see in myself, just getting back to what I always wanted to do i mean, i got my college degree in social work and then never practiced because I just fell into this really bad place. And so as part of this whole healing process has been going back into that and going back to school, getting my master’s you know, when I was 45 years old and being able to help people, which is something I always want it to do. And even, you know, doing things like this podcast, speaking in front of people, that’s something that always terrified me. I there’s no way I would have been willing to do those kinds of things. But God has definitely given me a voice where this is comfortable to me now, which is still a little surprising because i know what it was like before. So yeah, just that nurturing and being able to communicate with people and even the some of that intuition that’s there and with doing the counseling and so i really do feel in the time that I’ve been working here at Hands of Hope and doing what I’m doing here, I do feel like I’m walking in the kind of the work that God gave me to do, as opposed to being completely out of that and trying to figure out my own way.

14:43 :

Yeah, awesome well, thank you so much for reflecting on those thoughts that’s, you know, those were. Yeah i just want to say thank you for doing that. Oh, you’re welcome so a long time ago, I used to work for the Crisis Pregnancy Clinics of Tucson back in.

15:00 :


15:01 :

1999 I guess it was 1999 for about two years before the name change under John Tabor and for several years, actually for several years we worked in some in some aspect or another. But all to say is so are you locate, do you work out of the location in the TMC Medical Park is that where your office or where are you officed out of?

15:29 :

My office is actually in our administrative building and that’s partly because the Medical Center was so busy and is so busy with client appointments for pregnancy tests and ultrasounds and that there wasn’t room for me to have a full time office over there so I’m at the admin building and it in some ways it works I think better just because often people who are coming in for pregnancy tests, you could already kind of see that there may be pregnant, they might bring their kids in with them and that’s all great but when I’m doing counseling for somebody who’s had a miscarriage or a still birth, you know, those types of things or even a past abortion, those kinds of images, you know, being around women who are pregnant, being around kids, that can be really difficult. So when they’re coming into our administrative building, there isn’t any of that, you know, in our waiting room so i think it’s just a little bit better environment for them. So yeah, so i’m set up over here at admin.

16:41 :

Is that the one on? Is it 20, second street or which?

16:45 :

Where is that one at, oh, fifth. Yeah OK. We’ve had a number of different locations over the years.

16:55 :

That’s true. So what’s something that you’ve learned in your 18 years of experience working in this field that you think it would be really helpful for you know, people to know or that you know may not be commonly understood?

17:15 :

Oh, wow, that’s a deep question. You know, i think I’d have to say that what I what I’ve learned is that it seems like sometimes in the pro-life community especially and even sometimes in like a pregnancy center, there can be kind of a fragmentation of services sort of and what I mean by that is you’ll have the people coming in who are potentially in crisis because they found out that they were pregnant or they think that they’re pregnant And you’re kind, you’re doing that kind of crisis intervention with them, with helping them make a decision hopefully for life obviously by doing options counseling and ultrasounds and that. And then you have kind of that box of the people who need care because they’ve already had an abortion. And then depending on you know the pro-life organization or depending on what you have going on at your pregnancy center there may be a piece where it’s more apologetics and that but i really see such a connection with all of those things mean if I had personally known about let’s say abortion apologetics, you know and the and what comes under that so the reality that this is a life, this is a unique life, It’s not just a clump of cells, that sort of thing if I had really known that and fully connected those dots, I really don’t believe I would have made the decision that I did, even though I was being pushed and pressured in that direction i don’t think I would have done it if I had truly understood what I was doing. And that comes from that apologetics piece. If I had an opportunity to hear about the possible consequences, you know, the emotional consequences of abortion, I don’t know that I would have made that decision, you know, And even someone who’s already had an abortion, they really need to be healed from that otherwise, they’re very much at risk of making that decision again, because if they’re living in that place of woundedness and shame, and that’s so helping with the healing can actually potentially prevent somebody from having multiple abortions. So i just, I think that there’s a lot more connection between all the different aspects of pro-life work than maybe some people realize. And I i’ve had a hand in all of those different areas. So prior to becoming, prior to getting my degree in counseling, I did do a lot on the intervention side i was seeing clients for pregnancy tests and that. So I I’ve been involved in that part of it. I’ve worked with some organizations that do apologetics training and you know that’s a very different thing talking about it more is just a an issue as opposed to addressing somebody personally who’s in the moment trying to decide what to do.

20:59 :

So I really think it’s interesting you brought up the word repeat. So like if someone doesn’t get healing then they’re vulnerable to repeating and compounding the trauma or compounding you know, the same decision being made again. And one of the verses that I usually lean on for healing is James well the verse that I lean on for healing, the main one is James five sixteen which is says confess your sins one to another so that you may be healed and the prayers of a righteous person availeth much. And So what would you suggest you know beyond, you know, based on James five sixteen what would you would you, reflect on your thoughts on healing you know, you know. How would you phrase it differently or how would you? What do you see that you know really pairs up well with, you know, confessing or saying it and asking for prayer? How else would you express, you know how healing take place?

22:05 :

Yes so i would definitely agree Confession is huge because shame is such a big part of having had an abortion and i honestly believe that really comes. I think shame comes from the enemy for sure but i think that the reason it’s so effective in keeping people down is because choosing abortion really goes against I believe the way God created us is women and men i mean we were made in his image. He’s created us to procreate. You know that was a command early in Genesis, at the very beginning. Be fruitful and multiply so I think that there’s that innate thing inside of all of us to do that and so having an abortion where we make a decision to end the life of our offspring, of our children, damages something at a very core part of us. And so shame is very effective as far as the enemy using that to keep people beaten down and keep, you know, even if you believe that there’s forgiveness, you can still feel ashamed of what you did. And so if you try to heal kind of just on your own and like i’m not gonna talk to anybody about this. I’m just gonna you know read a book or do a Bible study on my own and do it in private and then I’ll heal from it and then I’m never gonna tell anybody about it again. I personally don’t believe that that’s fully healing. I and that’s why I really emphasize getting involved in either a Bible study groups or under the secret forgiving and set free going to a retreat, something where you’re actually going to be talking about it because saying it out loud is very different than just keeping it all inside. And so if we’re able to confess our sins, confess to other people that we’ve made this decision, talk about how it’s affected us, and then heal from it within that context, I believe that’s when it really gives a person their voice back to be able to get past like I mentioned at the beginning, I felt like I didn’t have a right to tell somebody else that they shouldn’t have an abortion. And I think if you’re willing to confess and get that full healing, then you’re better able to say, you know what, No, i actually do have a voice in this and probably in a lot of ways and more important, maybe not more important but a more effective voice in helping somebody not make this decision because I’ve been there i’ve done that i know what the consequences are. But if we, if we’re not willing to speak openly about it, we’re not going to have that effect on somebody.

25:31 :

Yeah, i’m a so you know a lot of us will talk about how you know saving babies is important because they everyone is an image bearer of God. And at my church one of the analogies that we have taken and this is not from the Bible this is from my church. But imagine like there’s a mirror that reflects God and at that mirror was shattered into 6 billion pieces or 20 billion pieces and every person has, you know reflects God in a unique way and so all that to say is when I think of like, you know, you know your story, whether it’s more important or less important than another part of this puzzle, I think you do bring a unique aspect of reflecting God you know you have unique uniqueness that no one else has. And at the same time we also as you know someone else can reflect the same God, but you reflect God in a unique way and so I think everyone brings uniqueness and the value of reflecting the creator. And so I think every story, yeah, we our stories are really well built to work together to bring, to bring help to others, I think.

26:47 :

Right and I one of the things that I really appreciated Hands of Hope and I know that this isn’t necessarily true at all pregnancy centers, our leadership really puts the same weight on the intervention of doing the pregnancy test and doing the ultrasounds and the options counseling as they do on healing from abortion. So they see the our leadership does see the value in helping women and men heal from those experiences and obviously anyone, whether they’re Christian or not but certainly within the church all of the women and men that have been impacted by abortion who haven’t healed from it yet, it really it prevents them from fully engaging in God’s work and in what he has for them whether it’s has to do with pro-life work or whatever else. We had a local pastor come through one of our healing retreats because of the past abortion that a girlfriend, you know, in college had. And one of the things that he realized after the retreat was that he had been very ineffective in helping people in his congregation deal with any type of pregnancy loss because he had never healed from the abortion experience that he had so, you know, i think being able to see that healing from abortion, not that it’s more important than saving babies lives certainly, but I would say it’s just as important. There are two different things, but it’s just as important. And so there should be equal attention I would say to, you know, if you’re able to do it, obviously resources are needed in that. But if you’re able to do it that should be on equal footing to help women and men heal, because you know, that can make a huge impact then on God’s Kingdom.

29:05 :

Yeah I can yeah the healing after abortion it’s changing the culture. It’s helping people be yeah be free to have a better relationship with God. It also helps someone avoid making that same decision again and making healthier life giving. Yeah essentially it I would agree i it feels a lot like to me like the comparing someone’s first birth you know the first water birth to the second birth when it comes to the spirit. And I feel like you can’t have the spiritual birth. Well, the spiritual birth comes after the water birth and so the water birth is important but the spiritual birth is you know absolutely critical and so it’s interesting to think about how those work together when it comes to someone you know having relationship with jesus.

30:04 :


30:07 :

So based on your story, your experience, what’s something that you you’ve learned recently? Well, when it comes to like you know, the Dobbs decision being made, how has that affected your work and you know, and the work at Hands of Hope over the last two 2 and a half years?

30:33 :

Yeah so it’s interesting. I have seen here in the Tucson area an increase in the number of women and men who are reaching out for help for healing from a past abortion and I think that that’s just because you know, when it’s when that issue is brought up over and over and over and is in front of your face so much, if you’re struggling with it and even if a lot of that struggle has been suppressed for a long time, it’s going to start to surface. And you’ve got people, you know, arguing about it and you’ve got people on one side saying it’s women’s healthcare and it’s not a big deal and don’t worry about it and you’ve got people on the other side, you know, yelling that women are murderers and you know it and everything in between. And here are a whole lot of very real people who have already made that decision. And truly, because this has become so politicized, they’re falling through the cracks and in some cases maybe even being ignored that, you know, we don’t care about how you feel after having made that decision. You know, we’re just going to keep arguing about the issue. And so I’m getting the calls and the emails then from people saying, you know, all this talk about abortion is just kind of making me crazy and I’ve realized that I need to get some help with this so on one hand, I think it’s good if it’s prompting people to realize that maybe there are some issues that they need to work through with regards to that. And so, yeah, just being, yeah, I think a lot of it is just being sensitive to how you talk about it. You know, there’s all the political talk obviously about the Dobbs decision and now different states and you know, in Arizona we’ve got the ballot initiative to change the state constitution to make abortion A constitutional right. So just even being sensitive, I always say if you’re talking to somebody about abortion, assume that they have been personally impacted by it in some way because it is so prevalent and just be compassionate, you know, I mean and especially as Christians, as God’s people, you know, we can hate the sin and love the Sinner. So do I believe that abortion is a sin absolutely. Do I believe that a core part of healing from an abortion is confessing that sin and asking for forgiveness, embracing God’s forgiveness absolutely. But I can also still have compassion on those women and men who have already made that decision. And I’m going to have that in the back of my mind all the time when I’m talking about this issue, whether it’s in a political arena or a church or wherever, and I think that can be easily forgotten by people.

33:59 :

What’s an example of, you know, making that assumption that someone’s been impacted or hurt by abortion in their past? What’s an example of how you might talk to someone based on that posture?

34:13 :

You know, honestly, for me, I think it’s more about what not to say or the posture not to take as opposed to what to say so the things that I’ve heard in my years since I had the abortion, I would say even within the churches are, you know, I don’t understand how a woman could ever make that decision it’s so evil. Ok, You know, I’m glad you’ve never been in a position where you felt like that was the choice you needed to make. But that’s pretty hurtful and it comes across as being judgmental to somebody who hasn’t healed it is what I would say and so that’s it’s that sensitivity of somebody who hasn’t healed from an abortion already feels guilty already feels ashamed. Is already judging themself already has a lot of self condemnation. Is struggling with forgiveness. So saying things like, you know, well a woman is just a murderer for making that decision or, you know, that’s just how can a mother ever do that or you know, those types of things just solidifies that Christian people, pro-life people, the church isn’t safe to talk about this. I’m not going to get compassion we actually had a response from a woman who attended one of our deeper Still retreats afterwards she shared with one of the team members that she never would have believed that she could be around a group of people who she knew were pro-life and not feel any condemnation from them. That’s kind of a sad commentary. So I think there’s ways that we can talk about it and just saying that, you know, yes is abortion wrong? Absolutely does God hate abortion? Absolutely should abortion never be considered as an option? Absolutely however, I also know that a lot of people have already made that decision and they need to know that healing is available. And even just saying something like that makes you a safer person because you’re recognizing the people have already made that decision. And to say that healing is available. Let somebody know that you know healing equals. I’m not going to be condemned, really, or I’m not going to be judged. And so if you’re even telling somebody that you understand that healing is available, then that’s you saying that you understand this is not an unforgivable sin. And a lot of times that’s what we feel like is that this is an unforgivable sin.

37:33 :

Yeah, that makes sense. What are your thoughts about that? You know, really heavy hatred being poured out on Planned Parenthood or on their groups that are promoting and making an abortion part of our culture.

37:52 :

Yeah, i have my moments for sure, of being really angry with the individual people definitely. I try to remind myself that these are people who are being deceived that you know, the blinders need to come off the scales, need to come off their eyes so that they can really see what they’re doing. Ultimately, I would say that our enemy and our adversary is Satan, who is kind of directing all of that. I routinely do pray for people who are that adamant about the issue. I think there’s, you know, i think that in some cases it’s people maybe who have had an abortion and they’re just really trying to justify their decision and that that’s where a lot of that anger and intensity comes from. I think sometimes it absolutely is just pure selfishness, self centeredness. Somebody who’s not a believer doesn’t have the Holy Spirit in them and you know you can be selfish and self-centered about a lot of things and you know ultimately God can change anybody’s heart, you know, So I mean that you know, anybody can be saved everybody has the same access to God’s grace and mercy and forgiveness. So as a Christian, I think it is my responsibility to pray for these people. Do their actions and behavior still make me angry absolutely. You know, here in Tucson, just all the people who are collecting signatures for this ballot initiative, a lot of them don’t even know what they’re collecting signatures for they’re just out there doing it because they want the money. And then there’s others who are just blatantly lying. About, you know, if abortion became illegal, women wouldn’t get health care for ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage, you know, those kinds of things and those are just flat out lies. So yeah, it definitely makes me angry but then I try to remember that, OK, I’m going to educate them i’m going to call them out on the fact that they’re not being honest. So yeah, but it’s. I think it’s a matter of like with any issue or any, anything that comes up just remembering that we’re supposed to love everybody the way Christ loves. And sometimes that’s easier and sometimes that’s harder.

40:45 :

That’s a good point yeah it’s really hard to love our enemies that’s definitely that’s a hard thing for me at least I find that hard.

40:56 :

Yeah oh, me too.

41:00 :

So when it comes to post abortion healing, what % of the people seeking post abortion healing are women versus men, is it? Do you get any you know, Is it even 4 % men who might seek post abortion healing or what % might it be?

41:21 :

It’s probably that low in my opinion, if not lower so and i think there’s a lot of reasons for that i mean, i think just in general, men are less likely to seek counseling for anything than women are. I think just because of the way men and women are wired, women are more likely to see connections between things where men tend to think in a more compartmentalized way and may not see that there’s connections between that. So i would say that, yeah, I mean it is absolutely mostly women who seek help from it or for that. But as more men hear other men talk about healing from it, that certainly opens the door. And I think there’s also a responsibility on our part in the pro-life community to acknowledge that abortion hurts men, I think for way too long and certainly, you know, 18 years ago when I first started at Hands of Hope, I’ve seen a shift over time with this now but you know it. Abortion is so much seen as a woman’s issue and men are often always seen as a perpetrator in that equation of having an abortion, where the reality is that men can be often just as emotionally disturbed and injured by that decision as women. It’s just not acknowledged. And I think that’s a very unfair thing to have that mindset towards men. I think that it’s it it’s just it it’s it hurts. I think it hurts the pro-life community also because the other side wants to keep men out of it they say men don’t have any right to tell a woman that she can’t have an abortion. But we should be really acknowledging that not only do men have or should men have a say in whether or not an abortion happens because they were there when this life was created. But we also have to be willing to acknowledge that men are hurt spiritually and emotionally by this. And even within healing circles, it’s more often than not talked about as we need to help women heal. And so I’m always very intentional when I talk about healing from abortion to include men. I will always say women and men who have been involved in an abortion need to be healed. And I’m very intentional about that and I will admit that when I first went through my own healing, and even when I first started working at Hands of Hope, I did see men as the evil part of this equation, because that was my personal experience. I had someone who had abused me and then they pushed me into, pressured me into, threatened me into having an abortion so I saw men as being the perpetrator. The first time I heard a man share his testimony about how abortion had hurt him, it crushed me and it completely flipped that perception for me. And I realized that men are wounded by this. They need to be healed just as much as women do, and that has to be talked about and acknowledged.

45:29 :

What’s it like to so for the few men that have gone through post abortion healing? Well, one is the post abortion healing groups are they Coed or are they grouped?

45:43 :

It depends on the program so the at hands of hope we host deeper still retreats so it’s a weekend retreat and for those women and men can attend together and so we have men on the team and so women minister to women, men minister to men. The Bible study groups, the group itself would not be Coed but there is a study for women to follow and there’s a study for men to follow so we can do those as groups for women or groups for men. And then the counseling that I do individually maybe for couples and it may be for i’ve actually worked with a couple of men just with individual counseling so it depends on the program. And the one thing to remember with men is that in some cases he may have been involved in the decision either by just agreeing with his partner that it’s was the thing to do or he may have been pressuring her. But the other thing to remember is that there’s a lot of men out there who did not want their baby aborted and they were 100 % powerless to stop it from happening and they maybe even didn’t know that it happened until after the fact. So for women, there’s always that element of they were a part of that decision making process, I guess you could say, you know, I mean, unless they were truly, you know, dragged to a clinic against their will. But for men it could be either or and so and there really are a lot of men who will say, you know, i didn’t want her to do it, but I couldn’t do anything to stop her and that really impacts that I would say God-given male identity of being a provider and a protector for family and that’s a key part of healing then from it is addressing that.

48:01 :

Oh, that’s really good i’m glad you talked about that that’s really helpful. What about beyond the mother and the father, is there anyone else who may experience the need for healing after an abortion? Like for example, let’s say there was a parent who coerced their daughter or son or couple or, but let’s say the daughter into having an abortion. Is that an example of you know how someone else may need to go through the healing process as well?

48:35 :

Absolutely and yeah, and so, you know, if they wouldn’t necessarily go to like the same program along with you know, people who have who have experienced abortion themselves. But yeah, those can definitely be issues i mean, I’ve, I have over the years worked with some people who you know, a woman who took her sister to an abortion clinic and now she sees how messed up her sister is and realizes that it probably had at least something to do with the abortion and she’s now feeling a lot of guilt for not doing anything to try to help her make a different decision. It could be a grandparent who either had a part in making that decision or didn’t have a part in making that decision and then just found out that their, you know, son or daughter was a part of an abortion and it’s like, you know, that was my grandchild that was lost so yeah, it can have a real ripple effect within the family. You know children who find out that there were other siblings that should have been there. One of the ladies that I work with, she’s works with me part time. Her first pregnancy was an abortion and then she had her first son almost exactly a year after that. And when she when he was older and she had healed from her abortion and talked to him about it, he said that he kind of always wanted an older sibling and he always gravitated towards friends that were like a year or so older than him. And you know, she’s like that. You know, i don’t know that that’s just a coincidence. I think there is something inside of us that kind of, you know, I’m not trying to get all like New Agey or anything, but I think that a lot of times there is kind of a knowing on the part of people that you know, somebody’s missing from the family. So, yeah, so it’s definitely a or it can be a ripple effect where there’s, you know, children can be affected because siblings aren’t there, or nieces and nephews aren’t there or grandchildren aren’t there. So it’s not, it’s not a choice that’s just made in a vacuum that has no impact on anybody else.

51:22 :

Yeah. That makes sense. What I want to ask you about What would you like to say to other leaders of post abortion ministries that they might find encouraging as they’re continuing their work in their community, whether it’s in Arizona or somewhere else? What would you like to say to people in similar positions as yourself to encourage them?

51:49 :

I think the biggest piece of encouragement that I could give is to be persistent in prayer. And the reason I say that is because back 18 years ago when I started working for Hands of Hope, what we were doing with abortion healing was very minimal. We would have a couple of groups a year. It wasn’t. And a lot of the time it was because these were people who were wanting to become volunteers with us, and if they had an abortion in their past, we wanted them to go through healing first, just to make sure that they were kind of come in to do what they want it to do for the right reasons. And it was frustrating for quite a while because we want it to see the healing piece grow. We want it to see more people getting healed. And it was very hard to get churches to be kind of open to the fact that healing was needed or to even admit that there were people in their congregations that needed that kind of healing. There’s still a lot of pastors that will say, well, that’s not really a problem in my church. It’s like, well, it probably is you’re just not aware of it. And so it was just, it was a lot of persistent prayer. And now over the last, I would say eight nine years, we’re really seeing the fruits of that with a lot more clients wanting to come for that kind of healing, a lot more churches willing to work with us to promote the healing. And so, you know, to just be persistent, even when it seems discouraging, it can be hard. Yeah and even, you know, trying to get churches to work with you. And one of the things that we’ve had happen a couple of times is we’ll talk to a church about the need to offer healing to their congregation and they’ll kind of reluctantly agree and say, OK, we’ll offer a class here at the church and then they do that and nobody signs up for it. Well, that’s not because there’s nobody in the congregation that needs it it’s because they’re too ashamed to sign up for something like that and go to it at their own church. Because there might be people in the group that they know. And what you don’t think about is that, well, you’re all there for the same reason so there’s no reason to feel ashamed of it. All they’re thinking is I don’t want that person to know that I made this decision. And so that can be difficult too with getting churches on board because then it’s easy to make that assumption well, if nobody signed up, then I they don’t really need that here and so we’re not going to pursue this with you. So, yeah, so I as far as encouraging other leaders, you know, in pregnancy centers, pro-life ministries and even more specifically in healing, if you’re kind of just getting off the ground with that or make making a push to emphasize the healing more, that foundation is absolutely prayer. That God would open the doors. That he would open the hearts of people who need that kind of help and to kind of you know prepare the you know praying for rain but preparing the field so getting people trained and prepared to lead groups facilitate groups be part of retreat teams whatever programs you’re gonna do knowing that God is gonna bring the people in his timing. And you know, now we’ve got a thrive, I would say a thriving healing ministry through Hands of Hope where we’re doing groups and we’re doing retreats and we’re doing individual counseling and we’re talking about it more and churches are more open to hearing about it and learning about it. And it’s exciting to see and I’m very grateful that I didn’t throw in the towel and give up 10 years ago when I was getting frustrated.

56:35 :

What would you, how would you encourage a pastor who knows that there are people in the congregation who have been hurt by abortion and may be avoiding it in from the pulpit or from group discussion in order to, you know, not bring not to not let that surface what would you suggest or encourage in that situation?

57:05 :

Yeah so I, you know, obviously for the most part, you know, pastors aren’t going to just stand up there and say, oh, by the way, if anybody has ever had an abortion, you know, there there’s going to be some context so if they’re talking about, you know, if it’s January sanctity of human life, Sunday they’re talking about the issue of abortion or even just any kind of brokenness or healing. You know, usually pastors who are doing teachings, messages, sermons on something like that are giving examples. You know, so they’ll say you know, if you’re feeling broken from addiction or you know, whatever things that they throw out there as examples. I think it’s important to always include abortion as one of those examples because doing that is the pastor acknowledging that abortion is actually an issue or can be for a lot of people. And then it’s putting out there that healing is available. And then to just, you know, mention and to make sure that they have available resources for people, you know, working alongside with their local pregnancy centers who have healing programs available so that they can send people to those programs. And that’s one of the hard things is programs like say grief share, it’s kind of a generic for all types of grief. And so if somebody acknowledges that abortion does carry with it grief and that you need to grieve that loss. There’s a lot of nuances I would say with healing from abortion, because it’s a both and thing so you need to deal with the spiritual side of it, of forgiveness that’s huge. It’s necessary not forgiving yourself but embracing God’s forgiveness. But then the other side of it is the emotional side of being able to connect with that baby and then acknowledge that you lost a child and grieve that loss. And so a lot of times other types of programs that aren’t specifically geared towards abortion healing will address one or the other of those things, but not both. So all of the specific abortion healing programs surrendering the secret forgiven and set free Rachel’s Vineyard deeper still, all of them that are out there are going to address both of those things and that’s really important and so having those resources available, you know when they mention. Abortion as something that you can be broken from and that healing is needed from then having resources available if they don’t have something internally in the church to refer people to, I think is a very simple way that pastors can acknowledge that without getting into the whole I’m gonna talk about abortion as an issue. You know, I do i think Pastor should be doing that absolutely. But even for the ones who shy away from doing that, they can certainly talk about abortion and the need for the healing from abortion in other contexts.

01:00:50 :

Wow that’s really good. So, well, thank you, Lori, for, Yeah, just being on here, sharing and taking on these topics and for, yeah, sharing your story and thoughts. Would you would you close out this podcast with a prayer that’s on your heart, connected to what we talked about in some way, perhaps?

01:01:12 :

Sure i would love to. So yeah, Father God, I just i thank you for Jacob and what he’s doing with the podcasts and just talking to different people and getting different perspectives that have to do with this issue of life. My prayer is always that you would help those women and men who are experiencing a pregnancy choose life, whether it’s for parenting or adoption god, I pray that you would just help them to see the truth of that unborn child that they’re carrying and that they wouldn’t make this decision so that they wouldn’t have to deal with all of the ramifications and repercussions of that. But God, I also pray that you would open the hearts and minds of church leadership and counselors and anyone who is in a in a place of helping people that they would recognize that abortion does cause emotional wounds and spiritual wounds and God, I pray that these people would be open to learning about the need for healing, learning about where they can send people and God, I pray that you would speak to the hearts of those women and men who have already made this decision. And that you would lead them to programs, whether it’s through their church or pregnancy center, to find that healing so that they can be free from that shame and from that guilt they would find true forgiveness and be in a position where they are willing than to be used by you more effectively in your Kingdom work. So we just thank you for all the programs that are out there, for all the people who are doing facilitating and counseling and leading retreat teams and all of that. I pray that you would give everyone the strength and the courage to continue with it, even when it sometimes gets discouraging, and we just thank you for your love and your forgiveness for all of us and pray this in Jesus name amen.

01:03:30 :


01:04:15 :

The still and know that I am gone beast still, and know that I am gone, beast, and know that I am gone, beasted. And know that I am gone. Fire, midnight, The Thunder over waves, The murmur we can hear it all the reaching of our hands. The alibi, the broken wish inside the chorus of our questions all creatures of the earth beasted. And know that I am gone peace. And know that I am gone. Broken some at the gravesite, the wedding bells anew. The sounds of the lost and founder reaching of our hands. The will and the light. The mother and a son the family of Terra Firma, creatures of the earth and know that I have gone beast, and know that I am gone beast, and know that I am God, beast, and know that I am God.