The ProLife Team Podcast 158 | Robin Fuller

Hear Robin Fuller share how a coach is helpful to a pregnancy clinic leader.


The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

So, Robin, I’m excited to have you on the Pro-Life Team podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were speaking to a small group of pregnancy clinic directors? Well, my name is Robin Fuller, and I was the executive director of three different pregnancy centers for more than 23 years. And now I am a professional certified coach here to serve the leaders of these ministries and their teams. That’s just what I do now. So I intimately understand your world, is what I would tell them. Awesome. So tell us about, yeah, tell us about your Pro-Life work.

Tell us, you know, what is it, how are you connected to the Pro-Life world? Well, I would back up a few years, more than a few, actually. I grew up in a beautiful Christian home and actually was attending a prestigious Christian university my junior year of college when I found myself pregnant. Now I told my mom I was pregnant. She even asked me if I would have an abortion. I told her, no, I could never do that. I knew what that was.

I then went to the chaplain of the college, and I had broken the moral code, so was asked to leave. In the meantime, I was talking to my boyfriend across the country, and I got on a Greyhound bus to go see him and went all the way from Oklahoma to California. And within a week, found myself at an abortion clinic having an abortion. The only reason I had this abortion was to cover up my own sin. When it came to the world of my Christian brothers and sisters, I just didn’t want people to know that I wasn’t this good girl that I seemed to show in my image. And so I had that abortion. I remember as we drove away, my boyfriend looked at me and said, wow, I wish we wouldn’t have done that.

So devastating as that was, I just continued on as if nothing had happened and lied to everyone. I told my mom I just really hadn’t even been pregnant. I just wanted to leave college, right? So it just set off this pattern of lying. Well, then I married a different man, kind of blew that marriage apart, and eventually found myself moving to Sacramento, California, hoping to reconcile with my husband. And I was still going to church, and interestingly enough, this one Sunday, a lady came running up to me, waving this piece of paper in her hands, and she said, Robin, I have a hot potato in my hands, and God told me to give it to you. And she handed out this piece of paper, and I just, I didn’t want it.

But it was a job opening for a pregnancy center director. And at this point, it had been about five years since I had that abortion. I thought, well, I’ve had an abortion. Maybe God wants me to help, and so I’ll apply. I was in school, back in school, to get my degree in social work, and so I applied. Lo and behold, I got the job. I’m 25 years old, no idea what I’m doing, and going to work every day, just pleading with God to give me what I need. But at the very first training I had to attend as that new executive director, they showed a video of an abortion being done.

This was back in 1989, and I remember looking at that video, and I drove away from that training crying, and I knew I really wasn’t okay. But this pregnancy center was so special. It had half Catholic, half Protestant, and they had licensed clinical social workers in their 50s and 60s. And those precious Catholic women walked me through a process of healing from the abortion I had had. It was such a precious time in my life. I really wish I had videos of that time in my life that I could watch. But I’ll tell you, Jacob, the true healing experience for me that I share when I speak at banquets or when I’m out there speaking in churches wherever, the most incredible healing experience I had from my own abortion was I was driving home one day from work, and it was pouring down rain.

I even was laughing. It’s like, God, I hope your angels are helping drive the car because it was so intense. And I was listening to this little song on a cassette tape, for those who remember the cassette tapes, and it was a song written by a local worship pastor. And it was a song of a child speaking to his mother from the womb. And as I was listening to this song, which is the most precious song, when I’m in church, I’ll actually sing part of the song so people can experience what that is. I don’t know if you want me to sing it here. But as the song was playing, I had a full vision.

The heavens opened up, and this curly, red-haired boy came running towards me. And I knew this was my son. The name God gave him, I didn’t give him a name, was Daniel James. And this young boy looked at me with love in his eyes. There are no words to describe in our human language. And he said, Mommy, I love you, and I forgive you, and I can’t wait to see you someday. Jacob, that was over 40 years ago.

And every day since then, I have done what I have done for both Daniel and my Lord and King every day. It was just so precious to me. So that experience is what really solidified my role in the pro-life world. Wow, what a story. That’s amazing. So I just want to ask you, as part of this work that you’re doing, how would you describe how you’re being obedient or serving or taking the direction that God has given you? And, you know, and serving, like, how has it been to have this vision and this clear direction or clear voice from God of where you should be spending your time and efforts and talents, and then to do that?

How is that? What’s the next experience like? Well, so I really didn’t share that story with very many people, because some people would look at you and be like, well, that’s kind of weird. You know, what do you mean you had a vision and a conversation with your son? Well, I knew it was a gift, but I really didn’t share it very much. So my story takes a really bizarre twist after that experience, because I was still separated from my husband. He really didn’t want to have anything to do with me.

And then I met this other man named Steve. Steve. Steve was so much fun that we ended up in the pregnancy center that I was leading after hours taking a pregnancy test and it turned out positive. So I mean, just imagine here I’d broken another moral code, right? I was supposed to be living this exemplary life and I was not. So abortion was not an option this time. And so I remember telling my mom at the age of 27, I was pregnant.

They didn’t know who Steve was. And then I prepared to go to that board meeting in December of 1990. I had my resignation letter in hand. And at the end of the meeting, I told them what was going on. And their response astounded me because they said, Robin, you are who we serve. The reason we exist is because of women like you. So yes, you can stay in this role as the leader.

Not only that, we’re going to support you. The board chairman didn’t say a word at that meeting. But three days later, I got a card in the mail from him that said, Robin, I know your parents live far away. So I would love to be a father to you and a grandfather to your child. It was astonishing, this experience. And when I got pregnant, that was really my all in with God. Like 100%.

Okay, God, I’m done with all my sin and my own wayward ways. I am all in. It’s you and me all in. And Steve and I got married six days before our oldest son was born. And get this, the only pastor we could find who would give us grace in my hugely pregnant state was an Episcopal priest who had been on the board of Planned Parenthood. He gave us grace and allowed us to get married in his church where other pastors would not. So so many twists and turns in my story of what it looks like to really be given grace, radical grace, right?

So Steve and I are getting ready to celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary. I was able to go to the Sacramento Life Center where I had served, and I went to their 50-year anniversary celebration a couple years back or a year and a half ago, I think it was. And I got to thank them for extending grace to me all those years ago. And my son, my oldest son, recorded a video to thank them as well. It was very precious, but it’s because of that grace they gave to me that helped me be obedient. I went on to have three kids, left that job, was never going back into pro-life work, especially pregnancy center work, because it’s exhausting, or it can be. And so we moved to Southern Oregon.

I told my pastor what I had done before, and next thing you know, I get a call from his We have an opening at our local pregnancy center, would you apply? My husband was so excited, I was not. But next thing you know, I was the director of my second pregnancy center, and I was there for 16 and a half years, took it from a $20,000 a year organization to $550,000 budget every year as an accredited medical clinic. So I walked through a lot, God and I grew a lot. And then I heard the Lord though, once again, it’s that obedience piece that you asked about. I was on a sabbatical, my one and only sabbatical, and I heard God starting to woo me away. Now I had benefited from an amazing Christian leadership coach for several years, and it was amazing.

Helped keep me on a solid foundation. This coach challenged me with questions so I could really grow, not only as a leader, but a woman before the Lord. And he is who I really wanted to serve. I really wanted to finish well when the time came. I worked with him on how to do that. Well, then he was taken out through an illness. And during my sabbatical, I heard God whisper, Robin, you could step in.

So I knew that when I left that pregnancy center, God was calling me to become a leadership coach to help other leaders. Interestingly enough, my goal, since I had no retirement, since most pregnancy center leaders don’t have retirement when they leave, my goal was to work with high end corporate executives, make a boatload of money and fill my retirement coffers. And God laughed. You know, when we try to tell God what we’re going to do, it’s that obedience piece again. He’s like, no, Robin, you understand the world of pregnancy center leaders, and that is who you are going to serve. So through Bloom Coaching for the last six years, I serve pregnancy center leaders and their teams. I really look for those.

My clients are those who are willing to go through a transformation process of how God wants to transform their leadership. And so it takes that humility and vulnerability. But as a coach, it’s just such a precious joy to serve these leaders and their teams. I hope that answered your question. You were asking about obedience, and I just kept going with my story. No, that’s good. So, Robin, what’s one of the Bible passages that really has spoken to you over the years or maybe is one of your favorites today?

What’s one of the, what would you call like one of your hallmark passages? Well, one that comes to mind right now is from Hebrews, pursue peace with all men. Interestingly enough, I just recorded a course for Bright Training, part of Bright Course, on the issue of conflict. I never thought I would have been teaching a course on conflict or I’m not an expert by all means. I just did so many things the wrong way, Jacob. So many things that God taught me how to do things the right way through doing things the wrong way. And this course that I’ve recorded that comes out in just a couple of weeks, it will highlight some of those things that maybe I did not do so well.

I used to be a real scaredy cat leader. I didn’t want to confront someone. I avoided conflict at all costs. And that really impacted the teams along the way and our pursuit of trust, where if you don’t have that culture of trust, you’re going to deal with conflict and it may not be very healthy or very productive. What about healthy conflict, such as standing up to bullies? How would you speak to that topic of encouraging people to stand or to, you know, when being faced with a bully from like the enemy’s camp? Yeah, so there’s both healthy conflict and unhealthy conflict.

And when I say that healthy conflict is when you have trust with someone and you know them, you can get contentious, you can get angry, you can, I don’t know, you know, you can bring everything in, like bring all the voices in. Right. And so, but you don’t cross those lines into those areas of sin, those areas of sin that would include gossip or slander or the maligning someone, right, where it just gets angry. So healthy conflict, like God says, be angry, but do not sin in your anger. Right. So it’s OK to be angry. But we do have to be really careful where our minds take us and how far we go.

Do we start because of that conflict? Do we start maligning the person we’re in conflict with and go talk about them behind their back? Or are we really pursuing peace with them, which is God’s way of peace, which is generally above and beyond what our minds can even comprehend. Awesome. So you’ve got a really amazing story. You know, it’s a bit of a roller coaster at times, but it’s, can you highlight some of God’s fingerprints in your story? Things that really stood out as, you know, God opening a door or God answering prayer or God, and then maybe slow down a bit and stretch out your experience with those, you know, with what you, you know, where God’s fingerprints were. Hmm. Well, my story just keeps going.

I have been told I should write a book because I can see God’s fingerprints all along the way in my story. But one of the really profound things that comes to mind is I remember at one point, maybe 20 years ago or so, I was speaking to a local youth or a young adult group, not I remember the Holy Spirit kind of tapping me on the shoulder and saying, Hey, Robin, do this thing that’s a little different. So I shared my story. I sang the song. And I love I’m one of those people who abortion’s happening all around us. We need to talk about it. I don’t care how you believe.

I don’t care if you’re pro-abortion, pro-life. We need to talk about it because it’s happening. So let’s have the conversations. So I love speaking at young adult groups or youth groups. And so I was speaking. And when I was done, I said, Hey, is there anybody here that would be around the ages of 22? Maybe your birthday would be this coming April. Right. And this one young man raised his hand and I had to just chuckle because his name is Daniel, the same name as my son in heaven.

And I said, Daniel, could I have a hug? So I would know what it would feel like to hug my Daniel, who I never got to hug. Jacob, that young man, ran across the room. He took me in his arms.

He swung me around. He sent me Mother’s Day cards. He invited me to his wedding. I was one of the first ones to learn via text when his wife was pregnant. Then he came on the board of directors of the pregnancy center where I was working. And now he works for my husband. So I essentially have a son, a Daniel on earth and a Daniel in heaven.

So when I drove away from that young adult group, I just cried because I could see how intimately God loves me and he sees me and it just shows me the value of every single life. God knew he lives outside of time. So he knew this one piece of my story that would have a thread that weaves its way through so many components. And I always laugh with my husband. I have three sons. They’re all adults now. And my husband would always say when they’re growing up, I’m going to whip you like a redheaded stepchild.

I don’t know where that phrase came from, you know, and I would always say, hey, be careful. You have one of those in heaven. So because my Daniel in heaven has red hair, but that’s just one of those stories, the fingerprints of God on my life. It’s just a beautiful thing. Wow. So one of the things I like to do on these podcasts is to share encouragement or encouraging stories, and I think you definitely have shared some encouraging stories, but I’d like to have you revisit some of the parts that would be really encouraging to a pregnancy clinic director. So, yeah, can you think of something that you would, you know, something that, you know, pregnancy clinic directors might often be discouraged by and maybe speak to it with a way that to encourage them?

Well, I think one of my biggest encouragements as a leadership coach who now serves pregnancy center leaders, I remember at one point I was burned out and I was going to quit. And I called a fellow pregnancy center director friend and she said, no, no, no, no, don’t, don’t quit.

You need to call Dawn. And I was like, who’s Dawn? I called Dawn because of my friend who I trusted, and I didn’t realize that Dawn was this leadership coach. He was my first coach, and I remember the very first question Dawn asked me is, how many hours a week are you working, Robin? And I said 40. And he said, OK, so you go to the grocery store and it’s after hours and you see a donor and they ask you about work. How are you working?

And I said, well, yeah, I guess so. And he said, OK, so you go to church on Sunday morning and somebody asks you, how’s the pregnancy center doing and are you working? And I’m like, well, yeah. And he’s like, well, and then you’re home at night and you open your laptop and next thing you know, you’re in your email. Are you working? And I’m like, yeah. So you’re laying awake at night and you’re stewing over a banquet coming up or the staff member you’re having issues with.

Are you working? And I was like, yeah. OK, let me ask you again, Robin, how many hours a week are you working? That was our very first interaction. And I remember saying probably 70 or 80 hours. And he’s like, OK. Is that something you want to continue doing?

So I was like, no, I want to I want to create boundaries. I want to do this better. I want to build self-care into my life. And so I worked with Dawn and it was a beautiful experience. I think that pregnancy center leaders, one of my most profound things that happened recently, I had a client indicate that they need to be available 24-7. So here’s this pregnancy center leader. I need to be available 24-7 because of that life.

What if I need to answer that phone in the middle of the night? Because what if it’s a client? And you know what I asked her?

And this just came out. I didn’t even think about it. I just said, who made you savior? Now, I could hear her on the other end of the phone. She was like, and I’m like, do we not think God is big enough to connect with that woman in crisis in the middle of the night? So at your own health and your own expense, what would it look like to set some boundaries to protect yourself? Because it is true.

If you don’t put your oxygen mask on first, you’re not going to be able to help others well. So the themes in my coaching are often burnout, self-care. I offer a beautiful retreat for executive directors on the Oregon coast. When I say self-care, I have done a personal retreat every year for 18 years. I take myself away with the Lord. It’s just me, God, my Bible, and I can see God now. He’s so excited for me to get there.

But those themes, it’s like for that executive director. When you’re struggling with an internal issue, an issue of self-doubt or an issue with a staff member or a board member, or you’re not sure how to do this, that, or the other, and you don’t want to go to your boss, the board, the board as a whole is your boss. So you don’t really want to go to them. And you shouldn’t go to your staff, which is one of the things I did. I had a couple of staff members. I would just verbally throw up all over them and nothing would ever really get solved, but I’d feel a little better. So you shouldn’t go to your staff and you shouldn’t be burdening your family and friends.

So who are you talking with? And that’s the role that a coach fills. Now, some people have a pastor they can go to or a mentor or a spiritual director or a coach. Doesn’t need to be me. I don’t care who it is, but have someone that you can talk with who takes your thoughts. You can process them together with the Lord and through the power of the Holy Spirit, which that’s who’s going to transform you as a leader, to give you that confidence when it comes to conflict, to give you the power to transform and change. I’m even a CliftonStrengths certified coach.

I don’t know if you’ve heard of CliftonStrengths before. It’s one of those assessments out there. It’s the one that helped me the most. And it’s the one that I have seen impact my own clients the most. So there we go. Maybe I went down more bunny trails, but as you can tell, I get so excited about this because it transformed me. And now I’m starting to see my clients transformed.

I’m huge on succession planning. If you’re planning on walking away in the next five to 10 years, this is not magically going to happen where you have this baton and you hand it off and you have a great transition and you walk away. No, without intentionality and real planning, planning with the board to create this solid organizational structure, it’s not going to happen. So I’ve now worked with four or five clients through that succession planning process. They have moved on and I’m now working with their successors. And it’s such an honor to be able to serve God in that way. Wow. I’m really glad you spoke on that topic.

That’s really helpful to those who are listening, I think. Well, you know, Jacob, I remember… I was just going to say, it was my coach, Don, who shared with me in his estimation, when you think about ministry leaders, which includes pastors or ministries of all kinds, only about 10% finish well. 10% really finish well with a solid handoff. So the mission of the ministry continues without a beat. And I wanted to be part of that 10% and the 10% that I’m working with are the same. Oh, that’s good.

That’s a good longing and a good thing to work towards. I want to back up a little bit to when you said God has her. So like when someone’s thinking about a client in the middle of the night, and just want to speak a little bit about, you know, if someone doesn’t put in that extra 30 minutes, you know, after dinner to work on something and how God is, you know, how the decision of whether someone chooses abortion or not, is really that woman’s decision and how God has us and how we’re not fully responsible for what happens in these scenarios. We’re called to serve, but in the end, it’s not our decision to be made. Can you speak about that area of thought when it comes to… Saving people to work those 70 to 80 hours or to have anxiety over what’s going to happen when it comes to abortion? Yeah, 100%.

I lived there, Jacob. I was early on in my career. How can I save her from making that decision that I had made? It was not a good decision. I lived with regret every day of my life that I do not have this person in my life. And so the importance, the sheer importance of making sure anyone who works inside your ministry has been fully healed of their own abortion experience, so they’re not trying to save that client or that patient from making that decision, it’s critical. I wouldn’t let anyone work inside of the pregnancy centers where I was unless they had obtained healing because I saw it.

I saw it in those rooms. And even if you haven’t had an abortion, there’s this pressure on pregnancy center leaders to perform. How do you know they’re performing? They tend to look at numbers. Don’t get me started on the numbers. I remember going to the Sacramento Life Centers 30-year anniversary some years ago, and they had tracked down a woman who had chosen life, had placed her son for adoption, and they found that woman and then they found her son who was 19. I will never forget it.

This young man stood up there in front of this crowd of 750. And he said, I don’t care if my life is the only life that has been saved over the last 30 years. My life is valuable and I love my Lord and I serve him regularly and it was so profound to me. So when pregnancy centers are pressured to show these numbers, let me show you how many lives we saved. Let me show you how many women have made a decision to follow Christ. When it becomes a numbers game, you can never perform enough. So there’s this continual pressure.

And that is something I did at the pregnancy center here I led locally, is I removed the numbers. I would say, hey, look at this life that was impacted. Look at this baby that’s here now. But I removed that pressure of the numbers game, because if you’re playing that numbers game, you are always concerned. But it’s like you said, God is the author and the provider and the protector of life. I am not. I am a vessel that can be used.

Praise God for those babies who have been saved, because of anything I may have done or said or anything someone on my team did or said. But it was not me. So Jacob, this is a beautiful thing that just came to mind. My former development director who worked for me, she coined a phrase and anybody out there is welcome to use this phrase. Every time a woman walked out of our doors, especially if she was a woman still considering abortion. We said this, if she chooses life, God gets the glory. And if she chooses abortion, God gets the pain.

It is not ours to own. And it’s something that’s so important to remember. God can wake up someone in the middle of the night and they’ll meet him as Lord and Savior. God, I know of a local gal here when she was young, she was on the abortion table back east somewhere, Georgia, I think. She was on the abortion table, heard an audible voice that said, get up, get out of here now. And she fled that abortion clinic and didn’t have the abortion. She fled in just her gown.

I mean, come on. That’s how big our God is. He’s the one who saves that life and he’s the one who has the pain if she chooses abortion. Yeah, that’s rich. That’s really good. Yeah, and I think at the end, we’re called to seek God’s voice and direction. And if he calls us to do something in the middle of the night, then obviously we should do it.

But at the same time, we shouldn’t let our anxiety drive us into poor health or into just working tirelessly a hundred hours a week. Another thing just came to mind. I have so many things. We could talk for five hours and I would still be talking because it’s just who I am and what I do. And I get excited about this stuff. But as leaders in general, we juggle all these balls, right? And it feels so good to be juggling them.

We’re juggling, juggling, juggling, and we’re busy, busy, busy. And the reality is most of those balls should fall to the ground and roll to someone else. And that’s for the pregnancy center leader. Most of the clients I’ve worked with are so busy. They’re doing so much that they’re not doing the things that really only they can do. That executive director should be out in the community promoting their center so much so that marketing and all the marketing issues with Google and trying to get clients and advertising. The reality is your center should just roll off everybody’s lips when a woman thinks she’s pregnant, right?

So that executive director should be out and her board or his board should give them enough financing so they can have the staffing they need so they can be out of the office. This is like, I say it kind of quiet because not very many centers do that. And so if you have a really strong executive director who’s doing all this work, then you don’t have a strong organization. You have a strong executive director. And when that executive director leaves, the organization flounders. So like I said, the reality is the executive director should be out there. And we think about being busy as good.

And I don’t know if you’ve ever heard the acronym for busy, which is buried under Satan’s yoke. If Satan can keep you busy, then he’s got you. So being busy is not a good thing. It is not a badge of honor. So the next time somebody asks you, how are you doing, Jacob? Don’t just say busy. Say my life is full or I have enough going on or. Yeah. So I went to a prairie tree a few about a month ago.

And what I heard God direct me towards was two things. One was stand up to bullies. And the other one was to rest at the feet of Jesus. And that’s the last thing I’ve heard or that’s what I’m thinking about. And I also want to share. So about seven years ago, I was at an International Life Services Advanced Training Institute event by Sister Paula seven years ago, way before she passed away. And one of the speakers was talking about marriage counseling.

It may not have been a workshop. It was just someone talking about how she goes to her. Well, this couple, this pastor and his wife, how they go to marriage counseling, not because they thought that they needed it, but because they want their marriage to be stronger. And so I came home and I told my wife we should go to marriage counseling. And I didn’t really think we needed it. But then after we went, oh, my goodness, we definitely needed it. I needed it.

And so then we started. Yeah. And so the more, you know, fast forward to this week, I was, you know, the last marriage counseling session we have is last Friday and ended up going into work. And it was a very hard experience because we were talking about how work has been just very stressful and how I need help. And my pastor offered to consult at no cost to help us with some of the things that are outside of my skill level and outside of what I’m good at. And he’s really good at. And so all that to say is, yes, this Friday, my wife and I were turning our marriage counseling hour or time into a business coaching or consultation time.

And we’re inviting two of my colleagues. And my wife’s going to be helping out as an executive. Meanwhile, I like to work. I don’t like to manage. I like to work. And so I’m going to be able to hopefully get me to be able to be where I’m best at, which is working. And my wife has the gift of wisdom.

I think she’s going to work out well as a leader. And all to say is, yeah, so my pastor essentially is stepping in as a consultant slash coach of sorts to help my wife with this role, helping us as a company. And so I just want to say to those who don’t think they need a coach, if you try it, you might realize, oh, wow, I did need a coach. So that’s what I wanted to say. Yeah. And, you know, it’s interesting when I when someone is interested in coaching. Generally, I know what these executive directors make, and I don’t want them to pay for it out of their own coffers.

So I will write a proposal that they can give to their board because I’m excited to see more pregnancy center boards stepping up for professional development for their leaders to provide some support and growth for them. But there are still quite a few who do not do that. But finding a coach, like whatever your goals are, like maybe you really want to overcome this burnout or the compassion fatigue, right? Because compassion fatigue is the precursor to burnout. And to be able to recognize the signs in yourself when you are continually handing out this compassion, you can just get exhausted from doing that. And you have to withdraw and take care of yourself.

This whole idea of self-care. How do you take care of yourself? How do you know what you need and how can you build it into your life? One of the biggest components of being a coach is accountability. I will have a client and I’ll be like, hey, Shelly, I’m just remembering a couple months ago when you said this. Do you remember when you said this about what your life was going to look like? How is that working for you today?

And it can be so profound. Sometimes in a coaching call, I always ask at the end of a call, what are you walking away with, right? What are your takeaways? And sometimes it’s something that neither one of us even said. It’s something that the Holy Spirit dropped right into her heart. That’s like, you know what, Shelly? You really need to do that vacation and get away with your husband.

You need those regular date nights. You really need a personal retreat where you really get that deep soul rest. So the rest I’m talking about is not the rest you get from sleeping. Even in the retreats that I do at the Oregon coast, I tell them sometimes maybe you just need to go take a nap or walk on the beach and reconnect with God because you’ve been moving so fast. Maybe your quiet times have been, if you’re lucky, five minutes in the morning. And so just communing with God, we don’t do it well in our culture. That whole silence and solitude and Sabbath and that book that John Mark Comer wrote. Oh, goodness.

What’s it called? It’s this one. If you haven’t read it, it’s a good one. The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Okay. You heard of that one? I haven’t heard of it.

Oh, my goodness. It’s spectacular. But it has those ouch moments where you really realized, oh, maybe I’m not doing this silence and solitude very well. But self-care, it’s huge. And I’m glad that you’re meeting with your pastor and he’s able to step in and fulfill that role of helping you overcome some of those things. Yeah. One of the things I think about sometimes is those four boxes.

There’s one that is urgent and important. And then there is not urgent and important. And then there’s also the distractions and the things that draw us away from the important slash not urgent. And really, we can find success by carving out that time and avoiding distractions and avoiding, yeah, essentially the darts really and the arrows from busyness or from Satan that will keep us from doing what we need to do that no one is pushing us to do. But it’s important to have done. And I think carving out that unbusyness is a way of finding space and time to really see and do what needs to happen or is more important than what’s distracting us from doing it. Yeah, it’s interesting.

I’ve had a couple of women in my life say, I could never be alone on a personal retreat with all those voices in my head. Well, all those voices in your head are who you are. They’re either voices that need to be shut down or voices that need to be embraced or the voice of the Lord that you haven’t been hearing, right? So being able to just be yourself, remove all the masks, that whole imposter syndrome thing, figuring out who you are before the Lord and being that person all the time with integrity. You know, whether you’re by yourself or with your spouse or with your family or your friends or strangers, you can just always be you. And there’s such a peace that comes with that when you can enter into that place. And especially as a leader, I deal with that imposter syndrome with some of my clients because they have this image that they just need to be strong and have all the answers.

And the truth is, it’s vulnerability that’s going to make them stronger, right? When they say, you know what, I don’t have all the answers, but I’m doing my best and God has put me in this role. So, you know, I’m going to do it. And you were talking about the tyranny of the urgent, right? Which is that little booklet written by Charles Hummel back in the 60s or something, which is, you know, when we’re busy, we’re just doing all those urgent things, right? Answering the text messages or the emails or urgent, urgent, urgent. Somebody comes to our office.

But those things that are inherently important to us, right? Maybe it’s having that family time around the table, the date night with your spouse, reading a book with a grandchild. They’re really important, that time with the Lord. But those urgent things keep pushing the important things out of the way. So as a coach, I can help them identify what are the things that are really important for you. And how can you do those more? Because those are the things that bring life to your soul.

Oh, that’s good. Yeah. And when someone hears, whether it’s a voice from someone else or a voice in your head, it could be your voice or it could be, you know, God speaking to you or it could be the enemy attacking. And one of the things that I’ve learned to do is to ask, you know, that voice, is Jesus God come in the flesh? Because in the Bible, it says that the enemy can’t say yes to that. And so essentially, yeah, saying, yeah, is Jesus, you know, is Jesus God come in the flesh? And I’ve heard someone else say that you could also ask, you know, ask that voice to praise Jesus.

And that might be a test as well. But from my experience in the Bible, the right test is to say, is Jesus God come in the flesh? And to me, that’s been a good one. And also just simply sharing what those voices, what you hear with someone that you would trust in a spiritual way to, you know, say, yes, that matches the voice that I know that, you know, that’s the voice of the Bible or that’s God’s voice or that’s not God’s voice. It doesn’t match the voice that I know from God’s word. And so checking it with someone else is also a good way to identify an attack or a false belief or essentially an arrow from the enemy that’s trying to put in doubt or sow doubt or sow you towards hate. And so because the enemy definitely will attack.

That’s that’s his arrow is, you know, these are intellectual false beliefs that will derail. And and so it’s really good to identify those and to take every thought captive and send it to Jesus to redirect. Yeah, that’s one of the big verses. That’s one of the big verses I use in coaching is 2 Corinthians 10 5. Right. Take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ. So you have to take that thought and to make it obedient to Christ, you have to change it.

You have to change it in your head and you may have to change it a thousand times before you are transformed. Like Romans 12 1 and 2 talks about that transformation of your mind. It is not going to happen quickly, especially if you’re dealing with thoughts that were implanted in your mind when you were a child. Right. So to overcome them. But yes, the enemy is wily. But God is bigger.

It’s amazing in the coaching world. So a true coaching call, according to the International Coaching Federation, I would simply ask questions and rephrase or reframe what you have said. I wouldn’t interject anything outside of that. And it is amazing to see. It’s like a facilitated monologue. Most people know what they need to do. They’re just not doing it.

And so when they hear themselves say it, then it does something in their brain. So a coach is different in that way. A counselor will often tell you what you need. It’s when you’re really trying to figure something out. You really don’t know what to do. A coach is more like, hey, why don’t you get on the bicycle and where do you want to go? And I’ll go with you.

So it’s very different. A coach asks more questions, generally doesn’t tell you what to do, unless it’s more of a consulting call. It’s fascinating. Wow. Awesome. Well, so Robin, I really enjoyed this time with you. Would you wrap up this podcast with any final thoughts to executive directors or pro-life leaders?

And then close us out with a prayer with the hope that they will join in while they’re on their daily commute, probably listening to this while they’re driving. Well, Jacob, it’s just been such a joy to be with you. And I really am grateful for the opportunity because God told me early in my coaching journey, he said, I will send to you who you will serve. And so I’m just so excited knowing that someone who may listen to this, maybe someone that will connect with me so I can serve them. And that’s really what I do through my business, which is a ministry as well, where I get to serve people and see God’s transformative power. So if you are a ministry leader of any kind, but most specifically a pregnancy center leader, connect with me and, you know, we’ll see if God, if there’s a good fit and if he wants me to help in some way and I’m willing to do that. But especially if you’re an executive director and you are doubting yourself right now, you are exhausted, you are so tired, you’re ready to quit.

Before you quit, connect with me and let’s see if God maybe has something more for you. We’ll go on that journey together and see what happens. And I love to pray. Those who know me, I would love to pray over you, Jacob, and anyone who may be listening. Awesome. Father God, thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being such a good father, a great dad for caring about each person who is listening so intimately and that nothing takes you by surprise.

God, I just speak a blessing over each person listening as they walk in the pro-life world. God, for those who are hoping to work with those young moms, God, and their unborn child. Lord, I pray that you would give them everything that they need when it comes to life and godliness to do their job well. God, give them encouragement today. Lord, give them joy in their hearts. Lord, those fruits of the Spirit, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control, Lord, may they be exhibited in the lives of those who are listening today so we can reach a world that is so desperately without hope. God, may we be the hope today.

Hope for those moms, for their children, for everyone impacted by abortion and unplanned pregnancy. God, be our hope today. In the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, who came in the flesh, amen. Amen.