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Living Free From Shame and Guilt (Part 1 of 2)

Air Date 04/25/2019

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Jamie Ivey discusses the struggles she once experienced over guilt about her troubled past, and describes how she found freedom from shame in a discussion based on her book, If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free. (Part 1 of 2)

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Episode Transcript

Opening:

Excerpt:

Jamie Ivey: And so for me, as a 40-year-old woman, when I look back 20 years ago at my life and the way that I was living, I see a young girl who so wanted to be loved by her Father in Heaven. And I see a girl who was seeking that out in all the wrong ways. And I see a Father that continued to chase after me and fill that gap in my heart.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: That’s Jamie Ivey. And she’s our guest today on Focus on the Family, talking about her journey through patterns of shame and into freedom in Christ. Your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller, and a warning here that we’re covering some mature topics today, so you’ll want to direct the attention of younger children elsewhere.

Jim Daly: John, if we’re honest with ourselves, sometimes it’s really hard to believe that God actually loves us - I mean, really. And I think it’s one of the greatest missing ingredients in our walk as Christians is knowing that God truly loves us even with all of our blemishes, which sometimes can be many and can be quite hard.

John: Yeah, I remember talking to a family member - an extended family member - who said, “Well, God - I know that I’ve done too much for God to love me right now.”

Jim: Too much bad.

John: Yeah.

Jim: Yeah, that’s exactly the attitude I’m talking about. And maybe you’re listening right now, and you can relate to that. You’ve said those things to yourself. You’ve whispered those things to yourself, that, “If people knew what I did, they wouldn’t love me.” And I get that. I understand that. But we’re going to have a conversation today that’s going to, I hope, rip open those tendencies to cover up and hide and allow you to be brave enough and courageous enough to open up to God. He knows. Believe me, He already knows what’s going on. And that will be healing for you. It’s going to be a bumpy ride. But man, this is going to be worth it.

You know, in Lamentations 3, it reminds us that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. I love that. His mercies are new every morning, and today, this may be your morning. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And I think in the church, so often we’re full of condemnation for people. And you know, the Lord said, “I came to save the world, not to condemn the world.” And we need to have that attitude toward ourselves and toward those around us so they can fall into God and begin the journey of sanctification.

John: Well, our guest, as I said, is Jamie Ivey. And she hosts a very popular weekly podcast for women called, The Happy Hour. And is a wife to a worship pastor named Aaron. And together they have four kids, three of whom are teenagers.

Jim: Perfect.

Jamie: Yes.

Body:

Jim: Jamie, welcome to Focus.

Jamie: Thanks for having me, guys.

Jim: All right. So you - this is a great story. I hope people are grabbing a cup of tea or coffee or just some water, which is what my wife, Jean, likes to drink - hot water. I don’t know why. There’s nothing there.

Jamie: They say it’s good for you.

Jim: (Laughter).

Jamie: So way to go, Jean.

Jim: She’s like that. But you grew up in a Christian home. You went to youth group and signed the purity pledges. You did everything all of us parents are trying to get our teens to do. And many of those years, you were living a double life. So we’re going to unpack this. What happened? What went wrong?

Jamie: It’s true. I had great parents, went to church every single time the doors were open. We ate dinner on Wednesday nights at church. Remember those days?

John: Mmhmm.

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: The best. And I did, and I signed the “True Love Waits” cards. I knew all the rules, what I thought, “These are the rules I’m supposed to follow to be a good person.” But they never really connected with my heart. And I think that’s what a relationship what Jesus does, is it connects with your heart instead of just rules.

Jim: When did that realization occur, though, at 12, 13, 17? When did it not connect? And how did you even further disconnect it?

Jamie: Yeah. I - you know, I walked down the aisle when I was about 10 and got baptized. My family moved from a small town to a large city in sixth grade. And it was there that I kind of couldn’t really find my way very well. I got connected at church, but I was now in this big school. And my - I had this deep desire, that we all have, to be known and to be loved. And we know, as Christ followers and adults, that God fulfills that. But in my mind, I wanted it from my peers and from boys. I wanted the attention. And so that’s when that journey started. My kind of troubling middle school - I was still doing all the right things. But I kept wanting a little bit more. And it was when I got into high school that I decided, I’m just gonna do what I want to do. And what I wanted to do was have attention and have - feel - feel loved, even though I had two loving parents. And so I sought that out from boys. And that’s when that started.

Jim: Well, and Jamie, that’s the reason, I think, in this book, If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free. This is the fear factor for parents. I mean, you were living it...

Jamie: Yes.

Jim: ...On the surface.

Jamie: Yes.

Jim: Getting the good grades, going to Bible study every week. I mean, this kind of what we outline for our own boys.

Jamie: Yes.

Jim: You know, “This is what we want to see - the behavior, and then we will gladly allow you some freedoms in these areas.” You’re every parent’s fear.

Jamie: I am. And I have four kids right now, you know, three of them who are teenagers.

Jim: Right.

Jamie: And so this is on my mind a lot as well.

Jim: So - so one of the things, let’s describe in a little more detail - appropriate detail - what was going on behind the scenes, the second life that you were leading, and how you kept it from your parents.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: What did it look like? What were the pitfalls for you? What were the sin-grabbers that were getting a hold of you in junior high and high school?

Jamie: Yeah. So at 16, I had - in the summer between my sophomore and junior year, I had my first sexual experience and drank alcohol for the first time. And it was from there that that lifestyle continued until I was about 21 years old.

Jim: And your parents didn’t have a clue?

Jamie: I wish that I could ask them. I think that they maybe had a - didn’t have a big clue, no. I was also, like, president of my FCA at my high school.

Jim: Right, doing all the right things.

Jamie: Yes. So I called myself, like, a good girl because I only would just have - you know, sleep with just my boyfriend. I wasn’t the bad girl. I wasn’t doing drugs. I wasn’t smoking. I wasn’t skipping school. I wasn’t doing all the things that, in my head, made me super-bad. I was just kind of doing a few bad things. And I would have called myself a Christian. And I would have been able to tell you exactly what it means to be a Christian. But there was this - it was all words. And it was all rules. And I knew...

Jim: It was disconnected.

Jamie: So disconnected. I knew I was not doing right. I - honestly, when I look back, I don’t know that I knew how to turn around either.

Jim: Right.

Jamie: I don’t know that I knew or felt safe or comfortable to reach out and say, “I don’t know how to stop this.”

John: Would you have wanted to?

Jamie: I don’t think I would have. And you know, I don’t think - at that time, this is a big discussion for another day. I don’t know that I started following Jesus until I was 21. I don’t know that I had that in me, even though I thought I did, and I knew all the right words. There was no conviction. There was no repentance that would, you know - or guilt that would lead to repentance. It was just - I didn’t feel it at all.

Jim: Well, let me again explore your story because things get tough. I mean, you end up pregnant. Speak about that in terms of consequences. I mean, your parents are probably moving along pretty much in the dark. You’re doing well in school. You’re going to church. You’re doing teen Bible study. You’re connected. You’re the FCA president. It’s all working - at least on paper. And then what happens? What is your outing moment that, “Okay, I can’t hide this anymore.”

Jamie: Yeah, yeah. You know, I always say teenagers are pretty dumb because their brain just isn’t developed right.

Jim: Some of them - some of them are pretty smart.

Jamie: We both parent teenagers.

Jim: (Laughter).

Jamie: But I never - it never occurred to me that I might get pregnant. And that is just the craziest thing for me to think about now.

Jim: Right.

Jamie: But my sophomore year of college, I found myself in the predicament, and I ended up pregnant. And I was at a private Christian university, where my parents had decided to send me in hopes that - see my parents, it wasn’t as though they knew everything was perfect. They were trying their best. But I was a teenager. What can you do to an 18-year-old?

Jim: Yeah, you’re gonna - they’re doing what I would do, which is...

Jamie: Yes, yes, yes.

Jim: ...Let’s put her in a better environment. Let’s help her.

Jamie: I don’t blame them. I - I - as a mom now, I’m like, “Yes.”

Jim: Yeah (laughter) I bet you are.

Jamie: At the time, I was kind of - drug my feet there. But - so I’m at this private Christian university. But once I got to college, there was no double life. I was on my own now. Everything was off.

Jim: You weren’t accountable?

Jamie: No, I wasn’t accountable. I came into chapel when I was supposed to, probably hung over. Like, there was no double life. And my sophomore year of college, I found myself pregnant. And that was when everything came to the surface for me.

Jim: Yeah, can I ask you - because we hear these statistics about Christian campuses. So we send our young men and women off. And the environment there is usually not much different than secular schools. Am I hitting that correctly?

Jamie: You are hitting that correct - from my experience.

Jim: Yeah, what’s the eye-opener for us? Tell me again. I’ve got two boys that are heading that direction. So give me the eye-popping parent alert.

Jamie: My thing is that where you want to find trouble, you will find it.

Jim: It’s available everywhere?

Jamie: It’s available everywhere. I had never been around people using drugs till I got to my college. I mean, you know, it was just - if you want to find it, you will find it.

Jim: And this is a Christian school?

Jamie: Yes.

Jim: I mean, and again, I don’t blame the administrators. This is cultural.

Jamie: Yes, yes.

Jim: I mean, it’s just hard.

Jamie: Uh-huh.

Jim: They can’t keep all evil out.

Jamie: Yes. And so you can find great Christian environment in public schools. I mean, it is - it’s not a matter of, do I send my kids to a private or public university?

Jim: Now, I don’t want to lose that heart-wrenching moment. I can’t imagine you’re aloneness as a pregnant, unmarried college girl who came from a wonderful Christian home. How do those conversations go? What was it like calling your folks? How did that - telephone conversation, I would assume? How’d you do it?

Jamie: Well, I decided to tell my dad first because he would have been...

Jim: Oh, that’s interesting.

Jamie: Yeah, he was the one that could, like, show me a little bit more grace in that moment. So I told him in person. I met him in Waco. I was in Dallas. My parents lived in Houston. So we met in the middle in Waco. And I told him there, like, right before we’re about to leave. So, “Dad, by the way, I’m pregnant. And can you please tell mom?” And he said, “No, I cannot. But you can call your mom.”

Jim: Wow.

Jamie: And so I called my mom. And looking back, she did exactly what I would do. But she was really mad. She was not mad about me being pregnant. But she was mad when I told her I was going to marry the guy. And she was super frustrated with that decision that I had made because she knew good and well that I didn’t need to marry him or have to marry him.

Jim: Right.

Jamie: Um...

Jim: What - your motivation, I’m sure, was to do the right thing.

Jamie: To do the right thing. Yeah, I’m pregnant with this man’s baby.

Jim: Even though she knew...

Jamie: We should get married.

Jim: ...That would be the wrong thing.

Jamie: That would be the terrible thing to do. And I know that now. But I felt as though to make this right, to make this okay, to not look like I’ve really screwed up my entire life, we should get married.

Jim: Let me ask you a question. And again, I so appreciate the vulnerability ‘cause I am really coming at this as a parent right now. I’m just a dad...

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: ...Talking to you.

Jamie: Uh-huh.

Jim: If we’re, you know, sitting there having a cup of coffee. What are the right things? And you don’t have to talk directly about your parents, what they did well, what they didn’t do well. But going through that experience, what coaching would you give a father or a mother whose daughter or son is going to make that phone call and say, “I’m in some trouble.”

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: “This is what’s happened.”

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: “And I got a girl pregnant,” or, “I am pregnant.”

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: What advice do you have?

Jamie: I think one of the best thing for us as parents to do and to remember is that having sex, getting someone pregnant, it’s not the worst sin in the world. It is bad. It is hard. It is going to make your life harder.

Jim: Consequential.

Jamie: Consequences are grander than lots of other sins. But man, we’ve got kids who are walking around with hearts that are so hardened to the Gospel. And they may not ever get a girl pregnant. Or they are so envious, they are so jealous, they are full of slander. And so my just advice is, as parents - I grew up in an era when the worst thing you could do as a Christian is have sex or drink alcohol.

Jim: Right.

Jamie: Okay? So some of my friends never did those things. But they didn’t even have a relation with the Lord either. And so I want to, as a parent, is to know - of course I don’t want my kids to have sex before they get married, obviously. But I also am really concerned about the other areas of their heart.

Jim: Correct.

Jamie: Like, why are they not having sex? Is it just to follow a rule? Is it - or is it because they really believe that their body is sacred and they want to save that for marriage? And so when you get that phone call from your son or your daughter, yes, it’s going to be hard. Yes, the consequences are lifelong. But it’s not the worst thing in the world that can happen.

Jim: Well, and particularly, it’s not the end of the world.

Jamie: It’s not the end of the world. You will go on. And you will parent. And things will be just fine and dandy.

Jim: To tidy this part of it up - and we’ll come back in a moment with some other questions - but when you look at sin and what it does in our life, I mean, Paul writes about this. In one way, sin is to alert us to our deficit, to our need for Christ. Somebody has said, “If we had no evil, we wouldn’t know what goodness is.” So I think Paul’s elaborating on that. The law is set there to demonstrate our shortcomings - not so that we self-loathe or beat ourselves up - so that we recognize we need God. We need redemption.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: Looking at it, if I may say it like this, I mean, being that little sinner that you were - you know, the little girl that was doing all the wrong things yet going to church and all that - how do you interpret sin working in your life to produce good fruit?

Jamie: Yeah. I mean, I’m a big believer in the sovereignty of God. I don’t think that anything that happened in my life is not going to bring glory for the Lord. I look at my life. And I’m like, man, I wish some things could have been different. But I see God getting so much glory from my life, from the way that I can share my story that He’s redeemed, that He has renewed, that He is building a new thing out of these dirty ashes that I made of my life. And so while sin is hard, like you said, it also brings a great light to our need for a savior. And so for me, as a 40-year-old woman, when I look back 20 years ago at my life and the way that I was living, I see a young girl who so wanted to be loved by her Father in Heaven. And I see a girl who was seeking that out in all the wrong ways. And I see a Father that continued to chase after me and fill that gap in my hole.

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: And so it’s really evident for me to see the work that God’s done in my life because of where I’ve been.

Jim: I want to pick up on that in just a minute.

John: And our guest today on Focus on the Family is Jamie Ivey. We’re talking about her life story. A lot of it is captured in this book, If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free. And we’d invite your call. If you have questions about anything that Jamie has shared thus far, our number is 800-A-FAMILY. And online you can find her book, a recording of this conversation and other resources at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast.

Jim: Jamie, you mention in your book - (laughter) and I’m laughing ‘cause it’s so true - how full the Bible is of misfits and how, obviously, when you’re searching, at some point - the story of King David I’m sure resonated with your own life. Describe that “aha” moment and how that connected with you that you don’t really find perfect people in Scripture. You find broken people.

Jamie: Yeah. I remember right after I - a couple of years later, after I’d become a follower of Jesus and had some other, you know, kind of failures come up my life, I was searching. I need to know who I can relate to in the Bible. Surely there’s people in here that have made mistakes. And like you said, what I found was a book full of people who had made mistakes. I tell women all the time, like, God uses broken people because there’s no other option. That’s all there is.

Jim: (Laughter) Right. That’s a good point.

Jamie: You know, there’s no perfect people to do the ministry of the Lord. And so I remember looking at King David’s life. And we know the story about how he was king, and he was supposed to be out fighting. But he wasn’t. He was at home, leisurely laying on his little kingdom balcony. And he invites Bathsheba up. And he takes advantage of her. And they end up making a baby. And all the things, he has her husband killed. And then they marry. And I then found the song where David’s repenting and asking for forgiveness. And I remember relating to that so, so very much.

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: And even recently, I was reading about King David, and something stuck out to me, is that when God decided that he was going to be king, He called him a man after His own heart. And that was before he even made his, like, big mistake...

Jim: Right.

Jamie: ...That we see in Scripture, that God already said, “You’re going to lead My people. And you are a man after My own heart,” know - God knowing full well what David was going to go through.

Jim: That he was going to commit murder...

Jamie: Yes.

Jim: ...And adultery.

Jamie: Yes. And so that brought so much hope to me, that, “God, You chose me before the beginning of the time to be a daughter of Yours, knowing full well the mess I would go through.”

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: “The way I would trample on Your name, the way that I would fall into temptation and sin. And You still said, ‘I choose you to be a daughter.’“

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: That was so big for me.

Jim: And it’s good for every one of us to hear that because I think, again, we can be so hard on ourselves as being insufficient humans rather than understand that on this side of heaven, we’re not complete. And we are sinners saved by grace.

Jamie: Yep.

Jim: And we’ve got to remember that. But it’s so hard to remember that.

Jamie: It is so hard.

Jim: Okay. So you’re moving along. You realize you’ve got this dual life going. You’ve had one pregnancy. But it ended in a miscarriage, correct?

Jamie: Correct.

Jim: So that relationship ended with that young man as well?

Jamie: Right, yes.

Jim: You have an experience. You go to a Christian conference. Describe what happened there, this now heart connection that you begin to make.

Jamie: Yeah. I moved home after that pregnancy. I lived at - with my parents from then on, until I married my now husband. So I moved in with my parents and went back to school. And I decided when I went back to school that fall I was going to be a good girl. Like, that was my goal. “Be good, Jamie. You can do this.” And so...

Jim: So behavior was...

Jamie: It was all behavior modification.

Jim: Yeah, I want to make that distinction.

Jamie: Yes. Yes, I’m still thinking, “How do I be a good person?”

Jim: So act right.

Jamie: “Act right, Jamie. Get yourself together.” And so I tried that for a little while. And then I fall back into my own same sin. Like, I had no relationship with Jesus to remind me of why I should be better.

Jim: What did that do for your self-esteem, your guilt? I mean, again, you’re trying to do this out of your own power...

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: ...I’m assuming. What did that do to you to have those whispers in your heart saying, “See? You’re no good.”

Jamie: Yeah, I mean, I just thought, “I’ll just do what I know how to do.” And the only thing I knew how to do was act like that. And so I went to school that semester. And then that Christmas, I went to the Passion conference. And it is a God thing because I was not walking with the Lord. I had been going to church with my parents, feeling like all these college kids are dorks, and they don’t like me. And then I went - I said yes to this conference. It’s total God. And when I was at that conference, I was sitting there, and a woman came on stage. I had idea who she was. Her name was Beth Moore. We all know who she is now.

Jim: (Laughter) Right.

Jamie: She came on stage. And it was as if - I don’t know if you’ve ever been in a sermon or something when you’re like, “This person’s talking only to me. Do they know me?”

Jim: Right.

Jamie: “Do they know my stuff?” And she spoke, and God moved. And it was from there that I started to have a relationship with the Lord, that I started to - my heart desired to change. And it wasn’t overnight.

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: But that’s when I look back and point, this is where God got a hold of me.

Jim: Yeah. Not to introduce yet another kind of dark aspect to this. But I think it’s important for the listeners to understand where you’re coming from because what you’ve described so far, many people might say, “Okay, this is the unavoidable teen behavior that can pop up. You’re drinking and having these liaisons with boys. Okay.” But there is an element there that also included pornography. I don’t know if I’d describe it or you’d describe it as an addiction. But talk about - because it’s - you know, it’s a bit of a shocker when women, which is a growing number of people...

Jamie: Yes, it is.

Jim: ...Women that are addicted to pornography. How did that happen, and what role did it play in your young life?

Jamie: Yeah. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself addicted to pornography. But when I went into college is when I was introduced to it for the first time within a relationship. And so it became completely normal. It was not this weird thing. The first time I remember it feeling weird was when I wasn’t with him, and I watched it by myself. And so it became introduced to me as just something that you would do, something that you would use to get sexually aroused, whatever pornography. And then you decide, “Oh, I think I’ll watch it by myself.” Hello, I think that’s a problem, you know? And so it just became something that was of the norm for me. And that actually, you know, popped up a few times in my life after I was a believer. And that was hard for me to reconcile of, “Why is this thing, why is this desire to do something that I now really don’t have a desire for - I don’t want to have a desire for. I love Jesus. I have a great marriage. Why is this popping up?” And I just see it as a sin struggle that I would have to fight.

Jim: Right.

Jamie: And, you know, I’ve talked about it in my book a little bit. And I’ve gotten so much feedback from women saying, “I’ve never told anyone that I struggle with this.”

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: “I was introduced to this at a young age. It’s become this addiction.” And I’m glad you guys are bringing it up because it is something that I believe the church needs to talk about, that it’s not just a man’s issue.

Jim: Right.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: And there’s so much emphasis with men on this. You know, we feel beaten down. And it is interesting in this respect that it’s meeting a need of some sort. I mean, that’s what we’ve got to delve into. Why is this becoming such an epidemic with both men and women?

Jamie: Yep.

Jim: What is happening there? What is satisfying that is obviously a hole for people? Did you ever discover what was driving the desire?

Jamie: Well, I feel like pornography could be satisfying a lot of needs that people might meet in other ways. Like, people might meet those needs with alcohol or with drugs or with unhealthy relationships - just that need to feel comforted in that moment.

Jim: Huh.

Jamie: It’s sometimes not even the sexual thing that we might say. And I think this might be more for women. It might just be this need to feel comforted, to feel kind of some kind of emotion that they’re longing for. And so I think that’s what makes it harder for women because they feel like, “Is something wrong with me? I feel really dirty.”

Jim: Yeah.

Jamie: “This is a man’s thing.” And instead, we need to look at the heart of the issue, just like we would look at anything else. Where are you finding comfort when you need to be finding it in Jesus?

Jim: Well, and again, I’m sure people are listening, some saying, “How could you be talking about this?” Folks, it’s really critical that we talk about this.

Jamie: It is very critical.

Jim: You know, and I say this quite often because we’ll get feedback. And I understand the heart-wrenching topic that this is. But this is life. This is nitty gritty life. This is what Christians and non-Christians struggle with. And to avoid it, to me, is malfeasance.

Jamie: It is.

Jim: This is what we need to talk about, especially within the context of the family, within the context of marriage and raising children who understand what it means to be a vessel of Christ and be made in God’s image. And what He intends for us...

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: ...In healthy sexuality. After all, this is His gift to us.

Jamie: Right, yeah.

Jim: You know, we’re the ones that kind of scuff it up.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: But He intended this to be wonderful.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: And to be good. So if you have that attitude of, “Oh, my goodness, how could you be talking about this?” It is for help and healing.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: And that’s the good news, Jamie, that you bring. Yeah, dark valleys that you’ve gone through. But look where you’re at now.

Jamie: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: You’re vibrant. You’re working in ministry together with your husband. You have four kids, three of whom are teenagers.

Jamie: Mmhmm.

Jim: Little bit of I gotcha on that, right?

Jamie: Uh-huh. Yeah, yeah.

Jim: The Lord going...

Jamie: Yes.

Jim: “...Okay, Jamie.” But it worked. God got a hold of your heart.

Jamie: Yeah.

Jim: And what I want to do in this moment is to steer people to online discussion where we can continue, if you’re willing, to talk about the pornography issue. And we can get into a little more detail and do that...

Jamie: Would love to.

Jim: ...With people opting in. But if we can hold over, let’s come back next time. Let’s talk a bit more about God’s healing in this process, not dwell on kind of the negative stuff, but to come through this and give people hope and handles on how to fall in love with Christ and to begin to leave these temptations behind you. Can we do that?

Jamie: Love it.

Jim: Okay.

Closing:

John: You’ll find that bonus content and you can learn more about Jamie Ivey at focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. And we’ll have information about her book, If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free, and how you can get an audio copy, as well, of our entire conversation with her, including what we’ll have for you next time.

Jim: John, the resounding takeaway from Jamie’s story is straight out of Romans, right there in the Bible: “There is, therefore, now no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” I remember what you said, Jamie, earlier in the program when you learned you were pregnant at 19 years old. You said it felt like you had messed up your entire life. And you felt so all alone. There are so many women and young girls who feel the same way when they’re facing an unplanned pregnancy. And in that crisis moment, where they don’t know what to do next, they will naturally consider abortion. Here at Focus on the Family, we want to help give these women and these young women a better alternative - life for their baby. All babies, even unplanned babies, are precious to the Lord, because all human life is precious and sacred to Him. That’s why we have our Option Ultrasound program, where we will equip pregnancy resource clinics with ultrasound equipment and training in order to rescue these preborn babies who might otherwise be terminated. And that’s why we’re hosting a major event next weekend in New York City’s Times Square, called “Alive from New York.” We’re going to show 4D, third trimester ultrasounds, which show clearly the baby in the womb that in just a couple of short weeks, maybe, will be outside the womb, breathing air, and is already alive and capable of entering into this world.

John: Yeah, that’s going to be a great moment. I’ve heard you say that’s the keynote address.

Jim: That’s the keynote - I like that.

John: That we’re gonna have little babies in the womb as the keynoters. And we want you to be there. Uh, we’ve got details for you to register for the event. We also have a link over to our “Declaration for Life.” We want our collective voices to be heard in Washington, D.C. Make your views known by filling that out. All of this at our special website: focusonthefamily.com/prolife. Or you can call us and we can tell you more: 800-232-6459.

Jim: And John, if I could just say, we have a couple hundred thousand signatures on that “Declaration for Life.” Folks, we need a million signatures. Even if you can’t support the ministry in that, can you at least just go to the website and sign the Declaration so that when we present it to Congress and the White House, it makes an overwhelming statement. I’d love to reach a million signatures for that. And if you can support us, let me tell you, it’s $60 to save a baby’s life. Again, that’s something that seems within the reach of most of us, that we can save a baby’s life for $60. So please, consider what you can give today either through a one-time gift or a monthly pledge. We need to hear from you so we can, together, save as many lives as possible. 

John: Yeah, donate today and when you do, either as a monthly contribution or a one-time gift, we’ll send a complimentary copy of Jamie’s book, If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free, as our way of saying thank you. Again, the website to donate and to find Jamie’s book and other help, is focusonthefamily.com/prolife.

On behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family. I’m John Fuller inviting you back as we continue the conversation with Jamie, and once again, help you and your family thrive in Christ.

  • Featured Initiative

    Take Action Now: Sign the Declaration for Life

    Focus on the Family

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Guest

Jamie Ivey

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Jamie Ivey's passion is helping women develop a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ, and she does this primarily through her blog and her popular podcast titled The Happy Hour. She is also a public speaker and author of the book If You Only Knew: My Unlikely, Unavoidable Story of Becoming Free. Jamie and her husband, Aaron, have four children and reside in Austin, Tex. Learn more about Jamie by visiting her website, jamieivey.com.