By Amy Ford
God's Brave Women - Amy's Story
When I was nineteen, I had an unplanned pregnancy. Fear overwhelmed me and I came within moments of having an abortion, but ultimately, ran out of the clinic and courageously chose life.
Me and my now husband were so close to losing our precious son because of fear. Because of isolation. Because of shame and feeling that there was no one who would accept us.
"Me and my now husband were so close to losing our precious son because of fear. Because of isolation. Because of shame and feeling that there was no one who would accept us."
All my friends left one by one. Looking back, I know it wasn’t because they didn’t like me. They just didn’t know what to do. Our pregnancy was “the elephant in the room.” People didn’t know whether to say “Congratulations” or “I’m sorry.” In the end, they didn’t say anything at all.
Before getting pregnant I was very active in the church and had a lot of friends there. After getting pregnant, I tried going back to church, but things had changed. No one acknowledged the pregnancy and the baby growing inside me. It was as if they couldn’t see me. For some, it was hard to make eye contact. I felt invisible.
So I left.
It wasn’t until years later when I had the courage to try church again. God healed my heart and then He dreamed down a heavenly inspired idea while at a ministry conference I was attending - to start a small group at my church for single women with unexpected pregnancies.
Even though I felt terrified and unqualified to begin a group like that, my heart came alive at the thought of it.
Our first Embrace Grace group launched at Gateway Church and three mommas showed up. At the beginning of the twelve-week class, they were without hope for their future. They felt as if their life was over. By the end, they were excited and empowered as women to be the moms God created them to be. Our mission became clearer by the minute. These girls needed to embrace grace and be embraced by grace.
Love had transformed them.
"They were excited and empowered as women to be the moms God created them to be. Our mission became clearer by the minute. These girls needed to embrace grace and be embraced by grace. Love had transformed them."
The vision God had given me was no longer only in my head. It was standing right in front of me.
Each semester more and more women came. Then, interest from other churches grew, and they wanted to start support groups as well. Before long, Embrace Grace was blessing mommas we had never met, as baby showers and support groups spread from city to city. God was building something much bigger than this small group at Gateway Church, and we knew it. He was starting a movement of love among believers that would travel beyond cities and spread from nation to nation.
Through Embrace Grace, He wanted us to encourage the global church to be a refuge for the broken hearts of single and pregnant women. We believed He wanted us to turn what had begun as a small group for three discouraged women into a nonprofit organization that could inspire and equip churches all over the world and help thousands of women to be brave and choose life.
"Through Embrace Grace, He wanted us to encourage the global church to be a refuge for the broken hearts of single and pregnant women.
Now, 10 years later since the non-profit began, we are seeing women walk in bravery and courage.
Women impacted by unexpected pregnancies are being brave and choosing life. They are showing up to church and making a decision not to isolate but to stay connected to a community of people that will support them physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Pastors are being brave and talking about the issue of life. They are going beyond a pro-life stance but rallying their church to be the pro-love action to make abortion unnecessary.
Women that have experienced an abortion in their past are starting their healing process and are even signing up to lead Embrace Grace groups so that they can be the person they wish they had in their life when they made their abortion decision years ago.
And the body of Christ is using their strengths, passions and resources to do what each person can to make abortion unnecessary and unthinkable in their communities.
"The body of Christ is using their strengths, passions and resources to do what each person can to make abortion unnecessary and unthinkable in their communities."
Embrace Grace is now in almost 700 churches, 49 states and 10 countries.
Where can you be brave in the pro-life and pro-love movement? There are millions of ways!
"Where can you be brave in the pro-life and pro-love movement?"
Together we can help those impacted by unexpected pregnancies know that they can have their baby and their dreams too … and we can help make it happen!
*** To start a support group for women with unexpected pregnancies at your church, go to www.EmbraceGrace.com.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story.
And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Amy Ford is the President of Embrace Grace, Inc., a non-profit organization formed for the purpose of providing curriculum and leadership support for churches nationwide to open their arms and hearts to young women with unplanned pregnancies. Embrace Grace is utilized by over 700 churches across the nation and world.
Amy is also the author of Help Her Be Brave and A Bump in Life. Amy and her husband, Ryan, have been married for over 22 years, and together they have 4 children. She and her family reside in Arlington, Texas.
To start a support group for women with unexpected pregnancies at your church, go to www.EmbraceGrace.com. For ideas on how you can get involved in the pro-love movement, grab Amy’s latest book, Help Her Be Brave: Discover Your Place in the Pro-Life Movement.