Babysavers

shutterstock_126094013The sweet voice on the other end of the phone seemed so fragile, like a tiny teacup. I had been expecting her phone call. A couple of hours earlier a lady had called and shared a little bit of this girl’s story. She said she had an abortion scheduled on Saturday (just 2 days away). She asked if I would be willing to meet with her? Oh please, have her call me and we can connect. I will meet her anytime, anywhere. I waited expectantly for her to call.

Resembling a Dr. as they are on call for a delivery, my heart felt that I was on call. This precious life was waiting. My phone was just a tiny grasp away. The call came. I was so sensitive to her heart and the place she was in. She was so scared to tell her mom. She said she was afraid of the rejection she would feel. I began to speak life giving words to her. Precious tears began to fall and she sniffled a little. I asked if I could pray with her and she agreed she would really like that.

Life and love words began to flow and touch her heart. That tiny teacup began to fill up with peace and love as it poured out from my mouth. I asked if we could meet for lunch tomorrow? She said yes please. The next morning I woke up expectant and empowered knowing that God had an appointed time for this precious girl. At 11:11 am on April 11th I began the journey to meet her. A truck ahead of me had a yellow caution triangle road sign that read PREPARE TO SAVE. At that very moment my heart said prepare to save this baby. Pray. Pray and pray some more. I had sent messages to other leaders in Embrace Grace to also be praying and believing for this baby.

We met at Wendy’s for lunch on a very windy day. Trees and leaves were blowing mightily outside. She walked in and we shared a sweet embrace. She sat down and said she had gathered the courage to call her mom after we had talked and prayed last night. The reaction her Mom gave was totally opposite from what she had expected to receive. Her Mom said looks like we have some planning to do! She offered for her to move back home so that she could offer help and support. At that moment she called and rescheduled her appointment for the abortion. She needed more time to process and think.

She began to express her heartfelt desires and how she had imagined this to be in different circumstances. She had not planned for this to happen. She was not ready to be a single mom. She had so many questions. She felt unsure of her decision. I was there to listen. To encourage. To inspire hope and speak life into her situation. Each minute that passed she seemed more expectant and hopeful. She said she knew it wouldn’t be easy. That there was so much to consider in each decision that she made.

Again, I prayed hope and spoke Jeremiah 29:11 over her and her baby.

Ill show up and take care of you as I promised and bring you back home. I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out- plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. When you call on me, when you come and pray to me, I’ll listen. {Jeremiah 29:11-12}

She told me that she had a dream before she ever found out she was pregnant. Her eyes began to brighten and a glimmer of hope began to sparkle as she said in her dream she held a baby boy. She felt in her heart that she was carrying a baby boy. That gave her hope. Something special to cling to. She did not know how everything was going to work out, but she was encouraged to trust God to work out the plans and details of this life for her.

That morning before I woke up to meet with her, I kept hearing the word babysaver and lifesaver over and over again in my heart. Babysaver, babysaver. You are a babysaver.

You are a babysaver too. All of YOU! As you reach out to those that are placed in your path. As you listen to their heart and have compassion upon them and share the truth that God will be there for them. To guide and help them through each step. He promises to be there. He will pour out His love upon them. You are saving babies lives. Speaking life and love over them.

Pro-life & Pro-love in action!

We are 4 UNBORN!

Many times we have heard this from our blooms:

My baby saved my life!!

Each and every bloom and alumni that has been to Embrace Grace and those that are to come- you are a BABYSAVER! You chose life and love for your baby.

You may have made the biggest and bravest decision and chose adoption and blessed another family with your baby! That is a priceless gift and you are a babysaver!

You may have a tug in your heart as you may have had an abortion in the past, come very close to having one or know someone that has. Even if the thought has ever crossed your mind. Please know that you are not alone. Healing and wholeness is yours for the taking. This post is not in any way to make you feel ashamed or condemned. It is the total opposite. This is a life giving message. Grace filled! You are a babysaver too!

A song just came on as I am typing this post and I feel it is for you precious one. May the words speak tenderly to your heart. May you feel the whispering grace it brings.

Majesty enthroned in beauty
All my life, Your love pursues me
and I’m found in You
Oh Holy One, the King of glory
You’re the Author of my story
and I’m found in You

‘Cause You give me life
And lead me to find Your grace and Your mercy
Given so freely
Your word is my light
It leads me to find Your comfort and healing
The hope that I’m needing

Your love is all around, Oh

And I hear Your voice
I hear the words You’ve spoken
This love is Yours
This love restores the broken

And this is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
And this is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

And oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Oh, Your love is all around

- by All Sons and Daughters- Your Love is all around

I pray the words to this song bring you comfort and healing! A bonus song for you to listen to that is playing in my heart right now… Scandal of grace by Hillsong United… check it out!

Oh to be like you, give all I have just to know you… your all the hope in my heart…It’s all because of you JESUS!

I love you precious BABYSAVERS!!

Written by Salina Duffy

 

Resurrection Reflection

shutterstock_149576093The resurrection of Jesus has always been very hard for to me to watch in movies or read about. When the movie “The Passion of the Christ” was released it made me physically ill. I never watched the movie again. I could not understand why that was the only way that God could have made salvation available to us, and why did it have to be so gruesome? Not only did Jesus have to be crucified, but tortured and beaten as well? I still to this day have a hard time with this. I do understand that there is a blood requirement to cleanse sins, but even the animals were not tortured and beaten before they were sacrificed.

And then I move over to the heartbreaking portion of scripture when Jesus shouts “My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) And I am reminded of the sinful and fallen world we live in. I wonder if maybe God did not orchestrate this death, but the depravity and perversion of man. It took pure evil to maim and torture someone that way, and God could really not come in and save His Son, could He? Because then it would have all been for nothing. So I ponder the thought of a heartbroken Father in heaven watching His Son endure such abuse and not being able to do anything to stop it for His love of many. How I never, ever desire to be in Father’s shoes.

And even in the midst of extreme, agonizing pain and loss of breath, Jesus finds it in His heart to forgive. “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) I don’t know, but I am usually only thinking about the pain I am in when I am in pain. I could care less about anything or anyone else in that time frame. Especially for the one who caused me the pain. This shows exactly why Jesus was on the cross and not anyone else. He chose to come down from His throne in Heaven. I wonder if He knew that He would be the only one capable of not only enduring the pain, but of forgiving those who caused it. That takes an out-of-this-world-kind of love. God sent His Son in love, so that in love His Son could die for a sinful people so that the sinful people could come back to life and, in turn, love God.   That something so gruesome could turn into something so beautiful seems like something that only movies are made of. Only this is not fiction or fairytale but real, tangible, accessible. And in the end you really do live happily ever after.

Written by Jamie Stapleton

You Are Loved

shutterstock_68979244I had the honor of speaking to the Embrace Grace young women of Cleburne, Texas. I loved getting to visit with them and talk about what I love to talk about the most, how much God loves them. There are not many words that can even begin to express how deep, how wide, and how high His love is for us. It’s SO BIG!

I came across this Max Lucado writing a few years ago and it’s always been one of my favorites. If someone was ever going to try to put it into words, he did an amazing job at trying. It’s SO sweet. I wanted to share it with you today in case you forgot how much you’re loved.

God is Fond of you. If he had a wallet, your photo would be in it. If he had a refrigerator, your picture would be on it. He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, he’ll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and he chose your heart. Face it, friend. He is crazy about you. By the way, it may be difficult for you to believe that God knows your name…but he does. Written on his hand, spoken by his mouth, whispered by his lips. Your name. “I have written your name on my hand.” Isaiah 49:16. Our hearts are not large enough to contain the blessings that God wants to give. So try this. The next time a sunrise steals your breath or a meadow of flowers leaves you speechless, remain that way. Say nothing and listen as heaven whispers, “Do you like it? I did it just for you.” If we give gifts to show our love, how much more would he? He could have left the world flat and gray…but he didn’t. He splashed orange in the sunrise and cast the sky in blue. And if you love to see geese as they gather, chances are you’ll see that too. Did he have to make the squirrel’s tail furry? Was he obliged to make the birds sing? And the funny way that chickens scurry or the majesty of thunder when it rings? Why give a flower fragrance? Why give food its taste? Could it be he loves to see that look upon your face? So promise me you’ll never forget that you aren’t an accident or an incident…you are a gift to the world, a divine work of art, signed by God. You were knit together – Psalm 139:13. You weren’t mass-produced. You aren’t an assembly-line product. You were deliberately planned, specifically gifted, and lovingly positioned on this earth by the Master Crafts-man. He thinks you are the best thing to come down the pike in quite a while. Turn to the sidelines; that’s God cheering your run. Look past the finish line; that’s God applauding your steps. God is for you. Had he a calendar, your birthday would be circled. If he drove a car your name would be on his bumper. If there’s a tree in heaven, he’s carved your name in the bark. Maybe you don’t want to trouble God with your hurts. But “he cares about you” (1 Peter 5:7). He is waiting for you, to embrace you whether you succeed or fail. Your heavenly Father is very fond of you and only wants to share his love with you. Untethered by time, God sees us all. Vagabonds and ragamuffins all, he saw us before we were born and he loves what he sees. Flooded by emotion, overcome by pride, the starmaker turns to us, one by one, and says, “You are my child. I love you dearly. I’m aware that someday you’ll turn from me and walk away. But I want you to know, I’ve already provided a way back.” You have captured the heart of God. He cannot bear to live without you. God’s dream is to make you right with him. And the path to the cross tells us exactly how far God will go to call us back (1 John 4:10). “Can anything make me stop loving you,” God asks. “You wonder how long my love will last? Watch me speak your language, sleep on your earth, and feel your hurts. Find your answer on a splintered cross, on a craggy hill. That’s how much I love you.” God does more than forgive our mistakes; he removes them! We simply have to take them to him. You can talk to God because God listens. Let a tear appear on your cheek, and he is there to wipe it. He has sent his angels to care for you, his Holy spirit to dwell in you, his church to encourage you, and his word to guide you. As much as you want to see him, he wants to see you more. If you want to touch God’s heart, use the name he loves to hear. Call him “Father.” He thinks you’re wonderful! –  written by Max Lucado

Post by Amy Ford

Girl Power

shutterstock_16227564855,000,000 abortions have occurred in America since 1973…. 55,000,000 women whose lives have been affected. Where was the help they needed when they were faced with this impossible decision? Is it possible that it was hidden in the hearts of other women? Is it possible that if women loved and supported one another in a unity that was unbreakable regardless of the situation or circumstance her sister, friend, neighbor, enemy or stranger found herself in, that she might have found help? Is it possible that if we laid down our competitiveness and judgments and instead loved each other unconditionally and taught our daughters to do the same, we would have a society that was healthy and redeemed? Call me a dreamer but I would like to see this in my lifetime… I want to see women rise up and take their place… not against something but for love.

We are called to be unified as women who relentlessly love one another regardless of the situation or circumstance. It is time now, to band together. A new sisterhood- all over the world…. Racial and economic division- no more, competition- no more, comparison- no more, jealousy- no more, fighting for the attention of men- no more, tearing each other down- no more. We will be women who rise up, take our places, love our God, respect and honor our men while cherishing and depositing life into our children. We will be women who do not demand respect but give honor. We will be women who love with arms wide open, especially when it hurts because we are confident in the One who has done the same for us. We will give love because it’s been given to us and we give it to those who do not have it to give, without expectation of repayment. We will wear our crowns of royalty with an understanding of the price that has been paid for them. We look on others with kindness. We will be a band of sisters who say no to division, strife and poverty of spirit. We will raise our daughters up to love one another and our sons to cherish our daughters. We will stand guard at the entry of our homes and we will say NO to the influences that contradict what we stand for. We will refuse to be fed the lie that we have to “sell” the image of our bodies to be considered beautiful for beauty radiates from within us. The bride of Christ is awakening and the women of the bride are getting up from their slumber. The sleep is being washed from our eyes and we are seeing clearly- who we are and whose we are.  Women are being redeemed from all that has been stolen from us and we will NEVER be the same again! It is time for us to shed the lie that our enemy is each other and pick up the truth that our purpose is to band together as a strong, beautiful example of what love really looks like. I am believing for a generation of women to rise up and take their place in their realm of influence… we all have one, those within our reach… our circle. We will choose to start the fire of love within those around us and we will fan the flame by not giving up when it gets hard. When we truly love one another, we will cultivate and shape our current generation and generations to come for an influence of love that will be unstoppable. This is girl power.

Written by Kylee Washington

Abraham’s Promise

shutterstock_127992746As a little girl I remember in Sunday School singing the song Father Abraham had many sons…I am one of them and so are you… so lets just praise the Lord… during the song we would make motions and movements with our arms and legs up and down as we sang the words left arm, right arm, chin up… Reenactments of those days with my little wee friends began to replay in my mind this morning.

I opened my bible to Romans 4 and clearly see the words Trusting God as the heading of this entire chapter. Revelation and insight is given as the truth is soaking in. Read along some of the highlights of Romans 4 MSG. The story we are given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.

If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.

it was by embracing what God did for him that Abraham was declared fit before God…an act of God he had embraced with his whole life.

That famous promise God gave Abraham—that he and his children would possess the earth—was not given because of something Abraham did or would do. It was based on God’s decision to put everything together for him.

This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father.

God saying to Abraham, “I set you up as father of many peoples”? Abraham was first named “father” and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do. And so he was made father of a multitude of peoples. God himself said to him, “You’re going to have a big family, Abraham!”

He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said. That’s why it is said, “Abraham was declared fit before God by trusting God to set him right.” But it’s not just Abraham; it’s also us! The same thing gets said about us when we embrace and believe the One who brought Jesus to life when the conditions were equally hopeless. The sacrificed Jesus made us fit for God, set us right with God.

We are sons and daughters of the promise! Now, that is something to dance and sing about! After reading this passage and the song was so fresh on my heart; I began to reflect how all of us, as numerous as the stars in the sky, are a part of one big family. An Embrace Family.

We all have a unique & special part to play! As we trust God to show us and reveal His plans to us. He will align our steps with His as He intricately designs and fashions our lives together.

This is what is speaking loud and clear at this moment..

But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift. {Romans 4:4-5 MSG}

May I say a prayer over you.

God, I praise you and thank you for your sons and daughters. Bless them immensely. You have fashioned them together with so much purpose. May they be able to embrace the purpose you have given them. In the vastness of who you are will you reveal yourself to them as they trust you to do what only you can do! We are family and as we are joined together, linking arms together, connected and united for your Kingdom Purpose, you will bring Heaven on Earth to fulfill your desires. A sheer gift.

Written by Salina Duffy

 

Youth Restored

shutterstock_95623018(1)God speaks to us in a myriad of ways – you know…His word, blinding light, a donkey – and most recently in my life a beautiful seventeen year old girl bursting with energy and love.

You see I went on a women’s “retreat” for lack of a better word for 5 ½ days last week and throughout this whole week of undistracted time with the Lord, He really had an opportunity to talk to me about some things. I was obliged to listen.

This particular time with the Lord dealt with many deep seated hurts, longings, issues. In effect – a life changing experience. In an activity that we were asked to do, I used crafts to create something that I had not since I was in elementary school. I truly felt that it was a reminder of youth, fun, spontaneity. I had been accused of being too serious, too “deep” and told to lighten up more times than I care to admit. As a young teenage mother, I learned how to be practical. Now, don’t get me wrong, I knew how to party. There is a truly big difference in someone being light-hearted and fun-spirited and someone who can get drunk and think they are having a good time. Very, very different things. But I digress…

In the midst of my healing during this last week, a day was spent mourning my youth. Granted, I didn’t even know that I needed to mourn my lost youth. I was the kind of girl who just felt like you had to move on, what other choice do you have? God said otherwise. And into my life walked whom I now affectionately call my “little sister in Christ”. Bouncy and bubbly she showed me a reflection of a part of me that had been missing. Spontaneous fun, laughing, joking – no worries, no responsibilities. She showed me what it looked like to love the Lord unabashedly and without restraint. She showed me how exhilarating it could be to sneak out at midnight and scare the pants off of your sisters in the house down the road. (Haha!)

At the same time God did something for me that showed me how much He cares about the desires of my heart. A longing of mine had been to go to university to study – 1) because I love to learn and 2) because I truly longed for the experience to meet people and form relationships with people from other parts of the country. That is one thing I had always envied about people who went away to college, the lifelong relationships they made (and the friends to go visit on vacation!). Needless to say, on this retreat there were 27 women from 10 different states. I told the Lord that this was like college! And I clearly heard Him tell me that that was how much He loved me. I later found out that this was the first time there were that many women from that many different states at this event. Coincidence? I think not.

He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you’re always young in his presence.
Psalm 103:3-5 (MSG)

God crowned me with love and mercy and He renewed my youth. If you see me singing at the top of my lungs in my car or dancing down the street, you should really come and join in. Life is more fun like this. ;-)

Written by Jamie Stapleton

The Shower was AMAZING!

shower2The Gateway Church Embrace Grace baby shower for young women with unplanned pregnancies was over-the-top amazing! Seriously, it just get’s better and better every semester. The way the theme, decor, volunteers and everything else just pulls together and becomes an event that is UNFORGETTABLE!!

shower4We had 8 girls go into labor this week so the shower hosted 55 girls and the other 8 we will make sure that they receive their gifts as well (so that’s 63 total). I’ve heard some of them are getting mini-showers given by their donors and some are getting surprise deliveries of all of their gifts. My favorite is just hearing the buzz happening at the shower – what people are saying and also seeing the look on people’s faces. Lots of tears and smiles!

A few of the thoughts we heard from the EG mommas:

 

“The best night of my life!”shower5

“All of these gifts are for me?!”

“I can’t believe this is real. I will remember this night forever.”

“It feels like home here.”

“This is beyond anything I ever imagined.”

shower3A few facebook posts after the shower:

I am so glad that I was welcomed into Embrace Grace this year. I just got home from the baby shower and I feel like I’m radiating sunshine out of my pores because I’m so happy. Its amazing that these people I had never met before were showering me with such amazing gifts and encouraging words. Genuinely the most kind and caring souls I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I feel so blessed and loved right now. Thank you all for everything you do. I couldn’t be more grateful.

Today was great, never felt so much and so many blessing in one day! I’m so thankful for shower1Embrace Grace and for these lovely lady’s who adopted me… Their words of prayer and gifts were more then I could ever ask for.

The Embrace Grace shower last night was amazing. Im so touched and truly blessed to be a part of this and to know God has rained down so much love on my baby and I is awesome.

These are just a few of them – all the thank-you’s will be posted on the blog soon. But can I just say thank you as well? Just thank you. Every single one of you. God is awesome – thank you for joining the pro-love movement.

Written by Amy Ford