My Giving and Tithing story

tithing

As a 21 year old newlywed, and just started going to church consistently over the past few years, I always would hear about people tithing and how awesome it was. I really wanted to try it but when I looked at my monthly budget, I never could figure out how it could happen. 10% of our income is a lot when living on such a tight budget.

Let me take you back to December.

Brad and I had just been started talking a little about tithing, and how we have been wanting to do it. We really wanted to make it a priority and start doing it.  But as our paychecks came in, we never broke away from the routine that we were used to. We barely had enough to pay our bills. With me being pregnant, and living on only Brad’s income, it was always very tight with our finances.

All through December, we just decided to just start giving what we could. If we had cash in our wallets, we would just stick it in the offering box. If there was extra money in our bank account, we gave. Even if it was $5 or $10, it was a lot to us and we would give it.

A few days after Christmas, Brad got a phone call from a company he had interviewed with a while back and they offered him a job! It was a great offer that was a significant pay raise that we really needed. So Brad called his current employer and told them that he was leaving and taking a new job opportunity, and when he did, they did not want to lose him so they matched the offer of the new job!  He decided to stay and got a big pay raise just like that!

Then it gets even more awesome ….

A week or 2 later, the new company that had called to offer him the job that he had turned down, called again and made another offer for Brad to come work for them with almost double the salary of what we were making originally and way better benefits! We were blown away and there was no way we could turn down the offer. It was just so much more money than what he was currently making.  All of these blessings, we just didn’t see it coming. God works in such amazing ways that will shock you. Its like He pulls the rug out from under your feet just to remind you how awesome He is and how He is in control!

God even blessed us in little things like one day I went to visit an old friend of mine that I had not seen in 6 months and she had all these diapers that she decided she didn’t like the brand (and I had tried before and loved them) and she gave me TONS of diapers, right when I was almost out and needed more. This is so fun!

Brad started his new job on January 7th. What a great way to start the new year! We decided that we definitely wanted tithing to be a priority from now on. God is who provides for us. We can give back to Him what He already gives us.  Ever since we started tithing even more side job opportunities have come up. We are finally living very comfortably and we are ready for Blair, our 2nd daughter to be born.

Giving God total control, surrendering your will for His, is the best thing we have ever done for our family. So thankful for His blessings and provision.

Written by Brooke Davidson

Positive

pregnancystickDefined as a dramatic disclosure of an unforeseeable fact,

She can’t believe a revelation fits on something so compact.

Purple fingernails; hold a test, with a positive indication

And a teenage girl is baffled by this enormous, tiny obligation.

Her hands begin to shake and stomach begins to turn,

 And the tears that stain her pillow cause both their hearts to burn.

She runs to the mirror to see if she might yet be showing,

Completely mystified there is no sign of the baby growing.

Where will she go, what will she wear, who will pay her bills?

Fear fills her body as she shouts “how can this be God’s will”?

She falls to her knees and thinks I can’t do this on my own,

And a calm voice whispers gently, child you are not alone.

Her anxiety dissipates as the familiar voice calms her soul,

Soothing words of love telling her to let her worries go!

Yes, this may seem insurmountable, in this time and place,

But my wish is for you to trust me embracing God’s sweet grace.

Her swollen eyes grow heavy and she can finally fall asleep,

With the morning bringing new hope for the baby she’s to keep.

Walking out to start her day she looks around to find her test,

And is startled to find it laying, on the bible, atop the wooden chest

The result window still reveals the test’s positive indication,

But now she sees the small blue cross is actually a positive revelation!

Written by Hailey Bennett

Comfort Zone

rubberbandWe all have our comfort zones. 

We like our comfy beds and pillows that we sleep on every night because it’s “ours.” We like our bodies to be healthy, well and whole. We like our bank accounts to have enough in it to cover all of the bills and then some. We like our weather at 70 degrees with lots of sunshine (well most of us do). We like our life routines that we have set up for ourselves that keep us doing the same thing every day.

But as soon as we get stretched, we get upset or maybe even scared and worried.

Do you think it’s God’s purpose to give us a comfortable life? Do you think his goal is that all of His children get what they want and when they want it? Is that what you think about for your own child, to appease every demand and want that they have? Probably not … What would happen if you did? Well, we would probably be self centered and bratty.

He’s not a genie in a bottle where you get a wish and he complies.

He has a way better idea. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts. He wants to take our life and mold and shape us into warriors with amazing character and integrity that can carry out the mission He has purposed for us before we were ever even born. He can take every trial that we have ever been through and use it to push us into the next season He has for us. Keeping a kingdom perspective on our trials help us get through them so much easier.

And what about our daily routines in life. We wake up, make our coffee, get the kids to school, go to work, come home, eat dinner and go to bed. Every day. Over and over. Days and even years go by with the same routine.

Recently I was asked to speak for a video shoot, sharing my story and testimony for an awesome ministry. At first I was SO excited, thankful for another opportunity to share my story. But then as each day passed, getting closer and closer to film day, I had a few “excuses” that flew through my mind of how maybe I shouldn’t do it after all. It’s pretty far away. I’ll have to get a sitter. I don’t have anything to wear. I won’t have time to get my hair done before. I was getting nervous about being “stretched” even though deep down, this is my DREAM. I would love to really get out there more and travel and speak! But to accomplish a dream, you have to DO and ACT on it. Even when it feels a little uncomfortable as you step out of that safe zone you are accustomed to.

As I was having those thoughts of “But “I” this and but “I” that …” I suddenly realized I had a lot of “I’s” in my thoughts. Since when is my life about me? If God is placing this opportunity in front of me that is pushing me towards the dreams that He planted in my heart, will He not equip me with everything I need to accomplish His will?

Stepping out of our comfort zone makes life WAY more worthwhile and interesting! Stepping out of our comfort zones might be staying up late and writing that book we’ve always dreamed of. Stepping out of our comfort zones might be waking up WAY too early to get that workout in so you can meet your goal of health and fitness! Stepping out of our comfort zones might be trying out for the church worship team to use your gift and talent God has given you for His glory. Stepping out of your comfort zone might be starting that company or ministry that you think about every day about “what if …” 

A sweet 18 year old Embrace Grace girl once told me, “Faith is like a rubber band. It’s only useful when it’s stretched.” She was single and pregnant with twins. Her faith was stretched. She was way out of her comfort zone. But God was there helping her the whole way through.

I just want to encourage you this week to stretch your faith. Step out of that comfort zone. Keep a Kingdom perspective on the uncomfortable stretches – bad or good, He will use it to shape us for the good of the fulfilling and abundant life He made for you!

Written by Amy Ford

100% ALL IN

carefreewoman“I cannot do this.  Not again. I have to get rid of it,” I sobbed.  “If you go through with this I would really question a lot about your faith. You KNOW better,” my friend responded questionably. She was right. I had walked with the Lord for 7 years now.  I DID know better.

Then, came the words that would grip my soul …  “What if Jesus comes back while you are in the middle of aborting your baby? How would that make Him feel? A baby that He made and has a purpose for?”  Ouch.

All of a sudden the thought of walking another pregnancy by myself felt a little less convicting. Let’s roll the tape back to the year 2005. I had just recently given my life to the Lord.  Well ok, let’s be real, I gave him 80 percent. Confused? Let me explain.

I was introduced to drugs at the strip club I used to work at.  That club pretty much drug me down into the pit of hell where it belonged.  Along with clothes, my sense of self worth, my value, my dignity, my trust in men or the human race in general was stripped right along with it.

One night at work I was upset because my granny had passed.  I had gotten the voicemail during the transition of a set and a client asked me what was wrong.  With a glimpse of hope for a dose of empathy or some needed consoling, I shared my news.  The man responded excitedly, “Oh good! You should tell management, now you have an excuse to come home with me.” I was disgusted.

I did tell management.  I told them to kiss my butt goodbye because I was never coming back. Yay me, right?  Well it wasn’t long before the money ran out. I had lost all my friends who were also all on drugs & I couldn’t afford my own place to live. I came to the point where I was either going to a homeless shelter or going to my grandmothers to clean myself up.  I chose to get clean.

Three months before my 21st birthday, I asked the Lord to come into my life.  I told Him He could have everything except boys and alcohol.  Hello… I still felt like I needed to control that part.  80 percent.  Thanks to free will, I picked my own dude out.

After a year we got married and after 2 weeks he had sexually and physically abused me.  So we got divorced.  I lost my job.  I moved back home.  I got mad at God.  I got back on drugs.  I went looking for love from an old friend I knew from high school.  I got pregnant and my mom kicked me out.

“If you want to be a mom you better get out there and learn how to be one,” she demanded.   So I moved in with the father.  I then was warned that once our son came I had to find a place to live because he didn’t want to raise a baby in the party house we were living in.  Awesome. (But not really).

It was during that time I had nowhere else to turn except to God.  I started reading my Bible.  Praying.  Oh boy did we pray!  I got books on how to hear from Him.  I sought Him with my whole heart!  Hope and comfort started to fill the cracks of my heart.  He soon provided a job for me.  An apartment.  A car.  He gave me new friends who loved me and were there for me.  The Lord was taking care of me!  Oh it was so wonderful.

Soon my son came.  It was HARD.  Almost too hard. To some degree I think we prepare ourselves mentally for the trials of parenthood.  But until you are a mom, you really have no understanding of just how hard it really is to raise a child.  It stretches you in every way.  It was no one else’s job to raise that baby besides the father who, in my case, bailed and refused to be held accountable.  So I did it alone.

It wasn’t long before I started to get mad at God again.  Resenting all the suffering I was enduring. I turned away from Him and tried to fill the void with alcohol, drugs, and men again.   In 2010, after overdosing on the freeway and waking up in a hospital, my job working me like a slave and being a single mom on top of that with really nothing left to give my son, I finally cried out to the Lord: “That is it!! I am done! I can’t do this on my own anymore! Lord, I need you.  My way is not working.  You can have everything: smoking (I had smoked cigarettes since I was 16), alcohol, drugs, sex (I even got off birth control because I was going to wait until I got married), money … I give it all to you. I am all yours!” 

At that point a weight lifted off of me and a purification process began.  Life was awesome.  Joy filled me up to overflowing.  Love was super abounding from my heart.  God brought happiness back into my life.  He was my husband, my healer my protector, my provider.  Everything was awesome until I got a little comfortable and slowly but surely the enemy started setting his trap. Loneliness.  More than anything I wanted a family and I started to venture back out into bars and places to find companionship.  Good place huh?  Well it’s what I knew and was comfortable with.  Still very insecure with myself and with past wounds unhealed, my counselor put it this way: “You were starving.  And when we are starving, we settle for scraps.”  Scraps it was. After being used and abused again by another man, I went to a club where I met the father of my second child.  Within a short time, I felt the Holy Spirit’s leading to repent and stop what I was doing.  I was unhappy.  Unfulfilled.  This man really didn’t love me.  How could he?  He didn’t even know the Lord.  What was I thinking?

I told “my boyfriend” that he needed to move out and we needed to do this right.  He didn’t care for that and I found out later how much he really didn’t care after he moved in with “her”.  It was too late, I was pregnant.   Here I am a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ and I am pregnant, by myself again?! Holy smokes this couldn’t be happening!  I was so embarrassed.  I did not want to have to wear my sin on the outside.

I turned back to the Lord.  Where else could I go?

It was through wisdom and prayer that I came to the decision to bless another family with my baby and place her for adoption.  I loved her.  I wanted her to flourish in a two- parent home with God as the head of household.  I needed to focus on my son and rebuild what was lost; two kids with no Father to count on felt too much.  I prayed a very specific prayer. Lord, with you please lead me to the right family, please let them love you with all of their hearts, please let them be serving in church to let them love dogs and maybe have a couple? Those were just “some” of the stipulations I had.  I wasn’t just going to let any family raise her!

To my delight, God met every single one of my requests and more.  Well, the dog thing wasn’t a deal breaker.  When it was time for baby Charis (which means grace in Greek, I think that’s neat and fittingJ) to come, it was amazing.  God’s presence filled the delivery room.  We were all crying tears of joy, relief and awe.  She was born on a Sunday at 11:07 pm weighing 7 lbs. 11 oz.

Me, in my crazy mind have asked God, does that mean something??!  After all, there is symbolic representation throughout the Bible. I haven’t really got a clear answer but I will tell you 7 is the number for completion in the Bible and 7 11 makes me think of the gas station and their old slogan was “oh thank heaven” so you can decide for yourself.

Well after that amazing experience, I was left to myself again.  This time though I held onto God.  I wasn’t letting go.  I gave him all my pain, tears and poured my heart into Him.   For the first time in my life, He was able to start healing my heart.  I didn’t hold anything back.  My fears, my hurts, how I felt about things that happened in my past and how I felt about God.  See it was very hard for me to trust God.  Starting all the way back to my father and then the countless men who had failed me after that.  I didn’t trust anyone.  But God never gave up.  Every single time I fell and was left with nothing, He was there waiting to hold me and give me everything.  I was never actually alone.  God walked me through every crisis; it was me that walked away from Him.  He has always loved me.  He just wanted me to trust Him so he could show me who HE really IS. 

I am 28 now and the Lord has turned every horrible thing I have gone through into something beautiful. I have such a wonderful relationship with my son.  The Lord continues to grow me into the Godly mother he intended for me to be.  I am a better friend, sister, daughter not to mention I am drug, alcohol, and sex free! Yes I said sex. I am waiting for God to bring the right one.  While I wait and walk with the Lord, life couldn’t be better!  Oh and Charis, she is doing awesome, I just talked to her adoptive mom last night.  I feel like she is the sister I never had.  She is amazing.

The God of the universe will blow your mind, just trust Him and give Him everything – not part of you, all of you. I’m 100% ALL IN. 

Written anonymously

Tapestry

tapestryThe morning of our youngest daughters 27th birthday I was quietly thanking God for her, our other daughters, and life all around. Birthdays, especially those of family members, make me intro and retrospective.

You see, 33 years ago, I was a single, pregnant 17 year old girl. Life, my tapestry, seemed to be in shambles. I was a child myself. How could I be having a child? I wasn’t going to bring children into this cruel world anyway, my world especially, because it was full of pain, poverty, anger, abandon, violence and loneliness.

But God……….

During that particular days retrospection I kept hearing the word Tapestry. Huh, what could that mean and why was it so important? So I did some researching. WOW! What an incredible lesson God had for me. As I read the following information, I was quickened to the corresponding scriptures.

How is a Tapestry Made? by Carol Wells, eHow Contributor

Making a tapestry requires a loom or frame, yarn or thread. When making a tapestry, the weaver interlaces two sets of yarn or thread together on a loom or framework:

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. {Psalm 139:15}

And a plan or design;

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” {Jeremiah 29:11}

The fundamental techniques of tapestry weaving have remained unchanged for centuries;

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. {Hebrews 13:8}

The weaver (He) weaves the weft threads over and under across the warp (I love that the word warped is used in this lesson!), either in patches or from edge to edge according to His design.

The weaver (He) firmly presses the weft down against the previous weft row, using His fingers or tools.

When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; He brought me into a spacious place. {Psalm 118:5}

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; {2 Corinthians 4:8}

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. {Philippians 3:14}

Today’s tapestries range from small to large and from simple to intricate;

But God has put the body together…. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. {1 Corinthians 12:24(b), 27}

But they all spring from the same ancient beginnings.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {John 1:1}

Today, tapestry is recognized as a fine art form, and decorative tapestries grace homes, offices and public buildings.

“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—SHINE! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” {Matthew 5:14-16, The Message}

A tapestry requires a strong yarn for the warp since it must be kept taut on the loom. When choosing weft yarns, the weaver (He) must consider texture, elasticity, color and size. Weft yarn choices include any material that can bend sufficiently to be woven over and under the warp, even such unlikely (I’ve felt pretty unlikely at times!) items as rags, bubble wrap, and pipe cleaners.

“Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?” {Deuteronomy 3:24}

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them…… {Deuteronomy 31:6, 31:23, Joshua 1:6, 1:7, 1:9, 10:25, 23:6}

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded. {2 Chronicles 15:7}

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. {Romans 15:1}

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. {1 Corinthians 16:13}

You then, my son (daughter), be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.  {2 Timothy 2:1}

A tapestry artist creates a design and its surface concurrently during the weaving process. He weaves each color or design area independently of the others, using a separate weft thread for each section.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God (Weaver) at work! Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as He wanted them to be. As it is, there are many parts, but one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. {1 Corinthians 12:4-6,14, 18, 20, 21, 26, 27}

My tapestry. Wow God! Thank you!

As Carole King sang it;

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal blue;

An everlasting vision of the ever changing view;

A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold,

A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold.

Looking at life now, I am amazed at the weavings of an incredible God. He truly does work everything for our good. He so loves us! That scared little girl, pregnant and alone, is now turning 50 next month. With so much gratitude, thankfulness and honor to an ever-present, awesome Abba! She is now a wife of almost 30 years and a mother of three beautiful daughters, and a grandmother of 2 granddaughters and a grandson.  She is now walking in her “purpose” to be a servant and friend to other scared, lonely pregnant ladies. The baby daughter is now a beautiful woman of God, a wife and mother, and a pediatric, oncology, cardiac nurse. The second baby daughter is now an incredible woman of God, single mother of two, and a first grade teacher. The third baby daughter is vibrantly serving God in our church as a Youth Leader Assistant and teacher. She just turned 27. I think it is very interesting, and by no coincidence, that each of us are celebrating life and serving children! Our family tapestry is so full of all the colors of God. It is priceless and one of a kind. Even though it has flaws, warped in places, the flaws make it more priceless! There are no other tapestries that look like mine, or yours. We are not created to be cookie-cutter Christians. Our lives are a beautiful and magnificent work of our Creator. He has and is weaving us to His design, His pattern for our lives. So let’s celebrate our tapestries! Let’s GRACE our homes, offices, public buildings with Gods artwork, US!

SHINE ON DEAR ONE!!

Written by Kathy Easley

A “Latte” Love

Image

Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things. -Robert Brault

I was in the drive-thru line at Starbucks before taking my oldest daughter to dance class one Wednesday morning. She was in the back seat objecting to attending said dance class, my younger daughter was fussing, and I had gotten us all ready and out the door on time, looking like decent humans, without having any coffee. There was no way I was going to wrestle my semi-mobile, want-to-eat-every-particle-of-trash-or-thing-within-reach baby in the dance studio lobby for an hour without having had any caffeine. Perhaps I’m too young to be so hooked on the bean, but with young kids, I don’t know how anyone isn’t.

I ordered my grande caramel macchiato and waited rather impatiently to reach the window to obtain my steaming, frothed piece of coffee heaven. Too many voices echoed from the back seat of my car. I NOT GO TO DANCE CWASS and other unintelligible phrases from behind me repeated over and over again as the line moved at a snail’s pace. As I drowned them out and tuned in to my own thoughts, God spoke to me.

The car in front of you is going to pay for your drink. You pay for the car behind you. 

I laughed thinking I was probably having some magical-thinking moment due to caffeine deprivation. I was still a little excited at the chance this was true, though. I have paid for other people’s drinks in the line at Starbucks before, but never had mine paid for — not that I expected a return for my kindness. The small, white sedan in front of me pulled away. Finally, I had reached my yearned for destination. I was prepared to hand over my payment for the cup of liquid gold, but Sam, the barista working the window said the car in front of me had paid for my order. You’d think after hearing God tell me that was going to happen I wouldn’t have been as surprised as I was. Without hesitation I extended my card anyway and said I’d pay for the order following mine. He politely smiled and said, “Oh, well, actually they ordered more than just one drink,” suggesting I probably would not want to cover the full cost. I told him I would pay for it all. I had specific instruction from the Lord, mind you… but I would be lying if I didn’t also tell you I kindly asked God for it not to cost more than like, $25 (ha!).

The order was $23 and some change. I laughed to myself and joked that God cut it close. Sam commented on how kind it was that I still wanted to pay for their order, even though it was pricier than the cost of a single coffee. Truly, I quite enjoyed it. God made me smile, and I was making Him smile right back. And while that much was a sweet kiss from heaven on a little bit of a rough morning, it was what Sam the barista working the drive-thru told me next that made my day.

“Earlier this morning we had 25 cars in a row pay for the car behind them!” He proclaimed with more excitement than most people working at a drive-thru window might. I am quite certain that kind of stuff happening all the time makes Sam’s job more enjoyable and interesting. But for me that morning, I (and Sam, too) got a little glimpse of God at work, doing great big things in a narrow drive-thru line. That scenario has yet to leave my mind. For most people it was a small, four-ish dollar coffee on a Wednesday morning for free. But that simple (or complicated per preference) cup of coffee was a glimmer of hope, specifically to them, from their maker!

I’m reminded of a lyric from the beautiful song, “What Do I Know of Holy,” by Addison Road.

Then I caught a glimpse of who you might be. The slightest hint of you brought me down to my knees.

I have thought many times since that morning, of how great His works are all around me — those I’m noticing and those I’m not. Just because I do not notice His presence in the small moments of my day, does not mean He isn’t trying to capture my attention, have fun with me, and speak to me. I want to be so in tune with my Jesus that the little things are really the big things, that if my coffee is paid for it is more than just a free cup of coffee. It is my Savior telling me He LOVES me, He is romancing me, and I can have hope for my day — for my life. I want to catch glimpses of who He is and be so caught up in the little things that I fall to my knees, overwhelmed with His sweetness and tender mercies. If I can be so in sync with His Spirit, and so moved by the little things, I can live a life that’s a little sweeter, a little freer, with a whole lot of joy and astonishment for His acts of kindness all around me. I want to witness Him, like Sam in the drive-thru, watching God’s great love for people echo twenty five times over, within an hour or two.

Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them. Psalm 111:2

Are you studying what is going on around you and looking for a lot of love in your surroundings? Chances are you’ll find Him in so many areas of your life or little moments of your day. Maybe you could even be His hands and feet and do something nice for someone else, to echo His love for them, too. Take a hold of every second of every day to look for His love. It really is all around you.

by Jacqueline Fox

40 years

pregnantinfieldToday marks the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, when abortion became legal by ruling of the Supreme Court. “Jane Roe” (real name Norma McCorvey} was a confused single mom that thought she might want an abortion. She ended up to never actually have one but rather, went on to have her baby and place her baby up for adoption. Years later, her opinion on abortion has completely changed. She believes a life begins at conception and is now a pro-life advocate and does everything she can to stand up for Life and bring truth the world.

Even Jane Roe realizes what abortion is: death of a life. 

Leading Embrace Grace, this subject comes up a lot. Not only is this topic close to my story with having almost having one in my teens and almost never being able to meet my son, but also some of my very best friends regretfully had them in their teens and their heart aches for the child they never got to see or hold, only having an aching memory of the loss of a life.

I remember when I was little, we would stand outside abortion clinics and try to talk to girls as they were walking inside, try to dissuade them for their decision. Then as a teen myself, all my beliefs and values flew out the window when I had an unplanned pregnancy. The deceitful thoughts that swarmed in my head were all lies, but at the time, seemed very real to me: “You’re too young to be a mom. Your parents are going to kick you out and you’ll be homeless. You will lose all your friends. All your dreams and plans for your future are forever ruined. Your life will be over if you have this baby.” 

I was too ashamed to reach out to anyone, so I was left with those thoughts. Looking back, I can see how the enemy was at work and wanted to hold true to his purpose and plans for my own life: to kill, steal and destroy. {John 10:10} And all my friends that had an abortion in their past, had the same thoughts that I did. Darkness prevailed as we believed those lies as truths.

This is part of what sparked the idea of Embrace Grace. 

I’m so thankful for the pro life activists that spend their lives raising awareness for life and doing what they can politically to make a change. I believe there is a huge purpose in that and much needed. I’m also thankful for all the people that devote their lives to being on the front-lines, working at a pregnancy resource center and being able to talk with a girl and speak life to her right in that moment when she decides, life or death. So many babies have been saved by those first words spoken to a girl with an unplanned pregnancy by volunteer workers that share the truth about what abortion is.

But the way we want to save babies is a little different.

With the laws the way they are right now, the best and most effective way to save babies is to rally around these girls that choose life and support them. There are people that stand outside the clinics, begging girls to keep their baby (again, totally needed) but when the girls say, “OK, I’m going to parent this child,” then what? Where is the church? Where did all those supporters go that encouraged her to choose life? She has a long 9 months of being worried about her future, wondering how she is going to get the baby items that she needs, wondering how she is going to make it. It’s time for us to come alongside these girls and help them through their pregnancy. They need someone that will encourage them and just say, “You can do it.” They need spiritual mothers and fathers to teach them and be there to lean on. They need friends to cheer them on as they journey through this bumpy season. They need the church to open their arms and be a safe place where they can run to, not away from. This is such a pivotal moment in a young girls life, usually their life hits a big fork in the road. Do they go down the road that got them into this situation? Or do they choose the road towards the arms of a loving heavenly Father? God can use YOU to be a motivator and encourager! You might be the only light that they have in their world.
The domino effect of you investing in a young girls life is endless. Probably 90% of all girls that have been through an Embrace Grace program, are referred by an alumni that did it before them. When a girl gets pregnant in high school, the next one thats gets pregnant, runs to the first one for advice – almost always. They will say, “Yes I got pregnant but it worked out. My baby saved my life. There is a church close that can help you. It will be ok. I’ll bring you next week.” I’ve seen it over … and over … and over. What if every church in the nation did this? What would be the trickle effect?
When you love these girls, babies are saved. Generations are changed. Love can change the world.
I mentioned John 10:10 up above … but there is a second half to that verse that changes everything … “… but My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”
God can fix everything. No matter what you are going through or what your situation is, just turn to Him – His promise is to give you a GOOD life full of satisfaction!
Written by Amy Ford