The main book signing line extended over one hundred people long. The bubbly, new author greeted each face with genuine honor and thankfulness for the attendance of every person waiting in line to meet her. Attendees now swarmed the lobby, chattering about this inspirational author’s big dreams and heart for life. To her right sat the humble fifteen-year-old who inspired her life-mission and book, and to her left were seven bistro tables in a row, adorned with delicate flower arrangements and several decorative names cards per table. Behind each name card stood a girl, with pen in hand, ready to sign the chapter of her testimony included in this author’s newly released book.
Moments before this activity, the author, Amy Ford, paced the stage describing her passion for young, single and pregnant girls; a passion God continues to use to transform lives and families. She asked the girls able to attend the event, who have completed or are currently in the Embrace Grace program to stand. Over one hundred young women stood across the auditorium, representing over 100 choices for life to be born through them, regardless of their circumstances. Beauty. Sacrifice. Selflessness. Abounding love. A touch of heaven glistened from every one of the King’s daughter’s faces as they stood being applauded for choosing life.
Last weekend my husband turned on the History Channel. The airing program was revealing the origin of popular southern words and phrases like, “barking up the wrong tree,” “flying off the handle,” “going whole hog,” etc. Usually I would not find any show on this channel captivating, but discovering the origin of words and phrases got this word-girl’s attention. The host of the show took us on a journey to discover the roots of the word, “trailblazer.” As he discussed the common false assumptions of its definition and history, I laughed knowing I too pictured a bearded pioneer with a torch in hand, burning down trees and brush to makes trails in a forest. My imagined visual was not too far-fetched, but the revelation God had for me through this word’s origin has since captured my mind.
Although the early American settlers known as trailblazers were creating new paths and trails through uncharted territory, fire-blazing torches were not in-hand. The word, “blaze,” comes from a wide striped marking down the center of the face of a horse. The pioneers would take their axes and slice off tree bark in shapes similar to the blaze on a horse, marking the territory of the new trail they were creating; they blazed the trees of the trail. Thus coining the title, “trailblazer.”
Amy Ford has stepped boldly toward territory uncharted by most of the world. She dares to goad the bubble of grace defined by anything other than the word of God. She has blazed a trail of brave love, where the blazes bare a striking resemblance to single, young girls, who chose life for their babies. She invites them to experience the accepting, empowering, life-giving grace of God to face insurmountable odds with courage and encouragement. She has taken the calling and marking God placed on her to expand the church’s definition of choosing life and love. She has multiplied her blaze through hundreds of brave girls, who glimmer with a special mark of heaven drawing others to find The Way to Life.
As I stood behind one of the seven bistro tables to sign my chapter in Amy’s book, I peered to my left, down the row of brave girls representing hundreds of other blazes distinguished by the embracing of grace. I glanced to my right at Amy, her son Jess, and the remarkable line of people waiting to have their copy of her book signed. My heart skipped a beat and for a moment I could not breathe. This book, A Bump in Life, will reach countless girls with unplanned pregnancies, who will receive the same mark of courage and encouragement; grace; the blaze of a brave girl, choosing life by reading the pages of those who have followed in Amy Ford’s footsteps–those who have blazed a courageous trail.
Last night’s book launch event rekindled my heart’s desire to continue dreaming big and persistently dig deeper into the calling He’s placed on my life. I am ready to turn my internal dreams into active forces on this earth in order to leave His blaze on those I encounter. I want to be a trailblazer for people in search of heart-quenching love and empowerment only found in the great Giver of grace and purpose. Meet with the King on behalf of your blueprint for becoming a revolutionary. He has a role waiting to be filled only by you. Channel your inner trailblazer to challenge other’s off the beaten path, like Amy Ford and the girls featured in her book have done.
What uncharted territory is waiting for your bravery?
by Jacqueline Fox