We reach out to the community, the unchurched and the atheists. We reach out to the girls angry at God. We reach out to the poor. We reach out to the rich. We reach out to the broken.
We also reach out to the girl sitting next to you in the pew. We reach out to the girl walking the hallways at church, so scared to share with anyone that she is pregnant and not married. We reach out to the young women carrying shame and regret. We reach out to the lonely and outcast.
We are an outreach.
Sometimes people ask me if we allow young women in our program that are pregnant with their 2nd, 3rd, 4th or more. It’s easy for our mind to naturally sum up a quick judgment of a girl that is pregnant … AGAIN. But before you do, I would like to ask you something.
Have you ever sinned more than one time in your entire life?
Are there limits to God’s grace?
Embrace Grace is a one-time class. Whether a girl is on her first pregnancy or her 5th, we are honored and privileged to be able to pour into the life of a young woman for a season. It is a one-time class to show them how much God loves them. It is a one-time class for us to wrap our arms around them and walk hand in hand. We get to introduce them to a Jesus that they may have never known in an intimate way. It is our honor. After our class, we help get them plugged into after classes like Embrace Life or Single Parent Family ministries or even the weekend services. Embrace Grace is that introduction into the church, breaking down walls and barriers around their hearts.
When you hear real stories of these brave young women, your brain doesn’t tend to automatically judge anymore. When you hear stories like rape, sexual abuse from a young child, their father being in and out of jail their whole life, raising themselves, or tragedy in their life, compassion compels you to love without limits. Sometimes they’ve waited their whole life for someone to stop and see them as valuable and worthy. Sometimes they are craving validation and for someone to speak life into the gifts and talents that God has placed inside of them. Sometimes they just need someone to inspire them to dream again.
So before you formulate judgments about a girl, or why they messed up a few too many times, think about how much grace God has for you. If he forgives us 70×7 …. that means we have a lot more chances to get it right. The closer we connect with God, the more our heart transforms and we see ourselves the way God sees us.
By each of us reaching out to the community or within the church, the more transformations and glory stories will happen. It takes me and you, reaching out and creating an atmosphere where the Holy Spirit can heal hearts and touch lives. His grace is without limits and His love knows no bounds.
Cardboard testimonies is a special time at the end of the semester where an Embrace Grace bloom reflects on how she felt before she started the class and how God changed her heart to feel completely different by the end of the class. GOD CHANGES LIVES! We just have to reach out and show them how. Pics posted are from Embrace Grace in Frisco, Texas at Gateway Church.
Written by Amy Ford