His banner over me is LOVE

A banner is a flag or some type of paper or cloth bearing a symbol, logo, slogan or other message. Did you know that God goes all out and to extreme measures to send banners of His Love and adoration for you daily? Even beyond the normal & ordinary ways. His wonder is all around.  Are your eyes opened to see? He uses creative ways to speak to you.

This little story happened this week and watching it unfold was pretty cute.

My son begins his venture into high school in less than two weeks as a freshman. He is at “fish” camp this morning learning all about the new journey he is about to jump into. He’s ready to start this new chapter of his life of growing up. He realized Homecoming is only 2 weeks away from the first day of school. He started thinking of a girl he wanted to ask to go with him. The whole ask process is way different than when I was in high school. Friends would just simply ask someone to go to homecoming with them and that was it. Nowadays there is a lot of thought and preparation going into the question. It’s a big deal!

My son and his friends came up with an idea to hand make a really big banner with the question …(girl’s name) Homecoming? They spent two hours stenciling and hand painting 12×12 letters on a giant 10 ft banner. They were so happy with their creation and artwork. They rolled up the banner, trying to keep the wind from blowing it away, and fit into the back of my truck. They stopped at central market and he purchased a long stem rose and gummy bears as a little gift to go along with the banner question to homecoming. His friends set up the meeting place with her friends. He hid behind the rose bushes and fountain at the town square and waited for her to walk up with her friends and he popped up from the bushes with rose in hand and then she saw him with this huge 10ft banner asking her to homecoming. She almost cried! She said YES!  This sounds like a setting to a cute movie I would like to watch. Boy asks girl to homecoming… I know I’m mommy here and seeing my little boy growing up makes my heart happy!

This began stirring in my heart seeing this rather large banner and the expression of time and thoughtfulness it took to plan this invitation out. This banner got me thinking of the ways that we can speak to others or receive words from others. Along those lines was the thoughts of how God creatively designs banners for us to see.

God will send out His rays of love and grace and share it in the most creative ways. In a banner held high, He will speak of His love for you. He will shout it from the mountain tops. He will declare it from the roof tops. He is in love with you! He will also show you in your little baby the love that He has for you. When you look in that sweet little reflection that is a part of you… God’s grace in one tiny face.

Slowly, sweetly, He speaks. Listen. Look around and see. Capture the signs and sounds around you.

He brought me to the banquet room, and His banner over me is love. Song of Songs 2:4

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

 

The Heartbeat

shutterstock_129761186Outside the womb it’s called a baby, inside it’s a fetus. Outside we rush them to the hospital for care, inside we inoculate them with sterile surgical equipment in the soft spot. Outside it would be murder, inside it’s called “termination.” Why the change in terms? Let’s call it like it is. If we are for it, we should understand the procedure, the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the good and bad. At just 3 weeks the heart is beating; the DNA is coded in every cell. The brain is developing and yet in most cases not even the mother knows of the miracle growing inside. In Texas alone, in 2009, we ended 77,630 of those miracles. That’s 77,630 heartbeats stopped, 155,260 little feet that will never take a step, 155,260 eyes that will never see the light of day and 776,300 tiny fingers that will never hold their mommy’s hand.

It wasn’t something talked about in my house. The rule was you don’t do this, and “it” will never happen. But the “it” happened to me, that “it” changed my life forever. It was cold that December, my first to be away from home. I was making bad choices and defending them with even worse excuses. I became pregnant. I was scared, alone, and so lost, I didn’t know where or who to turn to. I started looking for help, and immediately found answers through Planned Parenthood. They said “women feel relieved after,” so I made the call and set up the appointment. The women told me “we have donors who will pay for the procedure if you cannot afford it.” Looking back now it sounds silly that someone would donate to a procedure as such. Then, I did something I had no real knowledge about, the one thing I thought I’d never do, I had an abortion.

In 2010, I met a woman named Amy Ford, she led a group called Embrace Grace (EG). Embrace Grace is a nonprofit organization that helps young women who are single and pregnant. She instills strength and perseverance through the tough situations. She lifts spirits and confidence too, all by her own testimony. She gives opportunities and displays compassion to those who are hurting. Leaders raise money to host baby showers to equip mothers with their babies needs, from bottles to cribs to rides to the doctor and emotional support too. I did not meet Amy by chance. I was one of the misdirected girls in her group, I was pregnant again. However, this time was different; I had a support system, not just a person but a whole group of leaders who told me “you can do this!” They displayed love and compassion and told me my baby was a gift, and something that still boldly stands out to me; they said I was a gift too.

While pregnant with my son, I started having flashbacks; the whole procedure would echo in my head, becoming so vivid: the nurse’s cold hands, the loud sound of the vacuum pump, the smell of the clinic, the pain of my child literally being sucked out of me. The depression and pain started setting in. I became paranoid of my sons safety and would often cry in fear of him being taken away. I would beat myself up daily with the “what ifs”, the “could- have-beens”, and literally exhaust myself re-playing my actions. This is the information Planned Parenthood fails to disclose.

Hours after the delivery my son, I remember holding him in that hospital rocking chair and Amy walking in. I became so overwhelmed with emotion; the tears just started rolling down my face on to that of my sons. Had Amy not intervened when I was only 12 weeks along, I may have not been sitting there holding the one thing I love most in this world, the one thing that gives me strength, that loves me no matter what and is always there for me, my son.

In 2009 had I felt the support and love Embrace Grace gives, there would be one more heartbeat beating, two more little feet dancing and one less mother in suffering. It’s beyond essential to love these girls in such hard times and to let them know they are not alone, to be a guide and lead by example, to give them strength in times of weakness and to lift them up when they are down. To forgive them and more importantly help them forgive themselves. The significance of showing young pregnant women alternatives after becoming pregnant is imperative to them, their baby and this world.

Written by an Embrace Grace Alumni for her college paper, anonymous