Oh y'all, I have the best post to share with you today! My friend, Amy Ford, is here on the blog today and you are in for such a special treat! Amy and I met several years ago when the bible study / program she had built for women with unplanned pregnancies found it's way into our church. I was thrilled to hear her story, hug her neck in person, and pray over the women who eventually came to our little classroom. Buckle up and get ready to be blessed!
Tell us about yourself, Amy!
Hi! I am Amy Ford, wife of 24 years, mom of 4 amazing kids plus the best daughter in law, and president of a pro-love non profit called Embrace Grace where we inspire the church to open their doors and hearts to women with unexpected pregnancies!
What do you feel your mission is right now?
I am super passionate about making abortion unthinkable through love. I believe love is our greatest weapon and the church can ensure that no single mom walks alone. Embrace Grace has support groups for women with unexpected pregnancies in churches all over the nation. Pro-Life is a stance but pro-love is an action and it's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. We can be the change we want to see with love!
Okay, Amy. I can't wait for you to share your story of belief with us. Let's go!
When I was nineteen, I had an unplanned pregnancy. Fear overwhelmed me and I came within moments of having an abortion, but ultimately, ran out of the clinic. I felt the Lord telling me to just trust Him and that He would take care of me and my child and that He would turn all of this into something wonderful .... so I trusted Him even when it was hard and I chose life. Me and my now husband were so close to losing our precious son because of fear. Because of isolation. Because of shame and feeling that there was no one who would understand.
Even though I felt I obeyed God, it wasn't all butterflies and roses. All my friends left one by one. Looking back, I know it wasn’t because they didn’t like me. They just didn’t know what to do. Our pregnancy was “the elephant in the room.” People didn’t know whether to say “Congratulations” or “I’m sorry.” In the end, they didn’t say anything at all.
Before getting pregnant I was very active in the church and had a lot of friends there. After getting pregnant, I tried going back to church, but things had changed. No one acknowledged the pregnancy and the baby growing inside me. It was as if they couldn’t see me. For some, it was hard to make eye contact. I felt invisible.
So I left.
It wasn’t until years later when I had the courage to try church again. I started getting more and more involved. God worked on my heart and healed me. When my son was about 10 years old, God dreamed down a heavenly inspired idea while at a ministry conference I was attending to start a small group at my church for single women with unexpected pregnancies.
Even though I felt terrified and unqualified to begin a group like that, my heart came alive at the thought of it. So I obeyed God again.
Our first Embrace Grace group launched at Gateway Church and three mommas showed up. At the beginning of the twelve week class, they were without hope for their future. They felt as if their life was over. By the end, they were excited and empowered as women to be the moms God created them to be. Our mission became clearer by the minute. These girls needed to embrace grace and be embraced by grace.
Love had transformed them.
The vision God had given me was no longer only in my head. It was standing right in front of me.
Each semester more and more women came. Then interest from other churches grew and wanted to start support groups as well. Before long, Embrace Grace was blessing mommas we had never met, as baby showers and support groups spread from city to city. God was building something much bigger than this small group at Gateway Church, and we knew it. He was starting a movement of love among believers that would travel beyond cities and spread from nation to nation.
Through Embrace Grace, God wanted us to encourage the global church to be a refuge for the broken hearts of single and pregnant women. We believed He wanted us to turn what had begun as a small group for three discouraged women into a nonprofit organization that could inspire and equip churches all over the world.
Embrace Grace is now in over 700 churches, 47 states and 10 countries.
The way we show God how much we love Him is through our obedience. Even when it's hard and you can't see how things will work out, He always comes through when you're walking closely with Him, trusting Him step by step. You will be on the adventure of your life!
"Loving God means keeping his commandments, and his commandments are not burdensome." 1 John 5:3