The vision of Embrace Grace is that every girl with an unplanned pregnancy will have a church to go to for spiritual, emotional and physical support. Our first Embrace Grace group at Bethel launched in the fall of 2018. We had two young moms in the group who each chose life, and give birth that fall. In the winter, the group grew and we moved into the next phase of the curriculum, Embrace Life. Here is a story from one of our leaders, Abbey Aust, about the transformation that is happening in and through the girls on this journey.
I’ll never forget the day I received my leader’s curriculum for our first Embrace Life session. Being the impatient, highly excitable woman that I am, I opened the book looking for one thing in particular. Each session ends with a day of celebration and my experience with Embrace Grace had given me high hopes for this special day. After quickly scanning through the table of contents, I found it…ADVENTURE DAY! Oh my! It was going to be even better than I thought. My mind went wild with visions of ropes courses, rock climbing, cliff jumping, and skydiving! Oh, the possibilities. My anticipation and excitement built as I flipped through the pages and read the description of this limitless day of adventure. What was the adventure, you ask? An evening filled with…crock pot cooking and instructional videos. WHAT!?! This couldn’t be possible! Of all the ways to have an adventure, this was not what I had in mind. Who would be so cruel as to name crock pot cooking “Adventure Day”? My disappointment must have been written all over my face. “It will be ok,” my co-lead assured me. “We’ll make it fun.”
Fast forward a few weeks to the first day of Embrace Life. The table was full of young, single, and pregnant mamas from all walks of life and covered with amazing food donated by Tuesday AM Women’s Bible Study. Although first days are always a little awkward, the Holy Spirit was fully present with us that day. Everyone was able to share a little about themselves and quickly grew comfortable. The leaders shared short testimonies and their hearts for the ministry. I was praising God for His faithfulness to our little group! Still, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for these unsuspecting mamas who were in for a non-adventure, adventure day.
As the weeks went on, we started seeing amazing transformation in our group. Confidence was being building; emotional walls were falling. All these amazing mamas were opening up to each other and experiencing true fellowship and spiritual growth. Through biblical truths and inspired curriculum, joy and hope were growing in the lives of each and every woman. We laughed, we cried and we connected in a way that only mamas can.
Finally, “Adventure Day” arrived. Through continued generosity of the church body, we were able to bless each and every mama with a brand-new pressure cooker, cake decorating supplies, and a beautiful handmade apron. We were given access to the church’s state of the art, industrial kitchen and spent an entire evening cooking, laughing, eating, praying, and decorating delicious cakes. We left Adventure Day feeling full, not only physically, but spiritually…full of the kind of joy only available through the transforming work of Christ Jesus.
Days later, as I sat to reflect on this semester, a light bulb came on. ADVENTURE DAY! I finally got it. Was it diving with sharks or bungee jumping? No. It was something so much better...the best adventure of all: discovering and living out God’s plan for our lives. Is there any bigger adventure than that? Is there any bigger adventure than coming alongside sisters in Christ and doing life together to the best of our ability? Is there anything more exciting than diving into God’s Word every week and becoming the best wives and mothers we can be? The journey, the transformation, the love…this is the adventure and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.
Check out the Embrace Grace website for more information about the ministry of Embrace Grace. If you’re interested in coming alongside the Embrace Grace and Embrace Life groups in our community, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!