A Note from Editor Barbara Coots: After living through her own unplanned pregnancy, and later becoming a wife as well as a mother, Amy Ford developed a special ministry of love. Now in its sixth year, Embrace Grace has helped hundreds of women who have chosen life to experience the love of Christ. Equally important, the ministry has helped churches, their leaders and their members understand the great need of single, pregnant girls to have a place of refuge and acceptance.
Barbara Coots: Amy, please tell our readers a little bit about your life and your ministry.
Amy Ford: I am a wife of 15 years and a momma of four cute kids. We have one in high school, middle school, elementary and diapers, so our house is slightly “organized chaos,” but somehow it works. It’s full of love, hugs and kisses, and a never-ending flow of dirty laundry.
My family story started with a bump … an unplanned baby bump. My son wasn’t planned by me, but he was planned by God to change my life and eventually change the world. It was a scary and lonely nine months, full of uncertainties. Fast-forward through his birth, a wedding and three more kids later … God birthed a ministry in my heart called Embrace Grace. We inspire and equip the Church to love on single and pregnant girls, to be that support that I felt I never had. We wanted to cultivate an environment of community so girls wouldn’t feel so alone, and we wanted to honor girls who chose life.
BC: Our topic today is motherhood for single women having their first babies alone—those who have chosen life. What do you consider to be their greatest challenges and needs?
AF: These mommas need someone to say, “You can do it,” to believe in them. They need someone to tell them “congratulations” instead of “I’m sorry.” They need to be around people who will lift them up on the days they feel they have lost all hope. They need to be encouraged to keep pushing toward their dreams and to be told that their life isn’t over, it’s just beginning. They need spiritual mommas to come alongside them and teach them how to parent God’s way. They need the church to be a safe place that they can run to for help, instead of away from because of shame and guilt. They need Jesus, and we are the ones who can point the way.
BC: Your organization, Embrace Grace, has made great progress in helping these moms in their time of need. I understand that you’ve also helped more than 35 churches learn how to support them. How can a church get started?
AF: Having an Embrace Grace support group at your own local church is so easy!
- First, go to our website www.iEmbraceGrace.com and request a promo pack.
- Second, pray about if God is calling you to lead a support group.
- Third, once God says “YES,” then request a meeting with your pastor, and ask them to pray over it as well. If they approve, have them sign off on being a spiritual covering and authority.
- And finally, send in the paperwork to our team. We will get you all the tools you need.
We want your church to not only be a pro-life church but be a PRO-LOVE church!
BC: What about the fathers of these children? Do you have any resources for them?
AF: We have just developed curriculum for an Embrace Grace Dads group and currently have the program at Gateway Church. We now are offering it to churches across the nation as well, to teach and support dads. The world needs more DADS! We also have Embrace Mercy, which is for the parents of a girl with an unplanned pregnancy, and Embrace Life for young, single moms.
BC: Tell us about your new book, including ways that God moved you to write. What is your vision for A Bump in Life? Do you have any testimonies about how the book has helped others so far?
AF: Leading Embrace Grace for six years, I have witnessed countless miracles. God has taken desperate and broken girls and completely transformed their lives into something beautiful! A Bump in Life: True Stories of Hope & Courage During an Unplanned Pregnancy was written to be an outreach tool to either inspire girls to choose life when they first find out they are pregnant, and/or to be an encouragement to girls who have an unplanned pregnancy and need the hope of Jesus. There are stories of amazing young moms who are going to parent, and brave young women who choose to bless another family with their baby by doing adoption.
The book also encourages the friends and family members involved. When A Bump in Life first released, I had the honor of being on Life Today with James Robison. A few days after my show aired, we received a letter from a viewer who said, “… my sister was scheduled for abortion, but cancelled the appointment two days ago … This was the morning I saw you on Life Today, and I was able to talk to my sister into choosing life for her child. To even sweeten the story, I have been struggling for seven years to conceive, after several failed fertility treatments, and my sister has agreed to allow me and my husband to adopt the baby. I am so thankful for your courage that inspired me to fight for someone else’s life, and not let the devil win. If it had not been for seeing the show and hearing about the book, today would have been a day of sorrow in my family.”
BC: What other resources do you suggest for single moms who are just getting started, and for their families and friends?
AF: Once young single moms go through Embrace Grace & Life, it is so important to stay plugged into their local churches and get involved in singles programs. It’s so great to have a sense of community with every season of your life. Also, there are so many great books and resources that inspire and encourage, including this ministry, Single Matters. This website is full of great articles and testimonials that are so uplifting!
BC: Amy, please share one of your favorite Bible passages that relates to our topic.
AF: My favorite passage is James 1:27: “External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world.” A single mom is a modern-day orphan and widow, and it is worship to our Father to care for them in a way that brings dignity and self-worth.
BC: Is there anything else you would like to say to our single readers related to our discussion today? Any words of advice or encouragement you would like to offer?
AF: If you are reading this and have an unplanned pregnancy, I want to encourage you and tell you that God is not mad at you! He loves you and is so proud of you for choosing life. Deuteronomy 30:19 says, “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!” Thank you for choosing life for your baby. God is with you and will never leave you alone. He has a call and amazing plan for your life that are good and not for evil, to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you hope and a future. You were created for greatness and the generations after you will call you BLESSED! And for any older single moms and dads, share your stories! These young mommas want to hear your stories so that they will be encouraged and have hope for their future.