Learning to Embrace Grace
When we were in the middle of our infertility journey, depression had become a constant companion. As most women with infertility experience, comparison can literally steal your joy. Unfortunately, I had allowed that to happen for quite some time. I had a hard time hearing about pregnancy announcements from friends and family, and did my best to attend baby showers despite my hurting heart.
“God often uses our deepest pain as the launching pad for our greatest calling.” ~Anonymous
During that time, when I was hurting emotionally and spiritually, I felt very far away from God. I had become so angry at him, especially after losing our 3 pregnancies in a row. I began seeing a counselor and began to work through a lot of this stuff. But for some reason, it was very difficult for me to let go of one thing: my anger over teen pregnancies being so rampant while plenty of married couples longed for babies. To me this was life’s greatest cruelty I was dealt, and it made me mad.
Once we decided to move forward with adopting, we sat in on adoptive couple classes and met other couples like us. We learned about openness in adoption, and how that was psychologically the best thing for an adoptee. This helped our hearts begin to grow in ways we hadn’t expected. The topics shared a lot with us about the reality of birth parent situations as compared with the stereotypical view of birth parents. This opened my eyes just a little to begin shedding some of my anger.
The day we met Jake’s first mother at our match meeting, God completely turned my heart around. The change was almost tangible. I saw her there, head down and seemingly heartbroken…and all I wanted to do was hug her and tell her she was going to be ok no matter how this all shook out. This encounter completely changed my life, both in the expected ways as well as ways I never saw coming.
By no effort of my own, I now felt no anger toward women in unplanned pregnancies. The only remaining feelings for them were compassion and love. I knew that someday I would have a role in their lives, but wasn’t sure what that would look like.
Five years later, when Jake was 5, I began volunteering at one of the local pregnancy clinics as an advocate counselor. My role there was to speak to the women about their options, offer free pregnancy testing, and speak truth and life into them to give them hope. They were so desperate, so stressed out. They were in unimaginable situations, situations I wouldn’t wish upon anyone. I felt like my role there was one of love and support, and I left each shift completely shaken to my core over their stories and their babies.
While I was a volunteer at the pregnancy center, I came across some marketing materials for Embrace Grace, Inc.
Stepping up to the plate
When I found out about Embrace Grace, I thought to myself “I wonder if my church has a group for this?” So, I asked around and found out that Compass Christian Church did not in fact have a group for Embrace Grace established. So, I did what I knew I was supposed to do. I brought Embrace Grace to Compass! Our first semester was Fall of 2017, and we had 3 women. Our fourth semester we had 5 women! We are set to begin semester 5 September 10, 2019 and we can’t wait! The women attend a 12-week Bible Study, meet other women in similar circumstances, and get a lot of love, support and encouragement from attending each week. If they maintain good attendance, then they get a free baby shower at the end of the semester! It is truly a PRO-LOVE ministry and I just love being part of this!
If this post touched you, reach out and ask how you can get involved in Embrace Grace! Check out their website linked above, or simply ask me. We’d love to have your help! Have a story to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.