Love in a Box: Embrace Grace

Sanctity of Human Life Sunday snuck past me while I was sick, so I’m excited to have this belated excuse to write about an issue that will always be close to my heart. I’m the product of a 1970 teenage pregnancy. I hope with every inch of my heart that my birth mother had loving support to handle the stress and the hard decisions she surely faced. And the shame…oh, I pray she had someone speaking truth into her soul to combat the shame.

I hope she had something like an Embrace Grace group.

As part of the FrontGate Blogger Network, I was given a couple items from Embrace Grace’s Love in a Box, a pro-love initiative launched to help save babies and help moms get plugged into local churches for spiritual, emotional and physical support through an Embrace Grace group.

Boxes are distributed to pregnancy centers nation-wide and given to young, single women with positive pregnancy tests. The box is full of gifts that will inspire hope and import love to a mom that may be scared for her future. Each box consists of a Fearless Journal and pen, a Bump in Life book, a baby onesie, testimonial letters of girl who chose adoption and chose to parent, an invitation to join an Embrace Grace group and a Brave Girl letter that can be written by US!

Anyone can write a  Brave Girl letter. It’s an opportunity to speak into the life of a mom who could possibly be contemplating a life or death decision. We can encourage, uplift and inspire her to choose life and to get plugged into an Embrace Grace support group at a local church.

Embrace Grace wants to help brave moms choose life and get plugged into a spiritual family so they can be saved, discipled, mentored, and be a part of a community that loves them the way Jesus loves.

FrontGate Blogger Network sent me a lovely Pro-Love necklace and a copy of the Fearless journal to review. The necklace serves as a beautiful reminder to do even the smallest things with great love. I can see how the necklace would be inspiring to a young mom fighting to do the loving thing for her unborn child.

The journal has plenty of room for writing thoughts, prayers, questions, and dreams, and it includes open-ended prompts to get the fears out into the light where they can be extinguished by hope, faith, and the love of God.

I’m excited about what Embrace Grace is about! Here are ways we can get involved with this relevant, purposeful ministry.

  1. Start an Embrace Grace at our local churches so young women with unplanned pregnancies have a support group.
  2. Partner with the national organization through prayer and support at www.EmbraceGrace.com
  3. Download and print their brave girl letter (http://egrace.co/brave) and mail to address below for them to place inside a Love in a Box.

I plan to pen a Brave Girl letter for one of those Love in a Boxes. If you’d like to do the same, send your letter to:

Embrace Grace, Inc.

Attn: Love in a Box

700 W. Bedford Euless Rd., Ste. G

Hurst, TX 76053

I want to close with a letter I wrote to my birth mother. One day, I hope to express these words to her in person, but, for now, this letter will have to do.

To my birth mother,

I’m not sure what to say as I write to you, a woman shrouded in mystery, yet so familiar. Someone I’ve never met, but know intimately.  For nine months, I lived inside your womb with your steady heartbeat singing me lullabies.  The sound of your voice was my first taste of humanity.

I was there as your constant companion as you journeyed through a time for which you never planned.  I can only imagine the fear you felt when you had to reveal my existence to your family and friends.  Did you suffer rejection and scorn? Did you try to hide your growing belly from judgmental stares?

In 1969, you could have chosen a different destiny for me.  You could have ended my life before anyone knew I existed, yet something compelled you to give me a pardon.  For that, my heart quakes with humble gratitude.

As my tiny arms and legs moved inside you, what went through your conflicted mind?  Did you wonder about who I might become?  Did you agonize over what role you would play in my future? As I think of my precious sons, I try to imagine the turmoil you felt way back then.  I can’t fathom the thought of not having them to hold in my arms and my heart.

As I grew in your womb, did my father stay by your side? Did he shield you from the darts of insensitive words made by well-meaning people?  Did he listen to you weep, question, and weep some more?  Did he wait expectantly as you labored to give me my first breath?

As you heard my first cry, did your certainty over my future waver?  In my mind’s eye, I imagine you holding my tiny frame in your arms as, through tears, you gazed into my brand-new face.  Did you see yourself in me?  Did my first step, my first day of school, and my first date flash through your mind?

I suspect it wasn’t long before a kind nurse came to take me away toward my alternate destination.  Did it feel as if she took away a part of you, as if you would never be completely whole again?

Precious birth mother, I don’t really have words to describe how I feel about you and what you did for me.  Because of your choice, I became the final puzzle piece for an exceptional family—a cowboy dad, a Southern belle mom, and a brother and sister who fought over who would hold me and feed me the most.

My life has been blessed with family and friends who encourage me to be everything God created me to be.  And now, dear birth mother, I am a mother as well.  My three sons bring me unspeakable joy.  

Today, I must pause and say to you, “Thank you.” Thank you for having the strength to give me life.  Thank you for making the painful choice to entrust my upbringing to another pair of arms.  You made the right choice for me.  My heart swells with emotion as I think of all I have seen and experienced in my almost 43 years.  The triumphs and the heartaches have made me who I am today—a compassionate, intelligent, creative woman with lots of love to give the world.

On that day when you relinquished me to my new life with my adoptive family, I took part of you with me.  The sound of your heartbeat will never leave me.  It reminds me to keep on loving even when it hurts.  It reminds me that sometimes the best decisions are the most difficult ones to make.  It reminds me to cherish every moment of my life because you, a frightened young girl, bravely fought to give it to me.

Thank you, precious birth mother.  Feel my love through this love letter until we one day meet face-to-face.  I am searching for you.

Love, Lee

You can enter to win an Embrace Grace journal and ProLove necklace by heading over here.

 

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Pray for the President

Another presidential inauguration is upon us. I love all the extra TV footage of Washington landmarks. What a privilege to be an American.

I’ve never been too interested in politics, but this election has been such a circus that it’s hard to avoid hearing about it.

When I scroll through my social media, some of my friends are overjoyed about our new president and others are horrified. I am neither.

You won’t find me singing his praises or marching against him, but here’s what you will find me doing.

I will treat him with respect because I try to treat all people with respect.

I will be rooting for him because his success is our country’s success.

I will be praying for him because prayer is the best way I can support our president and our country.

I’d be saying the same thing with different pronouns if the election had gone the other way. It really wasn’t that important to me who won.

My trust is in God, not politicians. God’s Word is full of examples where God used faulty people to bring about His purposes. I have every confidence that He’ll do it again in America in 2017.

Friends, let’s quit speculating and start praying. Let’s quit picking on people who think differently than we do and start loving. Let’s say and do things that will actually do some good instead of adding to the hate and the hopelessness.

Will you pray with me?

Lord,

In my oh, so human hands, I lift up our new President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. 

I pray his heart is drawn to Your heart.

I pray his mind is flooded with supernatural wisdom.

I pray his hands will be busy serving all the people, even the ones who despise him.

I pray his feet will stand up for what’s good and right.

I pray his mouth will be  full of words that build up.

I pray his ears will be quick to listen.

I pray his shoulders will be sturdy for a burden I’d never dare to take on.

I pray his marriage and family life will be supportive and sweet.

I pray his cabinet and collaborators will be courageous and full of integrity.

I pray his character will be chiseled into something beautiful.

Work in our new president’s life in miraculous ways as he strives to do his best for this incredible country.

In Jesus’ Name I pray, AMEN

 

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