Amy Ford of Embrace Grace Ministries shares her story of an unplanned pregnancy. You will hear how God loves to turn our messes into a message of Peace and Hope. Take a listen and be empowered!
Ron Meyers: Hello my friends, so glad to be with you. My guest today is Amy Ford. Amy lives in Dallas, Texas. She is the founder of Embrace Grace Ministries, a world wide organization. A few of the things Amy will share with you today are, God is always with you, especially in the lowest and broken times of your life. Also, how God will always try to intervene to try and stop you from making a poor decision and how God will take the messes in your life and turn them into a message of hope and destiny. Before I visit with Amy lets pray, Dear Jesus, speak to my heart, AMEN. Hello, Amy Ford. How are you today? Good. I'm so glad to be on your show.
Ron Meyers: Amy Ford, what's your story?
Amy Ford: Well, I grew up in a Christian home. Always knew abortion was wrong and my parents taught me it was wrong. I felt like it was wrong, but I was a Christian, but I didn't have a relationship with the Lord. I went to church every Sunday, but there was no... I believed in Him, but I just had no relationship. I looked to my boyfriend to fulfill the emptiness that I had, that only God could fill. We ended up having an unplanned pregnancy. Even though I knew abortion was wrong, I was so terrified. I was terrified to tell my parents. I thought my friends were going to hate me. I was the oldest of four kids, so I thought that I was going to disappoint even my siblings. The father of the baby maybe felt the same way. We decided that, "You know what? Let's just have an abortion and this will fix the problem. Then we'll deal with the consequences of a broken heart later, but let's just do it."
I was just sick to my stomach. You kind of just go through a robotic point, where you're just not feeling anything. You're just like, "I just need to get through this. I just need to get through this." I was so scared, but we went and we paid for it. I went into the abortion room, and all of those feelings and emotions that I had stuffed down inside, just basically erupted in that room. I ended up having a panic attack, and I hyperventilated and passed out in the abortion room. What I came to, the nurses were fanning me. They were trying to give me a drink of water. They said, "You're too emotionally distraught to make this decision today. You're not having an abortion today. You can come back another day." They walked me back out to the waiting room. The father of the baby, who I loved, he saw that my face was swollen from crying so hard. I just looked at him and said, "We're still pregnant." We just decided in that moment like, "Okay, we're going to do this. We're going to have to tell our parents. We just were bracing ourselves."
We thought we would be homeless. We thought our lives were over, and the enemy lies to you in that moment and tells you the worst thing that could possibly happen. We ended up telling our parents. Of course, they were disappointed, but it wasn't as traumatic as we thought it would be. We had been together four or five years. I was 19 when this happened. We decided that we would just get married, because we knew we wanted to eventually and so we might as well go ahead now. When I was 16 weeks pregnant, we got married.
When we were planning the wedding, my husband went to a guy, a pastor that had really led him to the Lord years before. He was his mentor through high school, and would take them to different ministry things and all of that. We asked him if he would marry us and he said, "No, I'm sorry. I can't bless this marriage, because you've sinned and so I will not marry you." We found someone else who would marry us, but it really hurt. We felt shame on our wedding day. We felt like we had a scarlet letter and, "What is everyone thinking?" Just the shame around it, really made that day not as amazing as it could have been. We tried to go back to the church for a little while after that, but it's like the elephant in the room. People don't know whether to say, "Congratulations or I'm sorry," so they just don't say anything.
I'm a super extrovert person, have a lot of friends. It's super obvious when all of a sudden, people just aren't talking to you anymore. They're not making eye contact. We just really didn't like the way we felt when we went to church anymore, and so we just stopped going. It was kind of a lonely season. You can feel alone in a crowd of people, and that is the way we felt. Looking back, I know even with my friends kind of disconnecting, I don't think it was that they didn't like me anymore or anything. It's more, people just don't know what to say. We kind of went through a lonely season about two years. We had a son, Jess. He is amazing. In fact, he just graduated last weekend from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He got a degree in ministry and leadership, and he just got married last month as well. It's been an eventful summer for Jess, but he has such a heart for the Lord and a passion to evangelize.
It's just been amazing to watch, and to think that it was so close for him not to be here. It is crazy to think. I say I raised a kid, but he raised us too. It was awesome. God knew he was just what we needed. When he was two years old, that pastor that wouldn't marry us, he ended up calling my husband out of the blue. He said, "I really need to apologize and ask for forgiveness." He said, "I think about what I did and saying no to you guys, every day and I feel like it was my worst mistake in pastoring history that I said no to you. Will you forgive me?" My husband was like, "Yes, I forgive you." He loves this guy. In fact, to this day, they are like best friends. I live in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but this pastor lives in Austin. It's a few hours away, and they still talk on the phone all the time. He still looks up to him so much. They have such a sweet friendship.
One thing that's really cool too, is that when my son Jess was 16, that pastor asked me to come speak at his church on Mother's Day. I kind of did a pro-life message. He was very open with his congregation before I had gotten there, about what he had done years before and what he had said. He said he had a religious spirit, a Pharisee heart years before, "But now look at what this ministry that she started called Embrace Grace..." and all of that. Well, I came. I did my thing, I spoke. After I was done, he asked me to come back on stage in front of everyone and he also asked my son, Jess to come on stage. He said, "Amy, years ago I asked your husband for forgiveness, but I never really asked you. Will you forgive me?" I was like, "Yes, of course. I forgave you a long time ago, of course." Then he looked at my son, 16, in front of the whole church.
He said, "Jess, will you forgive me for planting seeds of rejection in your heart, before you were ever even born? While you were in your mother's womb, I rejected you. Will you forgive me?" My son, 16, in front of the whole church says, "I forgive you." It was such a powerful moment in that room.
You could feel being lifted and just hearts being healed, and the fact that he would humble himself in that way. All of this really has just shown me the power of what the church and community can do.
That women just knowing that there's help, and there's support that's out there and a church that wants to embrace them and welcome them in, could inspire a life decision. That is what Embrace Grace was born to do.
Ron Meyers: Wow, what a story. Listeners, if you just tuned in, Amy Ford was telling her story of being in an abortion clinic and she was so overwhelmed. She passed out, and the nurse said, "Hey, you can't have this today." Well, God spoke to her and she did not have it. The child, a young... now he's 16?
Amy Ford: Oh, no. Now he's 21.
Ron Meyers: Now he's 21.
Amy Ford: Yeah.
Ron Meyers: He graduated Oral Roberts University, so God really had a plan for his life. Wow, and not only a plan for his life, a ministry was born, your ministry, Embrace Grace, out of this whole entire situation.
Amy Ford: Yes. Where our heart is that, we want the church to be one of the first places a girl runs to when she finds herself with unexpected pregnancy, instead of the last, because of shame and guilt. We have created support groups and training materials in churches all over the nation, so that they can invite these girls in and disciple them. Help them even practically, with physical things that they might need and help them get back on their feet. They're feeling the love of God, through these support groups. It's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. They're being able to feel God's kindness through his people. It's amazing to see the transformation that happens in their hearts, and they are more empowered as women to be the mom, whether she places for adoption or parents, that God created her to be. That's what we want the church to be able to do. We're seeing lives saved, just because the church is saying, "Yes, you are welcome here."
Ron Meyers: Yes, absolutely. Well, we're going to take a break. Listeners, when we come back, we're going to talk to Amy and ask her some questions. I know there's people listening right now, that perhaps they're in the same situation. Maybe their daughter is, or maybe they're suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome from an abortion they had years ago. We're going to talk about some issues, of how you can take a broken person and how God can put them back together, right after the break.
Ron Meyers: Welcome back listeners. Today, a powerful show, a life-speaking show. Amy Ford, my guest from the Dallas, Texas area. She has a ministry, Embrace Grace. Embrace Grace is about helping women, young girls, women with unplanned pregnancies. Amy found herself in an abortion clinic one day, but she passed out and couldn't have the abortion. Well, God had a new plan for her. She not only did not have the abortion, her life has just been an incredible life. Then she's doing some incredible things right now for God, in helping young girls or people with unplanned pregnancies. Amy, I know there's somebody listening right now, that they're going to find out and maybe they just found out they're pregnant.
A single lady, or they're going to get pregnant in a couple of weeks. They're going to recall this, or maybe their daughter. What's the first thing that you would tell someone that says, "Oh my God, I just found out I'm pregnant. I'm not married. I don't know what I'm going to do?"
Amy Ford: Well, I know it's like panic mode. It feels like you might have had your life in control up to this point. Now all of a sudden, it feels like it's out of control. I know it can feel super scary, but I love how God chose you out of all the women in the world, to carry this baby and either parent or place this baby. He will equip you with everything you need. You can do this with Him. To get yourself connected to a pro-life pregnancy center, which they're all over the nation. They're free, and you can have a pregnancy test and a sonogram and all of that. Then also, to get connected to a local church or an Embrace Grace group. We have groups all over the nation. We're based in the Dallas–Fort Worth area, but we're actually in over 700 churches, 47 states and 10 countries. Go to our website, you can put in your zip code. All of the churches in your local area that are around, they are there and you can find one. Get connected to that leader and join a group. You'll meet other girls going through the same thing that you are. You are not alone, and you're so loved. You're going to have a family of people, a spiritual family that's going to want to walk alongside you.
Ron Meyers: Amy, sometimes I've discovered that sometimes it's the parents that are more concerned of what the neighbors will think, what the church members are going to think. They kind of have this warped stance, "Well, maybe we just need to keep it quiet, or maybe we just need to look at some other options." Do you find that?
Amy Ford: Oh yeah, for sure. I mean, we've heard horror stories of pastors bringing their daughters in to have abortions, because they're afraid of what the church might think. It just causes even more trauma on the woman, to have to go through that. It's really, really sad. I believe that sometimes when God wants to woo His daughter back to Him, sometimes He'll give her a baby to do it. Just so she can see a tiny glimpse, as she looks in her baby's face, of how much God must love her.
We've seen how babies have reconciled families, and babies have sparked a intimate relationship with the Lord, when that wasn't there before. That God knows what He's doing. That He thought of this baby before it was ever even conceived. For us to step in and take over that, and what God's plan is, is something that is kind of scary and we shouldn't be doing so. I would encourage to get counsel, and not allow shame and fear to make a fear-based decision in something like this, that can cause your daughter so much trauma that will... God heals, but it is really hard.
I have so many friends that have experienced an abortion, and they remember the date or how old the baby would be. Even though God heals, it still is something that is sensitive and tender and hard to think about. It is amazing too, to see how women have turned that around, that hurt. I love how Revelation 12:11 says, "We overcome by the blood of the lamb, and the word of our testimony." That is how we heal, is through sharing that story. For women to be able to share their story, and talk about what happened and not keep it in darkness, is what God can heal. It's awesome to see how they've stepped in, and led an Embrace Grace group. Or served at their local pregnancy center, because they're able to tell their story to these women and say, "This is what I went through." They get to be the person they wish that they had had years ago in their life, when they made that decision.
Ron Meyers: Listeners on the phone, I'm speaking with Amy Ford. She is the Founder of Embrace Grace, a nonprofit ministry out of Dallas, Texas. It was founded when she was considering... well, not considering, she was planning an abortion and she passed out in the waiting room. Never had the abortion, and began this awesome ministry now that helps women with unplanned pregnancies, become whole again and take broken women that maybe had an abortion. To help with their ministries and through other churches, to get them back on their path. I always say, "My heart for 20 years with ministry, is about destiny and purpose." That God has a destiny and a purpose for each of us. We're all unique. God knew what we were going to do, before we were in our mother's womb. I say all that, because when I talk to people that are pro-life or pro-choice and I tell them.
I say, "Well, listen though, that child, that baby that's in there has something to give to this world. If that baby doesn't have an opportunity to give to the world, their gifts, their talents, their skills, or their ability, the world misses out on it." It doesn't like, it's going to be passed on to somebody else. Their gift is going to be missing from the world. They kind of look at me like, "Well, this guy is a little crazy," but do you know what I'm saying?
Amy Ford: For sure. I think people look at... sometimes not on purpose, but they assume or think that the baby is a sin. The baby is a miracle, the pregnancy is a miracle. What happened possibly... unless it was rape, but there was sin that led to the baby. [inaudible 00:18:03] God turned our messes into miracles. Every baby was designed and created by our heavenly father. He knew what He was doing, because He planned that child. Yes, even to think about Jess, my son, Jess, I don't know how many kids he's led to the Lord yet.
He had started a ministry in high school, where 300 kids were showing up at a park, to have a student-led worship. He would evangelize to the city. I mean, I think hundreds of kids have been saved, because of this ministry he had started while he was in high school. Even now through college, he's been leading it. To think that destiny would have been completely affected, if I would have gone through with that abortion, then everything would look so much different now.
Ron Meyers: Yeah, absolutely. I wouldn't have the pleasure of speaking with you, it's a domino effect down the road.
Amy Ford: Yeah.
Ron Meyers: Now, Amy what would you tell somebody out there that is thinking, "Well, my daughter... or I was raped, or I had a relative that got me pregnant. I have the right to have an abortion, because I can't deal with this." What would you tell someone? I'm sure you've had to deal with someone with rape or incest.
Amy Ford: Yeah. I even have a friend, another pro-life leader named Ryan Bomberger, that I've met a few times. His mom was raped, and he has stood in front of thousands of people and he has said, "If you are a pro-life with exception or of rape, are you saying that my life is not as valuable as someone that was conceived in a different way?" He was like, "That is not fair that you would say that." He said, "My life has purpose, and I'm supposed to be here." When you look at his face and you humanize it, because it is a human, that's not right to say that that baby doesn't get a chance of life, because of the way it was conceived.
Less than 2% of all abortions are from rape. That is a very small percentage of abortions. I have Embraced Grace girls that have gone through it, that have experienced rape. They even have worries of like, "When I have this baby, is this baby going to remind me of my rapist? All of those feelings and concerns, and things that... we can add to traumas and say, "You're turning one trauma into two, when you have an abortion." All of these women that have had their baby, it has been amazing.
It's like God heals our heart even more, and they fall in love with their child. Even in my first book, A Bump in Life, there are a few stories of rape and how women chose live.
If anybody wants to grab it on Amazon and read it, they're really, really, of how God can... it's a continual healing. The baby brought so much healing to their heart, when they chose life and went through the pregnancy and chose to parent.
Ron Meyers: Amen. I love hearing that. Now, Amy I know you have probably lots of incredible stories, but is there one...? Out of all what you've done with your ministry, is there one story, just one of your favorites, of a client that you dealt with that you love to share?
Amy Ford: Oh, yeah. I have one favorite, and it's also in my book too, A Bump in Life. It is a girl that had an unplanned pregnancy. She was an only child, only had a dad. Her mom left when she was two weeks old. She never had siblings or anything like that. It was just her and her dad. When she found out she was pregnant, she was terrified to tell him. She knew he would be so mad, but she finally did and he really was mad. He said, "You'll be a horrible mom. You can't do this." The father of the baby was already in jail. It was just a really bad situation.
He said, "You can have an abortion or you can place for adoption, but you're not having this baby. Or you're not going to be parenting this baby." She was so scared. She felt totally alone. She went to an abortion clinic, but she saw people praying outside. She just kept driving.
Then she met with an adoptive family, but just didn't feel right about that. She was terrified. She worked at a UPS Store. One day she drove up to work and actually drove in to our parking spot. She said, "God, if you can hear me, will you please bring me someone that I can talk to? I need help, and I don't know who to call. If you bring me a package that has the word church on it, then that's when I'll know that it's a safe place and person for me to talk to.
I don't know who else to call." She goes in and she works her shifts. Five minutes before closing, here comes a guy with a box that has the word church on the shipping label. She's like, "Oh my gosh-"
Ron Meyers: Amen.
Amy Ford: ... "Do you work at a church?" He said, "No, I don't work at a church." He said, "I have a company that makes websites for churches." She's like, "Oh." He could feel the disappointment. He said, "Well, I go to church." She's like, "You do?" Then that was her sign. She just let it all out, started bawling and saying, "My dad thinks there'll be a horrible mom. I don't know what to do." I know this guy, he is a dad of four boys. He was just like, "I don't know what's happening right now." He was like, "Okay, let me get your information. I feel like our church has something. I'll have my wife call you. It's going to be okay." He said some encouraging words to her and then he left. She got connected to our Embrace Grace group.
The first day that she came to class, she was kind of a new girl, because we had started a few weeks before. She was telling all the other girls in the class about the UPS story, of how she's heard about Embrace Grace. She said something that forever changed my life. As she was telling the girls about it all, she said, "My dad thinks I'll be a horrible mom, but that guy at the UPS Store said he thought I would be a good mom."
Ron Meyers: Wow.
Amy Ford: She kind of just said it quietly. I mean, I was trying to process what she had said. It was a perfect stranger-
Ron Meyers: Wow.
Amy Ford: ... that most likely would never see her again, said something that he probably was just like, "I don't really know what to say right now. I think you'll be a good mom, I don't know." That was literally all she had to hold onto.
Ron Meyers: Yeah.
Amy Ford: That one person, a stranger believed that she could do it, so maybe she could do it.
Ron Meyers: Wow.
Amy Ford: To see that our words really do have life and death, in the power of our tongue. God is bringing us people all the time, all around us, that we need to speak life into. We don't have to over-complicate it. It could be something so simple as, "You can do this and I believe in you." You'd never know that that is exactly what they needed to hear. She is now the best mom ever and her dad agrees. She ended up having a little boy and her name's Jordan. She's just so amazing. I just want to challenge everyone listening, to just really put your keen of eyes on, and really be watching for people that are desperate to know that, "Does God even hear me? Or does He see me?" Now, we are an answer to their prayer sometimes, but we have to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us, and guide us in our conversations as we're at McDonald's or the dry cleaners, or the grocery store or wherever we might be.
Ron Meyers: Yeah, absolutely. Well, listeners, Amy Ford was going to have an abortion. She didn't have the abortion. She's got an incredible ministry, Embrace Grace. How do people get in touch with you, Amy? I know some people are going to want to reach out to you.
Amy Ford: Yes, embrace grace.com, you can go there. If anyone's interested in starting an Embrace Grace group at their church, they can. All the information is there. Or if you want to find a church that's near you, if you know a girl that may be pregnant, there is a big group directory on there. Check us out there and you can get ahold of us there.
Ron Meyers: Well, Amy, I told you... I just did the intro that I did, you really had this God glow inside that convention center. God has just really birthed this incredible ministry. That's a message to all the listeners out there, that God has this awesome plan for all of us and that we need to be encouraged. I know Amy encouraged me today, and I hope and pray that Amy encouraged you in your walk. In closing, I always like to ask this, how does a person get the hell out of their life?
Amy Ford: Oh gosh, just Jesus.
Ron Meyers: Jesus.
Amy Ford: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Ron Meyers: Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.
Amy Ford: and abide in Him, yes.
Ron Meyers: I love it. Well, Amy Ford, Thank you. You were just amazing. It's, embracegrace.org?
Amy Ford: Com.
Ron Meyers: Oh, com. Okay.
Amy Ford: Actually it's both. It's both.
Ron Meyers: It's both.
Amy Ford: Either one will take you there.
Ron Meyers: Listeners, check it out. They are an absolutely incredible group. Amy, God bless you and thank you for sharing today.
Amy Ford: Thank you for having me.
Ron Meyers: You're welcome.