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August 30, 2021 6:00 am
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Focus in our lifetimes, the church will say their pro-life and yes, keep your baby but then sometimes when a girl chooses life, they may shame them or condemn them or shut their doors and say they're not welcome here. So we wanted to be a safe place to submit an interesting phrase we want to be a safe place. That call comes from Amy Ford. She's urging all of us in the Christian community to live out our pro-life beliefs in very real, tangible ways today and Focus on the Family will learn how you and I can take a more active role in the pro-life movement and surprised about how simple it is to get involved your hostess focus president and author. Jim Daly and John full of Focus on the Family has always been unashamedly pro-life, and it's one of our foundational principles over the years we've taken every opportunity to promote this message and encourage others to join us in advocating for pre-born babies, the elderly and those with special needs. That's why I was so pleased with our huge pro-life event this past weekend. What a wonderful time we had there in Dallas. With so many friends and fellow believers, recognizing the value and sanctity of every human life created in the image of God and what I appreciated most. John was the collaboration we celebrated working in tandem with other pro-life leaders like Amy Ford Nick Boyer check Dr. Bill while Robert and Trevor Hendershot and the great team of pregnancy resource centers all across North America.
These folks are on the front lines of the pro-life movement rescuing both mothers and pre-born babies from the devastation of abortion. Yeah, I was so inspired Jim to hear such amazing stories about God moving in the hearts of individuals and families to save and protect life to stand up for the value of life in all its beautiful forms and of course some great worship times along the way with Matthew Wes that we really do John and if our listeners missed any of that.
The good news is we have the entire evening recorded for you along with all of the sea life 2021 video episodes that we've been featuring over the past six weeks. All of that's available online and you can still participate with us. It's not too late to join our team and become a pro-life advocate today you connect with us.
Watch the videos tell us your pro-life story. You can even donate and Sema babies life. All the details are posted in the episode notes and Jim we mentioned Amy Ford she was your cohost for CIF 2021 and for those video episodes as well that you mentioned today were to share a little more of Amy's background and stories. She is the founder and president of embrace. Grace is a church-based ministry that provides godly encouragement and practical help to single pregnant women who are vulnerable to abortion. Amy is written a really powerful book. It's called help her be brave discover your place in the pro-life movement course. We have copies of that here.
Here's how you began the conversation with Amy for Amy. Welcome back to Focus on the Family. Good to have you listen your active every day in this arena of life, and your counseling women in your helping young teen girls think through what is in front of them in the difficult choices that they face.
You have said and I agree with this that the church isn't quite ready.
If the Supreme Court would reverse Roe V Wade would we be ready to step up and be there and I think we would have a challenge in that area. Explain what you're saying at the ground level. Yeah well and it's not even just teen girls and their pregnancies can go all the way up into the 30s and I were just seeing a lot of times the big issue is that the girl doesn't actually feel like it's a safe place to go tail when she has an expected pregnancy. The church is not the first thing that crosses their mind.
Like I need help, let me go to the church and ask if they'll help me and I even talked to a girl the other day that was telling her story and she said that she had called three churches and I left messages. It was over a weekend and only then think she was pregnant and scared. She didn't want to deal I need help, and only one called her back and so we can't just vote for life and then say hope it works out for you. We have to be able to be ready physically, spiritually and emotionally to walk alongside the pregnancy and and we can't you we I can just see girls being homeless or or not having and being able to afford childcare or things like that and we can't just let them go figure it out on their own when they're asking and pleading for help to know how to do this if they don't have access to an abortion and Amy you're coming from a place of experience. I mean, you're not just someone who wants to do good witches on its face, that's good to but you're coming from a place of brokenness. What was your story. Well, I had an unplanned pregnancy when I was 19 and I went to Christian private school new abortion is wrong my entire life is a God blessed I really didn't have a relationship with him. So when I found out when I was unexpectedly expecting I was so terrified. I really my biggest thing was as terrified to tell my parents, looking back at the like that silly because they were outside, but it wasn't as bad as what fear makes you think and what the enemy lies to you in that situation, and so me and the father the baby felt like abortion, we could just have an abortion will deal with the consequences of a broken heart. Later, this will be a quick fix.
Even though I grew up knowing abortion was wrong and said went to the abortion clinic we paid for it and I went in to have the procedure done as they were explaining to me what they were going to deal all of those emotions I had suppressed really just erupted in that moment and I ended up hyperventilating and passing out any abortion ran when I came to know the nurse was gaining me try to get me a drink of water and she said you're too emotionally distraught to make this decision today.
You can come back another day.
But you're not getting abortion today. I went back out into the waiting ran and I told the father the baby and we just were like okay like let's just deal with the consequences of what can happen.
And less is figured out together and so we told her parents. It wasn't as bad as we thought it was good to be and we ended up getting married. We had been high school sweethearts for a long time.
We ended up getting married when I was 16 weeks pregnant and we had gone to the pastor that had led my husband to the Lord years before we asked him if he would marry ass and he said no I can't and won't marry you. I can't bless this marriage because of your sin and we were we horrible people we can get married right felt like a scarlet letter on her wedding day. We found someone else when Mary asked that the shame so intense but even just that season. Before that, and even after it's kind of like the elephant in the room and people don't know whether to say congratulations. I'm sorry. So they just don't say anything and say you just feel alone in a crowd of people sure Amy, I want to dig into couple components what you've told us one your parents should mention that it wasn't as bad as what I thought it would be with my parents.
Their parents maybe today who are listening right now. Later going to call from their pregnant teen daughter there to see them dinner and this discussions going to happen.
What kind of counsel do you give to parents about how to react. If this happens when I just believe that God is the creator of all life, and so he knew what he was doing when he blessed this girl woman with and with the baby even if it was unplanned by her. This baby was planned by God.
And what I've seen so many times is that when God wants to woo his daughter back to his heart sometimes to give her a baby doing something to give her the sweetest face that she's ever laid eyes on so she can finally get a glimpse of maybe how much God must love her and so we've seen girls there almost about to kill themselves suicidal on drugs are just going down the wrong path and all of a sudden find out their pregnant and this is the thing that kinda gets them back on the right track and so to look at the bigger picture of what God might be doing here and leading his daughter back to him and then the other aspect of what you said that really catches my attention is your Christian convictions mean you're 1918 19 at the time and so you know you're you're getting the point where that maturity is happening.
Some people maybe have never had to walk the difficult decision, and even though your church understand Christian values. Your pro-life in your heart now. The pressures on you because you know this situation and you go to make this decision.
Why do you think it's not automatic.
Why do you think the girls are second-guessing everything that been taught for 17 years, 18 years 19 years.
In your case, what what is missing in their worldview construct that they even go that direction. What I think it's two things.
One, as I said before, fear here is the biggest reason why women have abortions are scared and it does seem like alluring to have a quick fix of Assisi seemingly right even though it's a trauma that is lifelong. Yes, for sure. But the thing is is in the church my entire life and I never knew there was a pro-life movement ever. I never knew I would stand outside abortion clinics with my parents. Sometimes we would pray but I know there were all the resources like I had no idea and I remember when I wrote my first book.
Even writing a book. I didn't think I'm writing a pro-life book. It was just stories of girls with unplanned pregnancies and as we started embrace space. We didn't think I ministered a pro-life organization is like help women with unplanned pregnancies and it wasn't until the first conference is actually CareNet conference which is a pregnancy center training conference asked me to come speak and give me a booth and distant like an exchange. And so we were like cottages and brochures on things and I had never heard of Karen.
I had no idea I shall. And there are hundreds of booths and organizations of people that are ready to assist at a moments notice for women with and that there was that out there and I think that that mainly the church in general is the same way when I talk to people that monitors their whole life.
They don't know a lot of them don't even know what a pregnancy center is not free them on one of the most important things we need in our communities. See, now that's the first response team in the church is the hospital we have. We I know what's all in our communities when we talk about with opening comments in terms of where the church is that these are some great gains over the last 4045 years of the church really has stepped up.
It's not the same as 1973 the church is far more sophisticated and far better equipped to help young women shirt and the woman of the Jews in the position to deal with unplanned pregnancy and that that is the good news that I encourage you to get engaged with resource Center, no volunteer support them financially. That's what focus does and there's 3000 4000 of these clinics around probably right in your neighborhood so for one and join and be a part of it.
Most of them are volunteer run rate so you do need each one of us. Let me tight little bow there with your parents because some people are probably asking what happened to her mom and dad what was the healing process like for you with your parents and you know for a parent you report into your child reported her daughter and then that happens there's that initial and they kind of understand the grief this can be there and then you have to heal the relationship of trust have the go for you and your mom and dad, well I know for them and for other parents. It's kind of easy to all this and think where did I go wrong like why did I do to help assist in this happening like where did. Where did the group communication breakdown things like that formula didn't work and I think that they key is, I feel like with all unplanned pregnancies fear obviously is the biggest issue but also just target any value and worth is kind of wet. Not knowing our identity value and worth is kind of what gets us into the situation in the first place, and so they can never be something that a parent can fill in a God creates our hearts to create intimacy, but with him and so when we try to fill it with other things parents can't fill it.
A boyfriend can't fill it, not the food shopping and nothing can fill this God size hole that we have and so it's not any they were great parents.
There was not anything that they did that contributed to me having an unexpected pregnancy.
It was me and not going to God for affirming my identity value and worth that I know now only he can do and that's why with embrace grace the organization I rent Andy's small groups that we have for unplanned girls with him him pregnancies in churches all over the nation. We drill it in about how valuable how amazing they are. How much God loves them and that only he can fill that craving that we all have, to want to be loved and to feel left you have received some criticism about embrace grace and ministry single pregnant women and it comes in the form of you don't require them to accept Christ for their government does help in this. Some people struggle with that I totally get it because that's your putting up the pathway you doing the engagement, discipleship that brings a young woman to the decision for eternal life. You know the decision to embrace Christ. So what would you say to that criticism and how you're going about it. Well, we just feel like this is planting seeds you know they will serve the gospel up on a silver platter and they get to choose whether they want to partake or not. And so we just think that even if they came for only one class or they came for all 12 thank you Lord that we got an opportunity to share the gospel. Like how amazing is that and sometimes they only come for the free stuff you know they just come because they want the staff but were getting an opportunity to share the gospel and we always sailor planting seeds and we had a woman once that was Wiccan and she believed in witchcraft and she was like hey I really need the free stuff is okay if I come to your group at your church. I know I'm awake and I don't believe in and what you believe, but I would love to come and someone told me about it and sure, she came every week and she never missed a class and one time she said the way it makes me feel when I come to this group and I just held onto that really felt like there is to be the salvation experience, like I just knew and it was can happen to be amazing is trusting God and so she does the whole embrace space program never misses a class and goes to the baby shower. The princes day which is an awesome event that we do that we crown them and tell them how amazing they are and she does it and I remember after that last night I went home and then did but I would never tell her you know but I like she did the whole thing.
What we missing where do we go wrong. What is is the issue because she said she liked it and I heard the Lord say your planting seed.
Do you think a girl what that was Wiccan would've ever step foot into a church, if he had created a safe place for her to be there so let me do what I do and sells like a keyboard like a giver to you, and I kinda lost touch with their Lotta single moms. If they can't pay the bills.
Their phone number changes.
I lost touch with her will. A year later she called me freaking out. Totally excited and she's like you will never believe what's happening.
She said I just lately have been thinking maybe God is real and I would think something and then something would happen but one day she was the manager of a restaurant/gas station and she said I went to work and I was like a meteor try to talk to me but I don't know but I just need to do something really big like I don't want to think that your real like I want to know your real. Can you do something and to for my faith and so she goes and to work and as she's working a shift at Raynham guy came up to the counter and he she said rubber she specifically said he looked nervous shaking live and he said I know this is going to sound really crazy but I felt like the Lord wanted me to tell you that he loves you while he sees you and now he wants is your heart and so she goes back home and she gets her embrace grace curriculum from the year before and she said she went into the bathroom and she put her TR on her head that we had given her from print to stay the year before and she said I did it in the bathroom looking in America's I wanted to be mom and I would never forget like this is the moment that I surrendered my life to Jesus and said I was the first one is called a year later freaking out and I just held onto that and I just love how it all came down to. She likes the way it made her feel when she came to church. We were trying to fix her. We were just introducing her to the Holy Spirit who could transform her, don't say it was a behavior modification. It was a heart transformation and it didn't happen right before our very eyes. It was a slower process. But thank you Lord for that guy. Like probably walked away can successfully be as nervous to do, or maybe do these things like you know whatever, he had no idea Stu ran home. He was the critical way of being obedient right now. That's a little unsettling that encourages me to always go with the knowledge that the board gives you so beautiful a reminder of the fact that we play a role in were so goal oriented for laws, bow your head with me right now. That may not be the plan might be just faithfulness and in this way. Being a friend, a good friend been committed to her and talking with her. That's what cracked her heart open and trusting that the Lord owns the rest of you don't have to panic. Just be obedient in the moment that God has you in with that person while we can cover that in the me when you go from window to accepting Christ such a dramatic story obviously.
Let me also hit this area, but you've developed some great thoughts and models for notice to encourage pro-life Christians to be intentional about looking for opportunities to help pregnant women.
I think you have a story about a wedding ring observation was that story about why I'm just always looking for baby valleys and their pregnant belly but always looking for baby valleys and so then I look at their brain to see like do they have a wedding ring on and sometimes it can be.
The hands are swollen, but I have a way of just starting the conversation a lot with a huge smile in your face. I'm a very positive bubbly person. Some like it is. Especially, I'm not sure if their pregnant kids in and just letting Holy Spirit lead the conversation, but leading to what you need. How can we help did you know there's an embrace grace group in your area.
Can we get you connected, you get priest at the baby shower. You'll meet other girls going to the same thing that you are or have you been to a pregnancy center just allowing God to lead the conversation by doing that I have met girls in the craziest of places and there in front of us all the time. I think sometimes we just get too busy to notice you know that there are around us all the time right and in fact I think your story while you were there, but the sonic drive-through well taxes and I need flash seasonality for high so I sonic you can swipe your card, but they don't put tip lines when you swipe your card at sonic so if you want to tip a girl you have to have cash and hardly arrive cash but I thought I did this day and we had embrace grace goes work at sonic and they can complain people not to sell like kind want to make sure that I do so I go. I order push the button order all the slushy's and as I'm waiting for her to come out. I realize that I have no cash in my hand was like only goodness.
So when she came out. I said, I'm so sorry you not pay for the fee. But I don't have Casper to go to the bank and I'll go to the ATM machine at the national combat and have to do that to you can sure I well say go get cash come back and we were and so I said what do you know what's her name and she said my name Sally I mean like when I was pregnant with my fourth you that he's I sees about one now before I knew as a boy and girl name was Zoe. I picked that did you know that your name means life, but it does.
It's not like just the surviving high life like it means that John 1010 and a John 316. Like the heavenly realm of life I get a really cool translation. You have a really amazing name and she said you have Risa, did you do you do now about your names like now disabled you have so you have a baby said is about one bigger baby. Just me and my boyfriend just fine, or pregnant were really nervous. You have any advice for me on like ever and so I got her connected to pregnancy center.
She came through embrace grace did the whole program. I was at her wedding. I was at her birthday away so she got all of my duty as hand-me-downs. I need to do life with this girl name Zoe who such a blessing to me and if I would've just treated her as a robot or someone else that's trying to you know fulfill my order. I would have missed out on such an amazing relationship and friendship that we have today and she's such a great mom that is so awesome and beautiful were greater with Trish acting and behaving in this life let's in with a really powerful story about a pastor who so many pastoral families of struggle and we know that it's okay we have actually line were pastors can call us here anonymously and talk through the difficulties that their families are going through.
They need that lifeline and that they need to be able to get some input from time to time as well. You have a story about a pastor's daughter who was unmarried and pregnant and she reconciled with God through the church and family and she wanted to participate in a child dedication what what was that story well his. He was a pastor of a big church and his daughter had an pregnancy and had really straight from the Lord when she vanishes pregnant.
She asked for forgiveness and asked to come back on and he said yes and said she had a little girl and after she had the baby she wanted to do baby dedication, and the way this church does. It is the have a family up at the front and I'll say is there anyone here that represents this family and their baby. We please stand and they do a prayer and then they do the next family and the next family.
Next, namely will then he gets to his daughter and her baby and he says, is there anyone here that represents this woman and her child and something amazing happened. The whole church that while and so it was such a beautiful picture, even to her to see like Kiki when you're down like working at picking back up when you fall and we are in this together like is really ultimately whatever happens, politically, what we all want is to make abortion unthinkable like they didn't even cross their mind that they feel like they can have access to Aetna. We want them to feel like they don't want it they don't need it because we all have something to give in to help bring before it is such a wonderful advocate for life and we encourage you to learn more about her ministry. Embrace grace and we can also provide you with suggestions about volunteering at a pregnancy resource Center and how you can contribute tangibly to the pro-life movement. And again, John.
The key is to get involved. If you believe what the Bible says about mankind being created in the image of God and how we are fearfully and wonderfully made. That's all well and good, but now is the time to take a stand for those convictions. We need to act and that's what RC life event was about this past weekend in Dallas and I urge you to go online to watch that and the powerful series of videos that we created. We need more advocates like you. It doesn't take sophistication that takes the heart of God in you to join the grassroot movement and share those pro-life beliefs and went some way with everyone who will listen. It begins in your home and with your children and family members, and then with your friends and coworkers and people in your local community. This is a winning message people. This culture is coming around to the reality that life begins at conception. Contact us to learn how you can participate because by working together we can save more pre-born babies and be a witness for the Lord in this world will her phone number is 800 232-645-9800 the letter a in the word family or check the episode notes for all the details in 1 Practical Way you can get involved is by supporting our option ultrasound program where we provide ultrasound machines, training and resources to the pregnancy centers that Jim and Amy mentioned earlier and through option ultrasound were giving teen girls and women who were facing an unplanned pregnancy, better options for their future and the best news of all of this is that nearly half a million babies have been rescued from abortion. Thanks to the support of friends like you.
All we need is $60 to save a precious baby's life and that the question is can we count on you to do that. I hope so, and her number is 880, family, or you can donate by clicking on the link in the episode, and when you make a generous gift of any amount Focus on the Family today will say thank you by sending a copy of Amy Ford's terrific book help her once again our number 880 family on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here at Focus on the Family. Thanks for joining us today on John Fuller inviting you back. As we once again help you and your family thrive here asking people to define the word appreciate it's like when something goes up in value that's telling someone they did a good job Focus on the Family invite you to give a gift, appreciate when you give a non-cash gift of stocks, bonds or mutual funds. You will avoid capital gains tax deduction and help families thrive for generations to come. Find out more about non-cash gifts. Just visit planned giving.com