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Sunday, 24 May 2020
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"Best Gift Ever" - Amanda's baby daughter Heidi at Christmas "Best Gift Ever" - Amanda's baby daughter Heidi at Christmas Liana Kay Photography/Photos provided to PHN - Permission required for reprint

Pregnancy center offers encouragement with “Love in a Box” partnership

The desire for their clients to know “how much God loves them and the life growing inside” has the pregnancy help ministers at Fort Worth Pregnancy Center partnering with Embrace Grace to accomplish this goal through the gift of “Love Boxes.”

These boxes are given to single women facing an unplanned pregnancy and in need of hope, many of whom consider abortion their only option. 

Fort Worth Pregnancy Center

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Each box includes an invitation to a church-hosted support group, stories from both a parenting mom and birth mom, a letter of hope, a journal with writing prompts, a “Best Gift Ever” onesie, and the book A Bump in Life.

“As a community service provider, Embrace Grace is one of our favorites because they are a bridge for our clients, from us to the church!” said Fort Worth Pregnancy Center CEO Shelley Lee. “I trust my Embrace Grace groups to receive my clients with love and compassion, acceptance and grace.” 

“Through this generous group, we can provide our client with the gift of a ‘Love Box’ and she immediately feels valued,” she said.

Additionally, Embrace Grace offers a supportive community for those in difficult circumstances.

“They experience love and acceptance in a place that nurtures their faith and fosters positive life changes,” said Lee. “It gives us at the Center great peace of mind to know we have entrusted our precious clients and their little ones to such a loving group of godly women.”

One Love Box recipient, Amanda, recalled the bewilderment she felt after taking a pregnancy test. 

Amanda and Heidi
Amanda and Heidi

“I was in shock No way! It was wrong!” she said. “I woke up the next morning and took the second test. Shockingly that one said positive as well. I ended up taking seven tests and they were all positive.”

Amanda’s life had started falling apart near the end of 2017. Her husband Robert became depressed and drug addiction dominated his life. Both tried methamphetamine. A series of poor choices led to the loss of their home, vehicle and belongings. 

As Robert grew more abusive, Amanda sought help from friends and asked her in-laws to watch her two children— Marlee and Shaun—while she got her life in order. A couple months later, Robert died of a drug overdose.

“I became hyper focused on seeking a place to make a new home for me and my kids,” said Amanda. “I got an apartment in June 2018, but I was unprepared for the custody battle I would face with in-laws to get my kids back. I laid on the floor of my three-bedroom apartment and just wanted to peacefully leave this earth.”

A few days later Amanda found out she was pregnant. 

“I felt so much shame,” she recalled. “I was embarrassed of my actions. How could I have been so careless?”  

Baby Heidi/Liana Kay Photography

The baby’s conception resulted from seeking comfort from a friend during her turmoil. 

“I contacted the father and we both decided termination was the most logical thing to do,” said Amanda.

Next, she visited Fort Worth Pregnancy Center to learn more about her options. An advocate provided her with information on abortion, adoption, and parenting, as well as a gift labeled “Love in a Box.”

“I left my appointment, went to my car and opened the box in the parking lot,” Amanda said. “Inside there was an invitation to join a group called Embrace Grace—a support group for young women experiencing unintended pregnancies.” 

“There was a hand-written note of encouragement and at the bottom a little tiny onesie that said, ‘Best Gift Ever,’” she said. “That’s the moment when life chose me.” 

Heidi at Thanksgiving/Liana Kay Photography

Tweet This: “That’s the moment when life chose me.” 

It was also the moment Amanda’s life began to turn around. Heidi Mae came into the world March 12, 2019. Marlee and Shaun came back to live with their mother June 19, 2019. 

Amanda, Shaun and Heidi

“Through it all I have renewed my relationship with God, and He’s using my story to help bring all of His children home,” said Amanda. “Just as hard as I worked to prove I was fit to be a mother for all of my children; He was showing me that I’m His daughter. Heidi is a blessing from God! She’s the baby we didn’t know we needed!”             

 

Amanda, Marlee and Heidi 

To learn more about Fort Worth Pregnancy Center or to get involved visit: www.fwpcfriends.org/get-involved/  

To learn more about Embrace Grace Inc. visit: www.embracegrace.com

Editor's note: Headline photo/Heidi at Christmas, Thanksgiving photo and Heidi w/blanket/leaves photo by Liana Kay Photography. Reprint permission for all photos required.

Sarah Bowler

Sarah is a freelance writer & editor with a passion for discipleship. She is the author of Bathsheba’s Responsibility in Light of Narrative Analysis, contributor to Vindicating the Vixens, and contributing editor for The Evangelism Study Bible. She received her Master of Theology Degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Currently, she and her husband Ben reside in North Texas with their children and frequently find themselves daydreaming of snow and Chicago style pizza. Connect with Sarah at SarahBowler.com.

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