Embrace Grace Testimony

     How do you define a success story? Who sets the parameters of a happy ending? For Haley, having a healthy baby, a blossoming career, and a wonderful husband is the fairy tale ending. However, just like every fairy tale, happiness does not always come about the way we expect. Her pregnancy was a surprise as a single woman with a terrifying uncertainty. Struggling to make ends meet while facing with the options proposed by the world to cover her past and start over, she began trying to find her way. Working outside of her immediate family’s support, she found herself at the pregnancy center faced with a dark choice. The beautiful outline of life she saw in the sonogram of her son changed something inside her. His heartbeat, little fingers, toes, and all the future growth of her son settled in her heart. At that moment, Haley knew he was worth it. She was determined to keep him. She asked, “Why did it matter what others thought when such a precious life was at stake?” Resolving to keep and protect the child, she knew she was facing an uphill battle swarmed with bitter reactions and fake happiness covered by the underlying tones of judgment and disappointment from the scrutiny of others. However, she knew the value of the life she carried. Then the question became where could she find others who put the value of her baby and herself over the shame and disappointment that so many people subject women to? This is where Embrace Grace comes into the story. After hearing about the ministry from her grandfather, Haley decided it might be worth a shot. Though unsure of what may be ahead and preparing for the worst, she bound up her feelings and sought the support of others by opening her heart to any scrutiny they may have had. However, rather than finding judgment or false acceptance, she found a group of women, who in all manner of loving grace, embraced her as a mother and the precious life she carried. The community she built with the other girls in the group became a valued asset. Walking together with other girls in similar situations helped lift the weight off their shoulders and carrying the burdens of one another. The Lord’s heart for Haley was shining through Embrace Grace and healing her heart from the long felt pain of a lonely life devoid of accepting love. Nonetheless, the blessings from the Lord did not end when Embrace Grace ended. She later met and then married her husband who has fully embraced her son, Jackson, as his own. Haley is now going to school to pursue a career in cosmetology, managing a salon, and caring for her son. This triumph is a testimony to how the Lord uses his people to love and build up those who are alone. When asked if Haley had anything she wanted to share specifically, she wanted to encourage anyone in similar situations to consider joining Embrace Grace. Haley also said not to be afraid and that the relationships formed through the weekly meetings are ones that will endure through many years. Jackson now has many Embrace Grace aunties and Haley will always have someone to go to for a need or simple motherly advice. In her voice you could hear the love and empathy she has for other girls in situations like hers and she knows they do not have to be alone. This world may seem like a dark, fearful and cold place, but the smallest of lights cannot be extinguished by any amount of darkness. A simple heart of acceptance can light a room but a community of those with Grace may light the world.

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