Kirstie Le Lievre and Embrace Grace
When we’re listening, God invites us into adventures. Even when we’re in lockdown, even when we’re home with a newborn baby, even when many aspects of “ordinary” life appear to be on pause, God is always at work.
I felt a God-inspired invitation enter my mind in the dark wee hours of the morning, sitting in an armchair feeding my newborn son in August 2020.
Look into unborn lives. See what the Church is doing around the world to support women facing unplanned pregnancies.
All people are made in my image. Unborn humans are made in my image. Mothers should be championed, supported, invited in. See them the way that I do.
I wondered at these thoughts as they swirled. This is not my idea, I marvelled; this has never been a passion or conviction of mine. This is something new, something from God, I simply knew in my heart.
I felt God extend his hand out to me and it was an invitation to explore and see what I see.
In August 2020, I began to research the marvel of new life.
The journals I read, even stoic scientific language made me marvel afresh at God’s word and his design for human life.
Every new life is a gift. Every new life is immeasurably valuable and dignified. Even at the level of DNA, a completely distinct person with a new story to be unfolded. How wonderful is God that he has purpose for each life, and that we are not hidden from his purposes even before birth.
One passage that never captivated me before now felt so illuminated to my heart. We get a wonderful glimpse in the gospel of Luke into John the Baptist, who leaps for joy and who the disciple Luke notes was filled with the Holy Spirit in that moment (Luke 1 verses 14-15 and verses 41-44). How incredible that even when we are invisible to mankind, we are completely purposed and known by God!
In October 2020, I came across an organisation called Embrace Grace, who run a “pro-love” ministry based in Texas, USA. I loved the hope-filled and redemptive message of Embrace Grace, whose heart is to empower women facing unplanned pregnancies with practical support and a local church community who infuse God-inspired hope and vision for what theirs and their baby’s life can look like.
The heart of “pro-love” is to respond in love and truth and with practical support to respond to the needs of women facing unplanned pregnancies and the value of unborn humans.
The more that I followed what the Embrace Grace team were doing, not just in the US, but around the world too, I fell in love. A local church-driven response to serving women and babies and showering love and hope and value over brave women, yes please!
The months that followed were prayerful times of conversation with the Embrace Grace team and their leaders, and connecting with the Life team about the possibility of serving Melbourne with this initiative.
What became clear was that God’s heart for women and babies to thrive was a resounding yes.
Let’s do this!
Fast forward to September 2021 – we have finished our leadership training and start our first cohort of Embrace Grace! We have 3 brave women that have connected in with the weekly support group.
We are embracing the unknowns of life with grace and trusting God – so we get started with our meetings on Zoom. That is, until we can get into the good stuff of sharing food and laughs and comfort and prayers in-person. There’s no “pass the snacks” button on Zoom!
We are on a 12-week journey of community, encouragement and hope.
One of the beautiful aspects of the Embrace Grace model is how it models community. I’m so grateful to be pioneering this first cohort alongside the faithful and brilliant Tracey. It continues to bless and amaze me who God brings along on this journey who have been prepared and graced to serve here too. Another couple of awesome women in the Life family who have experienced unplanned pregnancies are preparing to share their testimonies with us in a story-sharing night coming up shortly. And it’s a joy to see a few steps further down the path just how the “upside down” moments in life come together for good.
The close of our 12-week journey together ends just as you’d hope it would – with a celebration! With gifts, words of encouragement, prayers and a deep sense of gratitude for what God has done. There will be opportunity for any Life church member to contribute to the end-of-semester baby shower and bless these brave ladies.
God is always overjoyed when we turn towards Him. Heis in the business of redeeming and infusing hope into every situation we invite Him into.
He is the father who, on seeing that we’re making our way home, drops everything and runs with abandon to embrace us (Luke 15 verses 11 to 32). He is that good. And we owe it to each other to keep passing on that truth.
So whether you find yourself in the midst of a great adventure with God, or feel like you’ll be bound to your armchair forever feeding a little person, listen up. Listen to the one voice that matters and start small. God loves tasking us with something small to be faithful with. With God, we know that small never means insignificant!
If you would like to know more about Embrace Grace, if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy or have a friend or family member who is, please reach out. If your heart is stirred to serve women and babies in Melbourne, let’s chat! We would love to hear from you!
To chat with Kirstie and the Embrace Grace team, please message firstname.lastname@example.org