The Miracle of Pregnancy and God’s Redeeming Love

By Anika Smith Published on December 23, 2016

It was not an easy Christmas that year. Several of us had experienced trauma in our families: divorce, estrangement, abandonment. I was grateful to be included in a small circle at my friend’s house for Christmas dinner, knowing it was a safe place to feel that not all was merry and bright.

Yet as we gathered around the table, there was a quiet joy. My friend’s mother prayed to bless the feast, closing with great thanksgiving for the baby growing inside her youngest (and unmarried) daughter, a sign of God’s favor and love for this hurting family.

Praise God for new life, she said.

I have another friend who, in similar circumstances, was told by her mother that her pregnancy itself was a sin. God help us, but there are many in the church who have a problem celebrating children outside of marriage, offering censure and shame instead.

Children are not sin. Every child, regardless of the circumstances of its birth, is a miracle orchestrated by God in His goodness.

When I think of both women in this story who faced unplanned pregnancies, and I see them now with their children, I am in awe of God’s goodness. Both would say that their children are gifts from the Father above, and both are thankful for the way He redeemed their broken hearts through miracles of new life. But it breaks my heart that only one birth was celebrated.

The church, especially, should be a place where unwed mothers are loved and welcome. As Christmas approaches and we remember Mary and Joseph being turned away from place after place, may we pray to welcome the pregnant and stranded in our families, churches and communities.

This is the very work that women like Amy Ford are championing. If you want to learn more, you should listen to this week’s episode of UpNext, where Gabrielle interviews Amy about her work with Embrace Grace, a ministry that helps churches connect with single pregnant women to support and love them. Amy’s mission is to see the church become “the first place a girl runs to with a pro-love movement.”

Amen. Listen below to learn more, and visit embracegrace.com for resources for your church.

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