Nestled uncomfortably in her hardback wooden chair on the second floor of Front Street Brewery, Diana Boso eats her lunch with slow delight. At nearly 36 weeks pregnant, she knows what it’s like to be hungry, tired, and worn out.
Like the women she serves, Boso’s exhaustion comes from a deep place within, but it’s also the same place she finds healing, happiness, contentment, and a source of hope.
There is a huge smile on her face. She knows there is a reason for every ache and pain. She knows she’s been called to be this baby’s mother, and she delights in the knowing of that, pregnant with hope.
She’s the picture of embracing grace.
Boso, who has the support of her husband and children, herself has an unlikely job: to share that vision with others by managing a ministry that supports single, pregnant women in unstable situations. Her ministry is called “Embrace Grace.”
The ministry is new to Wilmington and new to Boso, who finds herself surprised by the amount of work that went into getting off the ground.
“There was so much that went into it,” she says, laughing. “Had I known in the beginning I would have just said no.”
The program, which provides a safe, loving environment for pregnant, single women and enables them to find support and assistance within the church, has helped turn around the lives of the women who went through the first run.
Every week, the women gathered together as a small group to do a study based on a national curriculum designed by Embrace Grace. The study was created to get them thinking about the deeper questions and embrace their unique situation and the grace extended within it.
The group’s first run was a practice one, with nobody showing up. “It was hard. We weren’t sure what God was doing,” says Diana.
She laughs when remembering how the leaders got together, watched the DVD lessons, and prayed, deciding to try again in September.
“At that time we had a pregnant woman moving down to Wilmington who was looking for community. We weren’t sure what God was doing, but we knew she was supposed to be here.”
After she contacted their group, they decided to launch a study. Soon, other girls followed. “We develop relationships with them and just try to be there,” says Diana. Some of the women were choosing to parent. Others intend to give up the baby for adoption.
Throughout the program, participants were provided a meal train, and learned passages of scripture to help them get through their difficult moments. They had advocates to talk to, and a sense of community. Most importantly, they were made aware of the beauty of what they were participating in by being open to life.
The group put together two special events during the semester.
“The baby shower was a huge success,” says Diana with a wide smile. The girls, called “blooms,” made a list on amazon, which local small groups would adopt and pray over. People from all over the country donated to make the baby shower possible.
“Sometimes the baby shower was what got them in the door, but the girls later discovered that they were interested in having a deeper relationship with the Lord,” says Diana.
The second event, Princess Day, was designed to bless the mothers themselves.The event was a surprise. Blooms were told to arrive in street clothes and bring something nice to change into.
They were given a tiara, had their hair and makeup done, and leaders spoke words of encouragement over them. Leaders and blooms enjoyed a special dinner and the blooms went home with goodie bags filled with gifts to pamper themselves with.
“If we’re going to be pro-life, we need to be there for people after the decision to keep the baby is made. It’s hard, within the church, to find a place where there is no judgement. We wanted to be that place,” says Diana.
It’s clear looking at Diana’s animated expression that her first semester leading Embrace Grace has changed her life.
“I have more empathy for someone in that situation,” she says. “The choice to abort comes out of fear. The bottom line is that Jesus loves them no matter what.”
For many blooms, this was the first time really hearing the Gospel.
“It really takes the pressure off if all we have to do is plant mustard seeds,” Diana laughs. “We can do that.”
Story Written By: Barbie O’Dowd // Photos Courtesy of Katie Mathews Photography
Embrace Grace’s next semester is scheduled to begin in March. To learn more about Embrace Grace and how you can get involved, check out their Facebook page, email email@example.com or visit the hashtag #PROLOVE on social media.