Monday, September 18, 2006

Shell Happened

We're no longer empty nesters. I'm not sure we're ever going to be for very long.

For the past few months, Amy has been befriending a young woman who had been living next door to us. Her name is Shell.

It's one of those quirky things that we've gotten somewhat used to...we sort of knew that Shell would end up in our home, but decided if it was going to happen it God's time.

We met Shell via casual neighbor passing neighbor conversations. We'd often see her waiting outside her home for a taxi to take her to her job and one day we offered to give her a lift to save her the cab fare. She was working at a restaurant right down the road. She was living with her foster mom and her mom's other kids in a rental house.

Shell is 19 years old, but has a long history for such a young life. Not all of it is pleasant, there is a great deal of pain and loneliness. There are scars and sadness. There is also great joy and a wonderful optimistic spirit.

She is a vibrant young woman who is on fire for God, while still early into her journey of faith and sacrifice.

Soon we were giving her rides more often, she'd check with us before calling a cab. It made sense, it was no bother. Amy and she would talk often about how God was working in our lives, and we'd offer some advice here and there. She recently got her G.E.D. and is about to enroll in college, so she's at an exciting crossroads.

A couple of months ago, she moved 8 or 9 miles away, but we'd still give her a ride when she needed, and Amy was in contact with her quite frequently. They've grown very close.

As life would have it, Shell's roommate situation wasn't working out and her job came to an abrupt end. She has another job lined up which will start soon. That position and her future college classes will be only a mile or two away from our home and....well it seems fated to be.

She needs some time to get on her feet, and some space to call her own.

As it happens our "second floor mission field" is empty...we have the space.

We've decided it's time.

God's time.