Road Trip With a Homeless/Rehab friend.
She’s worked locally, while going through a chapter that included (10 months) rehab, and then yesterday, she journeyed back to her county, to a shelter to live. And fortunately, she can transfer within the company where she’s worked, and has a job in place.
We packed her things inside of a crumpled box with some books and pajamas and a set of work clothes. And crawled into my car and took off for our three-hour journey.
As we talked in the car, her new life in Christ exploded like fireworks, but there were moments when worry crept into her words. So, we ran to Christ for His strength and hope and help.
Of Candy. Ice Cream. And Christ.
We laughed. We prayed. We stopped for a soda and some chocolate. Which was her first Butterfinger in a year. We stopped in the next town for an ice cream cone. The first she’s eaten in a year. And she ate mine, too.
We drove into her county, and she gasped, a sound like a tornado rolled in, as if all the air in the car escaped from her past.
The reality of her new walk became clear, and we spent the afternoon getting her a phone to call work, meeting a former friend from rehab, and relishing the bond of friendship in Christ we shared.
As we drove by the older hotels and familiar places, she pointed to them. “I lived there. I used drugs there. I stole from that store. I lived in those apartments. That’s where he, where he beat me, and cut my hair off.”
My heart ached for her broken steps and the pain from her past, but I rejoiced at knowing her commitment to the Lord was now, in her present day walk. She desires to serve Him with her choices and her heart.
New You! New Walk!
I reached for her hand, “You can do this in Christ. You are not the same.”
“I know. I know how much God loves me. Or I wouldn’t be here now. I know He’s got me.”
We stopped at a store to get a few things, and then we found ourselves staring at a bunch of backpacks.
“Could you use a backpack to tote things?”
She reached for the gray one, stroking the fabric. “I’ve never had a new backpack.”
And with that, I grabbed it from the rack!
When I said my goodbye to her at the shelter, I saw a girl whose brown eyes pierced me, as if I could call this sweet girl, “daughter.”
And then, this morning, she texted: This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. (A verse we say every week in recovery.)
Then she told me, she’s already walking to the store where she’ll work—to check in with them.
I pray for her walk, for her faith to rise up, for Christ to remind her how she’s been called from the darkness into His marvelous light!