You, Me and Dupree

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I hinted at this Monday, but J’s friend (we’ll call him “Dupree”) will be living with us for three months this summer and is arriving today.

It all started back in March. Dupree lives in Atlanta and was going through a very rough time. I won’t get into all the details, but he ended up losing a fiancée, found himself penniless, and didn’t have a place to live after May. He was in the bottom of a deep, dark pit. He came to stay with us a few weekends to figure things out, and J and I decided to invite him to stay for the summer to help him get his feet back on the ground. He’s in the middle of getting his doctorate degree and will spend his time here doing research for a grant, working at a pool to earn some money, and we’ll be helping him create a budget, get in shape, and work through some tough stuff he’s dealt with for a while.

You may be thinking we’re crazy for cramming three people into a small two-bedroom apartment for three months, and maybe we are! But it was one of those decisions where we felt convicted to help and ended up being an easy one to make. I was reading Acts a few months ago and admired how the early Church would sacrifice their possessions to help those in need. It says “there was not a needy person among them, for each distributed what they had to those who had a need.” (Acts 4:34-35) What would the church look like today if Christians really lived like that? If Christians today didn’t keep to themselves in their own individualistic bubble, but truly opened their homes, gave generously, had real friendships with outcasts, and sacrificed their belongings and time?  It would probably look like the early church, where their numbers were multiplying daily because there was something different about a group that gave that generously and loved that strongly.

You may be thinking “Amen! That’s the way we should all live every day!” but when it comes to your own life? You kind of choke on that amen as you think of how it may really affect the things you love. I’ll be completely honest – as much as I care for Dupree, this summer may be really hard. I like my stuff. I don’t really want to share my bathroom, my space, my food, my time, my husband… but I’ve already seen countless prayers answered in his life and truly feel that God is going to do amazing things in Dupree’s life and ours. Maybe not huge in the way the world sees it, but if I can learn to sacrifice my time, one idol I cherish deeply, then that’s an amazing work in itself.

So I don’t share this today to tell you how awesome we are (because really, we’re not!), but I share this only to ask for prayer for Dupree during this summer and for us as we attempt to live out the gospel to him on a daily basis. (And I also share this to introduce him in case I reference him later during any future posts.:) There’s something so comforting and safe being obedient to God, even when you don’t know what the future will hold, and I’m so excited to see how He will work this summer. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on the summer’s joys and challenges in the months to come. :)

(photo credit)

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  • I had some amazing friends post grad school that opened their home to me for 6 months while I got my feet under me and started working. I truly don’t believe I’d have made it to where I am today without their help.

    Living with them was harder than I expected it to be, but truly was such a blessing. I think we all learned a lot about ourselves during that time. I’ll definitely be praying for you, your husband, and Dupree.

  • It’s a very nice thing you’re doing. I will say though, it may be hard. My BF and I did the same thing (a few months) for a friend (actually a friend and her fiancee), and it ended very, very badly – mostly due to the fiancee, but it would have been uncomfortable without him too. We both regret it and agree that we will never let somebody stay in our house for more than a week long visit. So just be careful… don’t let him take advantage of your kindness.

  • Haha, this is one of the first movies T and I ever saw together!

    I think you’re doing an awesome thing – especially as you’re still newlyweds!

    We may be having one of my best friends move in with us this year, assuming he gets the go ahead for his PhD.

  • I have enjoyed reading your blog for over a year now, and this is the first time that I’ve commented.

    I just want to let you know how impressed and humbled I am by your and your husband’s decision to be so generous to a friend in need. You’re an inspiration to all of us trying to live the Gospel in our everyday lives. Best of luck, you’ll all be in my prayers!

  • This has to be one of the most encouraging, admirable post that I have read in recent times. Whatever you and your spouse took together, is highly commendable. Now a days, not everyone possess such a big heart to put a hand forward to help their buddies or someone who is in a actual need for it. Personally I didn’t have a good experience of having given the provision of letting my friend stay along with my family. Hence at the end of the day it requires an adjustment from both ends. Hats off to you and your husband.

  • Thanks so much for your comment (and reading my blog for so long!); it really meant a lot to me! Appreciate your support. :)

  • I’m so sorry to hear you didn’t have a great experience! I can see how that can easily happen. Appreciate your encouragement and honesty!

  • That is such a great encouragement to see that your life was changed because of someone opening their home. Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers!!

  • Thanks for your encouragement! Good luck if you have your friend move with you — maybe by that point I’ll have some pointers. :)

  • First of all I wanna congratulate you for your decision. Most of the time such a decision backfires and the 3rd party (whether its a boy or a girl) creates unnecessary misunderstanding in a couple’s life. As a well wisher I would suggest you and your partner to be alert just for your safety. God bless!