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A Shining Sellers Star

October 27th, 2010 Posted in October 2010

by Allison Schoonmaker, Maternity Counselor

Sellers Maternity Ministries seeks to provide single moms-to-be with housing, transportation, counseling, education, and lots of love.  Every resident at Sellers leaves a lasting mark on the staff and makes her way into our hearts.  This is the story of a recent graduate of the Sellers program and our joy as we’ve continued to watch her grow as mom and as an individual over this past year.

The night before Beth* moved in to Sellers she slept in a local motel.  She was 19, had tried life “on her own” for several years, but through a series of circumstances, Beth was no longer able to support herself financially.  She experienced tremendous guilt after having an abortion the previous year and her life spun quickly out of control with substance abuse and continued abusive relationships.  Beth knew she could not make the same decision for this pregnancy.  Her life to this point had been anything but easy, and much of what she expected to be her support system had either passed away, left, or was closed-off due to conflict.  To make matters worse, she just lost her job from pregnancy-related illness and was consequently unable to stay in her apartment.  As she drove herself to the Sellers campus, her car badly in need of repair, it was apparent:  Sellers was her last chance at salvaging her life.

As the staff reflects now on when Beth came to live at Sellers, we are filled with thankfulness that God brought us a resident who quickly turned into a member of our big family.  Within a few days of coming to our program, Beth earned her GED and began looking for employment.  She was eager to begin saving money and found a job in a field in which she had previous experience.  Beth was used to working full-time and made no excuse of her pregnancy, even though her job required her being on her feet for long periods of time. 

We watched as Beth began trusting us more and more, opening up her life and past to us, and gaining freedom as she learned that her past choices and circumstances no longer had to define her.  She made healthy relationships with people at church and all those involved with the Sellers program, and we saw her relationships with parents and step-parents begin to soften and heal.  Everyone could see that she was choosing a new path in life, and people wanted to support that decision. 

Beth came to the program around week 6 of her pregnancy, so we were able to spend a great deal of time with her, and watched proudly as she began to lead the other residents as they came in, becoming the “big sister” to many.  Beth stuck to her plan:  deal with past issues with the counselor, work as many hours as possible and save money, and enjoy life at Sellers. 

Throughout her pregnancy, Beth and the counselor focused on making sure all the logistics were lined up for her and the baby.  Most important to her were a reliable car and a healthy place to live.  Through the money she had saved up from working, she was able to purchase a good and safe car, and several individuals gave her money to pay for six months of car insurance!  After the first few housing options fell through (as they often do with our residents), she was introduced to and connected with a family from the area who was willing to allow her and the baby to stay with them at no cost.  What an answered prayer!  God truly provided for Beth in every way!

It’s been about a year since Beth gave birth to a beautiful boy named Nathan*.  Since then, she’s stayed right on track, by the grace of God.  She continues to live with the same couple that offered her housing, since, as always, she became “one of the family” there, too!  She’s continued to work hard and provide for her and Nathan.  Recently, Beth enrolled in college for this school year!  She is really taking great strides to provide a great life for Nathan and herself.  Anyone that sees him knows within seconds that he truly has a great mom.  Healthy, confident, and fun, Nathan has all the hallmarks of being very well parented and cared for.  I’m sure having about 5 sets of “grandparents” doesn’t hurt anything, either!

Beth regularly stops by the Sellers house to visit, raid the cookie jar, or cook one of her signature dishes for the staff and residents.  It’s been a joy and blessing to watch Beth continue to stay on the right path and make healthy, godly choices this past year.  Her life is a testament that when given some unconditional love, encouragement, acceptance, and a slightly nosey support system, the great things that God has put inside a young woman can truly have a chance to flourish and mature, right before our very eyes. 

*Names have been changed for confidentiality purposes.

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