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This time of year is aflutter with possibilities. Cute baby animals, including our pet baby goat at My Refuge House. Colorful buds on trees. Wooly Worms and Caterpillars. Spring brings new life all around.

One of our hermit crabs is even testing options—he is refusing to stay in a shell—our four-year-old son has been telling all the neighbors that Boulder likes to go naked. We tried everything. We got a billion new shells of different sizes. We cleaned out all the old shells. We changed the water. We changed the substrate in the container. We put him in a solitary container in case his “brother” Bumblebee was stressing him out.

Boulder Bland, our hermit crab. Living out loud and out of his shell.

Boulder Bland, our hermit crab. Living out loud and out of his shell.

We tried EVERYTHING. He prefers to go without a shell.

Stick with me.

I think there might be an Easter lesson in this experience. So often, we avoid coming out of our shells because we think we have to be perfect. Sometimes we come out of our shells with the intention of streaking to another one that helps us hide a bit more or feel a bit safer.

What if we lived out of our shells? What if the shell is metaphor for the tomb, and we lived out of our tombs?

Our motto at My Refuge House is Restoring One Life At A Time. Our hope is that each girl experiences the actual facilities of My Refuge House as a safe place, but also as a temporary home they will eventually outgrow. When they are ready to leave My Refuge House, our hope is that they feel ready to be all of who they are in the world, with no shell of shame or fear that would hold them back from their purpose.

In this process, there is death. There is death to the way things are and were. There is death to the burdens that kept them in hiding. It is this death that opens the possibilities to new life and a new way of living.

Jesus spent his life, even its final moments, reaching out to those living in the margins of society and hiding in their shells. In doing so, Jesus let us know that God knows our trials and tribulations. Furthermore, Jesus let us know that God meets us in our hiding places. Through the life and death of Jesus, we know that God loves us where we are and as we are, in all of our muck.

When the tomb was found empty on Easter morning, Jesus also showed the possibilities of living beyond. God meets us in our hiding places AND God calls us forth from our hiding places. We are given strength, hope, safety, and enough comfort to come out of hiding because God loves each corner and curve in our life.

Last night, I said to my husband, “I like to think that Boulder feels so comfortable and safe with us that he no longer needs a shell.”

What if Easter restores Hope by helping us feel a Love so great that we no longer need our shell?

With much Gratitude, Peace, and the Hope of Easter,

Heather Bland

Heather (My Refuge House CEO)

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