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Exile

Butterfly

“Por eso se llama exillo. That is why they call it exile. You belong everywhere and nowhere at all.” ~ I Lived on Butterfly Hill by Marjorie Agosin

If ever there was a word that describes this torment inside of my heart it is exile. Except there are so many reasons why this word should not be mine. Like the obvious. I am not nor have I been in exile.

Yet as I remove the literal definition of exile and allow my brain to toss it around I identify with it. My heart lives in the memories of Zach and my heart lives in the promise of today, of tomorrow. My heart fiercely protects Iowa as my home state yet I simultaneously feel like Iowa not my home at all. I look casually over my shoulder and see clearly that it is grief that is the event that removed me from my home and placed me in a new home.

Exile. Belonging everywhere and nowhere. Living here… loving here… knowing Heaven is forever home.

Exile. You are a child and removed from your home and placed in the home of another. You belong everywhere and nowhere.

Suddenly the fog has lifted.

I see.

My children share this confusion with me. Fiercely loving each other and yet wrestling with the longing of home. The longing is authentic and real. It is hard. They miss the before while loving the now.

Just when I think we have so little in common I see how tightly bound we are. I see how carefully God planned this journey. How Zach was the catalyst into foster care for all the right reasons. For God’s reasons.

I stand a little taller. My doubts are not as truthful as they seem.

People often encourage me to not change the system. They are right. I won’t change the system. System are business functions that we need to keep order and move forward. They exist to corral the average. There is dysfunction as much as there is great success in systems. All systems.

But I will impact lives. I will honor my heart’s path of exile and honor the exiles I know and love.

To my foster children now and in the future… you will always belong in my everywhere and nowhere. You have changed my life, you have made it better. You.

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