What I couldn’t write about

 Please forgive the silence.

Some wounds beg to make their way to paper, journal pages soaking up the hurt and exposing it in neat rows of ink-on-white. Sometimes putting pen to paper puts thoughts and fears in perspective, rows written and captured to rectangle page, tamed by the writing.

And some things escape words altogether, seem too large to capture in twelve point courier.

How can I write down all the thoughts, the feelings, the heartbreaking loss, the overwhelming love? I can’t succeed in capturing it. So I am just going to write.

For one year, we were their family. Their parents, their brother and sisters. We gave them all that we could and kept the hope that their mother would rise out of the downward spiral she’d fallen into. She became a sister to me, one who taught me that love is, and isn’t enough to save a life. We tried our hardest to protect the boys and keep them safe and in the end, we had to let them go. Oh, I knew all along that they would break my heart…this is the nature of foster care. But I believed that when the time came, they would be going because their situation had turned for the better, their future brighter. That they would be safe. There is much I could say about this but in the end, it boils down to a series of failures in the system, checks that didn’t check, balances that failed to balance.

In the end, we waited there in the living room. Seven souls bound together by some strange set of circumstances that we could never have predicted nor imagined. Surrounded by packed bags and heartbreak that defied words. And when they left…oh, friend. I can’t write it. I can’t.

So we are here now, a month later, back to five from seven. We are alright. There is a lot of prayer going on. And through it all, there is this: Love. It is stronger than all the rest, it prevails even in the darkest of times and the most incomprehensible of situations.  In the end, it is all that matters.  It is the one hope in all of this, that love made a difference, that it laid a foundation.  It is the biggest thing that we will take away from a year that escapes description….love, heartbreaking, messy, overwhelming, piercing and beautiful love that is well worth it all.  In the end, this is the truth we’ve learned:  That we aren’t called to anything less wrenching, less beautiful, less profound.

And that is the only way I can explain why, the morning after, through falling tears, the first thing that came to mind was:  We would do it again.  Yes, Lord.  Again, if you call us.  Because we see your heart in this kind of love, the type that knows the cost and still proceeds, that pours into the need that gapes and never fully fills. Because what we know now is something we could only have learned through this hard year….that loving this way blesses us more than anything. That it exposes our own need and our own shortcomings and our own brokenness and lays it all bare to sky and still, we are standing in His Grace and counting it all as blessing.

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