the exile {part ii}

"The history of Israel revolves around the double foci of exodus and exile. At the exodus, Israel began the process toward becoming a nation. The exile, however, signaled the loss of Israel's status as an independent nation, and even after the exile Israel was merely a political backwater in the Persian province of Yehud." - M. Throntveit

I value my independence. It's not a secret around here that I think I am in charge. I have my house clean. I dress the way I want to, and before I had a baby, I was the size I wanted to be. I have lists of things to do, the order to do them, and when they are done, I want them to impress you.

It's gone.
All of it.
I was never more lost then I was those first few months after Joe was born. Overwhelmed, confused, with no answers or sleep... I needed things. I needed meals at my house. I needed help watching him, feeding him, so I could rest. I just needed help.

I have a closet full of beautiful, perfect clothes... and it doesn't look like I am wearing them again. Possible ever. That's a hard pill for a fitness person, health coach, weight loss professional to swallow.

My house? Don't even get me started on how it looks in here. Oh, and we are selling it... so this pretty granite on which my laptop sits is going the way of a memory soon.

What about something a little less shallow? Like my marriage? My control is gone there. My husband has to work when he has to work - whether that is 1am or Sunday afternoon. He has to leave when he as to leave... leaving me to myself.

What about my family? My sister? Let's just say life handed her a big plate of crazy and it's not like I can throw mine on top of it. Robert's family? As of a year and a half ago, scattered and moved away. Today? Recovering from the blow of death (we are re-building). 

I feel a bit like Israel - I am reduced to a small, backwater person I don't recognize lately. 

In exile, Israel remembered God was God. In their loss of independence, they remembered their dependence on God. Without a king, they were ruled over by the King, who brought peace and joy into their hearts.

I feel a bit like Israel in that way, too. I have seen God's provision, I have felt his sustaining hand, and I have been reminded of how everything I value is so, so temporary. It's all been replaced by joy and peace.

What does God say after that Jeremiah 29 bit about being sent to exile, destruction, and chaos?

The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
the LORD appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
Jeremiah 31: 2-3

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