Most things in life feel relative. Our wealth. Our worries.

It’s hard not to measure our lives on a bell curve to see how we measure up against the other lives around us.

In an instagram world, the perfectly cropped versions of happiness can be overwhelming. Even when we know reality is filtered out.

The sorrows and hardships of foster care feel isolating amidst the first birthday parties and soccer games of friends.

Too often, I make myself the outlier.

Some days I wallow here. Frustrated by a system that seems far from childrens’ best interest and aching over the goodbyes I’ve given to kids I love, I yearn for what appear to be ordinary problems of terrible twos or even teenagehood.

But then yesterday, I met an actual outlier. The real deal.

After feeling wallowy most of the day, I was invited to a friends’ home to learn about a non-profit called the Micah Project. I sat next to a man who has been the primary caregiver to dozens of street boys in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. As he spoke of the late nights helping kids with PTSD, I nodded. He shared about how relationship was everything for these kids from hard places. And I understood.

But of course I didn’t fully understand. How could I? I live in the safety of my own country, surrounded by a strong community, and supported by a government and child welfare system that for all it’s failings, is far from corrupt.

Suddenly, in the most wonderful way, I wasn’t so special.

Instead, I was inspired and encouraged by this man’s strength and endurance. Called to carry on.

Hopefully with a little less wallow in my step.