Discernment, calling, and waiting on the Lord

I don't know how people live in Alaska and cope with the long, dark days of winter. We've had an awfully cold and rainy (and sometimes snowy) April here and I am struggling. Today we experienced the first truly beautiful spring day of the year and while I spend every minute I could outside, I know the rest of the week is going to be cold and wet and I've felt that fact breathing in my ear like an annoying coworker reading over my shoulder. With coffee breath on top.


If any of my readers like in a warm, sunny location I would like to come visit for a while to escape the eternal winter that seems to have my state captive. Pleaseandthankyou.

While we've been stuck inside and struggling to find things to do with ourselves, our minds have at least been busy. John and I are entering a season of discernment for many areas of life, not the least of which is asking God what's next in terms of growing our family. I hate that it's not easy for us. Today I spend a long time wondering what it must be like for couples to decide they want another baby and then just get pregnant. I imagine it must give you an incredible rush. I mean you decide to add a life to your family and then... you do. That is about the most powerful thing a person can do: bring a life into the world. What a thing to control. I know of course that no one is really in control, but the experience of fertility must at least give an initial feeling of control, whether that be right or wrong.

If I could snap my fingers and be fertile you bet I would- in a heartbeat- but I will say that one blessing that comes with infertility is that the steps toward building a family are- for us- absolutely covered in prayer. Long prayer, angry prayers, joyful prayers, listening prayers, talking prayers, breath prayers, questioning prayers. Every kind of prayer you can imagine. Whether the steps are toward fertility treatments or toward adoption- they are painstakingly intentional. Entirely deliberate.

All the intentionality and deliberation involved comes down to the question of calling. How is God calling us to build our family?

We're swimming in that question right now.

It's a question of choosing between two very good choices. A choice between medicine and doctors who, as a good friend once said, work at the God-pleasing task of making life and the choice to nurture and bless a life, already made. Even if the answer is both, there is still that pesky question of timing.

Of one thing I am certain: God will make his will clear to us in his timing. Dealing with the ebb and flow of faith and doubt in the meantime is the hard part. But then again- its also the part that drives us to prayer.

I share these thoughts very simply because I know I'm not alone and I want someone out there to know that (s)he's not alone either.

The coming months and years will reveal our path and I know I will one day look back on this post and smile with the same sort of of course that I now feel when I look back at our journey to our son.

Be still my soul / thy God doth undertake / to guide the future as he has the past. 

To those who are facing big questions about the future: let's agree to let the questions drive us to prayer. Let's be thankful for the way they make us live intentionally. Let's rejoice in the fact that we serve a God who guides our lives by calling us forward into his will- never aimlessly, always with purpose and direction. And let's look to his faithfulness in the past and rest in the truth that in that same way, he will guide our feet forward.



  1. Thank you for this post. I needed it today. I'm so sick of this long dreary winter and ready for spring and all the joy and sunshine in brings with it.

    I too have recently been wondering what it's like to just decide to get pregnant and then actually get pregnant and have a baby. While I haven't struggled with infertility, I can't seem to stay pregnant. And now I can't seem to get pregnant. It's just so frustrating that something that it so easy for some, isn't for others.

    So thank you. I love your posts and your way of writing. You truly have a way with words.

  2. Thank you for sharing! It's our thoughts exactly! We are wrestling with the same decisions as our son turns one year old next month and we know it will be a long process to child #2. We wonder which route to pursue daily and actually don't spend as much time praying about God's direction as I know we should! I imagine you can relate when I say that when I think about it, I just can't believe that for most people, "intimacy" brings a baby. That's so crazy for me to imagine! For us it's lots of paperwork, money and faith, or lots of medical visits, money and faith.
    Praise the Lord we are not alone and He walks with us, along with others that are on this journey as well.

  3. Amen. :) And feel free to come on out to southern California any time you like! ;)

  4. I am feeling the same things you are. There are so many people that don't even have to think, they want to grow their family and it just happens. We are only 3/4 of the way done with our process and I'm already thinking about #2 because who knows how long that could take or what route we will go. Prayer and leaving it in the hands of Someone who knows so much more than me is the only way I feel peace about it.

  5. Anonymous4/23/2013

    Thanks for sharing! I am dealing with the same thoughts this week. We are waiting to bring our first child home from China...soon! But I'm starting to question what's next. I just found your blog recently & started following it. It is nice to know there are others out there that love the Lord and struggle with infertility. ~Crystal ([email protected])

  6. Great Post! You articulated many of my own feelings in a beautiful way.

  7. I swear you wrote this post for my heart to read today! I started following after a friend suggested your blog as you adopted your son. My husband and I are so in a time of finding out what we are being called to do. If only we had clear answers! My husband and I are finished with our pre-service courses and working with our social worker on our home study and it has been submitted and we are now waiting for state approval of our home study for county foster care. Our intent is to foster and if it leads to an adoption situation we would be elated if it's His will. We also go this Friday to my reproductive endocrinologist to talk about the "next step" since the past 2 years of infertility treatments only brought one pregnancy that ended in miscarriage and since then my body hasn't responded to any medications for no known reason. Thinking she will want us to go to IVF because injectibles failed these last few times. We are also on the verge of taking a plunge into an international adoption and have a special needs child in Ukraine on our minds. We feel crazy having all three of these things (infertility treatments, foster through our county, and international adoption) swirling through our minds as we try to discern through prayer what route we should take. Part of me after months of praying thinks we should do all three and just see where it all takes us as He has a plan and each route may lead to what He wants for us. Ugh so difficult and so expensive financially and emotionally each option brings. Praying alongside you guys on where each of our paths will take us! Looking forward to following more closely as every one of your posts are so relatable plus I just love seeing that handsome boy of yours flourishing, love looks great on him :)

  8. As someone who does get (and stay) pregnant, it is a sense of control people don't realize they have, honestly. It seems like a lot of couples skip over that into worrying about the baby, and only start to worry when they don't conceive quickly. But it is a really nice thing to feel some control over, even though that control is kind of an illusion, kwim? I don't DO anything to make my insides function the way I want them to. But, man, in this adoption process, I sure so appreciate the control I have in fertility.
    Don't know if that's encouraging or discouraging, but I did want to tell you that at least one person in the world DOES appreciate that!

  9. Anonymous4/25/2013

    Amen! Such hard decisions... We are constant prayer and waiting and listening for our next direction.

    Jillian, your family is welcome in our home anytime, it would be a pleasure! If you ever want to visit Atlanta Georgia, you have a place to stay!

    Julie R. (StormyEyez on TB)

  10. Thank you for this beautiful post. I can get pregnant but can't stay pregnant. We are now deciding when "enough is enough" and if/when we should pursue adoption.

  11. Thank you for this beautiful post. I can get pregnant, but can't stay pregnant. We are now deciding when enough is enough and if/when to pursue adoption.

  12. Thank you for this beautiful post. I can get pregnant but can't stay pregnant. We are now deciding when "enough is enough" and if/when we should pursue adoption.


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