Four years we have been waiting to see God’s plan unfold for children in our lives.  Four years we’ve found grace and patience in the waiting, knowing His plan is always best.  Four years we’ve watched friends meet, date, get married, and have babies of their own.  Four years is a long time.

During this time, we have felt His hand faithfully guiding our steps.  We’ve been spared the pain and mourning that infertility often brings.  In its place God has graciously used this time to grow us and teach us – about life, about marriage, about parenting.  Our lives look much different now than they did four years ago.  Maybe not on the outside, but the way we chase after Jesus has been drastically changed during that time.  How much more we lean on Him now than we did before.  How great to have learned this posture for our children to see one day.

For the gifts and the growth, we are fully thankful.

But I am still left with the question of what to do during the waiting.  God has been creating in me a heart that desires to be hard at work in my home.  This is new as of the last year or so.  Prior to that I spent my efforts striving for promotions and pay raises.  Moving from one job to another, looking for my niche.  I never felt settled and now I know why.  His plan for me is not to work in offices and in front of computers, it is for me to be busy at home.  Caring for and teaching our children, cooking for my family, overseeing and managing the daily tasks going on in our home.

We believe that children are our calling and our mission field.  That is the heart God has given us and has been gently cultivating over the past few years.  These blessings may come to us in many different ways. They may come into our family through birth or adoption.  They may not be children we can call our own, but only those who we get to love for a short, fleeting period of time.  They may be those of a friend or neighbor who simply need a piece of the gifts God has given us to offer the world.

I look forward to this day as I never have before.  I trust it will come, but the waiting gets hard.  How do I pour myself into a task right here and now, when I feel called to something different?  How do I make sense of work that no longer feels purposeful – when a greater purpose awaits me elsewhere?  How do I reconcile this desire to give everything I have and everything I hold dear to the Lord, yet physically I remain in the same place?

The answer is thankfulness.  To show gratitude.  Gratitude breeds contentment.  When days get hard I will reach out to find that gratitude, that hand to pull me out of the water.

For the years I desired career over children and was spared the agony of the waiting, I am thankful.

For the time God has spent reshaping my heart to prepare me for a life at home, I am thankful.

For the time we will continue to spend waiting for arms to be filled, learning to lean on Him and trust in His perfect timing, I am thankful.

And in the end, if the story looks one hundred times different than what I ever expected it to be, I hope that my words will still be those of thankfulness and praise.