Sunday, February 26, 2012

His Gentle Guidance

It’s almost March and we will head home for our first big trip home in just two days.  The past five months here in Costa Rica have both sped by and dragged on.  We both can’t believe this trip is actually here already, while at the same time it seems we have been waiting forever for this time to arrive.

Part of why I in particular have been anxious about going back is simply to get stuff.  As trivial as this may sound, we left quite a few important items behind in October simply because we ran out of space/weight, and I can’t wait to have them again.  For example, our Bob jogger.  I mean, we have gone running with Kate inside our umbrella stroller!  And the streets and sidewalks here are not exactly smooth.  So Bob will be “muy bienvenidos” here in Costa Rica.  And then there are lots of little things, like my acrylic paints and a multitude of craft stuff, a blanket and comforter for our guest bed, the booster seat for Kate, posters to hang on our empty walls… the list goes on.  Yes, we have learned to live without a lot of these little comforts, but the truth is, it will feel more like “home” with them.

The more serious part of why we are anxious to get back is to take care of some medical issues.  As I’ve shared before, I found out shortly after moving here that my right fallopian tube is blocked permanently.  After several appointments with a doctor down here and trying various medications to address some other infertility issues to no avail, I finally contacted a fertility specialist in Seattle.  She told me the best course of action is to remove the tube completely.  She called it the “elephant in the room” and said nothing else really will help until I get this done.  So, with lots of effort and emotion, we changed our tickets for a week earlier and scheduled the surgery in Seattle for this coming Friday, March 2nd.  Honestly, I am so relieved to finally have a plan – a plan that I actually trust and think will solve some major issues. 

And even though surgery is a little scary, I feel fully in God’s embrace during this time and by His grace, have an incredible peace about it all.  Throughout the past year, and especially since moving to CR, my relationship with Jesus has deepened and grown in ways that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for this situation.  You cling to God in a different way when you’re going through a trial. I am not saying I haven’t struggled with and fought with and doubted God.  I certainly have.  He’s heard my honest, frustrated prayers.  But He’s also teaching me things…

First, I have learned, (or re-learned) how He guides and directs us in the ways we should go.  He is with us as we go through unchartered waters. I was reminded again of this truth as I was reading “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss to Kate last night:

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked. 
Some windows are lighted.  But mostly they’re darked. 
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
Or right-and-three-quarters?  Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
For a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

The thing is, is that we all have been or will be at some point, in a situation where the streets are not marked.  And I for one am not good at being a mind-maker-upper.  But God is.  He opens doors and closes them. For us personally, the “darked streets” have been dealing with infertility in another country, medical system, and language.  There have been so many lingering questions.  What do we do?  Who do we see?  Why this now?  But His still, small voice continues to whisper: Let me show you the next step.  Trust me.  I am with you. His word is a lamp to our feet and a light for our paths.

For now, the surgery is the next step.  Just getting it scheduled was a major feat! The doctor is actually leaving a conference early this coming Wednesday in order to do my pre-op appointment.  And there were ZERO other surgery openings during the month of March when we’ll be back. But God opened a door and worked out the details.

As David writes in Psalm 32:8 “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”

This has been true again and again in our lives.  And especially true during this season.  I am grateful to be reminded of his gentle guidance.


  1. Jen, you (and the fam) have my prayers. What an inspiring blog post. You are amazing, as is His love. I can't wait to see you. Love you.

  2. Thanks for sharing this Jen! Love you! Travel safe!