Not all those who wander are lost

Not all those who wander are lost

I was praying, except I didn’t realize it. Whispered heart cries spilled out from the deep places in my heart, or maybe my soul. I truly believe that the Spirit intercedes on our behalf when words fail us.

How long I’d been praying I don’t know. And what I’d been praying for I can’t say. I surprised myself when I heard these words come out of my mouth: “Lord, just please don’t let this wandering be in vain. I want to wander with intention.” And I remembered the poem by J.R.R. Tolkien that states, not all those who wander are lost.

Until that moment I wasn’t consciously aware that I feel like I’m in a season of wandering. There is a tremendous comfort and consolation that comes from know that our story or infertility and miscarriage is impacting and encouraging others. Knowing that there is a greater purpose somehow eases the pain and frustration.

But somewhere in the quiet recesses of my heart and soul I know I am wandering, and even wondering. I wonder where we go from here, how do we move on with life when our sweet baby waits for us in heaven? How do we decide what our next plan of action will be while we are mourning the loss of a precious life? How much of this painful story am I called to share? So many questions, questions that don’t really have concrete “right” answers.

And so I wander. Although I don’t know where this road leads, I do not wander aimlessly. And while I can’t see the master plan, I do not wander blindly. Instead I breathe quiet prayers that somehow this wandering will be intentional, purposeful, grace-filled.

Wandering with intention is challenging. Finding purpose amidst the grief, seeing grace in the midst of pain and frustration, and choosing to worship in spite of my hurt and anger requires a giving up of self and holding on to something that I cannot see. It is both painful and healing all at the same time.

And the saving grace in it all: He accepts my wrestling and my worship. And He guides me through the valley of the shadow, offering the faintest hope of light, and the comfort that I am not alone. And I wonder if His light shines brightest when the shadows are their darkest.

Not all those who wander are lost. Some of them are being guided by the unseen Holy One through the valley of the shadow of death, and only He knows what waits for them on the mountain top.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
– J.R.R. Tolkien

How do you pursue being intentional in the midst of wandering, wondering, and waiting? My sweet husband and I are studying resources on miscarriage, and preparing our hearts for sharing our story over and over again. We seek to be filled with grace when people say insensitive things about infertility. And we are using this particular season of life to get back in shape, taking our frustrations out at the gym instead of with each other. Would you share with me though? Would you offer your wisdom and insight?

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  1. says

    I really have no wisdom or insight. I have been praying for you though, every time I think about it. All I can think is that what you’re doing is right. You’re struggling through it, wrestling, fighting but still keeping the Lord God center of it all and keeping your eyes on Him. You’re right where He wants you and you will see the amazing blessings of it all in some way, shape or form. Hang in there. God bless you lady!

    • says

      Thank you so much for the prayers, Natalia! (Yes, I know I’m super late in responding to comments, but I’m trying to catch up!) Talk soon! Hopefully!

    • says

      HI Kerry, I love Lauren’s blog too, thank you for sharing it with me! And thank you, thank you for the prayers! What a blessing it is to me that so many people are holding us up in prayer!

      P.S. Sorry for the late response! It’s taken me a while to bounce back from the miscarriage and catch up on comments!

  2. says

    I too don’t have words… I will pray for you, that you will feel the arms of God hold you closely, be comforted and filled with peace, that your hope doesn’t fade and joy exponentially multiplies in your heart. Even when it’s dark, you aren’t alone. Many, many hugs to you sweet friend.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Falen! I really appreciate the prayers. (And I’m so sorry for the delayed response – it’s taken me a while to bounce back and get caught up on comments!)

  3. says

    I think you and your husband are doing great things to stay positive and still find joy in Christ in the midst of your heartache and pain, using this time for growth in other areas of your life. These tough seasons in life are so refining to us. Like you said, a giving up of self is required…but it is so hard to do. Keep Romans 5:3-5 in your heart: “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Prayers for you!

    • says

      Thank you so much for the kind words, and the prayers, Carly! I’m slowly catching up on comments, and want you to know what a blessing you are to me!

  4. says

    Although I cannot begin to imagine the depth of your pain, I can tell you that your words are beautiful and continually guide me in the deep, dark places of my own pain. Hugs!

    • says

      Oh my goodness, Barbie! Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement. There is radiant, glorious light, even in the midst of darkness. And I’m so thankful for that!

  5. says

    Just now came across your blog. What caught my eye with this post was the Tolkien reference, as a huge Lord of the Rings nerd, but what made me stay is the infertility subject. I don’t have absolute proof that my husband and I are infertile, but we have struggled to get pregnant for about a year and these past 6 months we kind of just stopped really trying. We had one time recently where I had all the symptoms of pregnancy it seemed and we thought THIS IS IT! Come to find out I was having an allergic reaction to a natural herb that most women take to GET pregnant. I’ve taken it before with no issues, but this particular brand just didn’t agree with me. It’s heartbreaking waiting every month for signs and seeing them slip away. It is very hard to put into words what infertility feels like, but when I tell people I explain it as similar to experiencing a death. It’s a loss of life, or a lack thereof. My husband is much older than me, he’s going to be 46 on the 11th and I would like to have our babies before he gets too much older (quite frankly so would he!). But I know that my husband was destined for fatherhood, he’s the best man I’ve ever seen with children. Fertility treatments aren’t an option for us. I personally have a strong conviction that I don’t want them done to me, but even if I did, we could never afford the costs. We are completely open to adoption, and we always were, but adoption is more expensive than having your own child! It’s ludicrous. Anyway, don’t mean to ramble, just wanted to let you know you aren’t alone. Lord be near you in this journey. Thank you for encouraging others!

    • says

      HI Alexis! I completely understand your frustration! We wrestled with fertility treatments for a couple of years before we pursued and IUI, and we’ve never had peace about doing IVF. We’re very open to adoption, but like you, the cost is prohibitive. We’re still praying about it though! We know if it is meant to be the funds will be there.

      Praying for you tonight, I know it’s a hard journey. Thank you for stopping by!


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