From Pain to Purpose



It is well with my soul….

These words to the beloved hymn took a long time to truly resonate with me. I had sung them in church my whole life. I knew the all the words in my head, but I didn’t feel them in my heart…even until well after the word “infertility” was spoken like a dull knife, slowly and painfully cutting through me. I knew that “whatever my lot” then it should be well with my soul. But it wasn’t. I was angry. And I was broken, which is exactly where God needed me to be. I had done everything my whole life in the right order–graduate high school, college, get married, get a good job, and now it was supposed to be my time to have children. And it was my time. It just wasn’t exactly how I had planned for it to happen. But you know what? God had a far better plan for us. Because of our infertility, God led us straight to adoption. It was always on my heart to adopt, but He just made sure I got there. He closed every other possible door so that the child that He meant for us would be placed in our care and so that we would witness the miracles that only come from Him by doing so.

It took me a while, even after our son was born, to be truly grateful for our infertility. As the old saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. And of course the highlight of our infertility is our son. His whole life and the details surrounding him coming to us are truly miracles and details that only God could orchestrate. He gives our lives more meaning and more purpose than anything else in this world ever could, apart from that of God himself. Adoption is the most beautiful picture of God loving and adopting us all into His family. And even though our adoption journey is one filled with God’s perfect timing and details, it is not entirely why I am now grateful for our infertility.

I’m thankful that infertility led us to adoption in the way that it did and when it did. God knew that we would struggle off and on for the 5 years that we did. He knew we would pause. He knew we would question His will. He knew we were not quitters and would keep trying–until we reached a dead end.  And then in December of 2010, He said it was time to adopt. Why was it time? Because that is the very month that our son was conceived and he would be due 9 months later. That still blows my mind to this day! Our paperwork would be ready and our birth mom would walk into the office of an attorney–one whom God said to show our profile to her first because she would be choosing us. His timing is never off by a day, minute, or second–it is absolutely perfect. Had we not experienced infertility, we would have missed out on one of the most divine appointments of our lives.

And I would have also missed out on some of the most beautiful souls on this earth–birth moms. Open adoption has changed the way that I look at many things in this world. It has changed the way that I see people and the way that I love people. It has truly given me the opportunity to be in a relationship where I can show the true, unconditional love of Christ. It has opened my heart to be without judgment and to love without expecting anything in return. I love that I can share life with this woman and the love of a son together.

I’m thankful that God broke me and took away my foolish thinking that I was in control of anything in my life. Certainly I have free will to make choices, good or bad, but ultimately He is in control. I’m grateful that He sent me to my knees and started a life change in me. It has allowed me to experience God in my life in ways that I never anticipated. It gave me purpose–His purpose–to bring Him glory. He took one of the greatest pains of my life that gradually became my greatest passion. He gave me a story to tell–a story that has led to some of the greatest and deepest friendships I have ever had, and provided encouragement and healing for others who have come along behind me.

At the start of our journey, I never anticipated how God would grow my faith and change me. He flipped our world upside down to show us that His journey was better than ours. Adoption changed our whole course in life. It began a ministry–truly a purpose from my pain–that would have never been there otherwise. I un-became everything I thought I would ever be, to become everything He wanted me to be. And for that, all of the pain of infertility became worth it.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and host to Orphan Sunday (November 6, 2016). For more information please visit or

jenny jerkins