Standing in That Place

 

rockingdimples

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Frederick Buechner

After nearly four months, I returned to the place of our accident – where Kalkidan’s life on earth ended and her beautiful eternity began. Russ and I were on our way to the Spokane Orphan Summit and the best way to get there was to drive straight up Highway 95 and then cut over into Washington. It couldn’t have been a better opportunity; with no children with us we could talk and cry without concern for anyone else

As we drove north, I grew more anxious, not in a terrible way, but in anticipation of something I couldn’t imagine; I had no idea how I was going to feel. At one point on the drive I told Russ we’d reached the last place I remembered that day. We drove on, through a small town, knowing we would arrive soon. As we approached the curve, we both grew very quiet. Russ turned onto Windfall Pass road where it intersects the highway, and parked.

Holding hands, we crossed the road and stood in the grass on the other side while Russ described what he remembered. I felt a little confused and had a sense that it just couldn’t be. How could something so tragic have happened on this nondescript side of the road? Russ showed me where our car had landed on its side and where they had worked so hard to resuscitate Kalkidan. I grew still when I saw two syringes and a blue latex glove on the ground.

Russ wrapped his arms around me, I leaned against his chest, and then the tears came. As if a cork had been pulled free, I cried, loud, gulping sobs – the kind I hadn’t sobbed before. As we stood in the wind, cars going by, the sobs rushed out where nobody but Russ could hear. Then we stood, letting ourselves be in this place of such significance, and we prayed. We thanked God for his mercy and kindness, for Kalkidan’s life, and for mine. We told Jesus that we love him and trust him.

There is nothing more for us; we are clinging to God’s promises.

I send my love to each of you this morning. I know that many of you are suffering, wondering how God is going to work your situation for good. We can only trust – knowing his love is deep and wide, and his plans are far better than ours.

Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

19 Comments

  1. Kris
    April 30, 2015

    Lisa – Praying so much for you and your family. We have never met but we are sister's in Christ and I know He has placed you and your family on my heart in order to lift you up to Him in prayer. Praying for His peace. Praying for His strength to strengthen you. Praying that you continue to cling to His promises and to Russ as he wraps you in his loving arms. Praying my friend…

    Reply
  2. No words! Just prayer!

    Reply
  3. Luann Yarrow Doman
    April 30, 2015

    Oh friend. Thank you for sharing these sacred, holy moments with us. Praying that the writing of words will bring healing.

    Reply
  4. Rayia
    April 30, 2015

    I love you, Lisa. My heart is breaking for you and reading this this morning fills my heart with such a love for you. Stay strong dear sister. You are a treasure. God is holding you and will never forsake you.

    Reply
  5. Mary DeGennaro
    April 30, 2015

    Lisa, I love this picture of you and Kalkidan! She looks so happy in your arms. I will continue to pray for you, and yours, as you go through each stage of this grieving process, and as you continue to trust in the goodness of our God!!!!
    Haven't met you in person but feel such a love for you and your family.
    Mary D.

    Reply
  6. Amber
    April 30, 2015

    This was so beautiful. His mercies are new every morning. Thankful you were able to fully cry and share with your husband. Thank you for continuing to point us all to Christ in the midst of your hurt!

    Reply
  7. DFNY
    April 30, 2015

    Oh, Lisa, my heart aches for you. I'm glad that you and Russ can cry and hold one another up through such a sad and difficult time. Sending you hugs and God's blessings.

    Damaris

    Reply
  8. DFNY
    April 30, 2015

    Just wanted to add how much I love the photo of you and Kalkidan.

    Damaris

    Reply
  9. Joelle
    April 30, 2015

    I am so glad you can let your tears flow. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I attended a funeral yesterday of someone I didn't know but knew the son. We wanted to support him. I was aware of my own empty place as we visited with our friend. The profound presence of absence was tangible for me.

    Reply
  10. Sarah Bodine Wagner
    April 30, 2015

    We are praying for you and your family every day. The day you were driving by the spot, you were on my mind all morning. As I prayed for you, the song "I will Follow" by the Vertical Church Band was on. It reminded me so much of what you have been sharing. "I believe everything that You say You are. I believe and I have seen Your unchanging heart. In the good times and in the hardest part, I believe and I will follow You."

    Reply
  11. furrcats
    April 30, 2015

    lovely post

    Reply
  12. jentompkins
    April 30, 2015

    Beautiful and terrible. Indeed.

    Reply
  13. Sarah
    May 1, 2015

    Lisa: You, Russ, and the children are in my prayers every time I manage to pray. I am going through a rough patch myself right now, so I don't always manage my prayers for others, but when I do, I try to pray for you. They are Jewish prayers, not Christian prayers–but maybe you could please welcome them anyway? HUGS!

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      May 1, 2015

      Sarah – we welcome your Jewish prayers! We pray the Shema (in English) with our children every morning before they leave for school. For Kalkidan's service, we had cards made with her picture and the Shema printed below – I would love to mail you one if you want to email me with your address. lisa@onethankfulmom.com

      Reply
  14. Mary Ostyn
    May 1, 2015

    Love you, friend!

    Reply
  15. Jeri
    May 1, 2015

    Love for your family.

    Reply
  16. Leslie
    May 1, 2015

    Love and prayers to you all. <3

    Reply
  17. Elizabeth
    May 1, 2015

    I am thankful you were able to do that and that you are wading thru the grief rather than trying to escape it. May you continue to sense our Father's comfort, you are practicing such trust in Him, regardless to whether you understand it.

    Reply
  18. Kirsten L
    May 16, 2015

    So, so sorry for your pain……

    Seems like God brings us back to the place to remember as part of the healing. It just doesn’t seem logical that healing would mean experiencing the pain again.

    So, so sorry and praying for healing.

    Reply

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