Unexpected Words

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“I love you Mom. love Kalkidan”

These words were a gift to me last Friday.

A friend was returning some books she’d borrowed; she handed them to me saying, “I found this in the book.” She held out a yellow post-it note with a few words hastily written on it. I glanced, and then looked closely.

It was a note from Kalkidan, complete with a little heart with the words, “I love you.”

I was stunned, and sad, and so thankful, all at once. I wanted to smile and cry.

I trust in God’s timing; he saved that little gem for a time when I needed it most. I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness lately. It may be hard to imagine, but I still feel confused and shocked; sometimes I find myself shaking my head, thinking that it just can’t be true.

Dimples-Spelling

I cry easily, and most days I want to be alone.

It comforts me to know that Jesus understands my sorrow; he understands suffering. He even understands my questions and I’m pretty sure he doesn’t mind; he knows that my brain can’t begin to wrap itself around his purposes.

This takes sheer, gut-wrenching, struggling faith. I’m holding on to Jesus, knowing that all the while, he is holding on to me.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39

If you are suffering, know that nothing can separate you from the love of Jesus – nothing.

One day, all will be well.  Until then, I surrender my will to my Father, knowing that he loves Kalkidan more than I do, and he loves us too.

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.

27 Comments

  1. Luann Yarrow Doman
    February 10, 2016

    My heart just leapt…and I audibly gasped. What a gift.
    I can't imagine what you are feeling. I am praying you will be very aware of God's loving presence today.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Luann, mine too! I think I'm going to put it in a little frame with a picture of Kalkidan. I'm so afraid of losing this little treasure.

      Reply
  2. Rachel Davis
    February 10, 2016

    And you know something else that is awesome? Not only is Kalkidan's body, heart and mind healed healed in heaven, but you gained your greatest cheerleader. The Bible shows people who have died watching the earth and praying for martyrs… I believe Kalkidan is doing that too and her immediate family is of great interest to her. She is loving and hoping and encouraging you in the long race. She'll be at your finish line rejoicing along with our Lord. Run with endurance.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Rachel, sometimes I get a glimpse of that and it amazes me. Most of the time I still feel too sad – I try to picture her whole, and happy, and free, and that is a comfort. I'm not sure I'm running with endurance, but I'm limping along. Thanks so much for the encouraging words.

      Reply
  3. Sally
    February 10, 2016

    I have seen in my friends that there are few griefs as gut-wrenching and prolonged as losing a child. I hope you can give yourself room to get through this without a deadline.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Sally, I'm beginning to see that this is a very long journey. I don't like it one bit, but I'm in it and the only way through it is a small step each day. Thank you for commenting.

      Reply
  4. Sarah
    February 10, 2016

    I pray for you every day, usually three times (in the personal prayers section of the central standing prayer in each service). Usually, I just ask that you find peace and comfort through your faith. I'm glad to know you do, even a little bit. I think I'd like to write about you and your family on my blog–please let me know if that would be okay. I have never gone public with your family and your needs before, out of respect for your privacy, but right now somehow seems like the right time.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Sarah, thank you so very much for your prayers. You are welcome to write about our family; will you let me know when you do? Thank you for caring about us.

      Reply
      1. Sarah
        February 10, 2016

        Sure, I'll just reply again here, and include the link. Thank you for granting permission.

        Reply
      2. Sarah
        February 10, 2016

        Here is the direct link to my blog post:
        http://carriedinhishands.blogspot.com/2016/02/in-

        Reply
        1. Lisa Qualls
          February 10, 2016

          Thank you, Sarah.

          Reply
  5. Mavis
    February 10, 2016

    Amen

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Thank you, Mavis.

      Reply
  6. Molly Kitsmiller
    February 10, 2016

    What a beautiful note. Just in time for Valentines Day – she is still loving you from heaven. Comfort my friend.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Molly, I am still in awe of the goodness of God for giving it to me now.

      Reply
  7. Gena
    February 10, 2016

    Dear Lisa,
    I'm so grateful for the unexpected gift of Kalkidan's words to you. I'm so grateful that they are reminders of what is true and lasting about her, and your relationship with her. I'm so grateful for the pieces of grace that come thru in times of great sadness and confusion. I'm so grateful that Jesus is holding you close.
    I read a quote from Bonhoeffer that has come to mean a great deal to me, "where God tears great gaps, we should not attempt to fill them with human words. They should remain open. Our only comfort is the God of the resurrection, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
    Peace and Love to you – Gena

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Gena, that is a beautiful quote; thank you so much for sharing it with me. I like that it acknowledges that God is in the tearing and the filling.

      Reply
  8. Christine LaMoreaux
    February 10, 2016

    Lisa, This is such a sweet gift for you. You need to frame it and put it where you see it all the time. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      I think I will, together with a picture of her. It would be a good reminder for me.

      Reply
  9. Kayla
    February 10, 2016

    His goodness does not fail. So thankful for that gift to you

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 10, 2016

      Thank you, Kayla, me too.

      Reply
  10. DFNY
    February 10, 2016

    What a beautiful gift, Lisa. I'm so happy that you received it as you deal with such deep sadness. Praying for you and continuing to have Kalkidan in my thoughts and prayers.

    Blessings,
    Damaris

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 11, 2016

      Thank you, Damaris.

      Reply
  11. Debbie Delulio Jones
    February 11, 2016

    What a treasure. So hard to understand the gut-wrenching stuff. Continued prayers, Sweet Friend! Miss you and love you.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 11, 2016

      Thank you, Deb. I miss you too! We need to end up at the same conference at the same time again one day soon.

      Reply
  12. Jennifer
    February 12, 2016

    It is sometimes hard for me to believe that our loved ones who have gone before us continue to watch over us, guide us and love us, but my heart is slowly and gently opening up to the notion that they do. This note is such a sacred gift to receive during a time of great sadness. Thinking of you Lisa.

    Reply
    1. Lisa Qualls
      February 12, 2016

      Thank you, Jennifer. I can't quite grasp that either. I've been told I should read Heaven by Randy Alcorn. It's on my list. So good to hear from you.

      Reply

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