School Girl charm

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Stranger's Prayer

First off today, I wanted to write and ask for prayers for my family's health this week.  My 5 year old son Noah, has missed the last 5 days of school with what started as stomach flu, then evolved into a very congested nose and cough, and then into an ear infection and ruptured right ear drum.  Poor little guy!  Now our 3 year old son, Ian has the stomach flu and cough.  And the other 3 of us are just waiting to get sick but hoping somehow we might be spared.  We would appreciate your prayers for a return to a healthy home!

Then I wanted to share with you a story of a touching experience I had last week.  Tuesday afternoon during my planning period at school, I was feeling particularly down and missing Karinne.  I decided to get out of my classroom for a little while and go visit Karinne's grave.  I hadn't been out there for awhile and I also wanted to go see the flowers that a dear student had placed there over the weekend from her own grandmother's funeral service.  I was looking forward to a time of quiet reflection and the shedding of some tears with my baby girl.

When I turned into the drive at the cemetery and looked to the far north end, I could see a white pickup parked at the far end of the lane - just about 30 yards or so from Karinne's grave.  I was very disappointed to say the least.  I really wasn't wanting an audience.  So I drove around slowly for a bit, waiting to see if they would leave and trying to see if anyone was even in the vehicle.  I eventually decided that maybe there wasn't anyone in the pickup and went ahead and pulled up to Karinne's grave.  I sat and talked to Karinne for a bit, then decided to walk around and look for the little baby shoe that had blown off of her marker.  (One of a set that my mom had tied onto the marker on Memorial Day.) There was no sign of the shoe, I was starting to get cold, and was still a bit self conscious about being watched.  So I returned to the car, turned on the radio and pulled out my infant loss bible study book - Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy - and began flipping through it looking for verses that had been of particular help to me last fall. 

As I read, I noticed someone get out of the pickup for a moment, get back in, and begin to drive towards me.  I averted my eyes - trying not to look at whoever it was - but they were stopping and rolling down their window!  So NOT what I wanted - or so I thought.

The driver of the pickup was an elderly man with a kind face who said "Is this your baby, maam?" 

The tears began to flow as I nodded yes.  He asked if I would share with him what happened - "for you see, I'm a retired minister.  And I care for people."

I explained to him a brief version of our journey with Karinne - through tears - and he met me with the most kind and sweet words.  Most of which I can't really recall.  He did share with me that his own granddaughter was having her own baby that day - early - to try to save the mother's life.  He was hopeful that both mother and baby would be fine and I pray that was the case. 

As our conversation closed, he asked if he could "say a word of prayer" over me - which I of course agreed to and listened to as the tears flowed.  I don't remember many of his exact words - but they were words of love, of encouragement, and of reminders that God truly cares for our sorrows.  He quoted the verse - "Jesus wept" - at the time of Lazarus' death.  This was a special verse and passage in our bible study and just seemed so very fitting for the moment. 

As he prepared to leave, we introduced ourselves and he promised to pray for our family as we continue to heal from this loss.  As he drove away - I just began to sob - what a moment and what a blessing at a time when I really needed it!  Thank you Lord for turning an uncomfortable situation into such a special moment with this stranger's prayer!

I also wanted to share the song that came on the radio as my tears began to subside:  Mark Schultz' song - "What it Means to Be Loved".   This song was recently shared with me by a sweet friend from church who said upon hearing it for the first time: "I thought of you and Curtis and bawled all the way through it."

I can relate to the first half of this song so much.  We SO BADLY wanted to show Karinne "what it means to be loved"  And I think we did a pretty good job of it.  If only our journey with Karinne could have turned out the way this song does . . .

But the time we did have was worth it all the same.

(Be sure to pause the "playlist" at the bottom of the screen before starting the video)

I wanna give her the world
I wanna hold her hand
I wanna be her mom for as long as I can
And I wanna live every moment until that day comes
I wanna show her what it means to be loved

So we spent each day watching every minute
And praying for our little girl
And I will not forget the way I felt that moment
When she came into the world

I wanna give her the world
I wanna be her dad
I wanna hold her close for as long as I can
And I wanna live every moment until that day comes
I wanna show her what it means to be loved


  1. Kara this post is so sweet! It just brought tears to my eyes. I fully believe that that man being at the cemetary was a God thing. What an amazing story! Praying for your family and hoping the flu goes no further and that the kiddos get well soon!

  2. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story, Kara. God so often uses unlikely people in unexpected ways. As much as this sweet stranger touched your heart, I have no doubt you touched his as well. It's a wonderful thing to witness God working among us, isn't it? Blessings to you, my friend, and prayers for restored health for your family!

  3. That is an amazing story. Praying for you and your family. Hoping you the family starts to feel better. Just know we are thinking about you and praying. Julie-Mackenzie's mommy.

  4. "God-things" happen all the time when we are least expecting (or perhaps even wanting) them.
    Hope your boys are soon healthy, and that you and Curt, and Danae escape its wrath.
    Blessings to you as always,

  5. Oh, Kara, what an uplifting story. There are so many good people left in this world full of tragedy and disaster. I pray he and his family are doing great, as well as your family. Take care. Miss you. Amanda

  6. What a special gift in a little old man in a pick up truck! Praying for healing all around in your home and hearts.

    Love Ya!

  7. What a beautiful story. Isn't it crazy how we can find comfort in the most unusual places and situations? It sounds like he was just exactly what you needed. I wish the best for his family. Also hoping that the boys get better soon and the rest of you don't get it too. Love you!!

  8. Kara
    I think you DO a great job of showing Karinne
    What it means to be loved every single day.
    I love your newest entry...there truly are Angels among us!

  9. What a wonderful, caring man! I recently came across this song too and really liked it.

  10. Wow, what a very special experience. That is awesome.

  11. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful experience & I like the song. Praying for the healing of your families illnesses.