We have the great blessing of having Karla Marie Williams join the 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team! She is the mom of six, yep, six kids! All of whom she and her husband have adopted at various ages and stages. You will love her heart as you read her story.
With faith, hope, and love,
Lori & Becky
Staring at the ceiling of the truck as it rolled down the hill in slow motion, I wondered, “Am I going to die today?”
The truck flipped a second time down the hill and slid before coming to a stop. My husband and 6 children’s faces flashed before me. “Am I going to Heaven today?” “Is my husband going to be a widower today?” “Are my six adopted children going to be without a mother… AGAIN?”
I was alive.
I could see. There was no blood. I was not in pain. I opened the door to the truck and fell out into the snow screaming, “I’m alive, I’m alive!” I lifted my hands to Heaven in awe. I crawled up the hill in the snow towards the highway hoping someone would see me. I looked at my hands, then my feet and they were all there. Then I began to cry uncontrollably. I survived my truck flipping down a hill TWICE in a blizzard and crawled out of the truck with only one scratch on my neck. God’s grace is the only explanation.
My husband arrived at the hospital to take me home. There was not much conversation on the ride home.
In my mind I made a list of things I was going to do different as a wife and parent.
1. I’m not going to raise my voice anymore.
2. I am going to listen more to my kids.
3. I am going to spend more time with them.
My list was unending.
Putting my arms around my husband and children again was surreal. I am a strong woman, untouched emotionally by the events, so I thought.
One day later, the promises I made on the way home vanished. I became the opposite of what I imagined: snippy, argumentative, short tempered, weepy… not very strong at all.
Trauma does some very peculiar things to a person. I had not given myself time to process or emotionally deal with the situation. I needed grace.
I began to think about God’s grace and the fact that my life was spared three days ago. I lived through something that many don’t survive. I began to think about the grace my family was giving me to grieve and process it all. I had to apologize time and time again for not measuring up these past few days.
Grace. Unmerited Favor. Unearned pardon to deal with the situation the way I needed, in my own time. God’s grace. My family’s grace.
My six blessings came to me via foster care adoption. Each with their own circumstances and trauma. This adoption/foster care advocate, speaker, and writer thought she knew all about trauma until three days ago. My children need grace. I cannot put a time limit on their grief and healing. I cannot tell them to get over it or move on. They need time and understanding. It is up to me as a parent to grant them the very grace I receive from God. It is freely given to me and I must freely give it to them so they may be who they are and can heal and thrive in their own way and time.
My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness…
2 Corinthians 12:9 (King James)
Have you taken stock of the grace that has been bestowed upon you by God? Who needs your grace today? Give grace away!
Karla Marie Williams is a passionate advocate for vulnerable children. She is a national voice, conference speaker, radio host, and writer on adoption, foster care, parenting and missions. Her family has been nominated for the MARE (Michigan Adoption Resource Exchange) Family of the Year for 2013. Karla and her husband Tom home-school their six fantastic kids (11, 9, 7, 6, 6, and 4) who came to them via adoption. They reside in Grand Rapids, MI.