One Woman I Can’t Wait to Meet in Heaven

On this day — every year on October 26th — I think about someone I never met.
Forty-one years ago today my husband’s first wife died from liver cancer, leaving  three small children ages 5, 4 and 1, and a young 36-year-old widower.

One day I suspect we will have a grand time together in heaven since we love all the same people! 

I will first tell Inka how grateful I am that she was able to willingly surrender her loved ones into God’s faithful hands, and that I have always felt astonished that God saw fit somehow to entrust those precious ones to me as well.

I think back to when I first answered that calling, and how utterly overwhelmed I was at the time…

Allow me to reflect on her lesson to me — one of surrender.

One task my first year of marriage was to try and sort through some boxes in the attic. I’ll never forget discovering a little ceramic plaque. Upon reading it,  I realized anew how letting go must be one of the hardest choices a person ever has to make.

The plaque displayed a Dutch prayer, the English translation carefully handwritten on the back by a young Dutch mama who had made her home in the United States.

  • Father, I lay the names of my children in Your hands.
  • Engrave their names therein with permanent script.
  • Allow nothing and no one ever to burn them out.
  • Though Satan may seek to sift them as wheat.
  • Hold fast to them when I must let go.
  • And always let your power stand above their weakness.
  • You know how merciless the world will hate them
  • If they do not walk or follow in its way.
  • I do not ask You to spare my children every sorrow,
  • But be their comfort when they are lonely and afraid.
  • For your name’s sake keep them in your covenant.
  • Let them never stray from You, never as long as life shall last!
  • I lay the names of my children in Your hands. Amen.

I know from the inscribed date that shortly after translating this poem, Inka was diagnosed with cancer from which she soon died. She left behind her beautiful family, her youngest child only a year old. Surrender indeed—wanting what God wants more than what we want.

True surrender is freely choosing to let go—laying all in God’s capable hands.

That’s exactly what Abraham did when God asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac on the altar. He surrendered to the one He knew and trusted. And God gave back.

Can you live today with that sort of abandoned trust in God?

Four decades ago that young woman opened her hands and laid her children in God’s larger ones, making that little poem prophetic. But God was faithful. One day he placed those same children into the hands of another young woman who had surrendered her long desire to be a mama. Me.

Perhaps one of the greatest grace gifts I have ever received is the privilege of adopting Inka’s children and raising them to adulthood where they continue to know God’s great care and enjoy full lives of service and surrender.

Long ago when I was in my thirties and wondering if I would ever be a wife and mama, I realized that as an act of consecration, I needed to release my own “toys”—my vision of what I thought would make me happy. You can do the same today with this classic prayer:

“Father, I want to know Thee, but my coward heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival… In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” —A. W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

We love to hold tightly, but some of us find it much harder to let go.

And yet, as I grow older and find it increasingly necessary to release more – dreams, people, expectations, control – I discover there can also be a peace and calm at knowing the One who holds the whole world in the palm of His hand, will take what I have surrendered and place it/them with someone else.

I can do that. Inka taught me how.

And one day I shall tell her all the stories face-to-face. About our amazing kids and our wonderful Mike, and how seeds she planted have harvested into beauty and meaning. Oh friend, there is always room to love one more person. So, open your hands to release and relinquish, but do keep them open, for there is much to receive. So much.

Every Blessing, Lucinda

“Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength”

©2022 Lucinda Secrest McDowell

Lucinda Secrest McDowell is a storyteller and seasoned mentor who engages both heart and mind while “Helping You Choose a Life of Serenity & Strength.” She has authored 16 books including “Soul Strong – 7 Keys to a Vibrant Life” , “Life-Giving Choices – 60 Days to What Matters Most,” “God’s Purpose for You,” and “The Courage to Write.” (Purchasing my books here benefits me as an Amazon associate.) She writes from “Sunnyside” cottage in New England and shares encouraging words weekly at

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  1. Mary Harker on October 26, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    So beautiful Lucinda! I have to surrender over and over. I too hope to meet a precious mama who surrendered her child and allowed me to be a mom. My son’s Russian biological mom. All I have is her name but I have prayed God will reveal Himself to her and she will come to know Jesus as her Savior despite living in an environment hostile to Jesus. I pray we will meet each other in heaven.
    I am forever thankful she made the decision to allow her newborn to be adopted with hope for a better life. I think she would be pleased with the young man he is today. I know I am.
    Thanks for reminding me of this special gift and the need to keep surrendering to God.
    Blessings and Loves,

    Mary Harker

  2. Jeannie+Waters on October 26, 2022 at 1:59 pm

    What a beautiful reminder of our call as believers to release all we have into God’s capable hands. Thank you.

  3. Maggie+Rowe on October 26, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    I can only imagine what it will be like when you meet Inka someday. You will fall into each others arms weeping with joy, because you are the one she prayed for who could love her children just as she did. Such an amazing surrender of love on the part of you both.

  4. Jennifer Sakata on October 27, 2022 at 1:24 am

    This is such a beautiful reflection and reminder, Lucinda! Thank you so much for sharing something so treasured. I too have someone I can’t wait to meet one day… My dad‘s wife, who found out about me only eight years ago and about a year before she died. That’s a story in and of itself, but it is a story of incredible grace and humility…

  5. Becky Puntigam on October 27, 2022 at 2:54 am

    I do know you will be pleased to meet Inka as she was a dear dedicated mother as you are. God answered her prayers in you, another praying mother for her children. That is a hope for all of us when we can only trust in God’s goodness that he will answer some prayers for loved ones after we are gone.

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