Experts say that time will not heal grief, and they are right. But to us, surviving 7 months without Lilly is a major accomplishment. The first thing thing that getting through this time assures us is that the Lord has healed us from any complicated reponses we could have from this situation. If grief has not progressed after 6 months, then it is deemed "complicated grief" and has to be treated with therapy and medication. So, we are grateful for our health and clear thinking.
The second thing that this time has allowed us is perspective. When we first lost Lilly, all of our thoughts and actions seemed radical. We had to convice ourselves that we could stay in our home, keep our jobs, and maintain relationships when your gut reaction is to become invisible. Move far away where this story won't find you. Again, we are grateful that clear thinking found us and we did not make any drastic changes. (The renovation was a little radical, but demolition sure was great therapy!)
Now that the dust has settled and we are back to life as usual, we can look back at this experience and praise God for the gift of perspective and repent for needing to be knocked down to gain perspective. Here is a list of our lessons learned:
1. Richard and I are each other's greatest gift on this earth. We will strive daily to show each other that.
2. All decisions on work, money, homes, and family need to be for God's glory, not our own. It is amazing how quickly things lose their value. We would have given anything to change what happened to Lilly. That was a quick lesson in how little money actually means. We have chosen not to be its slave anymore.
3. Children are such a gift. If we are blessed with more children, we will value every minute and make sure they know that they are our main priority. We will not spoil them with things that don't matter, but with unconditonal love. We are praying to have this opportunity.
There is a song right now that touches my heart. It is from Point of Grace - Heal the Wound. (The lyrics are to the right). It speaks so perfectly to how I feel. I want God to heal and restore the pain I have felt, but I never want to lose the scar. The memory of Lilly will be in my heart forever. I pray her short life has and will continue to leave a legacy, and I hope that my new crystal clear perspective will never fade.
God, I am grateful that you have brought Richard and I through this valley and have wrapped us in love. I know you will restore our joy fully someday because we have your assurance of answered prayer. (John 16:24).