Sunday, October 5, 2008

7 months down...

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).

Blessings,
Jennifer

27 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing. I started reading your blog right after you lost Lily and I was heartbroken. I have read through all the demolition and remodeling adventures. I am glad that you are healing in a healthy way. Life is a marathon and loosing Lily was a terrible brick wall you had to endure. I myself know a little bit about endures life's brick walls. I pray that this next leg of the race will be filled with many blessings.

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  2. That song is so powerful. I love Point of Grace!

    Jessica White

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  3. Love you so much and thank God for your friendship. I always knew I would go through all life's ups and downs with you Jenn since we became friends, but I never knew how great the ups would be and how down the downs could go . . . but I will always be by your side. I miss Lilly and ache for you, and at the same time so thankful for the precious time that she got to have you as her parents and I am so thankful for how much I got watch you and Richard love her, and to love her so much myself too.

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  4. I agree, that song is amazing. I am in awe of all that God has done through your experience. I am constantly amazed at your strength, and at the Lord's faithfulness. Thank you for sharing, and for showing the world what God can and will do in our lives, no matter what the circumstances may be.

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  5. You two are the strongest people I know! It is so hard to imagine how we would handle it if we lost a child, but you have been so graceful throughout this process of grieving. I still pray for you all the time and I cannot wait until God blesses you with another child because you are such amazing parents. We love you!

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  6. I have always been so amazed by your strength and faith and have learned so much from watching you guys. God is great! We will always miss Lilly.

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  7. Praise God for all that he had done in your life.

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  8. Jennifer and Richard,
    I have read your blog for sometime now. I came across it back in July...most likely when God intended it to happen. I posted about it on my blog http://meetmeintheclubhouse.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html
    with the title being Perspective Gained. Since that "chance" arrival on your site I have been a visitor to your part of this big world. Well God lead me back to your blog specifically today on a day when I needed to find words or something to share with my best friend in the whole world. If you'd like you can read her blog (http://www.itsacornylife.blogspot.com/) and see the recent reason "why" I believe God had me visit your blog today. She is grieving and her heart is aching. I have no experience as a mother in this area. I have prayed for words to offer her when she needs them. I am far away from her so I can only offer a shoulder from afar. BUT today I can offer her your blog address. I can lead her to someone who might in some way understand how she might feel. That maybe God intended this style of intervention to happen via the bloggy world.
    God is so wonderful in how he works the good into the bad and so I think that this might be what I am to do for her...maybe for you too.
    I know the circumstances are different but the grief of a lost child must some how relate, at least I am hopeful. I truly pray for you all each day. I ask that you find peace and comfort. That the Lord bless your lives a thousand times. Today I thank Him for allowing me to read your words.

    May tomorrow be a bigger blessing than today,
    ML

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  9. Your strength and love touches my heart and once again reminds me how special my little family is to me. you have inspired me to love more and want less. to give more and to take less. may the Lord continue to heal your hearts and bring peace to your soul.

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  10. Jenn,
    You know I am weeping. I am so sad and yet so happy that it has been 7 months and you are where you are. I am amazed at your strength and I am inspired by your lessons learned. I think about you and Lilly every day and I still weep for what could have been. Thanks for sharing your heart. You are the BEST.
    Love,
    Sherry

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  11. I am inspired by your strength and grace. Your experience has touched my heart in ways I can never explain and taught me the life lesson that nothing is more important than God, family, and true perspective. Lilly's short life on earth has left a legacy. She will be in our hearts forever. I continue to pray for your strength, healing, and peace and hope that your life is filled with many more blessings.

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  12. Richard and Jennifer,
    We think of you guys often and you're strength and courage through this has been such a testament of faith to us. We will continue to pray God's hope and healing on your life. Love, Micah and Heather

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  13. I have been grieving with you and have some words of advice. Richard's grandfather Dick died over 35 years ago..but I still grieve for him at times. On Lilly's birthday, do something special to remembers her...I still remember Dick and do something for him without telling anyone.
    Then on the day he died, I grieve
    for him and spend time with loved ones and friends who help me even
    though they do not know.
    The years go by and the pain lessens, but it always leaves its
    mark on your heart.
    Grandma Liz

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  14. That was really a nicely written blog. 7 months probably seems like a very long time. You both are mving forward though, day by day and that is what your Lily would want and need from her parents now. I also had a daughter named Lily who was a near term still birth, so I can sympathize with you and your husband. I now have two toddlers ages 2 and 3 1/2.
    There is a future out there for you guys!!

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  15. Very beautiful Jennifer. I treasure our friendship and learn so much from you. Thank you.

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  16. This was very beautifully and honestly written. You are truly and inspiration to so many people, Sam and I included! Your strength and guidance from the Lord is so evident. It could have been so easy to turn down another path that led to destruction, but you didn't - you decided to fully turn to the Lord and to each other. The loss of Lilly has changed your life forever, but you have shown and continue to show that with the Lord has your guidance that there is still hope and joy in this life here on earth.
    We love you both very much!

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  17. Jennifer,

    Thank you so much for this post. You are right about the assurance of answered prayer- and this post is evidence of so many answered prayers for you and Richard. Praise be to God, that though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love! (Lamentations 3:32)

    Thank you for sharing the lessons you have learned. Your renewed perspective is convicting, reminding me of what really matters- God and Him glorified as well as treasuring the precious gifts He lovingly gives us in this life. I am looking forward to living with you and Richard in the spring. I have a lot to learn from you guys.

    I love you.

    Chelsi

    "He who began this good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

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  18. I randomly happened upon your blog last week while meandering through cyberspace. I was captivated by your story... not only the tragedy, but also the grace with which you face it.

    You inspire me in a way that few people have. The story of your Lilly touched me. Your love for her, your loss, your strength and your faith inspire me to be better.

    I pray for your peace and your joy to return. Thank you for sharing yourselves with me. I, for one, am better for having known you and Lilly.

    Shannon

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  19. WOW...I am so so proud of you guys for getting through these past 7 months. If you can do that, you guys can do anything. I love seeing that HUGE smile that I have always known back on your face Jen. Lilly lives on and will continue to touch lives and that is so amazing! I love you guys and wish you many many blessings! Talk to you soon!
    Heather

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  20. I still look at pictures of sweet Lilly through smiles and tears. What a sweet baby girl. It is still so hard to understand. I guess we never will this side of heaven. When someone is faced with such grief, they can either choose faith, love, and life, or they can choose to give up hope and quit. I love looking at pictures of you and Richard, because it is so evident the choice that you have made is life, love, faith, and hope. It is so beautiful to see.

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  21. Jennifer and Richard,
    I am a friend of a friend. Our family has experienced a lot of tragedy over the last year as well. We just observed the one year mark of the accident that took the life of my amazing 29 year old brother. Even though we don't know you personally, my mother has heard your story. She feels she has a bond with you that only two mothers who have lost a child can share. My mother always said after the accident it doesn't matter if he was 2 hours, 2 days, 2years, 20 years, or 100 years old, he was still my baby. (I am sure you can relate.) I just wanted you to know that we are praying for you guys daily and think of you often. You and Richard are such an inspiration and you have truly glorified God through your loss.

    I still cry every day when I think of my brother, but my tears over time have turned from sadness to grattitude. "Thank you Lord Jesus for coming and dying a horrific death so that I can be with You and see my beloved brother again!"

    In Christ,
    Hammond and Dockrey Family

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  22. wow...you are so incredible...we are praying for y'all! love you so much.

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  23. I Think you have to give yourself at least a year when you lose someone you truly love. At least that's how its been for me. The pain and the hurt never completely go away, but they get better. I promise.
    I came upon your blog while I was blog hopping and have followed your story since.
    I am constantly amazed and in awe of strength you and your husband have and your belief in the Lord. Thank you for sharing your life.I think you have touched so many people. You have the most beautiful smile

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  24. I'm praying for you today and praying for a peace that surpasses all understanding as you remember Lily today.

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  25. Thinking about you guys today. Praying you are covered with HIS love, peace and blessings!

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  26. Sending our love,
    Rob, Melissa & Reed Miles

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  27. 'I hope that my new crystal clear perspective will never fade.'

    Jennifer, as long as you desire to keep your new awareness - it will not fade but actually grow deeper.

    Praying for you and Richard in all the seasons of your grief walk.
    much love and blessings,
    tammy

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