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Friday, October 28, 2011
A Visit with Glory Girl!
If you've been following my blog for the last few months, you've already "met" Glory, a precious little girl who was born with extensive heart problems. She has spent most of her 15 months in the CVICU at Arkansas Children's Hospital, with just a few months at home (actually a place they've rented near the hospital). This picture was taken the day before she had her most recent heart surgery. Is that not one of the most precious faces you've ever seen?
Well, I had never actually met Glory or her mom, except online, and decided that a workshop in Little Rock on Monday would give me the perfect opportunity to stop by for a visit. I was nervous about going...after all, I had not been back in the main part of Children's Hospital since the day I left there for the last time with Hannah. And I was afraid I would be in the way...I knew that Glory had had a lot of complications since her last surgery and had been running a high fever for the last couple of days. And I'm an introvert by nature...meeting new people is really not my thing. I wasn't really sure why I was going...just that I really wanted to meet this mother/daughter pair who has inspired me so much.
Turns out that my fears were completely unfounded. Glory's mom, Kerry, immediately put me at ease. We hit it off as if we'd know each other all our lives. Once again, I experienced that bond that forms between believers who have walked similar roads. We talked about what it's like to become isolated from the world as you spend weeks beside your child's hospital bed, what it's like to not have any idea what the next day (or the next minute) holds, and what it's like to be a parent of a child who has an uncertain future.
We both agreed that even when life seems to be spinning completely out of control, there is peace to be found in trusting the Lord. And then she said something that most people could never possibly understand. She said something along the lines of, "Sometimes I look at my life and I wonder how in the world I got here (gesturing at the ICU room around us), and sometimes I look at my life and feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world."
Here we were, standing beside her little Glory, who has tubes and monitors running from every conceivable spot on her body, burning up with fever, and she says she feels like the luckiest person in the world? How can she say that? I think (and I don't mean to put words in her mouth), but I think it's because she has been given The Gift. The Gift of appreciation. The Gift of opened eyes. The Gift of awareness. Appreciation of every moment with those you love. Eyes that have been opened to the beautiful things of life (even in the middle of ugliness). Awareness of the things that are truly important and an ability to see beyond those things that are not. When you have The Gift, it is possible to feel like you are the luckiest person in the world, even when circumstances would make that seem impossible. Thank you, Kerry, for that reminder.
Here is Glory today, with her Halloween bow in her hair. I felt so fortunate that while I was there on Monday, she woke up and smiled at me repeatedly -- a total stranger to her -- giving me several peeks of that little sticky-outy tongue even through all the tape and tubes. She's a sweet, happy baby, completely unaware that her life is any different from any other fifteen-month-old. She is loved, and she knows it.
Her life is different, however. As her name indicates, her life brings glory to God. Her smile and her Mom's smile are proof of His love and faithfulness. And that's why Glory's mom can say that she's the luckiest person in the world.
"But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of my head." Psalm 3:3
Written by Jill Sullivan at 8:13 PM