Thursday, July 3, 2008

Oh dear friends, I don't even know what to type. I am broken. So, So sad. My little girl is gone and I just want her here. I didn't even want to come in this room because this is where she and I slept the night she was sick. There are memories everywhere. Sweet, precious memories. My heart is so broken. I can't imagine life without her as today was even harder than yesterday. This morning was so quiet with just me, Billy and my parents in the house. After the quiet, just weeping, all four of us. Then quiet again. We know we will make it. Christ will hold us and carry us. It's hard to breathe. I Do believe with all my heart that He is good! It's all for His glory anyway. He is holding onto us even when we don't have the strength to hold onto Him. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf...they are holding us together. We will tell Holden today. He loved his sister so much. Please pray for that time with him. I'll write again later.


Carlton and Aimee Weathers said...

It is so good to "hear" your voice. I did not sleep a wink last night but prayed and prayed for God's sweet mercy on you and Billy. I said a special prayer for Holden as I know his little heart is going to be broken.

I wish I was right there with you at this moment. But, I know Billy is taking good care of his precious Hope. You are right Hope, God is going to carry you. During these times, just keep repeating scripture to yourself and out loud.

" I am suffering, but I am not ashamed. For I know whom I have believed and am convinced that You are able to guard what I have entrusted to You for that day." 2 Tim 1:12

"You, Lord, are close to the broken hearted and save those who are crushed in spirit." Ps. 34:18

Lord, after this suffering, let it be said that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel. As a result, make my Savior clear to all those around me. Because of my suffering and willing perseverence, cause others to be encouraged to speak the Word of God more courageously and fearlessly." Phil. 1:12-14

Danny and Jennifer White said...

Hope we are praying for you and Billy. We love you so much.I feel so much a part of your family since i've been keeping up with you through the blogging world.Robye Patrick is praying too and several people here in Mobile.

Duane and Kim said...

Know we are praying for you. We can't imagine but know God is faithful and will be enough.

Amy said...

Hope I agree so much with aimee. It is so good to hear your voice. Last night I remembered a comment that you posted on my blog about a month and a half ago when I was really struggling with longing for heaven. Last night when I re-read it I wept for you because now looking back it was as though God reminded you of what Billy's mother said in order to encourage me but in reality to make it fresh on your heart for what was to come. I have prayed several times since I read it last night that God would give you the grace to believe. Hope this is what you said to me
"OH, and I can totally realate to your feelings of fear or the "what if?" My mother in law soooo encouraged me with this truth. When she was battling cancer I asked her about being fearful and I'll never forget her response. She said "The Word says...Perfect love cast out fear, and I can trust a God who has perfect love for me." God brings me back to that truth so many times when my mind goes to "what would I do if Billy died or one of my children or all my children??" I go back to trusting a God who has Perfect love for me and can ONLY do what is GOOD. And you know what, it's only his grace working in our lives that we would ever even choose to believe Him! "
I pray so hard Hope that God gives you this grace moment by moment so that you may continue to trust in a perfect love for you and one that can only do what is good. It doesn't feel good right now and I also just pray that God will give you the strength to be real and honest with you emotions before Him. He is your daddy and He can take it. I think about when Jesus was praying in the garden He ask God to take this cup from him. In that moment He DID NOT want to walk through what was about to happen but then he submitted to His good father and said Not my will but yours be done. What so encouarages me about this scripture is what happens next - God sent an angel to comfort him. He did not get angry when Jesus waivered but rather was full of compassion and gave Him what He needed to walk through this valley. Pour your heart - all of it to God Hope (and Billy) he will strengthen you when you do. We will see you in a few days.
This time I get to say sorry that I wrote a book. You and I are talkers and it is just what we do :)

Mike and Janie Justesen said...

I never take for granted the blessing of being a part of the birth of our beautiful new babies. I pray for each one and long for them to have a family like Alaina. The Atchison home is filled with love, laughter and most of all the hope of a Savior. In our pain I pray we will be reminded of the calling as parents to lead our children into the arms of Jesus. Your ESPC family is broken hearted for you and Billy and we love you so much. Mike and Janie

Laura said...

Here again, we are thinking about you guys, praying for you guys, for Holden...

BKicklighter said...

I am so thankful for a place to let you know my heart is full over you guys. Full of grief, prayers, tears and hope. Much love and prayers,


rita said...

Hope, I have no words of encouragement, just like yesterday, only tears. I prayed for you, Billy and the kids all day yesterday and through the night. I can't imagine what last night was like, or this morning. Know that you are being covered in prayer by me, my family and my friends. All of my church friends remember you from you coming to church with me, and they are heartbroken for you, too. Even though you don't know them, they will be faithful to lift you up to the Father. Know that you are loved. I wish that I could be with you right now.

Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

hope-you and your family are on my mind and heart-praying for peace and comfort that only He can give. know that you are being prayed for and that you are greatly loved.
-Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. 2Thes.3:16
With much love and prayer-

John Mark said...

know that our hearts are breaking for you.
John Mark and Shea Patrick

Shea said...

Hope, there are no "right" words to say at a time like this. All I know to say is that I love you and know that I'm praying so hard for you, Billy and the children. Especially today I pray for Holden. When I spoke with your dad this morning he said he was "hurting like I have never hurt before" and then followed that with "but we will make it." I was struck by his last words. What a testimony to his faithful heart and then in reading your words today I couldn't help but admire your faithfulness, too. God is there. Bless you all. I will see you soon.

April Brown said...

Hope and Billy, I really have no words other than I love you both. Jeremy and I have been praying continually for you both begging God to give you strength and peace as you walk through this together. Thank you for posting...I know that it must be hard to put into words, but I am so thankful to "hear" your voice!!


Denise Shoemaker said...

Hope - While I sit here tearfully trying to type something that might comfort you in this unspeakable time, I know that it is not mere words that will do. Billy's and your faith are such a testiment to us all that even in this time of utmost despair, we must look to Him for comfort and peace. I pray for His grace and mercy on you and your family.

Donna said...

Hope, you are already ministering to us by watching your faith in this time of pain. Still praying for you all, and especially for your time with Holden. Donna Tucker Ayers

JJMERKEL said...

I am so glad that you posted on your blog today. I didn't sleep at all last night (like the others on here). I was so worried about your family. I will be praying for Holden today. Megan asked about how he was doing. I am so glad that you have your family and lots of friends close by you now. You guys are in my heart though. We love you guys.

wingertfamily said...

Hope-I hope you don't mind, a friend of mine, Kelly B (from Fairhope) shared your story with me this morning. I am deeply saddened for you and your loss. My best friend in the world lost her 5yr old daughter 2 1/2 yrs ago, so Kelly wanted to express her sympathy to me. I can tell from your posts that you have a lot of friends and family who love you and truly, that is what you'll need. I wanted to offer a prayer of support to you. No one on earth can imagine what you're going through, but I hope you'll find strength in Him and in time be able to function 'normally'. You will need continuous support for many years to come and I'm happy to share with you how my friend has started to find peace-when the time is right. My thoughts and prayers are with you in this overwhelming time of need.
-Carrie W

Corie said...

I don't even know you, but I am a friend of Aimee Weathers. I don't know what to say but that I am oh so very sorry. I will be praying for your family today, tomorrow and the days and weeks ahead. I know that the Lord will be faithful to give you the grace to get through this difficult time.

Parks Avenue said...

I am thankful that the Lord has given you the strength to get up and start another day. My heart is so truly sad, and I know that if I feel like this, that it doesn't even come close to the pain you feel right now. Scott and I are praying that you will continue to trust our God and continue to believe He is who He says He is and will continue to be faithful. You couldn't be more right in that God's definition of "good" is certainly not the same as ours, but I pray that He will give you peace and comfort that passes all understanding that can come only from His hand. We love you guys and are praying for little Holden's heart as he learns this news and grieves for his sweet baby sister. Hug Billy for us too and let us know if there is anything else we can do. See you soon.
-annie parks

Jason and Susie said...

Wow. No words. Just know you are being lifted up.

Joy Hutzler said...

Hope, we are praying for you and Billy, your families and friends. I can't imagine what you are going through right now, but I know that God knows every thought and every tear...and they are not in vain. I have been sick and cried thinking of your loss and I just wanted you to know that lots of people are lifting you before the throne of God during such a difficult time. Prayers for peace and comfort....

Joy Hutzler (Jonathan Goode's sister)

Nate said...

Thank you for posting, Hope. We think of you and pray for you often, it was so good to hear your voice and Billy's this morning. We love you all.

Nate said...

Kara's on her way!!! :)

Tim Holbrook said...

Billy and Hope

I can only say may God grant you a peace that trancends all understanding. Tyanna and I are praying that God will continue to comfort your broken hearts.

Tim Holbrook

Kari said...

I wanted to write and let you know that we are praying for you, Billy and your children.

Allison said...

Our hearts ache with yours. We are praying for your family today, and will continue over the weeks and months ahead.
Mitch and Allison Stephens

The Kelly Family said...

We are praying for you, friends. I am praying for a continuous outpouring of His grace through his Holy Spirit to minister to you during this very difficult time. I love the verses that people have posted, and pray that His word would be your lifeline. We love you.
Delta and BK

Jackie said...

Oh God our Father,
We know that You are grieved when we grieve. You suffer when we suffer. Your Heart breaks with Hope and Billy and their family.

And so we ask that You give them the comfort that only You can give. The comfort that You, a Father who knows what it is to lose a Child, can give.

In this valley of deepest, darkest shadow, please carry them. Hold them. As they pass through the murky and turbulent waters of grief, do not let them be overtaken.

Give them the courage to take another breath. Give them such assurance of Your Perfect Love that they may be able to accept that which none of us can understand.

Bring them the Peace you promise. Comfort, uphold, and strengthen them along this dark road until, eventually, they reach the shores of green pastures beside still waters.

In Jesus' Holy Name,

Molly said...

Billy, Hope, Holden, Elley, and Mary Helen:

I'm broken to hear the about the horrible event that you all are walking through right know.

But I want to share with you the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the news of Alaina going to a wonderful place, filled with love and peace, and to worship our creater.

I invistion her dancing in a white dress in front of our wonderful,loving Father. I invision her singing her favorite songs aloud and rejoicing.

I pray that this valley you all are walking through will be filled with the love of others and the most important the love of our Lord Jesus.

May the Lord carry you through each day, each moment, each minute, and every second.

In Christ's love,
Molly Vosicky

nan said...

I too am so glad to hear your voice thru the blogging world. I am continually praying for you with out ceasing. We love you guys. I still am at a loss of words, so I look foward to seeing you so I can give you a hug.

Anonymous said...

Hope & Billy,
I haven't seen you guys in a decade but I want you to know that my heart is so burdened for tears and my prayers are pouring forth on your behalf...for your comfort, perseverance, courage, and strength for your marriage and your children. I have other friends praying for you as well as you face these unbearably hard days ahead.

Debra Enlow Carl

Shane, LaJuan, Jocelyn and Gabrielle said...

Hope & Billy,
As I sit here trying to type, it's like my fingers won't move. What could I possibly say right now? We just love you both so much and are grieving with you. Our prayers are continuous. We are praying that our God will embrace your broken hearts and meet you in this dark valley of sorrow like only He can. I wish I could come with Shane so badly to be with you guys. We can not fathom what you are going through and all we know to say is that we are so sorry and we love you...

Tori said...

Billy and Hope,
I know you from long ago, Campus Outreach. My heart is broken for you. Just want you to know that I am praying for you.

Connor Family said...

Our hearts are broken. Know that we are praying for you. Love you!

Mike and Paula

Marie Mabry said...

Hope and Billy,
I am so thankful to have this glimpse into your blogspot to "hear" your voice along with the voices of so MANY DEAR friends. You have sown seeds into the lives of so many for so-o-o-o many years! Their notes back to you speak volumes of your depth of love for Christ and others all around the world. How precious that those same folks are now sowing seeds back into your life at this incredibly difficult time.
I pray that God is lifting you up with His righteous right hand and carrying you this moment. Sometimes there are no words for our depth of emotion---this is one of those times. So, as Jesus did when his friend Lazarus died, "He wept." I too join the others, I've wept, I weep now and will weep in days to come for the pain you must endure through this.

Robin said...

Dear Hope and Billy,

Our hearts are heavy and I continue to seek him as I have asked myself so many times, how can this happen to a God fearing family who loves and honors the Lord ? I know only he knows the answer and we will one day learn of the reason he has taken your little girl to be with him..How, she must feel sitting beside him and playing and learning of his abiding love...We are praying for all of you and hold dear the memories we have of your family from Troy State to Campus Outreach and your precious cards that we see at our girls homes.We love and will continue to pray for each of you as you walk the days ahead. I KNOW he will comfort and sustain you in a precious and mighty way as you continue to wake each morning. Each step he will make for you and each day he will provide the strenght to get through this horrible nightmare. We Love you and know that God will be bigger and stronger in your life than ever before.
Robin and Dee Brookshire
parents of Lucy Henderly and Lauren Hauge


Carlton and Lisa Hardman
Hope and Billy, we are praying for your strength right now. Praying for your little ones, and your entire family. We are so very sorry. Each day is a gift. Love, Carlton and Lisa Hardman

Sarah and Kenny said...

Dear Hope and Billy,
I googled your name and found your blogspot. I am glad to have a place to let you know that we are praying for you and have been since Tracy Steedley Davis called on Wednesday. I have felt so helpless, wanting to do something, but not knowing what. Our hearts are heavy and broken, and we are claiming God's promises on your lives. We are praying that the God of all comfort would meet you right where you are and hold you tightly in the palm of His hand and comfort you.
Although we never got to know sweet Alaina, I know she was part of a very special family. We are praying for you and your family continuously.
Love and Prayers,
Kenny and Sarah(Moore)Hall

P.S We brought out your Christmas card just to make us smile.

Ashley "Hood" Gunn said...

Billy and Hope,

I feel that there are no words to convey the hurt I feel for you right now. Hope, I am encouraged by your words. May you cling to our Lord and allow His strength to sustain you and give you peace. God has brought you to mind so many times over the past few days. My heart is broken for you and all I know to do is to pray. May God's grace rest upon you now and always.


Ashley "Hood" Gunn

Christine and Davis Dawkins said...

Hey Hope and Billy-Davis and I are so overwhelmed with grief for you guys. We pray for you all of the time. We love you and your family and trust in Jesus to help you during this time. I pray that God will help you to see and feel him through his body of Christ here on earth-every hug and letter and prayer is from Him. He loves you so much. We love you. Christine, Davis, Natalie, Cate and Chloe. PS when we told Natalie and Cate about Alaina, Natalie went and got the book and teddy bear the hospital gave us when our baby died. She doesn't remember it now, but she carried that bear around with an angel pin on it for the first few days and she asked us to read the book a lot. It just touched my heart-like she kind of knew a little teeny tiny bit of what your loss was about. I know the losses aren't comparable-please know that-but my eyes cry and heart aches to hold my baby too at times-so I will pray for your and Billy's empty arms and broken hearts. God is holding you. Christine

jennywdye said...

Billy and Hope..we are praying for you..our hearts are broken love Clayton and Jenny

Jaime said...

Hope and Billy,
Greg and I are hurting with you and can't get you out of our minds. We are praying for comfort and peace for your entire family. Hope, one thing that has helped me is to picture my little one worshipping at the feet of Jesus. It's refreshing to know that we will join them soon. We love you all deeply and wish we could be there with you. I love the scriptures that Aimee put on here.
I will also add 1 Peter 5:10-11.

Hillary Dunham said...

Found your site through a friend's and just want you to know that I'm praying for you. Much love and prayer and God's peace on your family.

Sommer Curry said...

Hope and Billy,
You all have been in our thoughts and prayers over the past few days! I can't express to you how my heart aches for your family. We lifted you all up in prayer in church this morning and our sermon happened to be on how God only gives you what He knows you can handle. I know your faith in Him will give you the strength to make it through this one day at a time. I hope you feel the prayers that have been lifted up for your family, you all are loved by so many.
Sommer Curry

Tammy said...

Billy and Hope - it's impossible to know what to say. Know that I love you and all of us here in Kazakhstan have been lifting you up.

Richie Davis said...

Billy and Hope, I am Richie Davis -- Stephen and Tiffani Hood's brother-in-law in Meridian, MS. You preached for me once several years ago when I was out of town. I could write pages, but I'll leave it at this: You are loved and being prayed for daily. Your extended Christian family, brothers and sisters you do not even know, are lifting you up. YOU ARE LOVED.

Brechman said...

Hope and Billy,
We were shocked and deeply saddened to hear about the loss of Alaina and have been praying for you.
We can not imagine how difficult this must be for you and our heart breaks for your loss. Please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers continually.
Kelly and Rob Brechman, Fairhope.

Nate said...

My heart is with you even now as the service begins. I long to be there with you to mourn the loss of Alaina and to celebrate the goodness and sovereignty of our God. I love you both dearly and have been thinking of you and praying for you this morning, and will throughout the day.

J and Tracy Davis said...

Billy and Hope,
We are so sad for your loss and can only trust that God will carry you through this. Please know there are many brothers and sisters in Christ from our church and my Bible study that are lifting you up during this time.
Tracy and J Davis

sagefats said...

we're praying in b'ham. love you guys.

matt ford

Emily Jacobs-Graham said...

My heart is absolutely broken right now for you. I'm sitting here, at work, on my computer, just crying knowing this has to be unbearable what you must be going through. I have been thinking about you and your family ever since I got the news. Praying for you and that your heartache and sorrow will be lessened. I wish there was something I could do to take away your pain, but I am leaving that in God's hands. My heart doesn't waiver one bit knowing that He will hold you up.
I went through your blog and your pictures. What a loving, close family you have made. Alaina was blessed to have been a part of that household, surrounded by so many who loved and cared for her.
I saw you today at the visitation and was so moved by your grace. You are so strong Hope. So very strong. Your strength will keep growing as time goes on. I have no doubt. You are an encouragement to me. I see what God can do through your composure and assurance in His will.
I love you Hope. My family is praying for your family daily. If you ever need anything never hesitate. 601.513.7815

In His Grace & Glory,
Emily Jacobs-Graham

Anonymous said...

We are praying for you and your family.
Russell, Regina, & Trinity

Anonymous said...

Hope, Billy, and gang,
As I sit in my chair with my feet propped up, I am awed by the love I witnessed today. I had always admired Ms. Martha and Mr. Jimmy and their Godly examples they have set for all of us at First Baptist, but I was never so humbled by that example than I was today when I watched you Hope as you stood this morning, the picture of grace, at the head of Alaina's casket. Holding it all together for your family. Then I remembered how many times in high school you would laugh when I would call you "Hopeless" instead of your name. Today, you were a picture of hope for all of us mothers. We should all strive to be the mom you are and the mom Mrs. Martha is. Thanks "Hopeless" for bringing me to my knees tonight. All of us at First Baptist love you and your family. Just remember that you don't have to be perfect. You can let loose and scream occasionally if you need to. I've done it lots and nobody's hauled me away yet. We're always here if you need us.
Mrs. Cowan and Mr. Jimmy

Steven and Tiffani Hood said...

Billy and Hope,

We are saddened by your loss. We have been and will continue to pray for you guys. You have been on our minds since we heard the news.

As we're writing this note, we struggle with what to say because we know your pain is real. I guess the most important thing to say is that even though we haven't seen you in years (Hope, I'm not sure that we ever met, but I was Billy's roommate when he first moved to Livingston) we love and care for you.

We hope to get your address soon so that we can mail you a book that was encouraging to us when we had a similar loss about 7 years ago.

In His Love.

Kristin said...

I just want you to know that I wanted to stay with you today when everything was over. Stay and stay and stay... I know I couldn't have, but that's what my soul wanted to do. Stay and just "be" with you. We love you. We love Alaina, too. We will continue to pray when everything gets silent again, too.

Tut said...

Hope and family-
Words fail me right now...Mom told me about your precious Alaina, and I am so sad. Your strength and faith at this time is inspiring. You are in my thoughts and prayers. I just keep thinking that everything happens for a reason, even though we do not know what that reason is right now. It seems like you have a wonderful support system. Just know that many of us are thinking and praying for you, Billy and the sweet children who do not understand...

Ken and Jenny McNeill said...

Billy and Hope,
There truly are no words that can be offered, only the hope that is in Jesus. We can't imagine your pain, but we are daily carrying you to the Lord on our knees, knowing that He is the only source of comfort and the One who can sustain you. I recently read a quote that was comforting to us over the past months. It is this.. adapted, of course, for your sweet girl, "Nothing is ever lost if you know it's exact location. Alaina is with Jesus." Know that we are hurting with you and will continue to lift you up daily. Love, Ken and Jenny McNeill

Jawan said...

We love you and Mitch is sorry that he wasn't able to see you all today. We prayed for you tonight and will continue to do so.

Jay & Merrill Hodges said...

Our hearts break for you Billy and Hope, and for your precious children. I can't begin to fathom your loss. We hope you find comfort in the love of your friends that is being expressed on this board.
I hope that you find peace in the soveriegnty of our Great God, and in His Word, and through the kindness of His Church.
I know my words won't bring lasting comfort, but I am claiming His for you, Brother, that he will enable you by His Spirit to grieve with hope (1Thes 4:13-18), that is elpo "(to anticipate, usually with pleasure), expectation, or confidence - faith, hope."
Ken's words above are true.
Love and Peace, Jay and Merrill Hodges

Gretch-A-Sketch said...

Hi, I am praying for you and your family right now during this time. May Gods loving hand reach out to hold you all on this day and carry you through the valley.

I can't tell you how my much my heart aches for you, especially being a mother myself.

I pray a peace that surpasses understanding covers you today and I pray that through this incredibly tough time God will brings you to new heights with Him and you will see an incredible amount of blessings poured upon you!!


Lisa West said...

Hope & Billy - I wanted to let you know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We were so saddened to hear of Alaina's passing and like many others on this post, are at a loss for words. Mackenzie sends her hugs to Holden and we will all keep you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

Michelle Griesmann and Tristen said...

Hope and Family -
I wish I could say something different than everyone else, but there isn't much to say at a time like this. I do want you to know my family is praying for you all also. We wish you the best and know that God is always with you. Tristen says hello to Holden and says he misses him. He is sad for you too. Take care.

Kansas Bob said...

Sorrowing with you.. and praying that the precious Spirit of God will comfort you and give you wisdom during this very difficult season.

Tony Snow passed away on Saturday. I found his words to be inspirational.

Jack said...

Hey Ya'll, Misty and I have been wanting to tell you that we are sure lifting you up. Kevin and Shay called us just after we moved to Puerto Rico, and we have been praying for you since. We'll keep praying!! Love ya'll
Jack and Misty Lindsey