Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A weekend of Hope

Why do our kids injure themselves and need stitches when their parents are trying to leave town? This time it was Elley. It took Billy, me, my Dad and the nurse to hold Elley down while she screamed for 2o minutes and the Dr. gave three stitches. You would've thought it was 23 from the way she was screaming. I was sweating when we left the Urgent Care....Let me back up and set the scene for you.....I wasn't feeling good Friday so I was trying to rest as long as I could before we needed to catch our flight. So I'm in the shower and I hear Elley walking through the house crying (loud) and I hear Billy say "Babe, we might need some stitches." I quickly try to get ready and pack and I meet my Dad and Billy at Urgent care. Thankfully, when I got there, they already had Elley in a room and I was shocked to see how calm she was. She was laying on the table "practicing" what the nurse was telling her to do when the Dr. got there. As soon as the Dr. came in, she freaked. And thus the twenty or so minutes of torture. Do you see why I was stressed and sweating? As soon as we were done her Paw was taking her to get a milkshake and Billy and I were headed to the airport in kind of a stressball. :) We were fine by the time we got on the plane....well sort of. I was still pretty achy and not feeling 100% so I just kept taking Tylenol and Advil all weekend.

Friday night we had dinner with friends and about the time dessert was being served some of them looked at me and said "maybe you should go lay down." I slept in my clothes that night.....but felt better the next morning. This next part was the highlight of my trip. My friends encouraged me with a lunch on Saturday...truly they gave me courage to keep going. Guess what the theme was.....Hope. But it wasn't about me. It pointed me to Him, my true source of Hope. The tables were beautifully decorated, the food was great, but the best thing was feeling so loved by these women. We gathered in the family room and they read aloud verses that are about hope....Some of my favorites were

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure...." Hebrews 6:19

"I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death." Philippians 1:20

They filled a "hope" chest full of CDs, cards, goodies to help me when I need to be reminded of who God is, that He is my God of Hope and He can carry me this year and the years to come as I trust in Him. We ended with them all surrounding me in prayer. I felt so small. God was big. He was faithful enough to bring just the right friends into my life who loved me just the way I needed to be loved. Friends who point me to Jesus. Thank you just doesn't begin to express my heart about the whole thing. It was so special and I'll never forget the day. They sent me away with God's word. It's living and active. I have CD's , note cards, stationary...all with the promises of God to remind me daily of what this life is about.

So it came down to going to Yorkville to see our old house OR going to see my friend Alysia who had a baby on Friday(the day we got there) I told Billy I'd rather see her in the hospital, so he went to Yorkville with our dear friend Mr. Albaugh :) It was a hard trip for Billy, as I expected it would be. He has said to me several times that he has a hard time remembering things about Alaina....sometimes the grief just "takes over" and all you can think about is the loss, you can't remember the great things. He said when he got to our old Culdesac, many of those memories came flooding back. Great memories. He remembered her riding around and around the circle with her pink helmet. He saw where they flew kites together. He cried...deeply, because even though the memories are wonderful they bring the ache deep within the soul...you just want to go back to that time so bad but you can't and you have no control. You just miss her so much all over again.
Worship on Sunday was as always, awesome. Keith(if you're reading) thank you so much for all the thought and planning that you put into a Sunday morning. I know it's not about us but you always lead so beautifully and point me to Jesus in the way you worship. I didn't make it through many of the songs without crying...missing Lew but proclaiming in my heart what is true. "How marvelous, how wonderful, and my song shall ever be, how marvelous, how wonderful is my Saviours love for me."

When we got on the plane, I sat down behind Billy and thought..."I'm so proud of him.....I'm so thankful to be married to this man." He spoke to around 100 men on Saturday morning and shared our story. I know they were blessed and encouraged. He has come so far. I've seen him in the worst moments of his life and I've been privileged to watch God begin to heal and work in his heart. How can God take something so horrible and use it for good in our lives and in the lives of others. I don't know.... but by His grace He chooses to use even the ugly and the painful.

This verse keeps popping up over and over...my friend Caroline used it in a comment she left and I love how she inserted the (how?)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope (HOW?) by the power of the Holy Spirit which we hope." Romans 15:13

That's how he chooses to "work all things together for the good of those who love him".... by His Spirit that is at work in our lives, to produce joy, peace, HOPE for the hard days ahead.
Thank you, precious friends, for walking this road with me.....Thank you for giving me hope.


Lucy and Jason said...

so glad it went well!!! Love you guys!

max harrell said...

Hope, I just do not even know what to comment. God is so good and you are so right, He is our hope, our strength, our joy and our only way. Please continue to share your life and share God's wonderful gift of grace that supplies every need that we have. Love & blessings to you and your family.
Carol Harrell, Athens, GA.

April Brown said...

Wow...what great friends you have in Chicago! I LOVE how they have reached out and loved you like Jesus. What an example they are. It makes me smile because they totally love you in just the same way you love others... with encouragement and truth.

Hope you're feeling better. The stomach bug or achiness is so unfun!

Aimee said...

I am trying to get my thoughts together after reading your post. It blessed me so much. Your words feel like they are speaking right to me. Thank you. Oh, how I needed to read those verses this morning...

My heart just aches with you. I dont think a lot of people understand this "ache" that can consume your chest. It can be so heavy.

OH, Hope, one day we will watch our girls play together. One day we will truly understand all this pain. And even if we never understand, to God be the Glory. I look forward to that day. Come Lord Jesus!

Love you and can't wait to see you again..


Kim said...

Amen! and Amen! I find myself crying as I am reading your post. I grieve with you! I ache for Billy as he was flooded with memories at your old home. Yet, in the pain I find myself worshiping the Lord as He is carrying you and as He is loving you through others. How I wish I could have been in Naperville, to hug you personally and pray with you and for you.

You are always close to my heart!

Continuing to join your NPC family in prayer for true Hope for you!

Beth Scott said...

Hey Hope.
I'm so very grateful to God for the precious friends you have in Chicago. What a precious and special gift! I praise God for His blessings in the midst of sorrow. You are on our minds so much and we pray for you. We love you and Billy so much. Please tell Billy hey from us as I know he doesn't read these posts much! Hugs and Love to all! May God continue to hold you all in His wonderful and all sufficient arms.

Shea said...

I'm so glad you were able to make the trip. I'm so grateful to God for your wonderful, marvelous friends in Chicago. I know your trip there had to be difficult; can't imagine the sadness that Billy must have felt visiting your old home. But also, what a blessing too that he was able to return there and remember her in her happy times. I'd like to think she's riding bikes and flying kites now with Jesus in heaven, wearing her princess dresses and red sparkly shoes. And I can't help but imagine she and Aimees sweet Sophie Ann spending all their time together. It's sad to think of but yet it brings me such a sense of hope and peace thinking of them both this way. God bless you. Hope Elley is doing okay! I'm sure Maw and Paw spoiled the 3 of them rotten while you were away. Much love!

Lindsey said...

so glad you were encouraged. such great friends. hope the rest of the family is feeling well--you and elley. thanks so much for sharing. we love you guys.

Anonymous said...

We don't know each other. I heard about your blog from a friend of a friend who attended your former church. We began to pray for your family at our Women's Bible study after you lost your daughter. I still check your blog occasionally to see how you are doing. Your blog always makes me think about my faith and where my hope truly lies. You should put your words into a book someday. They would be such an encouragement to others who share your loss of a child. Lois

ann said...

It was such a joy to have you here. Thank you for sharing all your hope with us. We love and miss you. So good to see Billy too.

Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

i'm so glad that your friends in chicago got to love on you! i love your "hope" chest! thank you for continuing to point us all to Christ. i'm praying for both you and billy as you continue to walk this hard road. may christ bear this unbearable burden for you! love you!

Kristin said...

What a BEAUTIFUL way to give you more HOPE through our Savior... What special friends you have. Thanks for sharing what they did. We love you. I hope Elley is recovering, and I hope you're feeling better.

We continue to pray.

Sharon Shepherd said...

God bless you Hope, Billy and your whole family. Every time I read your blog it blesses me more than my words can say. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.
I saw Elley with Maw and Paw last Wed. night at church. She is a cutie pie.
I love you Hope. You are precious to me!

It's me, shannon said...

hope, your words, your story leads me to our sweet Jesus everytime.
love, grace, peace, and mercy to you and your wonderful family.

Keith Scherer said...

Hey Hope,

It was so good, so good to have you and Billy worshiping with us on the 25th. (I'm just back from Dublin, Ireland so am just now reading your post.)

I'm sure that you have no idea how much an encouragement you and Billy are to me.

Blessings and prayers as always...

Laura said...

Still here...Still praying. I know some days you must feel like you are just pushing through. I am so thankful that you are so real about life. So thankful...love you guys.