Thursday, March 26, 2009

Helping me Fight

***You'll understand the pictures when you finish reading........

This is just another glimpse into why I need you to help me "stand on the Word."

March 26, 2009
Today I see a van that looks like our old one...the one we had in Chicago. I never told you about us selling that van a few months after we moved to Cullman. When I saw the guy that bought it driving away I cried. It's like a piece of us was driving away...another piece that reminded me of Alaina...looking back at her falling asleep on the way home from Children's Day Out or listening to her laugh with Holden when they heard the mice chattering on the Cinderella song. The van symbolized those things. For a moment today when I saw the van, I hated our Suburban. I just wanted that old green van back. I know it's not about the van, it's about the little girl that rode everywhere with us. As I got into the Suburban I thought again how hard it is to surrender. There is absolutely nothing I can do to get her back here. I know the right answer so please don't tell me that I wouldn't want her to come back if I could see how perfect she is. Just claim the Word for me. Pray that I will continue to stand on His promises.

Also today: Mary Helen is sick...fever is up to 103.7 (again) . I have the thought over and over again that she could die today. What am I going to see when I look in her crib? Fear creeps in, no it doesn't creep, it just knocks me down. I can't do this again, Lord.

Yesterday, out of the blue, Holden says "Mama when you found Alaina dead, was she on the floor?" It's hard to go on with a normal conversation after a question like that. It's very sad to me and not fair that a seven year old little boy has to ask that....and it lets me know he is thinking about it so much more than he verbalizes. I'm not telling you these things for you to feel sorry for me. I'm telling you because I need you to continue to fight with me, just as hard as you did on July 2. I'm telling you so that you will know how to pray specifically. "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you may have life." John 10:10

I also don't want to make you think that I'm walking around depressed all day. I/We have lots of great moments, lots of laughter.....but some other moments are really a the examples above. I'm just trying to "let you in."

***********Ok switch gears with me to some news that doesn't involve tears....

We're moving to the country. This is exciting news for the Atchisons, especially Billy Atchison since this has been a life long dream of his. Don't you see all the pictures of him in overalls on this blog? We're hoping to live in a "mobile home" aka "double wide" until we can build a house. I know you Chicago friends are chuckling inside! Hopefully we can move this summer. We would love to build our "forever" house here. I think it's about 38 acres complete with a barn, cows and a few ponds.

Lamentations 3:21-23!!!


Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

I love your new blog; it's perfect for this new season of your life. My heart aches when I think of all of the memories your green van held and Holden's questions... I can only imagine how so many things would remind you of Alaina and how you want to hold on to them. I will continue to pray for the daily struggle as you miss her. I am excited about your land and think it is just beautiful! I'll help make pretty curtains for your double-wide! Love ya'll!

The Veenstra Family said...

We stand upon His word and reflect on Ephesians 6:10-20 for strength. We are excited for you about the new Atchison homestead. Yes we can picture Billy running around in at least overalls we all hope. With much love and much prayer for you.

Amy said...

The blog is adorable. Love love love it!!!! I am praying for you. Thank you for the specifics to pray for. We are in the country now and really enjoy it. I love that the kids can rip and romp. Oh and whatever happen to the guy loose in Cullman? Did he leave your garage or is he still hanging out there? Jenny Flynn calls her double wide her metal mansion :):) I know I am jumping around but this post brought a few things to mind I needed to tell/ask you. Know I am praying.

Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

hope i am so so sorry you have to go through this and fight the thoughts that go through your head (and even help holden deal with his thoughts...) thank you for giving specific things to pray for and know that we love ya'll and are thinking of you often...excited about your move to farm land, and i love your new blog layout that matches perfectly! and also hope mary helen gets better soon! lots of love and prayer-

Aimee said...


First, I LOVE the new look of your blog. I think its great!! Totally you!!

Second, it was so good to talk with you the other day! We were so happy to see Billy!! (But, I do wish you would have been with him!)

We are praying with you...its hard, I know. Everything is such a reminder. Everything. Its interesting you posted this on your blog this week..I also did a similar post on my blog. Its all those "flashbacks" that Satan uses against us on a daily basis. I am learning to depend on Him on a moment by moment basis. When I think I can do it on my own, He gently reminds me that He is my only source of strength.

I love you!

We ARE getting together really, really soon.

The Hannahs said...

You have been on my mind so much lately. I pray for you daily but it seems that you have been on my heart even more in recent weeks. I wanted you to know that I continue to lift you and your family up daily and am always "here" for you. I love you, my dear old friend.

Brandi Barnes Parten said...

Hope, I understand the van. I have had the same feeling before. I have also looked into the eyes of someone who was telling me that I wouldn't want her back, and thought to myself, I never wanted her to leave in the first place though! I understand some of your pain, not all of it, but some of it. I pray for peace for you and your family. I have often wondered about Holden. I pray that God gives you wisdom in what, when and how to say things to your children. No doubt God has equipped you for what you are dealing with now and will equip you with what you need in the future. I know that you are fully aware of this, but you and your family are a lighthouse to so many hurting people. Thanks you for your willingness to be real and honest so people can relate to you.

JJMERKEL said...

Hope, I hope that Mary Helen will feel better soon. I am excited for you guys with your new house. I can see you all being so very happy there. My grandparents have lived in a "double wide" for about 15 years now. It is a nice place, and works perfect for them. : )

I always think of you whenever I see a green van, then I remember you guys bought something different when you moved. So I know it couldn't possibly be you in it. I could not imagine the pain you feel whenever you see one though. I will continue to pray for you.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading "Heaven is Real", and I know you have already read it, but all through that book I was continually reminded of the choices you've made on this side of the Bridge. I know you would never have chosen this new normal, but I admire your willingness to share your pain and triumphs with so many to offer encouragement and peace. May our precious Lord and Savior carry you each and every moment of this journey.

Anonymous said...

Hope, I absolutely love the new blog!!! And I am so happy for you that you are moving to the farm. The pictures remind me of my grandmother's place that we used to go to as children. We loved the barn because there were always mice and other varmints(sp) in the barn. My older brother and my sister and I spent many weekends and summers exploring. I just know your children will enjoy the freedom that the country affords. I am continuing to lift you up in my prayers, Hope. Remember as we enter the Easter season, that all our pain in not in vain. Thank GOD, we get a second chance at eternal life. You will hold that sweet baby again, Hope, but for now, God has lots in store for you and your family. I look forward to following the progress on the house. Have a good week.
I love you and I pray that God meets you at your deepest need this week.
Mrs. Cowan

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us know how to pray specifically. Dick is anxious to see Billy! i'm praying for Mary Helen tonight and for your peace. "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds." Battling for you, my friend. K.A.

Jackie said...

Still praying.

zellner said...

Hope- I don't know you personally but have been following your blog and praying for your family. Y'all are often on my mind and today's post is one of the reasons why- I am praying for you as you have to keep answering questions for little ones who are still processing, as you face sickness and have to push back the creeping thoughts, and as you face the sadness about the van that is filled with memories. I'm sorry life is so hard on this side of the fall. 2 Thes 3:16
Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times in every way. The Lord be with you all.
Blessings to your family.
susan zellner (Huntsville, AL)

Shea said...

Oh, Hope. I'm so very glad that you "let us in" by sharing these personal things with us. It really does make praying for you so much more personal. I will pray specifically for all the things you asked and for more.

Love the new blog and I can totally see Billy riding a tractor in his overalls! Congrats on your plans to build and move. Much love to you. Always, always praying!

Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

hope- our pastor is doing a sermon series out of 1peter on hope and this is a verse we have been reading each week that runs along with the theme and it just made me think of you...
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23


Anonymous said...

hope, i have you on my heart tonight. no particular reason, God just brought you to mind as He so often does. just wanted you to know that He and I talked about you. I pray you and the family are having a good week. I hope we can see you over Easter, maybe!!
Mrs. Cowan

Shelley said...

how wonderful. i can totally see yall there. and like jen said the new blog is perfect for the new stage. praying for wisdom and comfort and peace.

Anonymous said...

Hope, just checking in to let you know that you are loved. and you are in my prayers.
It's no april fool's. you really are.
mrs. cowan

April Brown said...

Love the new blog...maybe you could add "Home on the Range" or "Gunsmoke" to your playlist :)

Jennifer Werneth will do an amazing job whipping that double wide into shape!! You must post pics of this!!

I (like everyone here) continue to pray... I really count it a privilege when the Lord brings you to mind and I intercede for you and Billy and your children.

love you! I hope soon our schedules will work out so we can get together!!

Anonymous said...

Hope and family - Glad to hear that you're moving to the country. I can see all of you dressed in overalls working on the farm. What a pleasant, peaceful live.

We think of you, Billy and the kids often.

Karen and Rob
Yorkville, IL

Anonymous said...

Hope, i'm praying that the RESURRECTED CHRIST will answer all your prayers and take you through this week. May you wake with joy in your heart tomorrow.
I love you,
Mrs. Cowan

Amy said...

Hope I just had you on my mind this morning. Just wanted you to know God is faithful and He is continuing to bring you to mind. As I scrolled down the comments I see this is true for many. I am praying for a good day today - one filled with Atchison laughter and silliness.
On a different note. John said you guys have inspired us to maybe go with a double wide. We think God is going to keep us where we are for a while and we want to build a house as well. We want to do a lot of it our self and that will take a little while so we join you guys soon in living in a metal mansion :):)

Anonymous said...

I do hope you will feed that scrawny cow when you move. It is so wretchedly thin!

May this be a great new start for you. I am totally excited for you.

You know my prayers are with you, and my love.


JJMERKEL said...

Just was thinking of you and wanted to wish you a Happy Easter.

ann said...

Fighting for you with the only tool I have - prayer.
May you be able to worship the resurrected King this Sunday. Love you. Ann L.

Anonymous said...

Hello Hope,
I am up late tonight. I have been cooking all day -- it's been hectic here. Jay found 3 baby turtles and Olivia got mad because she couldn't find anybody to spend the night with her. So needless to say, late at night when the house is quiet, this is the time of the day when i can actually hear myself think. And my mind finds its way to you. So i lift up a prayer of peace for you and your family tonight. Did you know,Hope that if a turtle gets turned upside down on its shell it will often rock and rock until it is right side up again. Or until someone comes along and helps it along the way. Maybe you all are like a turtle, just rocking along until you get back on your feet again. Or until someone comes along to help you up. I think your help is already with you Hope, and He will not fail you.
Happy Easter. God loves you and so do I.
Mrs. Cowan

Amy R Smith said...

Hope, I'm lifting you guys up in my prayers and will continue to claim God's promises for you.

I love the new look to your blog and that you guys are moving to the country.

Sarah said...

I love you, girl! The new look for your blog is great. I look at the pictures of the land and so see you guys there. I will continue to pray for the daily things that are hard. I do ache for you. I am excited about spending some "down time" with you this weekend. Love you and see you soon.

Anonymous said...

hope, you are on my mind. i read a great book. i just finished it. it's called The Shack. check it out. i think you will find peace in it. i love you and pray for you daily.
mrs. cowan

Anonymous said...


Jessica said...


I don't know you personally,but I have been readin your blog for awhile now. I don't come on every week, but I often find myself thinking about you and your family. I always find myself wanting to check in to see how you are all doing. I can't begin to imagine your hurt and pain. I think you are so strong. I just want you to know that people are praying and thinking of you.

Nashua, NH

Anonymous said...

missing your posts :)