Friday, March 6, 2009

Her birthday


























































I really didn't want to do this post. The minute I started I could feel that tightness in my throat and heaviness in my chest. Obviously, I would give anything to be planning her a fun and girly five year old birthday party but instead I'm trying to figure out how to spend it without her. Honestly, this is harder than Christmas or Thanksgiving. Your birthday is all about celebrating YOU. This was her day and instead of celebrating, we're sad and lonely. I know I will see her again but that day just seems so so so far away and it's hard not to think about it from an earthly perspective. It has been a tough week for Billy...he has cried many times and he asks me "why do you think I'm like this, I can just think about her for one second and if I keep thinking about it, I cry." This is just how grief is. You're "ok" for a while and then it hits you again harder than the time before. Grief is complicated that way.




Please just say an "extra" prayer for us the next few days. We've decided to just keep it simple on Sunday. We're staying in town and going to Hurricane Creek Park for a picnic and hike. It's a beautiful place with waterfalls, caves, streams, etc. The kids love going there and I know Alaina would've loved it too. I believe fully that Jesus will meet us where we are in our hurt as he has always done. I will continue to trust but I need his extra grace to do it.




The pictures above are from her 3 and 4 year birthday........
I hope you can hear this song from my playlist, it has been one of my favorites along this road.











43 comments:

Matt, Carrie and Lucy Allen said...

praying and praying and praying...

Anonymous said...

Praying with you.

Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

oh my! i realized after looking at her beautiful pictures that i was holding my breath the whole time. i love the joy on her face. i want her to have another birthday too. i can't imagine the pain you're in as you get ready for her special day. i will pray for God to comfort you in a way that only He can. He alone knows your pain! know that we all love you and will pray.

Nate and Kara said...

My heart just aches for you and Billy. Oh my dear friend. I am fervently praying for you and what this day means to your family.

Kara

Amy said...

you and Billy have come to my mind about 20 times a day this week. We are praying.

Ashley Hood Gunn said...

Billy and Hope,

You come to mind so often. The Lord is precious that way. Please know that I still pray for your family and will be thinking of you this weekend, especially tomorrow.

Love,

Ashley Hood Gunn

April Brown said...

We're praying.

Parks Avenue said...

I have been thinking about you guys alot this week as well. Our prayers are many for you. I didn't have the pleasure of knowing Alaina, but I think about her often now, having a 5 year old. We just celebrated Paige's 5th birthday last month and God reminded me of you all day. I love you guys! We continue to pray. --Annie

Amy said...

Hey Hope. I posted a comment a while back. I don't know if you & Billy would remember me from SBP'99&'00. I went to TSU.
Anyway, I've recently heard this beautiful song while riding in the car. It makes me think of you and your family. I finally did a search today and found out that Natalie Grant sings it. I just wanted to give you the lyrics and let you know that the Lord keeps bringing you to mind. I will keep praying.

Here are the lyrics:

You would think only so much can go wrong
Calamity only strikes once
And you assume that this one has suffered her share
Life will be kinder from here

Sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
Sometimes the sky rains night after night
When will it clear
But our hope endures the worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
Let the earth quake
Our hope is unchanged

How do we comprehend peace within pain
Our joy at a good man's wake
Walk a mile with a woman whose body is torn
With illness but she marches on

Sometimes the sun stays hidden for years
Sometimes the sky rains night after night
When will it clear
But our hope endures the worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
Let the earth quake
Our hope is unchanged

Emanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient
Emanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient
Emanuel, God is with us
El Shaddai, all sufficient

We never walk alone
This is our hope
Our hope endures, the worst of conditions
It's more than our optimism
let the earth quake
let the earth quake
let the earth quake
Our hope is unchanged

Anonymous said...

hope, my heart is reaching out to you and my prayers are lifting up to Him. He will see you through this dark day.
Love,
Mrs. Cowan

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing.

Beth Scott said...

We love you and Billy and your family so much and we are praying....

Danny and Jennifer White said...

will pray Hope.

sagefats said...

praying. love you guys.
-matt ford

Will and Lisa said...

God is so faithful. Now I know why you and Billy have been coming to my mind so much over the last few weeks. I've been praying for you guys and will definitely continue to pray for you all, especially tomorrow. Even though tomorrow will be hard for you guys I'm praying that God will show up in a real way and that you will sense His presence mightily. According to the definition I gave my 6th graders this week, hope is eagerly waiting for something good that you are confident will happen. So...I hope that in the midst of the pain it will be a special day as you celebrate Laina. We love you guys so much!
Will ("Bubba" for Billy) and Lisa

Anonymous said...

Hope,
We are remembering Alaina and lifting you, Billy and the kids in prayer.Much love to you all,
Nancy

Lauren S. Hauge said...

Hope,
You and Billy have been on my heart all week! We love you and will be praying for you and the whole family!
Love,
Lauren

Amy said...

I am praying today!!! You are not forgotten - not by us or your sweet Heavenly Father. He knows your heavy heart so I pray you run to Him today!!!

Nate said...

Thank you, Hope. She's so beautiful, I like seeing the pictures, even though Kara and I sorted through them over and over again.

That song is one of my favorites too.

Allison said...

Mitch and I are praying for you and Billy today.

Denise Shoemaker said...

Heavy hearts today - we love you and are praying for you. Thank you for posting pictures - what a beautiful, happy girl.

Michael and Jennifer Werneth said...

praying for you today.

Heather said...

Praying with you,
- Heather & Marc-Andre

Lindsey said...

love you guys and praying for you today. hope it is a special day. love seeing the pictures of alaina too. what a princess.

Anonymous said...

i'm still praying for you hope,
"Be still and know that I am God" I hope during this difficult day you could feel His presence. I know He was there for you all. And I know she sees that you remembered her special day. I understand how important it is to continue to include her special day in your family. I understand. and I love you and lift your heavy hearts up to Him.
love,
Mrs. Cowan

Becky said...

My heart aches for you. Praying for your family.

Shea said...

Been thinking of you today. Praying as always! Lifting you in unending prayer. God bless you and love you.

Shea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ann said...

Starting and ending my day praying for you friends. We miss her!

Anonymous said...

Your story is amazing. You are a testiment to our faith.

Anonymous said...

you all were in our hearts all weekend, dear friend...praying that Jesus would meet you in the deepest places in the way only He can. THANK YOU for Alaina's birthday pictures--thank you for continuing to share this journey with us. We love you.

katie a.

The Harper Family said...

I will be praying for you. I can't imagine your pain. I pray that God will send you some extra comfort this week.

Edward said...

We are praying for you girl. I love looking at all of her pics. She is such a pretty girl...I wish we could some how help to take away the pain you guys are feeling...I hope to see you soon.
Alysia :)

Laura said...

I was thinking about you guys this week, and praying for you, and last week, and next week.

I saw that you had posted these. I had to muster up the courage to look and to read.

I am praying, as always.

We love you guys.

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking of you tonight Hope. I just felt i needed to tell you that. I don't know if you needed to hear it or if i needed to say it, but just know that I have lifted you specifically up tonight--mother to mother.
love you.
mrs. cowan

Anonymous said...

Many prayers and much love, Hope.
Love, Miranda Rivers Hancock

Kristin said...

we've been praying, hope, and will continue to... thank you for posting all of those precious pictures. i love to see her sweet expressions... my heart aches for you. much love from both of us.

Deidre said...

You're in my prayers.

Love,
Deidre

ann said...

Praying specific scriptures of HOPE for you and Billy today. Love you. Ann

Anonymous said...

Billy and Hope - I haven't had a chance yet to tell you, but I do remember your family daily in prayer. Even if I happen to drive by your house, I often just lift up a short prayer for you. It always seems like Wednesday nights are so busy and we haven't had a chance to really talk. Just know that the Frees are thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

hope, i'm just letting you know that i'm taking a moment this afternoon to pray for laughter for your family. that's my prayer for you. that laughter will return to you and your beautiful family--- true belly giggling laughter-- the kind you have where you don't feel guilty about laughing without her--- yep I've been there and i've felt the guilt. so that's my prayer today for your family to enjoy laughter again. i've got a lot of jokes for you if you need them, but i'm not sure mrs. martha would consider them very appropriate.
love you,
mrs. cowan

Holley said...

Wow, what a beautiful girl. Gail Fry shared your blog with me. There are never the right words to say...but I want you to know I'm praying for you right now, at this very moment, as I type these words.

JJMERKEL said...

Hope and Billy, we were away on her birthday, but want you to know that we have kept you all in our thoughts and prayers. Love you!!