Sunday, June 7, 2009

Ok people, I have lots of pictures to share and can't figure out how to get them all on one post without it taking FOREVER so they'll be divided up for your viewing pleasure. I'm so behind so I just tried to give you a quick "explanation" of each picture...kind of a man's version if you know what I mean.

We just got back from the beach but those pics will be for another post. I'm not sure where to begin with all I want/need to share...Do you have a few hours? I've had some hard days. I've had a HARD year. I'm tired. Tired of grieving. Tired of crying. Tired of fighting through the visions of July 2, 2008 over and over again. Tired of emotions and feelings catching me off guard, for example Elley's end of the year school program. As we were driving to the church I thought for the thousandth time that I wished we were going to watch two little girls instead of one. And I have to surrender for the bazillionth time. Before Elley's class the four year olds performed. I cried sitting there as they sang "She'll be coming around the mountain," one of Laina's favorites, and then listened as the teacher said "If you're the parent of a 4 year old, stand up, and they will find you." Then I watch as they all run to their parents, smiling and excited. And in that moment, my heart is breaking(again) and I want to scream....this is just too hard, why Lord? Why should any parent have to endure this? How can it be anything in that moment but heart....breaking? I'm tired of the heartbreak. I'm not giving up, just tired.

Yesterday was one of those days when I came to the end of myself and as I prayed all I could say was "Jesus, I need you." This morning as I thought and prayed some more I realized something about my stress. Grieving is so absolutely draining....physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally. It has taken every bit of energy I have for almost a year now. We have purposely tried to avoid things that would create stress, like committing to things, people, etc. Well, this move that is approaching has created a new area of stress for me. I don't have any "room" on my "stress meter" for anything else and part of it gets down to one of my idles of wanting things to be easy. Moving is not easy. Getting land ready and putting in a road and all the time it will require of Billy is not easy. But we're right in the middle of it all and there's no turning back now. I am excited about being out there but it's the process that's exhausting...ESPECIALLY when you're still grieving, when your approaching the one year mark and everything is all too familiar and when you still listen to your kids say they wish their sister could come back. Otherwise it would just be a move, not really a big deal. But it's a big deal to me right now. That's where I am. I turned on the tv last night and it was on one of the church channels and a verse in Hebrews was on the screen....HE is the same yesterday, today and forever. He was God before we lost Laina. He is the same today with what I'm facing. He will be the same God tomorrow when I get up, and when we move, and when July 2 gets here and when I meet him in heaven. He does not change through all my shifting emotions, my highs and lows, which means his faithfulness, grace, mercy, character cannot change either. I cling to this HOPE. I cling to this God who does not change, who does not grow tired or weary.

Bye for back soon with beach pics.

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Aimee said...


I am so sorry. I'm sorry that everything is a reminded to you. I just can't imagine. I can tell you that the "one year" mark was not as bad as I thought it would be. It was the days leading up to it and the anticipation of it.

You will always hurt for your little girl..but time does soothe the rawness of your emotions. I am praying for that for you.

I miss you so much!! We are just a hop, skip and a jump away! And we need to get together this summer.

Love you! And our family has not forgotten your pain nor have we forgotten Alaina.

The McNeill Family said...

We're thinking of you as July is coming up and will be praying for you as you move...for strength, comfort and joy. And we're encouraged by your faith. Love, The McNeills

April Brown said...

I'm so glad you posted! I've been thinking about you and Billy and please know that we are still praying for you.


Anonymous said...

Hope, please know that as i turned around during the kindergarden program waiting for Lucas to come in with his class I saw you, saw your tears, my thought was oh my goodness of course this is painful and so bittersweet for her!!! I began to pray and continued to do so, my heart was so broken for you!! Please know that the women at Christ Covenant love you and will be praying for you and with you as you all approach July 2!! ( Can you believe I figured out how to do this!! :) Tracie

Danny and Jennifer White said...

So good to hear from you again Hope.Will continue to pray for you

Shea said...

You've been on my heart! It's so good to "hear" your voice. I'm praying for you today as much as I did for you on July 2nd, 2008. God is the same! And I think the best thing you could ever say to Him is just how much you need Him...He is there.

I love all the pics. My favorite is the one of Elley greeting you, MH and Maw and Paw. The look on your faces is pure joy! I hope with time you'll be filled with more joy and less grief. Not that you could ever stop grieving but I just pray for you that the pain won't be this "raw" forever. Much love to you all!

Anonymous said...

hope, i haven't lost a child, so i don't pretend to understand the depth of that loss you feel, but i have now outlived both of my parents, so i know grief. and i know the exhaustion you are talking about. i lived it for 3 years after my mom's suicide, until i finally gave it to God and told Him that my life was beautiful and I wanted to live it. and enjoy it. You'll get there. and we'll keep praying til your days hold the joy they once did
remember jesus loves you and i do too
mrs. cowan

Ashley said...


Thank you for sharing. You are brought to mind so often. I share your story with others. I have been so encouraged and strengthened in my faith through your blog. You are investing in our lives without even knowing it. May we all place our hope in our everlasting God. The "peek into heaven" post meant the world to me. We just lost our first baby through a miscarriage and that post gave me hope for our child. Thank you for your vulnerability.


Ashley Hood Gunn

Anonymous said...

Hope, Every time I hear this song, I think of you and pray for you.

There Will Be A Day

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you’re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you’ve walked out all alone

Troubled soul don’t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that’s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering


I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will
wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery
this is why this is why I sing

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
we'll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more
There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more,
we'll see Jesus face to face

There will be a day, he will wipe away the tears,
He will wipe away the tears,
He will wipe away the tears,
There will be a day.

Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie said...

Hope and Billy,
I lift you guys up daily and think of you often, especially now that July 2nd is approaching. Please continue to feel the prayers that are being taken to the Throne for you and your family. I know that the pain must be unbearable but you will continue to live and live well. Your sweet baby is dancing with Jesus today - that brings a smile to my face. But I can't even pretend to understand the ache that you must feel to just hold her again. I will continue to pray that God fills that massive hole in your hearts and your spirits.
In Him,
Katie Hawkins Beall

Becky said...

Praying for you all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Hope, as i get ready to turn in tonight, I am reminded of you and your sweet family and I quietly add you to my list of requests that I will make when I close my eyes tonight. I will pray specifically tonight for your rest to come Hope. I pray that you will get over the sense of looming dread that I know you are feeling as July 2 hangs in the future. Tonight, I am praying for your peace. And God's will.
Remember I love you and Jesus does too.
Mrs. Cowan

JJMERKEL said...

I am glad that you were able to post again. I was getting worried! We think of you often and pray for you. Thanks for posting the pictures!!!

nan said...

Hope you have been on my mind alot lately! I love you and am praying for you! Comfort, provision and peace. I so wish I could take your pain away. I will pray relentlessly for you and Billy as July approaches and the floodgates of emotions flood your mind. I can only trust that God will put a hedge of protection around you and that He will uphold you in His righteous right Hand.
love nan

michelle zegarski said...

heartbreak can't get worse on the anniversaries. it already is being brokenhearted. don't be afraid. keep clinging to the one who holds you. my daughter was lecturing my son today on how God is really bigger than a megalodon (a giant prehistoric shark). it prompted me to remind her that if she could really plant that knowledge in her heart she wouldn't have been too scared to go to the bathroom by herself last night. knowing the truth of God's goodness and strength and faithfulness doesn't remove my fear like i wish it did but it does allow me to walk despite it. and sometimes it even allows me to set it down in his huge hands for a little while and find rest. 2 timothy 1:12 says "I know whom I have believed and am convinced that he is able to guard what i have entrusted to him for that day." i am and will be praying that the greater than megalodon-sized One will be guarding each of your hearts now and especially on that day. in Christ, michelle zegarski

chat to text said...

I came across your blog by chance (I really believe that nothing is by chance, that God is always in control)

I placed your name and the July 2nd date on my phone calendar and please know that my wife and I will be praying for you.