Saturday, December 31, 2011

after the service

Greetings from the night writer again. I'm starting this post at 11:15 pm, without the intentions of staying up to ring in the new year. The intention of the post is to write about Anna Joy's service that was held earlier today.

Alissa and I just read through 72 cards that were given to us at the service. Alissa counted that there were about 350 people that signed the guest book. Her parents figured that about 500 showed up for the service. Yes, you read that right, 500. Ummm - wow! And I know there were countless others who would have liked to have been there, but couldn't.

So, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for joining us today to celebrate Anna's life. We had an amazing time. A few of our family members shared some wonderful thoughts about Anna's story. Pastor Dave Ness read a letter he had written to his church family (please see the previous post and you can read it too!). Pastor Bill Bowers (our church Senior Pastor) shared also. He said many great things, but one that stuck out to many people went something like this:

"It is a tragedy when someone is born with half a heart. But it is even more tragic when someone doesn't live wholeheartedly for God." I think I may expand on that a little bit more in a future post, but my wife just asked me to join her for a snuggle in bed. And I ain't turning that down. So I guess I'll have to give you some more info on the service at a later post. Maybe I'll be able to get something to you tomorrow. Or Alissa will. Or maybe not. We'll see how our day goes.

Again, thank you. Please know that your prayers and support have allowed us to go through our situation with grace, faith, and hope. We are standing only because of the prayers of the saints surrounding us, which has enabled God's strength to flow to us. We love you all. Thank you for the wonderful words of encouragement. We also received some precious gifts that we will cherish for a long time to come.

God bless, and have a Happy New Year. I'm going to go snuggle with my wonderful wife.

8 comments:

  1. I told some friends today that my thoughts henceforth would not be on the blog but to Alissa and Matt personally but.....alas.....I don't always keep my word. I was honored to join the Peppleys at Anna Joy's memorial today. It was a service that was beautiful in every way imaginable. My eyes still sting. Alissa, your singing to your daughter will never, yes never, leave me. It was overwhelming. Matt, 10# or 7# -- who cares?! Your words about your daughter had nothing to do with anything but the size of your love for her.....unimaginable and unsurpassed. The dignity and warmth with which you two carried yourselves through this public event was beyond my imagination. YOU (and your families) gave US strength.....and we do not wonder about the source of YOUR strength. We know the days ahead will often be difficult, and all of us remain at your side....our support for you did not end today. 2012 is a new year, but 2011 will remain a year of new meanings and new blessings and new thinking....thanks to your dear one, Anna Joy. Thank you for sharing her -- and yourselves -- with us. We love you all.

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  2. Anna and her precious life were celebrated beautifully today. I was touched by all the people that attended, the stories told, the pictures shown, the laughs, the tears, & the raw moments that reminded me just how precious each day is. I am continually amazed by both yours & Alissas grace & faith through this whole process. Thank you for sharing such personal & intimate moments with all of us & know....Annas little precious life touched mine, & I too will be forever changed. Love to you both!

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  3. I have always been touched by Alissa's singing and yesterday was no exception. Your song was exceptional in every way. Thank you for sharing the service with so many....what a blessing. I agree with the two posts above....u know not the writer....

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  4. Thank you so much for sharing. I would've loved to be there at Anna's service. I was praying for you guys throughout the day yesterday, and will continue to do so. Thank you for your amazing example of faith through such an intense storm. I so agree with Pastor Dave Ness where he says that God chose you to be Anna's parents, because He knew that you would glorify Him through the process. I remember thinking that either shortly before or shortly after Anna was born. You have allowed yourselves to be His vessels. He delights in you. You have carried this heavy, heavy responsibility so well; you have brought glory to God and furthered His kingdom. You are warriors.... and you are still His children, and he will hold you and comfort you as you continue to grieve. Again, thank you. Alissa, thank you for reminding us to cherish every moment with our little ones. Matt, thank you for your humor, and for loving your wife so well (it is obvious that you adore Alissa). I will continue to pray for you guys.
    Maybe someday we can see each other... Alissa, i would love to see you again. Let us know if you ever come to San Diego! Love Katie

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  5. As I write through my tears, I just want to say your family will have a place in my heart forever. Bless all of you.
    Brigitte

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  6. God bless you both as you continue down this path. We have been, and continue to be, praying for you. I think I will be compelled to pray for your little family for a very long time. I just wanted you to know that this little section of your family is pulling for you.
    Love,
    Shannon (your Grandpa Coby is my moms Uncle)

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  7. I am still feeling the reverberation of the heart felt service yesterday. I could only hope to stand as you both did, paying tribute not only to your beautiful daughter but to the God who knew her every breath, her every heart beat, her every moment. And who has been with you for each of them and will be forever more.

    I truly will NOT be the same after that 2 hours of experiencing the love of Anna Joy. Thank you for sharing her with us. My prayers will follow you...

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  8. I just want you to know that I think of you daily and continue to pray for you. You are two of the most inspiring people to me. Your faith will lead you thru so much and I really praise God that he is there to support you through this. God bless you both!

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