Friday, December 16, 2011

loss for words...

by Matt Peppley

Right now I am at a loss for words. Of course, I say that and then I'll probably write several pages. Or I really will not write much because I really am slowing down. We'll see how it goes...

They took Anna off ECMO earlier today and she didn't tolerate it well at all. The doctors weren't surprised, given that there was still a lot of fluid on the lungs. Since Anna has lost a lot of the fluid everywhere else on her body, they think that the arteries going into the lungs are big enough, but veins exiting the lungs are not. Thus, the fluid is sorta becoming trapped in her lungs. So when they take her off ECMO, her lungs can't keep up with the demand for oxygen. Her heart is looking good, and is pumping correctly, but the problem is the lungs.

What does this mean? One of two things. 1) the veins are just "tired out" from all the work that has been done on her little body, and they will eventually open up as her body rests a little bit. Or 2) the veins just weren't made big enough. If #1 is correct, we will be able to continue to walk through the aforementioned woods and enjoy the pleasure of raising a beautiful little girl. If #2 is correct, well...there is nothing more that the doctors can do about that and we will lose our precious angel, Anna Joy.

So, we will wait a couple of days, and let her rest. They will do another trial off ECMO and see how she tolerates that. At that point, we should know if she is going to stay with us here on earth or not.

Of course, God could intervene at any time. There is still that option. The question is: will He? I believe He can, and I gotta believe that He will. Where the doctors fail, that means the only other option is for God to move in a miraculous way.

It's easy to say that, isn't it? It's another thing to actually believe it. Don't get me wrong, I still believe that God can move in Anna's body and make things work right, but I have to ask myself: why would He? God only knows how little I deserve to have a miracle in my life. I've screwed up more times than I care to count, so why would he chose to bless me?

That being said, I could probably get into dozens of philosphical discussions about those kind of questions. So to save you all from that kind of grueling talk, I'll skip to the end. After all is said and done, no matter the outcome of this whole situation, I'll still trust God. I won't have all the answers, and never will. Heck, I'll probably forget to ask Him those questions when I get to heaven (provided He allows me access...) because I won't care anymore. So for now, I'll just sit back, enjoy the time I have with my cute daughter, and savor each moment I can - just in case her life will end in a short amount of time.

Earlier today, Alissa and I sat in a room and stared at the walls, contemplating the next couple of days. Neither of us said much, knowing that right now the decision is out of our hands. Either God will step in and help our daughter to live, or He won't. At one point Alissa looked at me and said "how can you be so strong?" I shook my head, all the time knowing the answer. She answered her own question, though, and said "it's gotta be supernatural, right?" I smiled and said, "yes, it is."

By the way, thank you for the overwhelming response to Alissa's plea last night. Reading your comments last night and today have provided me with that supernatural strength that I just mentioned.

70 comments:

  1. Thank you, Matt, for the update. We will continue to lift up all of you. In the meantime, if you get a chance, read Daniel 3... Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Kind of random, I know, but I've been thinking about it all week and finally read it this morning. I felt like it applied on several different levels. #1: Look at what they say to the king. #2: Look at who is with them in the fire.
    You guys are precious. God has a very big plan.

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  2. We will continue to pray alongside of you for your sweet baby girl, as well as on your behalf for faith and strength to persevere whatever the course may be.

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  3. And thank you so very much for the update-- we check often for word, so it is much appreciated! Thank you for allowing us to share in this burden of prayer.

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  4. We are all haunting your blog, reading the comments, praying, praying, praying. God has given you grace that you have never before needed. Allow Him to continue to enrich you with His presence. You are dearly loved, all of you, and prayers literally around the world are being spoken on behalf of Anna Joy. God knows, loves her more than we can imagine, and will do exactly what Anna Joy needs. Hang on to His promise to never leave you, never forsake you. And He will never, ever leave your baby girl. She is held in His Almighty arms. Praying without ceasing. Bless you.

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  5. My heart goes out to you. I pray for a miracle!

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  6. Praying all the time... No words right now. Pleading with God for your precious one...

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  7. I saw so many comments through the night last night and through today as I prayed. I don't know you but I've been addicted to your blog for 9 days now and praying the whole time. Hang in there. I admire your faith and perseverance and I know that you will be answered in some way and no matter what the outcome is I pray for supernatural peace and grace.

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  8. Praying for you in New York. God loves you so much.

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  9. Thank you for sharing Matt!! I have been checking every few minutes. I will Continue to pray that God will perform that miracle that none of us deserve. (Sorry, you Don't corner the market on screwing up....we are all human) But for His Glory He CAN heal her. I have to believe that He will. As I pray for that healing...I also pray for supernatural strength for ALL of you, Anna, Allisa and You, Matt!! God has been good to provide it. The waiting is the hardest part. Praying that God will sustain all of you through this seemingly endless waiting filled with questions. Know that not only does God love you through this. We do too!! If we didn't care we wouldn't pray. And I can't remember the last time I prayed so unceasingly. Keep remembering that God's hands are in the blankets around her and in the Dr's hands. Love and HUGE hugs to you all!!

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  10. Praying and will continue to pray for you sweet baby Anna Joy. :)Thanks for sharing your journey and updating us on what is going on emotionally and physically. Praying Praying and spreading the word for prayer for your family. I dont even know your family and only been following the blog since you were on the news. I have fallen in love with your story and all your pictures. May God bring all of you peace through this time in your life.

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  11. Today the prayer intercession continues - you are covered all over the world, and in a tiny house in the northend of Boise Idaho. You are walking a shadowed road, but know that the shadow is that of the wings of the Almighty God. He covers you. He covers Anna. Just think in all of this, once again, she is getting some amazing face-time with her Creator - while under sedation, all I can imagine is her swaddled close to the heart of Yahweh and the Lord's perfect voice singing over her, 'you are beautiful beyond description, too marvelous for words, too wonderful for comprehension, like nothing ever seen or heard, who can grasp my infinite wisdom, who can fathom the depth of my love, you are beautiful beyond description, anna joy, embraced and loved.'

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  12. Praying for all of you. Our God is amazing and through Him all things are possible. Keep your faith strong. Thank you for the updates, whether they are good or bad... I am captivated by your story and am praying for a miracle on a daily basis. Your daughter is beautiful beyond words.

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  13. Continued prayer and thoughts are with you all.

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  14. Matt... I've messed up way more than you, but thankfully God's Grace is suffient. He loves you ALL with an everlasting love. AND if I've learned only one thing, it is that God will meet you right where you are in your walk.

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  15. Thank you Matt, for the update. Our prayers will not stop for you, for Alissa, for Anna, for Isaac and the rest of the family. More love flowing your way for you and sweet Alissa than can be measured, and faith and prayers going up to the Father on your behalf, and for the miracle that he has in store for Anna Joy. I know you all will love each other well these next few days, even in your weary state. As you've said so well all along, every bit of Anna's life, no matter how long, is a gift! We are all blessed by her life already!

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  16. Praying for a miracle and hoping you continue to sense His presence so close. Sending big hugs...LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!

    Lord we thank you for every minute of life Anna Joy has had and we pray Your healing touch again over her veins and ask that they be expanded. Touch her lungs and I pray for a sweet sense of Your presence over her mind and her parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, loved ones and friends. We join together and ask this in Jesus precious all powerful name...amen.

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  17. He will never leave you or forsake you and neither will we, your body of Christ family. We love you so much and feel like we've known Anna Joy since she was still in the womb. Her young life is changing so many people's hearts, tenderizing them and preparing them for the coming of the Lord! Continual love & prayers, Jeanette S

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  18. Every day of her life was written in his book... He knows her... He sees her... He is eternal.

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  19. You are friends of friends of mine and I have seen your blog come across thru out the past week or so. Even though I do not actually know you, your family is in my family's circle and we are praying. On our knees kind of praying with tears and full hearts. Lifting up you and your family, and praying that the little gift God has shared with you, will continue to bless you and get to stay with you. Megan

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  20. I too check your blog very frequently and I too an pleading for a miracle for your precious angel. She rests in the strong perfect hands of Jesus right now. I have begun to pray for perfect peace for you both in everything you face here on Earth. God is still on the throne and still able to do a miracle. We pray for Anna's body to just blossom during this resting period.

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  21. Sending lots of prayers and love.

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  22. I had a vision of your wife with your daughter. Your daughter was wearing a black & white christmas dress with white tights. She was almost a year old and your wife was holding her up in front of the church sharing your story. She was healthy and beautiful!

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  23. Blessed to read that you will choose to trust in any outcome. That is a difficult thing, I know. Praying for healing for little Anna and that her veins will open up as they need to. Praying for peace and comfort for mommy, daddy and big brother as well as all the extended family who are most likely in deep hurt as they watch you struggle.

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  24. Praying for strength for all of you.

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  25. For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future - Jeremiah 29:11

    Praying!

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  26. Matt, even though I don't know you or your family, I need to let you know that you truly are an inspiration to me. Your courage, strength, and calmness that you've been able to keep during your family's journey with Anna Joy is amazing. Every time I come to your blog and read your posts, I stand in awe with how you are letting the Lord do what He has planned.

    God Bless you and your family, and I'll keep praying for a miracle for your precious daughter.

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  27. So sorry for the pain you and Alisa are in. It is hard to stay strong and at some point you just need to let it all go and just scream and cry... and you will feel better for 5 mins. Don't hold it in. You will each have different emotions at different times and on different days, and that is ok. Although I don't know either of you, I have been following your blog before Anna was born via Karen Knight and others from Nampa when I saw it posted for prayers on Facebook. I grew up in Nampa with Karen Swanson (Knight).

    My husband and I lost our 4 month old baby boy Zachary in May 2006. Doctors said he wouldn't live 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, but he lived 4 mos. It was extremely hard each day not knowing if it was our last and lts of tears, but lots of memories, love, joy, pictures and he touched so many people in his short time. Not a day goes by that I don't think of him or talk to him. If you two need anything, eebright@ msn.com is my email address. Prayers are coming daily for you three. Erin

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  28. We were blessed by a healthy baby by in Aug. 2009, Lucas and he has healed our hearts. What a blessing he is..so thankful. Hold onto your 3 year old tightly, he will help you and he will need you too. Take care, Erin

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  29. may God's presence be an ever-present reality...praying..

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  30. (Chandell): We prayed at the airport and in the air last night. We send all our love to you four! I feel odd writing such short comments, but I think you guys know our hearts. We'll keep asking for the miracle we desire!

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  31. Still praying for Anna and believing for a miracle. Praying you all have the strength, peace and comfort around you as you support and walk these battles with your baby girl!

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  32. I have been following your story and my heart is breaking for you guys right now. I am praying so hard that little Anna Joy lives and you are able to raise her as a parent should. I know the heartache of losing a child and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Know this, that whatever happens, God has blessed you with your baby girl and will continue to bless you.

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  33. Matt, My heart breaks for you and Alyssa. I can't imagine your challenges you are facing. But BUDDY, don't ever question whether or not you "deserve" God's blessings you. None of us deserve it, but that isn't why He blesses us. He blesses us just because He loves us. And we can't question it, just humbly take the blessings and cling to them. Your faith combined with Alyssa's faith have been such a testimony to so many. You will never know how many lives have been touched by little Anna Joy. And for that reason she has been used by God. Hang in there, don't get discouraged, and my thoughts and prayers are with you, Alyssa and baby Anna. Love ya Buddy!!! - Bev

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  34. Jesus I thank you that you love this family. I ask that you would continue to show them Your heart and affection for them. And I ask in Jesus name that you would heal Anna JOY, every part of her heart, and lungs. Bless her Lord and give her perfect health, and keep her precious family healthy.

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  35. I don't know you, but I saw your blog on FB this morning and have been praying for you ever since. I've read through your entire blog today and am overwhelmed by your trust in the Lord. I cannot imagine what you are going through, I'm not in your shoes. I can say that reading your blog breaks my heart, but at the same time reminds me of how powerful our Heavenly Father is and that our trust needs to be in Him, for His Will be done. I pray for you, for your beautiful baby girl, and for a miracle from our God, whatever that miracle may be.

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  36. I have been anxiously awaiting your updates... Our hearts and our prayers are continual and we pray that God will continue to hold you in the Palm of HIS hand, now and always...
    You are amazing young parents and you are touching many, many lives through this valley...One day you will be on the mountain and you will be able to give God the Glory there too!

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  37. I just learned of your beautiful Anna Joy and am pleading with our God for a miracle. I've shared your story with several prayer groups & will continue to ask others to lift you up. We are praying! And will continue. May you find rest in Him.

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  38. I'm praying for you all. This must be incredible hard. love and hugs, Kitty

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  39. PEOPLE LIKE YOU ARE THE REASONS WHY A MILLION PEOPLE WHO DONT REALLY HAVE A RELATION WITH JESUS START TO BELIEVE IN HIM !!!! YOU ARE SUCH A MARVELOUS EXAMPLE. YOU AND I KNOW THAT WE ARE WEAK AND FRAGILE.

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR AMAZING FAITH. I STAND BY YOU TODAY AND PRAY WITH MY WHOLE HEART FOR A MIRACLE. YES OR NO, IS UP TO THE LORD.

    IN ALL THESE, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS THRU CHRIST WHO LOVE US !!!

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  40. Discovered your blog last night and keeping you all in my prayers. Such a precious angel... she is needed here on Earth :)

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  41. Matt and Alissa - thank you for your transparent updates that sharing your heart and love for Anna Joy and for our amazing God. Whatever happens in the days to come, you have been part of a big plan from an awesome God. The lives you have touched and the hearts you have comforted will not be forgotten. We feel your pain. We pray for you.

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  42. Still praying for her ... and for you. His angels are watching over all of you. He promised.

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  43. Many of us "Prayer Warriors" are out here,some who have met you,and even those who never have met you. We all continue to hold your sweet family up in prayer & continue to wait for Gods' miraculous power surround Sweet Baby Anna Joy. We are spreading our outreach further & further out each day,calling for more & more faithful souls to pray & wait for the miracles. As you said, "We are more than conquerors through Christ"! God bless.

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  44. Continuing to pray for y'all.
    I pray that you experience the peace that only Jesus can give in tho waiting time.
    Blessings to you all!

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  45. Dear Son of the King,
    The Father loves You as His own. Every promise is for you. Nothing about His love is earned. Nothing about His love can be lost. He is eternally in love with you. His heart is drawn to you. His hand rests on your shoulder with pride because you are His. He is your father, and remember that. Allow your spirit to rest in that knowledge. Here is the verse He brought to my mind just now:

    Matthew 7:11
    If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in Heaven give good things to them that ask him?

    Oh how He loves you. Even through your tears, you must feel that love deep in your soul. Cling to that, and rebuke anything that refutes that enduring truth.

    Praying for you all with hope in my heart.

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  46. Matt, Alissa, Isaac, Cathy and Randy: I love you all.

    O Lord, in your great mercy and lovingkindness, please hear my prayer: My friends are suffering, but You, Lord are sufficient. They are without strength. Their hearts are reduced to groaning. They are tired and vulnerable. Protect them and strengthen them, Father.

    As you watch over the tiniest of things, watch over Anna Joy. Please be merciful unto her and breathe sustaining life into her broken body. I continue to ask for her healing. Specifically, open the veins in her wee lungs and allow her tiny body to heal and thrive.

    O Lord, You are Great. Please give the Peppleys and Freebys a special gift; healing for Anna and strength and peace from you. And for this, we all give you praise.

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  47. Still praying for you, Alissa and sweet Baby Anna. I don't know you personally (I am a friend of Krista Anderson), but I know you in Christ. I dropped to my knees in prayer last night after reading Alissa's plea and I continue to pray that a miracle surround your sweet baby girl. Your baby girl and your family have touched and inspired me more than words can ever say. Her life, however long it may be, is a blessing and inspiration to so many people here on this Earth. Bless you all and cling tight to God's healing power. With love, Shannan

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  48. Our family continues to pray for you Alissa, Matt, and baby Anna Joy. Thank you for the updates. We pray God will step in and and get those little veins to open up. Love you! The Taylor family (Margie, April, Julia and Candice).

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  49. Prayers for you~~may God heal you little girl, continue to provide you with strength, and give you joy in this time of trial.

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  50. When my alarm went off at 5am this morning the first thought was to the Lord, asking how was Anna this morning. Please rest your hand on her little body and heal her the way only you can. Have been praying continuously, our God is an awesome God.

    Lauren Clark

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  51. Dear Family, I know you don't know me, but I feel your pain. I can relate with your experiences. I wanted you to know that our God is amazing, I know you know, but repeat it daily to get you though this. He hears your prayers Jn 11:41-42, he knows your heart. But we do not know God's plan Ecc. 3:11 and we still have to trust. This is not an easy trial, but you don't know what will come of others seeing your faith. And you still do not know Anna Joy's future, but God does. So just live today, knowing the Creator of the Universe has the plan. Even when we don't understand it. He will provide you with peace beyond understanding, strength, hope and comfort. You are NOT alone in this trial. There are many people praying for Anna Joy and you. We trust God for his provision for you in this time. Your family has been added to my fb and 2 separate prayer groups. The body of believers are with you in prayer.

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  52. The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalm 34:18

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  53. Matt don't lose faith. Anna has been and will continue to be a fighter. Prayers continue to go out across Facebook and the world for the Peppley family. I strongly believe God has brought Anna here for much more than she has already graced this world with. Hold strong and remember this "For with God nothing shall be impossible" ~Luke 1:37

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  54. My thoughts and prayers are still with Anna and you...

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  55. Peppley Family, I am your sister in Christ. Praying for your precious baby girl.

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  56. I was introduced to Anna by friends on FB. I am a Christian and pediatrician and I have to share with you that more than once I have done all in my abilities and thought it was not to be to save a little one, and then see things turn around only by the Glory of God. My family is praying for your precious Anna. Take care!

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  57. I was were you are now and it is a scary place. You have God on your side. At the time we were there, we weren't Christians. I see things so differently now that I am a Christian. Your precious Anna Joy is in my prayers along with you and your family. God can give you strength to weather what comes. Take lots of pictures and video of your precious angel. She will want to see what she went through when she gets older. Take care.

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  58. I am praying for Anna and for your family. I found your blog from a group on Facebook that is a prayer group for families with heart defects. Matt and Sarah Hammitt are the parents of a little boy Bowen with HLHS. Matt is part of the Christian band Sanctus Real. If you haven't heard of their music you should check it out. Thank you for sharing your story.

    I was reading a book the other day, and it was talking about how we should have joy in all circumstances. joy is not something that should come out of circumstances but it is something that should come out of knowing that God is there for us no matter what.

    will continue to pray!

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  59. "For I know the plans I have for you declares the lord. Plans to prosper and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

    "Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you." 1 peter 5:7

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  60. We can do all things thru Christ which strengthens us.. God is with you and the Angels ARE all around baby Anna, and Jesus IS holding her in his hands.. Stay strong, My prayers are with you..

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  61. Prayers are being said each day for your family... may you find peace among those who support you.

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  62. My family and church family are praying for you and yours. "GOD IS ABLE" Ephesians 3:20-21

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  63. And we will continue to stand in the gap for you!! Even when words aren't there!
    Listening to Worship Music yesterday, so many verses spoke to me: One was: "Be still and know that I am God"!! He is God and HE CAN!! We keep believing that!! And we'll continue to pray, day and night!!
    Again, prayers from Zambia and we read about you on FB from a friends page!

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  64. I am a NICU nurse. I have seen miracles happen. I will raise you up in prayer and know that God is good and He is with Anna Joy. I think of a song by This Hope; Rest my child I am here to hold you, I am what you need in life's dark hour. Rest my child lay your cares upon me I am always by your side so rest my child.

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  65. Part 1 of 3...Hello my name is Tricia. I live near Houston Texas. Thankfully near one of the greatest Children's Hospital, Texas Children's Hospital. Because 19 years ago our son Trey was born with Transposition of the Great Veins, Tricuspid Atresia, ASD, VSD, and Hypoplastic Aorta. Anyway, Trey has been through 2 major surgeries. One at 6 weeks and reconstructive surgery at 2 years. His reconstuctive surgery had to be done when he was older for survival and anatomy reasons. And he has had to have numerous Heart Caths. But Praise God he has been healed through surgery, at least that is the way I see it. Doctors guided by God's Divine Wisdom shining His Light on what the doctors needed to do. That is always our prayer and it has been amazing how he has answered time and again. I know God is no respector of persons and I believe he will do it for Anna also. I cried when I saw her sweet little body. It brought back many memories of our Trey. But know this my husband (Louis) and I will be praying for each of you. We know and sympathize with your situation. When I read you posts your life experience in this is very simiular to ours, even the scripture Ps. 91. My brother in law had brought a card with that scripture and we posted it over his bed. We prayed that scripture many, many times out loud for all to hear. Those words as Prov.4:20-22 says, My child pay close attention to what I say. Listen carefully, to my words. Don't lose sight of them. Let it penetrate deep into your heart, for THEY BRING LIFE TO THOSE WHO FIND THEM AND HEALING TO THEIR WHOLE BODY.

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  66. Part 2... I love that scripture. It drove me to search for God in a way I had never had to go. But I look at it in a bittersweet way. Though difficult, never would I want to do that again but I look at my dependence on God for all things during that time and I am grateful that he sustained me when I thought I was losing my mind at times. The Enemy of our soul wants us to quit. But we know he who is in us is GREATER than he who is in the world. Don't let Satan lie to you. I had many moments of doubt but through so many glorious interventions from God way to much to tell you in this post. I came to the conclusion that Job did on one occasion. Trey had to have an emergency surgery after his reconstructive surgery because his heart was stopping from too much fluid buildup. A common thing for the type of surgery he had...A Modified Fontan. That may mean nothing to you. Anyway, while we were waiting and waiting. You know how that goes. I had to go the ladies room and on my way I saw a very distraught mother. My first reaction was oh my goodness, I need to pray for her. But immediately the Enemy started telling me, Go ahead and pray and see what happens to your son if you pray. The word FEAR had a new meaning to me at that moment. But just as quickly, I also heard the voice of my Sweet Saviour say to me, Fear not I am with you in ALL THINGS. At that moment Fear had no more grip on me. I realized that as Job said in his distress, Thou you slay me, yet will I trust you." I knew what I had to do when I walked out of the restroom. God wanted me to be obedient to his calling. That Momma needed my comfort and prayers. Even thou I didn't think I had any in me to give. Obedience is better than sacrifice. God got us through many trials not just because of all the prayers and sacrifices but just because He LOVES us soooo much. It must break his heart to see us suffer. Please feel free to email me at perkinstricia@gmail.com anytime. One more thing, I just remembered the song you said you sang "You are My Sunshine" that was the song my sweet mother in law sang to our son during those difficult days. God rest her soul, we lost her last year to Dementia and other complications. She was a Saint. Funny how so many things parallel in our lives. We are praying right now against infections and for any collateral vessels to open up to the lungs. In Jesus Name!!! It is amazing how our bodies can compensate for mishaps such as what is happening to your precious baby. Our son had a cath a year ago and the doctor told us we have vessels that just sit around waiting to be used if for some reason they need to be activated. We are praying this happens for Anna right now. So sorry for such a long message but we pray God watch you and keep you and make His face shine upon you,be gracious upon you. The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you Peace. We agree and pray Jer. 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you, Anna says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you, Anna a future and a hope." God Bless your sweet family, Love and Prayers, Tricia

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  67. Thankfully Only 2 parts...So sorry it was sooo long but I know God has a reason for such encounters and I pray this will help you in your journey. God Bless You and Your Family!!!

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  68. Hello again, In a my original message that I some how lost, I gave you Trey's update on how he is doing today. He is has grown up to be a very Handsome, Loving and compassionate Christian MAN. Who is a Freshman in college. He has earned a Black Belt in Combat Hapkido and is on his Youth Band at our church. God mercy is so wonderful. I know we don't deserve any of it. But I am so Thankful it doesn't depend on anything I do, it is simply because he LOVES us! One cute story...when Trey was 2 years old, I asked him one day did he know what was on his chest and he said in such a sweet little voice, "Yes. That is where the doctors cut me so Jesus could come into my heart." Out of the mouth of babes. I will carry that precious memory with me to the grave. Goodnight and God Bless

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  69. In our prayers... God Bless ya'll...

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