Friday, December 16, 2011

more news...

from the pages of Matt's brain:

We just got a call from the doctor. He said that Anna has some hemorrhaging on her brain. It's a little amount, and not enough that he thinks there is going to be any damage. However, it is now just one more thing to worry about.

Once again, I have been buoyed by your comments. Thank you for sending your prayers. I am able to stand because of them. God has and is continuing to sustain me through this. My eyes are red and feel like the insides are covered with sandpaper, but I have the strength of God and that is giving me what I need to keep fighting the fight of faith.

And what is really cool about this whole thing is that I know there are countless people fighting with me. I am not alone in this. My wife has been quite the trooper through this ordeal, and our families have been right there beside us, helping us in any way that they can. Our friends have stood strong with us too, and our church has opened their arms to provide for us. And then there is the wonder of social media. Because of Anna, I might actually join Facebook! Yes, I know, there are those of you who know me that will say "what? no way!" but I think it might be true. If for nothing else, so that I can look for stories like this and pray for other people who need the legions of believers to back them up too.

So, it's almost 9 o'clock (when was the last time you say "o'clock?"), and I'm pretty tired. I need to go to sleep, but probably won't. I need to pray some more, and as some people have alluded to in the comments, I am working on a story based on Anna's story. Maybe I'll write some more of that. And if I ever get it finished, maybe I'll sell it to help pay for all of our expenses. Would any of you maybe buy it?

64 comments:

  1. hang in there Matt and know that we love you very much and won't stop praying for Anna Joy and you!!! KK

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  2. A friend has been posting links about Anna on her Facebook page. My husband and I have been praying for her, and have both reposted links on our Facebook pages to spread the word and get more prayers going up. You are very much in our thoughts as well as prayers! Know that you are loved and cared for and being supported by an army of brothers and sisters in the Lord. Standing with you for the miracles that we know our Mighty God can perform!

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  3. I would buy your story in a heartbeat, Matt! Just tell me when and where! Stories like yours are the ones that inspire me and help me to understand what the true meaning of life is and what is most important. I continue to pray for all you, especially baby Anna. Keep praying and stay strong. You are such amazing people!

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  4. Praying with you in Bend, OR. (And yes, we'd buy it too.)

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  5. Yes, Matt, I will buy ANYTHING that you write. You are amazing -- in absolutely every way. I sit on the edge of my seat while I'm reading your post -- and then I also sit on the edge of my seat waiting for the NEXT post. It's quite the circle -- other people and their prayers give you strength, and in turn you give everyone else strength, and your God provides strength to complete the circle. And hopefully all of this strength is translating into positive outcomes for Miss Anna Joy. You NEVER leave my thoughts. Hopefully tomorrow will bring nothing but positive news. Loving you all, from Olympia.

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  6. The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
    - Deuteronomy 31:8

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  7. Of course I would buy it. My mom and I are praying and praying for Anna. Woke up in the middle of the night last evening thinking of Anna. As I awoke this morning I turned on my computer right away for the latest update. Stay positive and miracles do happen. God Bless!

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  8. There is not a day that goes by that I don't pray for your family. I sit and wait for new posts to hear the latest about sweet baby Anna. Heather Osborn is in my MOPS group and I saw your story on her Facebook page. For not as severe reasons, our youngest was in the hospital for 6 weeks last year at this same time...1 of them being at Children's in the NICU. It is truly amazing the strength that God gives you to make it through times like these. And it can ONLY be HIM giving you that strength. I will not stop praying for your sweet family and for baby Anna. She is precious.

    All my love,
    Erin

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  9. Affirming what I know you're doing: "Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken." Psalm 55:22.

    God knows Anna's heart, lungs, brain, fingers, nose, and toes. Praying for protection and healing.

    I will buy your book! Much love...

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  10. Praying and thinking about you guys so much. Praying for God's overwhelming and calming prescence. Praying for you and Alissa and all the family for strength. Facebook is pretty crazy for some many reasons, but it has been incredible to see word spread and sincere prayers go up for your sweet baby and you and Alissa. I think people even who don't know the two of you well are so struck by your vulnerability and faith that they want to do anything they can to help you.

    Carrie Hays

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  11. On Facebook,
    Your story was brought to me through Facebook. Through a friend whom I might not have ever known if it weren't for the internet. I have met so many people that are closer to me than friends I have met in real life, and we only know each other through the internet. I'm glad to have gotten to know you through your story these past few days. I pray for you constantly, and there's not very many moments that Anna does not cross my mind. My heart goes out to her, you, and your families.

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  12. I have been following your blog thru a friend who's been posting and I am praying for you all. Thank you for sharing your experience. I have known a lot of loss and also have experienced God's miracles so your hopefullness and strength and faith have been such a blessing. Please know that there are a lot of people praying for you all.

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  13. I learned of your story via mutual friends on FB and have been amazed at how many prayers have branched out from there. It's amazing in and of itself to watch. You have so many prayers coming your way from here in Olympia and beyond. When my baby wakes in the middle of the night for feedings, Anna is in my first few thoughts. She's a fighter, and an amazing example of what love, faith, prayers, and amazing medical care can do. Thank you both for keeping us updated on your journey. You have an army behind you.

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  14. Praying, praying, praying for little Anna Joy. God created her and knows her. And He loves you all very much. Praying for complete healing. Love in Jesus!

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  15. Yes,I would defiantly buy your story! Your family has sustained so much & you have continued to be faithful. Also,it would be so great if you join Facebook. Occasionally people post shallow day to day events compared to your struggles. But,when we come upon stories like your family,we spread the word "like wildfire" on Facebook. Just know that you are never alone. We continue to raise your family up in prayer & the followers of your blog are growing & growing. God bless & give you peace.

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  16. We never stopped praying for Anna and her family. We had a prayer meeting today and we dedicated it to Anna. We will keep praying.

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  17. Yes, I'd buy the book. Yes, FB is a great community. I have friends from all over the world and have reconnected with many childhood chums that I never thought I'd find again. Ask for a prayer on FB and expect a flood.

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  18. Matt, I and my Facebook friends have added more strands to your web of prayer support. We are honored to be for you as Aaron and Hur were for Moses in Exodus 17:10-13. Your transparency and cries for help have allowed us by prayer to hold up your arms as you lift Anna Joy, Isaac, and Alissa and place them in the loving, healing hands of Jesus. I am praying strength, wisdom, peace, and rest for you and Alissa right now. I am joining you in begging Jesus to say his word of healing to Anna Joy right now.

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  19. There is a song that has been in my head since Liss' text last night...

    "...when you don't understand, when you don't see His plan, when you can't trace His hand, TRUST His heart..."

    I found myself singing this in the middle of REI, praying over Anna Joy, her Daddy and Mama. We love you. We will continue praying for Anna!

    -Kel

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  20. ANNA JOY has blessed thousands of people around the world

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  21. Dear Matt,
    I'm not sure this will get to you. We too, have been down your road. We almost lost our youngest at age 3 due to acute liver failure - reason still unknown. I am not deserving of God's miracles or so I felt, but I'm here to tell you that I witnessed many miracles during this trying time in our life. At that time, I knew I believed in God, born and raised Catholic but I would not have called myself a strong Christian. It is very hard to read your blog as it hits close to home but at the same time I'm reading, I'm praying and I'm waiting to watch God work the miracles that he does. The people at Seattle Children's are the best and couldn't ask for your child to be in better hands. I will tell you that in times like this is when we truly know the strength of our faith. I watched miracle after miracle happen for our child that should not be here. We had doctors telling us the same thing. They kept telling us we were strong, that they didn't know what we were doing but to keep doing it. I'm here to tell you Matt is wasn't us. I leaned on him more than I can ever tell you or explain. When our child kept taking turns for the worse, we would just continue to ask for prayers. I didn't have blogs back then and well not even facebook, I wished I would have, but I will never probably know all of the people that were keeping us in their thoughts and prayers other than the answers we got. On my worst day, I went to the chapel and my prayer was this, "God, if you decide to take my child from me, please make me strong as I will not want to go on or know how to go on." Not a prayer anyone wants to make. I know you don't know me and I'm not sure any of this helps. I want you to know that my family has been praying for you and yours and hoping for the outcome we received in that our child is still with us. He had a liver transplant and so far all is good. I am praying that little Anna Joy's body fights and that God grace's us with his divine intervention. I want you and your family to know, you are not alone. I want to thank you for allowing us in and to journey with you during this difficult time. I wished I had better words of wisdom for you but I don't. I do know that you have touched our lives and you and your family will be forever in our hearts and minds. Sending prayers to you and your family. Rachell Redman

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  22. So, this is random, I don't know you guys, but I was pulled in when someone I am friends with on facebook posted your blog.

    I just want to testify that nothing is impossible for God, He can trump all sickness and disease. This past March, my mother had a bilateral brain hemorhage (both hemispheres of the brain). The docs gave such little hope, but we had faith and had people praying for her. They ended up draining 2 pints of blood from her brain, and what should have taken months of therapy and recovery, took only four days. She was discharged home four days after having that surgery, no brain damage, no damage to her speech or her walking.

    I tell you all of this, to say that my mom's testimony is Anna Joy's testimony. It's the power of testimony that raises the faith level, so I am praying that yours is rising as you hear mine. I know that God is real, that His healing power is more than capable to heal your baby girl. So, I am joining in with this army of people belieiving and TRUSTING that God is able and He is good.

    In Revelation 19:10, it says "Worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." The healing power of Jesus that healed my mom is a prophetic (forthtelling) destiny and reality for your daughter.

    Hang in there. Praying that His Kingdom come to your daughter's body, right now in Jesus' mighty name! Keep us posted.

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  23. I was just looking at your special songs section and I just wanted to share this - I think of you guys everytime I hear this. Where we live it has been way overplayed, but last week I actually listened to the words and it's really a beautiful song. Sorry it's a corny video - but I don't know how else to share a song!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50ygAc2qP5A

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  24. we are praying fervently! My heart breaks and aches for you and your family. There are posts from several in my circle requesting prayer for Anna Joy and I was informed earlier today that the church prayer chain has been alerted. I look forward to praising God for His miracles! Know that if your hope and Strength and Belief wanes that WE ALL of us, are believing for you. We are HOPING for you and we are TRUSTING in God FOR YOU!

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  25. Continuing in prayer with you. God is able, and He doesn't need better odds. We choose to trust Him.

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  26. I have been thinking about you and praying for you all the whole day. I am finding that sleep will not come, so I continue to pray for you. I pray that you will feel the presence of the Lord and that He is cradling Anna in his hands. I pray for peace, rest and wisdom. I pray for the meds to do just what they should! I hope you know how deeply you have impacted those that have come into contact with your amazing story! I wish you could feel, really feel the love that is coming your way. We will continue to pray when we should be sleeping and as we go through the day too. He loves Anna and knows every part of her! She is a cutie patootie for sure!!! Much Love.

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  27. I awoke with this song running through my head. I also shared these words with Randy, Anna Joy's Papa, years ago when he was involved in an accident.

    "Someone is praying for you"

    When it seems that you prayed 'til your strength is all gone,
    and your tears fall like raindrops all the day long
    Jesus cares and He knows just how much you can bear
    He'll speak your name to someone in prayer

    Someone is praying for you
    Someone is praying for you
    And when it seems you're all alone, and your heart would break in two
    remember someone is praying for you.

    There are thousands of us out here holding you up in prayer, and we won't stop.

    Love you guys!

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  28. Praying for you here in Maine. I remember the stress and crazy surreal feeling of having my little guy in the hospital. He has HLHS with transposition of the greater arteries. He is 16 months and doing great and i know that it is only by the grace of God that he is with us. I pray that God would continue to strengthen you and your wife. and that you will both continue to choose to say "Blessed be Your name" May you and the doctors be given wisdom and may you be able to Trust even when it completely sucks rocks. May you feel His hands in your life right now and know that he loves your baby girl more that you can know and that He is with you.

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  29. Matt & Alissa, I was led to your blog when Anna Joy was placed on the prayer chain at Boise First Nazarene Church yesterday. My mom is the secretary at Boise First, and I thought maybe she was confused when she sent the prayer request by e-mail. My daughter was born exactly one month before yours, and after much prayer and soul-searching, she received her name at one week old. Her name is Anna Joy... I was nursing my Anna Joy as I read your blog from my phone early this morning. My husband and I are missionaries in South Africa, and our son is just two months younger than yours. (And, Matt, I've also resisted Facebook so far.) Our life circumstances are so different, and yet, I've been amazed at the similarities of our kids' ages and our daughters' names. Tears have streamed down my face as I've held my Anna and read your Anna's story. Please know that you are so much in my prayers. I am crying out to God with you for an amazing miracle, praying that one day these two little girls might meet and have stories of Jesus to tell. God's amazing strength and peace to you both. He IS trustworthy.

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  30. "Can anything ever separate us from Christ's LOVE? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ who loved us. And I am convinced that that nothing can ever separate us from God's LOVE. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons. Neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's LOVE. No power in the sky or in the earth below - indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the LOVE of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8: 35-39

    Praying, praying, praying.

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  31. Continuing to lift up your precious darling in prayer. And praying for strength for you and Alissa. The trials God gives us temper us, so that we may become stronger and a more steadfast person. It often gives us purpose and serves to inspire and reach others. May blessings rain down upon your family in the hours and days to come.

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  32. Your family is faithfully in our prayers. I wish there were words that would make this all better or something more I could be doing. Just know you guys are not walking this walk alone, we are all behind you with the Lord leading the way. Hang in there..

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  33. Continuing to pray for a miracle for your family this holiday season. I would absolutely buy your story...I buy anything and everything heart related. We are a community of loving heart parents and there are thousands lifting your family in prayer.

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  34. Praying for little Anna today!! For wisdom for the doctors, peace for you, Matt and Alissa, and strength for little Anna, especially for those little veins of her, that they will GROW and open up and flow with ease!

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  35. My name is Kara and I went to college with Alissa (and Matt and Kim)! And Katie has been a big part of our family due to my sister and her being best friends in college. Your family is amazing!!! I have been following your story for awhile now and praying consistently for your precious little girl. I apologize for not commenting until now - the craziness of the holidays and all! I just wanted to let you know that my bible study group at church, people from my work as well as random friends on facebook of mine that have no connection to you are praying for your daughter. It's been amazing for me to see the outpouring of God's family when a little sister is in dire need of divine help. I am inspired by your courage and strength and eagerly await each post - always hoping for great news! As a fellow believer I will continue to pray and believe that she can be healed and will be! She has already witnessed to many and your story is drenched with the truth of God's love despite the tragic human circumstances that were brought upon your family. As a fellow mom and friend I know that little Anna is resting peacefully in her heavenly father's hands, like you've said so many times in your posts. He is probably whispering precious words to her and letting her know how much he loves her! I will continue to pray each day and gather others to do the same!

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  36. Lifting you and your family up in prayer! God does answer prayers!!!

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  37. Matt and Alissa, my family is praying with you and so is my church family here at The City Church in Seattle! Anna Joy being here is a miracle in the first place and I can't think of a more deserving family to have her! I believe God has great plans for her beyond these moments and I am claiming that plan for her and for all of you! Do not grow weary on doing well, we are all here holding up your arms so that the battle may be won!
    Love and Blessings to you all!

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  38. Yes, Matt, I would buy Anna's Story. This little girl has brought me closer to Jesus the past week as I started to pray for her and this renewed my prayer life and relationship with Him. This community of believers/prayer warriors you have rallying around you are asking for COMPLETE HEALING of ANNA in JESUS' MIGHTY NAME. (Sing HEALER now).... He is ALL we need. Love to all the Peppley family....

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  39. Prayers from San Antonio, from our family to yours. She is such a beautiful baby. After experiencing a major medical issue in our family last year I've seen the roller coaster journey of doctors predictions and miracles. I now have a healthy brother in law with a new kidney and new life. Hang in there. God will provide you with strength. Little Anna Joy has touched so many hearts with hers.

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  40. praying. Asking Jesus to heal Anna!

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  41. Hello, my name is Heidi Guidry and my sister sent me a link to your blog. I am one of those people that know what you are going through. I have lived it. I found myself weeping and reliving our story as I read yours.
    Our daughter Camryn Bethanee was born in 2002 with a heart defect similar to HLHS called unbalanced AV Canal. She also had a few other less serious heart defects. Her story is here www.caringbridge.org/tx/camryn.
    I just want you to know that Anna Joy is not alone. Our daughter used to point and "talk" to the angels that surrounded her hospital bed.
    We were blessed to have Camryn for 13 months and her kidneys still live in a 35 year old man.
    You have a prayer warrior in Springfield, MO.
    Psalm 139 13-16
    For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother's womb.
    I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    Your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
    My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place.
    When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
    your eyes saw my unformed body.
    All the days ordained for me
    were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

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  42. Father God, we pray the hemorrhaging in Anna Joy's brain stops, we pray You would continue to stretch her veins and her lungs would function ... we pray extra strength for her little body and heart. May she sense Your hands around her and may her family sense Your peaceful presence. We love You, we trust You, we commit her again into Your hands. You know the plans You have for her, for Matt, for Alissa, for Isaac...You can speak the word and she will be healed, You can do all things, and we ask that You would show yourself mighty and heal her. In Jesus name and for Your glory. Amen.

    Matt and Alissa: Thank you for your vulnerability. No one can answer the why's, but we do know that Anna Joy is touching so many people and it is through Your willingness to share your faith, doubts, strength, fears, hopes and dreams...I love that about you ... and God does to. I am reminded Jesus wept. Jesus asked for the cup to be passed...Jesus is the accurate picture of who God is...and I want you to know...your vulnerabilty is reflecting an accurate picture of who God is as well...may He strengthen You as only He can...I SO LOVE YOU!

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  43. Matt, Keep on writing...i will keep on praying for you, Anna Joy and your extended family.

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  44. Oh Mattie boy, you and your sweet ones have been and are in my prayers...you have touched so many, blessed so many, including me! Merry (Brateng) Parks

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  45. Matt, I don't know you, but I am a friend of Camille Rodes & want you to know I am lifting you & Anna Joy up in prayer, daily. Praying for your faith to be unwavering, & for God to hold you strongly in His mighty arms so you can feel His embrace. Praying for little Anna's body to rest but also continue to fight! - Heather

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  46. Matt and Alissa, my prayers for Anna Joy continue. blessings and hugs to all of you.

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  47. I am praying for you all the time. This morning as I was waking up, my first waking thought was that I was praying for Anna and you. Last night as I drifted off to sleep, I was praying for you. I am praying for you constantly, asking Him to uphold you and heal Anna.

    This is a dark place where you are, but God's presence is all the more evident in these places. Here, human "strength" is shown to be meaningless and is stripped away. Time is no longer constant and its relevance diminishes. We feel broken before God. It is a sacred privilege. Jesus was broken for us in the Garden of Gethsemane. You are broken for Anna, praying for her and your precious Alissa. Your brokenness for her is a great gift to Anna and Alissa.

    Jesus faced this alone. His best friends slept through his greatest need. God, however has assembled a legion of people praying for you in your dark garden around the world. You are not alone. God is upholding you as you intercede.

    This present darkness is a holy place. I / we cannot walk this for you, but I / we will continue to pray for you as you walk it. Scripture says "if any two..." You have much more than that. I am blessed to be one of the legion lifting you up.

    God is good. And... He is here. Blessed be the God Who hears you and answers.

    Hug your wife, Randy and Cathy for me.

    Scott

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  48. Hello Matt,
    I heard about sweet baby Anna through a few (former) co-workers of ours and have had it in my heart to reach out to you and your family and offer prayer to you all. We are all behind Anna and uplift her in our faith. As I sit here, I reflect on how life's lesson's come to us all. My daughter was born this summer with congenital heart defect(s) as well and we were advised she would not make it through her first surgery. Now, after tons of support from the heart families I've found through online blogs and hospital resources and two open heart surgeries later - we are still able to enjoy time with her now. I am telling you this to reassure you that there are families/people out there who don't know you and your family and may never get to meet you but will ALWAYS have hope, support and prayers for baby Anna throughout her journey. These little ones have a way of showing their strength and resilience like nothing we've seen before. When I heard of your (and Anna's) story it really brought things full circle and hit home that someone I once knew years ago would be feeling the same emotions I did at a time when I once felt alone. I want to wrap my arms around you and Alissa and remind you to keep faith and be strong for your little one. She is a miracle and she will fight with all she has.

    Our heart to yours,
    Monica
    www.lovehalfhearted.com

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  49. So many of us are praying for you guys and baby Anna. God heal her! Give her strength to get through this! She is already loved by so many across the world. My mom was telling me over and over how beautiful and peaceful she looks amidst all of this! God we believe we believe!! Prayers abounding and faith pouring out over your family!

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  50. Matt and Alissa
    I found your blog on a friends Facebook page. I have sent out texts to everyone in my phone and reposted the link to your blog. My family and friends are praying for your beautiful daughter. Best wishes from Ozark Missouri.

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  51. hoping you all get some rest and words of comfort and peace from God. Still praying and thinking of you guys.

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  52. Just wanted to also pass on my favorite verses to you. 2 Cor. 1:3,4
    Praise be to our God and Father, Jesus Christ, the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our afflictions, so that we might comfort others with the comfort He has given us.

    God will do great things through your story, and put people in your lives that you can come alongside and be Jesus to.

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  53. My entire family (all 8 kids) are praying for sweet little Anna!! **Hugs from Dallas, Oregon**

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  54. Sweet Anna Joy....she is a Christmas angel teaching us all a lesson in faith.

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  55. With love in our hearts for baby Anna Joy and all of you....her entire family, my family and I continue to pray for healing and comfort! God Bless!

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  56. We don't know what else to say except that we are praying. And praying. And then we think and pray some more. We prayed together with our children at dinner last night. We wake up and go to bed with you all on our hearts. We aren't going to stop.

    - Bryon & Karen Knight

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  57. Praying and asking God to hold you and your family and Precious Anna Joy very close. Lord give this little one Your strength for the battle and keep her always safe in Your love. Amen

    Bev Edwards

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  58. Matt,
    I knew you long ago through Jason Kellogg. I found your wife's blog through Facebook and have been praying for your family. And everyday I see another friend from Facebook that is sharing your story and asking for prayer. People that have never met you. Friends of mine that have no relation to my other friends on FB are posting your prayer needs! God is using this social media and spreading your little one's story all over. I am amazed at how many people that I know (all over the world, literally) praying for your precious family. Thank you for allowing all of us to bring her life to God's feet. It has truly been an honor.

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  59. We love you guys and are still praying.

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  60. If we could all be there with you, we would all be holding up your hands ... like Moses .... "Tell (the people) I AM has sent me to you." Ex 3:14 You are not called by just a kind grandfather, or loving doctor, but by the MASTER FATHER and PHYSICIAN, to love her, to believe in Him, and to be an example to all of us. Believe IN HIM. He is I AM.

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  61. I have been praying and praying ... I don't know you but I feel such a deep sense of love for your precious baby girl. I am waiting on a miracle with you. God bless you and your family.

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  62. I have been in your shoes and I pray for you often, daily. Lots of love to you and your.

    Sincerely: a random stranger.

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