Tuesday, December 20, 2011

We're home!

Isn't it always odd that after a long vacation, you get home and one of the first things you usually say is "It's sure nice to be home?" For Alissa and I, we certainly feel that same sentiment, but with a very different twist. A bittersweet peace fills our hearts. On one hand, we feel calm, cool, and collected like we haven't felt in months. On the other, our souls ache and long for the experience of bringing another newborn babe home - an experience we left behind at Seattle Children's in the form of our baby girl Anna Joy.

I feel like I want to stay here, at our home, for about three months, and not ever leave. Home feels good, right? It's the place a person is most comfortable, where things make sense - even when they don't make sense (does that make sense? doubt it...but that's what I'm writing and there's nothing you can do about it). Home is where you go to escape the world, to hide from all of the garbage that assaults all day long. Home is where you find love, and happiness, and a soothing cup of steaming hot cocoa. A long bath, a good book in front of the fire. A good footstool at just the right height. A table covered with a checkered tablecloth, chock full of delicious, hot food that sits in your stomach for days and makes you push your chair back with a great sigh of content. Wow. That was a long sentence.

You get the picture, don't you? We all have our feeling of what home is. Alissa and I are there, right now. but with one thing missing: Anna Joy. Even so, it's good to be home. We miss her already, more than we can probably ever express. The cradle by our bed is still empty. The car seat is in the garage, and it didn't get used. Her clothes still hang in the closet, and her diaper bag is still full. We only got to use one stocking cap and one sock. Yes, one sock. Anna always had some monitor on one of her feet, so we couldn't use both. She never put on the cute outfits that were given to us. She never got to hug the stuffed animals that watched over her crib like little angels.

I miss my baby girl. But I am joyful still for the few days that she was a part of our lives. I'm grateful to have experienced her steadfastness and fighting spirit. Did we ever tell that she came out fighting? Yup. The first look on her face that I saw said "What's going on here? I don't like this! I was comfy-cozy in there!" I didn't want to tell her that since she decided to come so fast, it was really all her fault.

Oh, her tiny little cry! That sound will echo in my ears until the day I die! And her grip on my finger, that will linger for as long as I have feeling in my hands. But, oh, how my arms ache to hold her! My arms will never feel the same. "Ache" doesn't adequately explain the feeling that my arms are missing. They not only feel empty, but they almost tingle, as if to tease me into thinking that they will soon be filled with the cuddly warmth of our newborn babe.

Okay, enough for now. It's late, and Alissa and I both just took some NyQuil, so we hope to sleep through the night. I took some last night, but she didn't. She couldn't sleep, so got up to journal. She left our room (we stayed at the Ronald McDonald house one more night), and was going to use the den, but someone was in it watching TV. So she sat on the floor in front of our door and journaled by the hall light! How thoughtful is that?!?! She didn't want to disturb my slumber, so she sat on the hard floor to write her heart out! I love you, Alissa. You shouldn't have done that, but I love you nevertheless.

Aaaannnd I thought I was at the beginning of the last paragraph, but apparently not...

So tomorrow we are going to a funeral home to plan Anna Joy's memorial service. I can't imagine that will be easy, but with God's strength, I'm sure we'll get through. Heck, we've gotten this far thanks to Him (and you all), and I don't think He'll abandon us now. He's not like that, is He?

57 comments:

  1. Praying for you, and so proud of you. Your faith, your grace, your hope and acceptance. I know our Father is proud of you, too. He will carry you through. We love you.

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  3. I wish I could make things complete for you-make it so that your angel was sleeping next to you in the cradle by your bed. I don't know either of you, but I can only hope that one day I will be as close to Him as you are. Your strength is amazing to me! I pray for rest, comfort and peace for you.

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  4. I think we are kindred spirit families. I wish we would have had the chance to meet you while you were here at Seattle Childrens. We have been here for three months with our son, Gabe, who has HLHS and an AV Canal Defect- as well as Downs Syndrome.
    It is such a miracle that he is here with us, as he did not qualify for surgery at birth... And I can't explain why he is here.... But I want to tell you how amazed I am at you both.

    My heart aches so badly for you, because we somehow slipped away with our son for a moment, and you don't have your sweet and perfect girl... But I know that God is faithful to complete his promise as you have been so faithful to trust him with your lives and hearts.

    Our odds of Gabe surviving the three surgeries are slim here. No baby with Downs Syndrome has survived all three at Seattle Children's.. So we started on a path of complete uncertainty... But that's not what this is about.

    You, as parents, rock. You did what God did. You gave your sweet baby girl the chance to fight and did everything you could do for her. You were put to the test that no parent ever dreams of going through, and you walked through fires. All it can do now is refine you.

    Do not for a moment wonder if it could have been prevented. Do not wonder for a moment if the decisions you made were right or wrong. You have proven to be an example of what love is. What loving your child is. What fighting is.

    Your testimony of faith though the ground around you has been shaken- it is incredible.

    If I had the ability to reach out and hug you both I would do so right now.

    There are no words that I could find to bring you comfort... But I hope if we face the circumstances that you have faced- that we would walk through it with the same armor that you have.

    Bless you in every area of your life. If you ever find the want to meet us, we would be blessed to meet you. We are currently staying at the Ronald McDonald House in Seattle, awaiting Gabe's second surgery.

    We are praying fervently over your hearts- your family and your lives.

    Bless you. <3

    Julia, Nick, Judah and Gabriel McAllister

    gabrielshope.net

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  5. I am so sorrowful for you and your family. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story of love and faith. Your daughter is so beautiful in the pictures you posted last evening, a sweet beautiful angel. God bless you.

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  6. I ache for your pain and am humbled and encouraged by the graceful way you've shared your family with all of us. May God be ever near at this time as He has been so faithfully. LaVonne Clark

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  7. Please send the info on to us at NSCN. Our love and prays are with you all. Hugs to all. Welcome home, Anna Joy is home too.

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  8. I have been bawling my eyes out over Anna Joy for days and praying so hard after seeing your story through a mutual friend. Thank you for sharing her story. I will be praying for continued peace and strength for you and Alissa. I'm so sorry that you two lost Anna, but I know she was welcomed into the most opened arms that there could be! She was obviously so loved while she was here, and she went on to get even more of that! What a wonderful, beautiful little girl with an amazing story! <3

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  9. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I want to thank you for taking the time and energy to share your heart tonight. My thoughts have gone to you both over and over today, and I will keep praying for you.

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  10. I don't have words that are adequate. None that could express my sorrow for what you and your family are going through and certainly none that would make any of this hurt any less for you guys...a family I don't even personally know. So I will say this. You and Alissa and Anna have been such an inspiration in my own life. An inspiration to be more aware of my blessings, to be better about not taking for granted each moment I have with my own kids, and to strive harder to deepen my own faith. I'm not sure I would have had the strength you guys showed through this trial. In fact I'm pretty sure I would have crumbled under much less than you went through. Yes, Anna touched at LEAST one life...but you two did as well. I speak not only for myself but for those of my friends and family whom have been praying for your family. Your family is truly a blessing. I just thought you should know...God used you. Our thoughts and prayers are still with you.

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  11. Thank you for sharing your joy, faith, love and complete trust in the Lord. I see Him shining thru you, and He loves you so. You have been blessed with a great gift, the gift of great faith. In reading Hebrews 11 recently, I was struck by each person mentioned - their faith had an action. God bless you as you share this incredibly painful, yet incredibly close-to-God seaaon. Praying for you often, Lisa in Post Falls.

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  12. I am still here praying for your family during this hard time. Again, I know I cannot say anything to take away the pain, but I am so sorry for your loss. Anna has touched the lives of so many, and I know in my own life, she has really drawn me closer to the Lord. I thank your family for that! I have been following you guys for about a week now, but feel like I have known you all for years. I know Anna is up in Heaven looking down on you guys waiting for the day you can all connect once again. What a beautiful Angel she must be!!! I admire both Alissa and your strength throughout this experience, it truly has inspired and amazed me. You both are amazing people and parents! Sending many prayers your way.

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  13. Alissa & Matt, I think about you both constantly. I think in a 24 hour day I think of you 16 of those hours (8 of it, I'm sleeping!). I went through a doula training a few months back and the teacher talked about how the most painful parts are the parts that get you to where you're supposed to be. I haven't thought about that in months. But somehow it seems to apply to life. Know that you are thought of frequently and prayed for constantly. I also saw something on pintrest: "My child, you worry too much. I've got this, remember? Love God"
    You are a family of inspiration. And I don't think those tingles on your arms are empty. I think you should close your eyes and feel what Angel God is allowing you to feel. I'm sure it does ache, but take a 2nd look when they tingle and enjoy the comfort of Baby Anna in your arms. May God bless you and KEEP YOU.

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  14. Matt, as you expressed your heart I wondered if you were in part experiencing the heart of God for His children. How He must long for us to be with Him.... Tears, tears, tears... I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and Alissa's of what God is showing you in the weeks to come. Don't stop posting. Maybe someday Alissa will want to share some of her journal entries. My heart and prayers go out to you and your families. Anna Joy is a beauty in the hands of our Lord Jesus. I am glad you are experiencing the comforts of home.

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  15. My family and I grieve for your loss. Our son, Luke, passed away back in June after his battle with HLHS. I wish I could say it gets easier. Please rest easier knowing that your little angel has many other little angels (including Luke) in Heaven to watch after her until the day we are all reunited. God Bless.

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  16. Coming home without your new baby and seeing everything that was meant for them is something no parent should ever have to experience. I remember how my arms ached to hold my Eli after he was stillborn. I would often find myself crying out, " I want you, I just want you.". One day after crying out like this I clearly heard God say, " Carrie, I want you." and I understood God in a whole new way as Father. His arms ache to hold His lost children in the same way that our arms ache to hold ours.
    I continue to pray for peace and healing for you as you grieve. Allow yourself to grieve how you need to, feel whatever you are feeling. Don't let anyone try to put time limits on your grief.

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  17. Love to you both. Continued prayers. So glad you are both writing (as you know I'm partial to writing as a form of expression) and will continue to do whatever you need to do to journey through this. Your life is forever changed, and yet some things do remain constant, including our Father's love and care. Big Hugs.

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  18. I pray throughout the day that He will supply you with whatever you need to move through each moment of the day-- each step, each wave of grief, each precious memory; that He will draw you to each other and Himself in your sorrow, and hold you when it all just threatens to crush you.

    "Strength for today, hope for tomorrow, great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me."

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  19. Each paragraph bubbles over with the ramblings of your heart, like a fountain that is too full and can no longer contain the inward pressure the water is putting on its walls! That was such a private peek into your heart, and such a gift to every person who loves you both, and feels a similar feeling of helplessness! We love you guys so much and wish with every fiber of our being that we could some how lessen or take away your pain completely. We are crying with you, we are aching with you, and we wish we could hug you until the dizzying pain of loss and confusion goes away. You have NOT fallen away from our thoughts and prayers, and neither has Anna Joy! Your reality weighs heavily on all our hearts, and we will continue to lift you in prayer and hope that somehow out prayers and words will comfort you as you take the next step forward.
    We love you guys so much, thank you for allowing us to walk through this with you.
    Emily Carlson

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  20. Matt~
    Thanks so much for continuing to post. I come back several times a day to see if anything new is up here. I know this is selfish of me but your posts are helping me cope with the loss of your angel. I dont even know your family but felt like I did after reading your blog. I fell in love with your family when I saw the first picture of you, Alissa and anna Joy. I was devasted Monday and since then I cant stop talking about you and your family. I pray that you are comforted during this time. I cant even begin to imagine what you guys are going through, With how much my heart has ached for your little Anna Joy. Her pictures bring me such a calming peace, she is absolutely one of the most beautiful babies I have ever seen. You two are an amazing couple. please if there is ever anything we can do for you guys let us know. You are in my prayers. HUGS!!! God Bless

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  21. Its morning. The sun is just coming up over the barn. The light is being filtered through the branches of the trees so that just enough light is coming though our kitchen window to illuminate the prism. There are rainbows painted all over the walls in our kitchen. The only thing I can think of this morning is your family. I've prayed and prayed and prayed. I have been moved by your story, your ability to show your raw emotions in your blog. Your wanting to share such a personal moment in such a public way.

    Please know that by sharing your story of Anna Joy, you have touched hundreds, possibly, thousands of lives. I've read some of the comments and many of them say they aren't the praying type but just this once they will pray . . . What a powerful statement that is!!!

    As you tackle the tasks ahead of you today, may you feel God's hand on your shoulder. May you be comforted in knowing for such a tiny babe, Anna Joy will forever haved changed lives. Lives of people, many of whom you've not met.

    I will be praying for you all day today. What you're about to do is difficult at best but, God will give you strength!
    Teresa
    Renton, WA

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  22. My sister in Christ who I do not know. I know your pain, for I did not bring my William Keith home. I know that ache, I know that confusion of what to do, and I also know that God is AMAZING! As you and your husband have testified that you do also! He will sustain you, let your feelings come as they do. Praying people will give you room to feel, to learn your "new normal" because life won't be the same, normal. Praying God's continued peace, presence, comfort and strength. Anna Joy and her family will not be forgotten.

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  23. The world prays and cries with you, yet rejoicing with heaven for gaining such a beautiful angel. I am amazed daily at the impact Anna Joy had on so many in such a short time. Not just a story to follow, but hearts being changed, hearts turned toward Jesus, knees bowed to Our King as we lifted your Anna Joy and your family up in prayer. She brought people to Christ. As I read other comments, it's as if I wrote them too. It's as all of us touched by Anna Joy feel the same. We all continue to walk the journey with you in prayer, holding you up, weeping with you and seeing the Lord show His miraculous ways to you each and every day. Thank you for sharing with us still. I am reminded of the scripture in Psalm 138:8. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever--do not abandon the works of your hands.

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  24. Keeping you and your family in prayer. My heart aches for you.

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  25. Praying for your family. Jesus comfort them, continue to draw them close to Your heart.

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  26. His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
    He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
    Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
    His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

    We can only know
    The power that He holds
    When we truly see how deep our weakness goes;
    His strength in us begins
    Where ours comes to an end.
    He hears our humble cry and proves again . . .

    His strength is perfect when our strength is gone;
    He’ll carry us when we can’t carry on.
    Raised in His power, the weak become strong;
    His strength is perfect, His strength is perfect.

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  27. I don't know your family--I know Andrea Welvaert through the church in Republic, where I grew up and found your story through her facebook posts. I only want you to be encouraged that Jesus has touched so many people through you and your beautiful daughter.

    My heart has been aching and many, many tears have been shed. She is so beautiful and my heart has cried out to Jesus asking him why his will was to bring her home so young, not to allow her to live and grow and be known by you and know you. But I also rejoice--to know that she entered before Jesus with nary a judgment to be had, that she is already whole and complete and rejoicing in eternity without the pains and tribulations of a lengthy life of sin on earth, comforts me. I pray it comforts you.

    My prayer for you, finally, is that you will have the room to grieve, to wrestle, to anguish with God. I pray that any advice or encouragement to "be ok" would fall on deaf ears, that Jesus would be your best friend through this time and many conversations with him would be had.

    Last night at community group (my husband leads ours at Mars Hill Bellevue) we talked about treating Jesus like a friend versus an acquaintance. When strife, worry, and anxiety come, do we just say, "Oh, I know Jesus is good so I'll believe him. Done!" and just move on, stuffing the chaos into a box in the corner? Or do we feel what we feel and go to him, cry out like in the Psalms, talk through how we're struggling to believe him, to really believe he's GOOD as our heart is broken, our world feels irreparably shaken, and all we see is uncertainty and pain ahead.

    It's the difference between running into an acquaintance shortly after finding out your deeply beloved spouse has terminal cancer. The typical response, even an honest one, when they are asked how they're doing includes a bit of glossing over. But your best friend is the person you call in tears after receiving the news, not cleaning up your response but just letting what you think and feel as you think and feel it pour out honestly. Their response is to love and comfort you in a deep way that soothes your soul as they endure with you.

    Again, my prayer is that Jesus is your best friend and that as you grieve you get deep, real, peace that surpasses understanding with real freedom as you endure with him.

    Much love to you and your family from a sister who looks forward to meeting Anna Joy--and you both--in heaven.

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  28. Matt & Alissa...

    I have shed tears for you, and I have prayed prayers of comfort and peace for you. By the way, I am Anita Malmin's sister (I will claim Mike, too, I suppose!).

    Anyway, I wrote the following for someone who lost a baby a while back. I wanted to share it with you. I pray that it will speak to you.

    Dear Mommy and Daddy,

    I just wanted to say
    thank you for loving me.
    A long life together
    just wasn’t to be.
    But there are some things
    that you ought to know.
    Most important is
    that I love you so.
    I know both your voices
    and the sound of your laughter –
    I want to hear it again, one day,
    ringing through Heaven’s rafters.
    I know that you’re sad now –
    your tears are falling like rain.
    But promise me, please,
    that you’ll smile again.
    I’m resting right now in Jesus’ embrace.
    If you let Him, I know
    your tears He’ll erase.
    Remember me, then,
    with a smile on your heart
    and peacefully rest,
    knowing we’re never far apart.

    by: Denise Christianson

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  29. I wish I had the right words to express how blessed I have been because of your words of love, faith, hope, and joy. But alas, I have nothing. I am so thankful that we have an eternity to know each other even if we don't meet again on this side of heaven. I will continue to read your faithful words and promise to pray for you because I know this story doesn't end here. God has so many more blessings in store for you. I can't wait to see what is next. ;) However, take your time and let your tears cleanse the pain away. May your strength to carry on grow daily by the grace of God.

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  30. I have followed your story of baby Anna from a friend on Facebook and my thoughts have constantly been with your family. I shared her story with my five year old son because he asked why I was crying while looking at the computer. He said he wished he could hug you and so do I. I don't have the right words to let you know how much your story has meant to me. I suppose I was at a point in my life that led me to your blog to give me the reminder that every day is a gift. I have thought about your daughter and your family every day since I have started reading your blog and it has changed my life. I hope you know that her short life here on earth made a huge impact on mine....and on my son's. I have held him a little longer, a little tighter and told him how happy he makes me and how much I love him more. I have promised to myself I will not take these little moments for granted anymore. Thank you for being so brave and sharing your vulnerable heart with so many people. I will continue to hope for healing, strengh and peace for your family.

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  31. Thank you for sharing you life with all of us. I feel as if I know you all but I don't. I am grieving for you and with you. Those beautiful pictures of Ana Joy take my breath away. I am hoping and praying God may give you peace for comfort. I am shedding many tears for your family.

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  32. Praying. It is amazing to see through the progression of blog posts how God, through Anna, has changed you. I don't know you, Matt, but I am SO thankful for your wisdom and strength. And I am so thankful that Alissa has you and you have Alissa. I am praying for protection and unity for you two as you process and grieve. Again, thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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  33. Praying that you are able to put one foot in front of the next tomorrow, praying that you don't dream of beeping machines and hospital smells, praying that your friends and family are there for exactly what you need at exactly the right time, praying that your knees don't buckle when you go through funeral arrangements, praying that God brings you people within your community that have been through this to talk to and cry with, praying that you are able to bless others going through this, praying that your son knows exactly who Anna Joy was and how much she will always be a part of your family, praying that Jesus gets here already so we can be reunited with our precious babes, praying for God's comfort, peace, and joy to be with you until that time. Thank you for sharing your story.. and I will definitely buy your book.
    Heidi Guidry
    www.caringbridge.org/tx/camryn

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  34. I have been following your story for the past months. As a parent my heart aches for your family, I cannot imagine the pain. I don't even know you and I have struggled through reading your post in tears. I pray God contiunes to strenghten and comfort all of you.

    -Melinda

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  35. Thank you for the continued posts about beautiful Anna Joy--I keep finding myself drawn to rereading your posts and looking at her sweet face. May the sound of her cry, the smell of her skin, and her touch stay cemented in your memories. Your family continues to be uplifted in prayer. Much love from a sister in Christ.

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  36. we are praying for you all ... love you guys... the jones family

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  37. Thank you for sharing your story and your amazingly beautiful angel with us. I know that God has something awesome in store for your family, I feel it in my heart and my soul. I pray for peace and healing for your family and will continue to read what you have to say.

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  38. Hugs to you dear friend, my prayers and many thoughts have been with you this last month. I pray you will feel God's love, comfort and faithfulness surround you. I have cried many tears just reading your blog and seeing the pictures of your sweet, beautiful girl. She truly looked angelic! Love and prayers, Shelly

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  39. Praying for your family. Your story has touched me deeply and i find myself continuing to pray for peace and confort for you as fervently as I was praying for healing for Anna. It didn't happen as I was hoping but what a blessing that Jesus is cuddling her now.

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  40. Matt and Alissa and the rest of your families... we have been following through your blog and texts from Heidi (Thanks Heidi!) this past week while we were out of town. We've been praying through all the ups, downs, and the spaces in between. It's good to see how God made this decision a clear one for you, not easy I'm sure, but clear. I know that tears will give way to smiles and laughing and memories of your short time with Anna Joy will be treasured always. God bless you all. Our prayers will shift a little now, to restoring you all back to something that can become "normal" after such a whirlwind of a time these past months. Love you all!

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  41. You do not know me, but I heard about your story from a friend and am amazed by your steadfast faith in God. Even when He didn't do what you hoped He would do...even when you still lost your precious daughter you still hold to Him. I am learning that no matter what God is WITH us...not necessarily changing the circumstances, but helping us all the same. You have really showed me that through your story, and I want to say thank you. I am sorry for all the pain you have gone through and I pray God will continue to give you strength, and I thank you for showing me a piece of who God is.

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  42. Matt & Alissa...Thank you for sharing your hearts with us and your sweet Anna Joy!! Peoples lives all around the country and world are being touched and changed by your story. I want to share the lyrics of a song with you that my brother wrote about 10 years ago for our aunt who was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Like her, your faith has not waivered throughout your journey and you have shown us what true FAITH is all about!! We will continue to pray for you and your family as you try and ease back into a "normal" routine. God's light has definitely been shining through you both! I pray God's peace for your entire family!!

    God is Good
    by Jeremy Schwab

    You must be scared
    Not knowing what else you could do
    Some say life’s not fair
    How could this happen to you
    I’m sure we’ve all questioned why
    Why the faithful should suffer such loss
    But in His word we will find
    Those He calls worthy must carry this cross

    But you still shine through the pain
    You endure through the wind and the rain
    And you’ve never been more beautiful than you are now
    And you take the good with the bad
    You thank the Lord for the gifts that you have
    You’d never speak his will unkind
    You say...God’s good...All of the time

    You say you’ll never give up
    That it’s never as dark as it seems
    But when the waters get rough
    You just need to know where to cling
    Your faith is like a rock
    That the devil will break himself on
    I know now that you can’t be stopped
    From praising Jesus whatever befall

    But you still shine through the pain
    You endure through the wind and the rain
    And you’ve never been more beautiful than you are now
    And you take the good with the bad
    You thank the Lord for the gifts that you have
    You’d never speak his will unkind
    You say...God’s good...All of the time

    It must be hard
    To be as strong as you are
    I bet when no one’s around
    You spend your time with your face to the ground...Praying

    Lord help me to shine through the pain
    Help me endure through the wind and rain
    Cause I’ve never needed your strength more than I do now
    And I’ll take the good with the bad
    And I thank you Lord for the gifts that I have
    And I’ll never speak your will unkind
    Lord you’re so good...Jesus you’ve done so much more than you should
    Your love’s so good...ALL OF THE TIME!!!!!

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  43. I pray that your faith and the prayers of friends, family and even strangers like me will help you through.

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  44. I just wanted to let you know I am still thinking about you guys and praying for you! You are so loved!
    Joye Hampton

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  45. Matt & Alissa,
    I want you to know that all your family here in Idaho is still praying for you, we are so deeply sorry for your loss. We will continue to pray for you for months to come. We praise the Lord, for He has given you strength to get through this.
    We love you so much!

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  46. We haven't stopped praying for you.

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  47. We stared reading your blog through a facebook friend Jennifer Slemmer. We have prayed since the moment Jenn posted on facebook and immediately started following your blog about Anna Joy and your life. My son, Benjamin, only lived a few moments and passed on the 11th of December 1978. I feel your tears and heart ache and know exactly how you feel. My love, my prayers and my thoughts will be with you and you little family for a very long time sweet momma! I know time will soon be your friend, and somewhat of a comfort for you all. God Bless sweet ones!

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  48. Checking back to let you know I'm still praying. Hugs from Idaho.

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  49. My prayers are with you and your family during this time of mourning and grief. I can't imagine the pain you are through, keep your faith in Heavenly Father and know that he loves you and your baby Anna Joy. Hugs and prayers from Idaho.

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  50. Dear Matt and Alissa,
    I will continue praying for you and your entire family for peace and comfort. The Lord's love for you is so great, and you cannot be separated from it! (Romans 8) Lean back into the arms of strength, and let Him cover you with His wings.

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  51. Wow! The words written on this page have tears streaming from my eyes. Your faith is strong and your beliefs never wavered. My fa orite song is by Mercy Me called THIS LIFE. It says this is not my home! Praying for you!

    Janis

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  52. Still saying prayers for your family and wishing you a Merry Christmas!

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  53. It is so hard to find words to comfort in this time of pain and confusion. What I do know is there is strength in numbers and so all these people banning together with you and all you loved ones saying prayers has to have a huge outcome. Stay strong much love. Merry Christmas.

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  54. Praying for you all tonight. Strength and comfort in Jesus name.

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  55. Tks for letting us know how you are all doing. I think about you often and know that your journey has to be sad and difficult. Even though we know we will see our children again the ache you describe is painful! I lost a child 34 years ago and that ache never leaves you. It is only the Lord and His strength that get's us through. I hope the Lord grants you the desires of your heart and that in the future your home will welcome another baby. I ended up having 2 more children after the loss I wrote about above.
    I know it had to be a big relief to be back with your son! After baby Anna I bet he seemed so much more grown up than when you left fir the hospital!
    Rest up and be good to yourrselves! You've been through so much!
    Hugs to you all!

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  56. Im So so sorry about what happened to your beautiful little girl i dont know how you getting threw but god is right by your side i know i wouldn't have the strength that you both have if i ever lost my daughter or soon to be son my heart aches for you both and her big brother i know it must be so hard to come home and not have your sweet baby in your arms i know she is looking down on you three sitting next to god smiling and will always be watching over you , i have read your story and this is the first time i was able to post my friend kept me and everyone else updated and i continued to pray for all of you that god would reach down and heal baby Anna , writing about it probably helps alot so stick with it and god will always be there with your baby girl watching down on you and sitting by your side when you need it the most , remember memories last a life time and no one can ever take that from you , take care ill continue to pray for you and your loved ones .

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