Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sadness, Headaches, Balloons, Lessons

I'm just going to continue to share my heart. I'm not good at pretending. So here it is. This is where I'm at...


The sadness has started to sink in more these past few days. This is really hard. This sadness is so deep. It is dark, confusing, and all-consuming. I'm learning it's called GRIEF.


I still believe in God and His goodness and perfect will. But I also believe that He can handle my disappointment, anger, confusion, and tears. I don't get why things turned out the way they have. I want my baby back. I miss her terribly. It's so hard to accept that we've really been through what we have. 


I've been crying more lately. But I still haven't let myself really cry. The yelling, wailing, yearning-type cry that I long to let loose. I still hold it in. (Not sure why - maybe I've trained myself to hold it in for years.) My body needs to let it go - to exercise, to cry, find release. I'm worried that Isaac will be scared if he hears/sees me that way, or the neighbors will wonder. My whole body is tense, and my neck is sore. Maybe that's why I have such a bad headache... still...  


Matt went back to work today. I'm concerned for both of us. Matt is grieving, too, of course. But we are grieving differently, and aren't sure how to help each other. 


Saturday we gathered with my family and a few other friends to release 11 balloons as part of our celebration for Anna going to heaven. It was super cold, but turned out to be meaningful regardless. I spent time finding scripture verses about heaven the night before, which was so good for me. 


Here are a few photos and the 11 scriptures we read:
1. "Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth - so wonderful that no one will even think about the old ones anymore... And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard no more. No longer will babies die when only a few days old..." Isaiah 65:17-20


2. "There are many rooms in my Father's home, and I am going to prepare a place for you... when everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am." John 14:2-3


3. So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:18


4. ... we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. That's why we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8



5. Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return to Jerusalem, singing songs of everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be overcome with joy and gladness. Isaiah 35:10


6. And they will see his face and his name will be written on their foreheads. And there will be no night there - no need for lamps or sun - for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever. Revelation 22:4-5


7. Our bodies now disappoint us, but when they are raised, they will be full of glory. They are weak now, but when they are raised, they will be full of power. 1 Corinthians 15:43



8. God himself will be with them. He will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever... Look, I am making all things new! Revelation 21:3-5

9. ... for I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return. 2 Timothy 1:12


(It was harder than I thought it would be to let go of my balloon...)




10. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely... 1 Corinthians 13:12



11. He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, "Yes, I am coming soon!" Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! Revelation 22:20


My 5-yr-old niece made a special note for Anna from her heart-shaped notepad (the same niece who made the "celebration cake" - see previous post). It said: 
You shine
I hop for joy
To Anna


           ***


I can't get this song out of my head. It's the special song written for Anna, "Safe in His Hands", by our friend Kathy Kerber. The chorus lyrics are...


You are safe in His hands
And though my tears fall like rain
Though I don't understand
God is real, He is love
You're already a part of His marvelous plan
And all I need to know
Is you are safe in His hands


My tears have been falling like rain - my face is often soaked. I had to ask myself again, "Do I really believe Anna is safe in God's hands?" As humans, made of flesh, it's hard to picture heaven - it's not tangible. My hands long to touch her again. I want to feel her. My body is still recovering from carrying her and delivering her. She was real, right? She really existed, right? I really gave birth and loved on my baby for 11 days, right? It doesn't feel real sometimes. But my aching heart and body tell me it did happen. I study photos to convince myself that it did. She was born, she went through surgery, I watched her lay in the hospital with tubes coming out of her - my beautiful girl - and then I lost her. Way too soon. This isn't supposed to happen! This isn't right! My heart screams these things. I cry out to God to help me survive, even though I'm mad at Him at the same time. I run to Him because it's all I know to do, yet my broken-heart reaction is to stiff-arm him. 


All I can do is surrender my baby daughter to Jesus again... and again... and again...
Even if she was still here, the safest place for her would be in HIS hands. No one could love her  more than Him - not even her mama. And I love her a lot. Her 11 days here on earth were full of major medical intervention. I couldn't care for her as my mothering instincts longed to; I couldn't keep her safe. So God keeps asking me to trust Him. Even now that she's gone. This may be the toughest lesson of all.


I am so sad. And I will be for a while. Joy doesn't equal happiness. Joy doesn't mean things are OK. Joy doesn't mean the absence of sadness or pain. Joy means there is something bigger going on, and God knows what it is. Even though I hate my circumstances, I can choose to trust that God sees and knows the answers to my questions - and He'll get me through... somehow... until I join Him (and Anna) someday. 


I believe He loves Anna. I believe He loves me. Love doesn't always feel good. 


This is going to hurt. I hate that it is my reality. I don't want it to be real. I want to rewind several weeks and see the outcome change. I want to hear Anna cry. I want to see her in the cradle. I want to touch her soft brown hair on her warm head - wash it, kiss it, smell it... instead of just looking at a few locks that were cut and put in a baggie after she died. 


Please continue to lift us up in prayer. We won't survive without it. Pray for healing of our broken hearts, comfort in our pain... for hope to be reachable, and for darkness & depression to stay away. Pray for strength for the next task, courage for the next step, and sensitivity to be kind to each other.

44 comments:

  1. Sweet Liss... don't you dare pretend. Keep sharing your heart - here, in your journal, with friends, with Matt, other family, old aunties, and of course with God. This journey we are on is a journey - a moving living process - and trying to short change it or pretend it isn't what it is won't make life better or easier. I, too, sing your song every day, several times a day. I tell myself that just as Anna Joy is safe in God's hands, so is my dear niece. So is her husband and her son. Safe. The balloon release was a wonderful idea - I love the scriptures you chose! Still praying for you and Matt - I appreciate your specific list and will print it out and keep it in front of me. Love you so much.

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  2. My heart aches for you. Thank you for the specific list. I will be lifting each one up to the Lord daily. Your post is raw and real and that is what God asks of us. I know His arms surround you and your family each and every day. Holding you tightly as you walk each step and take every breath. Praying deeply for your grieving heart. May He fill you with all that you need for each day.

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  3. I am so very glad you chose to bare your heart dear Alissa. It's helps those of us following your journey not to disconnect from the reality of your pain. You are being prayed for. More than daily. Thank you for trusting us enough to be honest and real. I pray the Lord will bless you and comfort you tonight. If only we could spread your pain out among us, maybe your load would be lighter. Please continue to reach out in your pain and may the Lord remind you that you are not truly alone. You are so cherished by Him and so many of his people! I will continue praying that the Lord will draw you and Matt close and that you will be protected and carried in the arms of the Saviour. Hugs Kathy K

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  4. I have been following your story since Anna was about 6 or 7 days old. I am part of those who were drawn in due to a Facebook posting. I prayed and prayed for little Anna Joy. How I prayed for you all. I am 14 weeks pregnant with an 8 month old daughter..my heart weeps with you. I wept tonight reading your post. I have not commented before..what led me tonight was your aching heart. When I think of an ache..I think of the throb of a heart, the bloodflow that is pounding out pain. Tonight, I not only picture Anna safe, oh so safe, in his hands..but I see you. He is squeezing you..with the rhythm of this ache..boom boom...boom boom..goes the ache. His strong hands squeezing you. Its like you are sponge in his hand..and he is wringing out the water...just like your many tears. What gives me hope tonight is this...there will come a day..BEFORE you meet Anna face to face in heaven..where relief will come. You will be plunged back into God's healing water trough and all your being will be FILLED. You will feel FULL again. The sponge that now is so painfully being wrung out, will be FULL of water..life giving, over-flowing water. You will feel refreshed. You will feel relief. For now..you are in a dry and weary land..you feel exhausted by your grief..but the day will come. The day will come. You will laugh..you will sing..sing a new song. And although, nothing will ever take the pain of loosing Anna from you, that cool, healing water will surround it..like cool water on a burn..it will take out the sting. That is God's promise to you tonight...he will take death's sting from you, from Matt. I do not know you, we will most likely never meet this side of glory..but I feel the heart of God wanting you to know..HE WILL TAKE THE STING. May the Lord bless you and keep you..may his face shine upon you and give you peace. Wende

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  5. I'm so sorry you are hurting so badly, although your feelings are normal. You have been on my heart so much lately & I had this feeling yesterday to call you, thats why I did. My listening ear is hear when & if you are ready or want. My prayers will not end soon for you or your family. Love you

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  6. I love you! I'm so grateful for your posts, I look everyday for something from either one of you. It helps me to know how to pray for you. I hate that any of this happened to you and Matt. It sucks! I am here for you, praying and crying right along with you guys! My heart wants to run up there and just hold you! I don't even know that it would help, but I just want to do something for you guys. More than a note or a prayer. I wish I could take away some of this pain and grief... but I do know that these are things that shouldn't be avoided and I know that Jesus is carrying you through. But I still want to take it away! I'm praying for you daily, sometimes hourly! I wish it was enough! I won't give up till God directs me to something more! I love you!

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  7. Alissa, my heart is just breaking still for you and Your husband. I am praying for protection for your hearts and minds. The post above from Wende, where she mentioned relief. I pray for moments of relief, moments of peace, and mercy from the pain. Thank you for showing your honest heart.

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  8. Hi, you guys. I've continued to pray for you, remembering that this is one of the hardest parts--maybe the hardest of all. Grief comes like aftershocks of an earthquake, or like waves. You think you can't cry anymore or feel anymore--that this has to be the end of it, then another wave suddenly hits you and knocks you off your feet. The other thing is that not only is the grief erratic and unpredictable, but it's not synchronized, so it's rare to both be at the same grieving place at the same time, which is frustrating. It takes a lot of grace and patience, but you've both already shown plenty of that. You just try to be as understanding and gentle with each other as you can. And there are times when you just feel nothing at all, too--I remember just feeling "dead," sometimes. Maybe hardest of all to cope with in these times is when life gets back to normal for the rest of the world,as if none of it ever happened, while you're still stuck with grief that feels as if it will never end or even get better. It will always hurt,at least a little, but there is healing for grief, and part of the healing is allowing yourself to grieve. It's O.K. to feel whatever you're feeling, including being mad at God. He can take it. One day we'll understand, but probably not until we get to heaven and it doesn't matter anymore. Until then, we just let Him hold us. Know that you still have many friends praying for you, hurting with you. We are so sorry. And we love you.

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  9. Oh Pastor Ness, I soooo....agree with you. Matt and Alissa many are grieving with you. You did such an amazing job of sharing your love for Anna Joy with us. There is healing in tears, no doubt. The deep wailing tears take time to emerge....but it will come. I pray that you are able to release them when the time comes. Your dear little Issac is surrounded by an amazing support system. Take as much comfort in Isaac as you are able.
    Grief hurts indescribably, but it also ends when you work with it. Thank you again for sharing, the photos, your heart, your song, your story. I am praying for you.

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  10. Thinking of you and your Anna.
    Hugs,
    Jennifer
    CDH Mama

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  11. Sending you love and prayers as you go through this difficult journey...I am so sorry...

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  12. I fell asleep praying for you guys last night...and I will continue to pray. I love you all so much, and wish you didn't have to go through this. Thank you for sharing with us through your words and pictures. None of us will ever forget precious Anna Joy.

    Holding you close in my heart...Aunt Jaime

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  13. God woke me up with thoughts of you guys today. I started my day by praying for you. I know in my heart that there are many who haven't posted but are being prompted to pray and whose hearts are burdened and whose faces are tear streaked. You are loved.

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  14. We have not forgotten you nor your sweet little girl. Prayers are lifted daily from our aching hearts. Our pain is for you, for Matt, for Isaac. Your honesty in writing will help you heal. Go ahead and let God have your anger, full-force. He knows you and understands. I can only imagine your anger, your pain... and I'll keep praying. Love to you all!

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  15. Lou Ann has sent me to your blog. I want you to know you are not alone. So many have trod these grief-muddied roads before you. Many have cried, ranted, wailed. David said his bed had become a bed of tears. I understand. When we lost our baby, I kept a journal. I knew my husband was not responding in like grief. But I couldn't reach him, and he couldn't express himself. One day, many weeks later, I gave him my journal and went for a walk. When I came home, he was sitting in a chair reading, and crying. It was the first time we were able to break through the barriers we faced. Maybe if you both journaled and then x-changed your words? Praying for your family.

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  16. You continue to be on my heart and mind and I have and will keep on praying for you. I completely agree that God is more than able to handle every emotion that you give to Him, and I believe he even wants us to do this. It's not like we are really hiding it from Him when we don't express it to him. God's mercies are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23, "Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed,for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." My prayer is that each morning, God will renew your strength and renew his prescence in your life so that even on the days that are harder than others, you will feel his deep love for you.

    -Carrie Hays

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  17. Alissa, you have such a beautiful heart and such a gift for expressing this journey through your words. Like someone mentioned above, I wish each of us praying for you could take portions of your pain away and lighten this load for you. I write this, tearfully - my heart breaks for you....

    This Friday is the two year mark from when we lost our baby boy, Gabriel. I share that because I want you to find some comfort in knowing that it will get better. The sadness is always there, but the bitter sting and heart-wrenching ache will soften and you're going to be even stronger for what you're suffering now. God will see you through these heart-wrenching days, weeks.... The Mommy in me just wants to tell you "It's going to be okay" and hug you.

    Your words touch my heart and bring me to tears for you. You're able to say so precisely many things that I wasn't able to articulate when our baby died. This blog you're sharing is a gift to more people than you realize, and I'm hopeful that it's a powerful healing tool for you as well. You are so loved. My prayers continue for you....

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  18. Thank you for baring your soul to us. It is part of the healing process. Writing is part of your healing..Speaking scriptures out loud may be helpful too. Please know that you are loved more than you know. God is right there and we are still here praying, loving and grieving with you.

    Tammie Rutledge

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  19. I don't really know what to say apart from know that you are very loved by God Almighty, and your family and many faithful friends around you. Thank you for sharing from your heart, I cannot imagine the pain you are going through. The verses and pictures you shared and the truth of Anna being so safe and secure with Him are precious! Bless you and your family, hugs xx

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  20. Alissa (&Matt),
    I am and will continue to pray for you all! Alissa, get your car without anyone, drive and scream your heart out ......when find a spot park and cry, cry, cry. I use to do that because No one can hear you screaming on a moving car and it kinda looks like your trying to sing. Just get it out!! Thank you for the update, your timing was a answered to pray. Hug each and communicate your saddest to each other. Loving you from Seattle.

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  21. All I can say is that we love you guys! Thank you for your being so honest about how you're feeling and what you're going through. We will continue to life you up in prayer each and every day!

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  22. I don't know what to say. I've followed your story and I'm so sorry for what you've been through and are going through. My great nephew was only here for a few short weeks and his mother found comfort in a book that might be of some help to you. It's the "Heaven is for Real" book written about the little boy's account of Heaven. I haven't read it but I remember my niece mentioning that she really loved it. Maybe it will help with your grieving, just thought I'd mention it. ~prayers

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  23. I still think about your terrible loss and how your hearts must ache. I think about all you have been through with the labor and delivery and how those after birth pains must be even harder for you. I pray for your hearts to heal and for you to find happiness with Issac and peace with Matt as your grieve together.

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  24. I still continue to pray for you and Matt. I still find myself driving down the road praying for you to have comfort. I cant imagine the grief you are having, as my heart still aches for little Anna Joy. Lots of hugs!!! You are an amazing family

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  25. I want to second Lis' comment about "Heaven is for Real" I didn't want to say anything about this book, though it was on my heart to share with you both just because you said how hard it is to picture heaven. I just kept thinking, "It's too soon" I am glad someone else said it. Like many others, I keep coming here a couple times a day reading your posts and praying for you.
    Hugs Kathy K

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  26. I promised I would pray for you as long as He put you on my heart. In His faithfulness to you He finds ways to draw me to your words, your pictures, your anguish, your hope. I can only read a few lines at a time. He breaks my heart for you.

    He loves it when you hold on to Him. I picture the look on Matt's face as he held Anna Joy in his left arm and encouraged her tiny hand to grasp his right pinkie. Likewise, I envision our Father holding you in His arm encouraging you to grab His pinkie. Your grasp on Him is kinda clumsy and weak, but it thrills Him just the same. And I can see His strong arm holding you near no matter what. He loves you. He sings a lullaby over you. Oh, how He loves you.

    “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 hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    Keep seeking. Keep holding on. I'll keep praying.

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  27. Alisa, checking in on you today. You don't know me, but I have left several posts on your log and followed your and Anna's story. As I read your blog today, it was 6 years ago today that my baby boy Zachary Taylor was born. We encountered similar hospital stories as you did with Anna. We prayed and hoped every day and Zachy held on to be with us for four months. Even 6 years later today, it is still hard to think that I gave birth to what we thought was going to be a perfect baby boy ( all ultrasounds missed his brain malformations) so we were in complete shock when we heard that he wasnt going to be ok. It is a tough day today for me...even 6 years later. I can tell you that day to day living gets easier, but the "anniversary" dates do still ache no matter how much time goes by.
    You are right that you and Matt will go brought grief at different times and different ways. My husband drew and I did the same. Men and women are different in that way, and I had more of a sensitive, motherly approach and he tried to be strong for me most days. I carried him for 9 months, and all I had to show was a big c section scar on my belly. That hurt my heart so much. thinking of you a lot and big hugs and prayers. Erin Ebright

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  29. I meant to say that you and Matt will go through grief in different ways and times. Let out the cries, and tears. Don't hold it in. Hang in there....hugs, Erin

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  30. Alissa: I imagine that when you began this blog you had no idea that you would be forever connected to virtual strangers. But, that is the beauty of the Body of Christ. We are irrevocably connected through the blood of Jesus Christ.

    I want to thank you for providing each of us the honor of supporting you through prayer. So many times people withdraw into a cocoon to lick their wounds all alone. I am honored that you have remained in contact through this blog and been transparent enough to share your heart. You know what? You don't have to be strong...I believe it would be perfectly okay for you to "collapse". I believe that, because I know that you have a prayer support (globally) and an emotional support (locally) that can more than withstand your need to give in to the feelings you are having.

    I know you and Matt have an incredible relationship. This is, however, uncharted territory for both of you. Remember that God placed you together...and you were together before kids...and you will be together as empty-nesters. Hold each other close...

    Prayers...continually,
    Denise Christianson

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  31. http://blog.pagecxvi.com/post/683764188/joy

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Z7Mjc78LdU

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  32. Dear Alissa, I met you last summer at Matt's reunion and I have been praying for you ever since. I have shared your blog with some of my friends and we are so thankful for your faith in Jesus. We weep with you, and we know that someday we will rejoice with you when we are reunited in heaven with those we love. Please know that people in Bend, OR are praying for you. "Let us cling to Jesus and never stop trusting Him..." Hebrews 4:14
    Becky Nagle

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  33. I am another mother who has never met you, but I continue to feel for you and wish I could carry some of your pain. If these messages will ease any of it, we will all continue to hold you close.

    Your walk is a strong testimony to God's Love and ability to carry us through the darkest valleys. I know a young mother of twins, born right around Christmas this year, who has already lost one and for the other is enduring the ups and downs of surgeries, and hope, and fear, and watching -- that you just passed through. Your story will be strength for others -- and it already is.

    There is no answer -- but Jesus. You have clung, and that is all He asks us to do. Do scream out your pain -- it will bring some physical relief. You need and The Father understands.

    You continue to be on our hearts. We appreciate your honesty, and we honor your mother's love. May you feel ours as well.

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  34. Alissa, I don't know what to say right now. I am aching for you guys and continue to pray for you as you navigate each day. Thank you for being open, honest, and vulnerable. Thank you for allowing us to support you in prayer. Muck love and sorrow, Heather

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  35. Alissa, I can't imagine what you and your husband are going through at this time. I had a baby boy 6 months ago and love him dearly, but I would sometimes be so exhausted and fed up with his crying and demanding my attention. Through all of this, I have cherished him sooo much more and every night he is up crying, nursing, teething, or just awake smiling at me I am very thankful for him. When you posted about cherishing all the special moments with family it really caught my attention and made me think of everyone out there who has lost a loved one or can't have children. I want you to know how much it has made a impact in my life. I am incredibly sad for all of you and have been praying for you every day.Our love and prayers are with you!!!

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  36. You guys amaze me! I was thinking of you all today and I came across this blog by a fellow brain tumor survivor. They too lost their baby girl Emma Grace far too early & their faith has been center stage

    http://especiallyheather.com/emma/

    Praying for you!

    Jessica
    Www.bussjessica.blogspot.com

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  37. Lifting you up with love, support, and hope. Sending you lots of prayers and loves.

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  38. I am praying for you this moment. My wife and I lost our first at 5 months and it tore us up. Years later I lost my wife to cancer at age 45. Will I ever understand those things? No. Will I ever be the same? No. Will 10 years totally erase the hurt. No. Is there hope and healing? Yes. Is there laughter after the pain? Yes. Is God faithful in it all? Yes. Much grace and love to you though we have never met. I am grateful you can share so honestly.

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  39. You are often in my thoughts. I pray God continues to hold you up as you grieve the heart wrenching loss of Anna. Let the pain surface and let it out. Cry that wailing cry. Hopefully when you do, the crushing pain will lessen and you won't feel as weighted down. Your faith is amazing and strong. God continues to work through you and Anna's story. Attending Anna's memorial was healing for me as I was having so many doubts about God and his 'plan'. Seeing Matt's and your faith and trust in God is inspiring. I still have questions that will probably never be answered until I die, but seeing how God has worked through Anna is helpful. Lots of prayers for you, Matt and your family as you try to make sense of it all.

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  40. I am shedding tears, Alissa, for the loss you feel. I am shedding happy tears from reading the first verse because I know that God loves Anna Joy and I know God is taking her in His hands to care for her. I am shedding tears looking at the picture of you not wanting to release your balloon to heaven. And I am shedding tears of hope from the photo of your niece sending her message on her heart to Anna Joy. I remember for a while not wanting to stop crying because I thought that after I was done crying, I would forget. That is not what happens . . . you find a way to stop crying sad tears and learn to cry happy tears when remembering the joy you experienced in the 11 days of Anna Joy's life. And then you will be able to start the healing that allows you to live again; until then, it's deafening, numbing and timeless.Someone once said that tears help melt a frozen heart, and I believe that is so true. Ask God to refresh your life for the gift of life He has given you, Matt and Isaac is still precious and important . . . just like the memory of Anna Joy. It all takes time . . God's love to you, Matt and Isaac, and hugs from me. Debbie

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  41. Oh Alissa and Matt,

    I do not know if you will remember me, but I was the RN at the UWMC who came in a breifly met you (Alissa), and let you know I had been reading your blogs and had been joining the many who were praying for you and little Anna. I had not been able to figure out how to add a comment before to your other posts, but I have been continuing to lift you up in prayer. Although I have not walked the same road as you, I have lost several pregnancies, and I feel your heart ache and pain. I wanted to thankyou for your honest and raw emotions that you have shared. Although little Anna Joy was with you for 11 days, she has impacted so many lives, and I know your blogs have been a testimony to others. We do not want to be in pain during our life, but I believe God is going to be able to use what you are going through for His Glory!

    My 3rd pregnancy loss was the hardest to bear, because I was having frequent ultrasounds, and watching that baby grow. During my grief and sorrow, as I was pouring my heart out to God, he really made the verse in Psalms ring true that He is near to the broken hearted and heals our wounds. During that time, the song by Casting Crowns,"I Will Praise You In This Storm," came out. Every time I hear it now, I still tear up. "I barely hear you whisper through the rain, I'm with you. And as the thunder rolls, I raise my hands and praise the God who gives, and takes away. I will praise you in this storm and I will lift my hands. You are who you are, no matter where I am. Every tear I cry, you hold in your hands. You never left my side. And though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm."

    I also came accross 2 random verses in the Bible over a few weeks that lept out of the page at me. Psalm 71:20, "Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again. From the depths of the earth, you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.' And 1Peter 5:10, "And the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. To him be the power forever and ever. Amen.

    I did not know if that restoration meant I would be able to carry another child. But I knew God was speaking to me, and I held onto that. With my next pregnancy, I thought, "OK, this is it. This is my resoration." But then I miscarried again. I let God know, as you have over and over, that I did still trust him, but it was hard to say that and mean it and trust.

    Greif is an emotion that God has made us with, and it is never easy to go through. But I loved what you said about Joy. It does not mean happiness. To us who believe in Christ, it is so much more. I am praying that God sustains you and Matt, and that his unexplainable peace will rest on you and through you!

    Another song that often runs through my mind is, "God is GOd and I am not. I can only see a part of the picture hes painting. God is God and I am man. I will never understand it all, for only God is God."

    Since that time, we have had 2 other children. But it was the toughest 5 years of my life to walk through, and the Lord spoke to me, the loudest I think I have heard (or maybe listened) to him, during those times.

    I do not know what resoration God has for you, but I really fealt that I needed to share this with you, so I hope you receive this comment. He will restore your lives again!!

    God bless you and your precious family,
    Rebecca Chilson RN at UWMC

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  42. I'm so sorry for your loss... I'm praying for you

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  43. It's been a while since I commented, but that isn't because I've not been thinking of and praying for you - I have. The brutal honesty with which you write is an important part of expressing your grief - and as you can see, you are very much accompanied along this journey.

    Grief knows few boundaries. It can be expressed in such a huge variety of ways that it's not surprising you and Matt are experiencing it differently. I'm praying that even as you work through this painful time at your own pace, that the Lord will bring you together in special ways you hadn't imagined. Even in grief, may you be surprised and even delighted by His grace.

    Sending you hugs and prayers from Texas.

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  44. You're experiences have touched me deeply. In fact, I shared some thoughts on my blog at http://www.mytelios.com/2012/01/old-dog-new-tricks.html. Lisa and I are praying for you and Matt!

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