Tuesday, June 19, 2012

From the Day She Went

A few journal entries from 6 months ago. 

Taken directly from the journal I write in for Anna, before I went to see her that day:
Monday, December 19, 2011
Anna girl,
   There's so much I want to say to you; it's hard to know where to start. You are so beautiful... in more ways than one. God created you to be beautiful physically - your  features are proportioned and pretty. Round head, dark hair, perfect eyebrows, sweet little nose, pretty lips, full cheeks, little round chin... long fingers and toes...
   Your toes are a cute mix of Daddy & I. You have the longer 2nd toe and space like me, but I've notice your 2nd toe sometimes rises higher than your big toe, which is like Daddy. Your arms, legs, and shoulders & back are so soft. I can't touch you enough.
   The nurses are saying you have sensitive skin - some of the tapes and things are causing red spots & irritation. Isaac has sensitive skin, too.
   But you're also beautiful because of the glory of God you bestow. It's obvious Jesus is holding you. Many souls have been drawn closer to God because of your story. I'm so honored to be your mother. You are my hero.
   I love every bit of you. I long to hold you close, kiss you all over, nurse you, bathe you, dress you...
   What a gift you are, Anna! 
   I love to see you move. Your toes, your grip on my finger, your blinking eyes, your puckering or suckling lips...
   I'm pretty sure you have a slight dimple on your right lower check. So cute.
   I pray for God to heal you constantly. May he help your little body function correctly. In the powerful name of Christ Jesus, I pray those veins in your lungs grow and stretch so your body can pump blood efficiently. 
   You are so precious. I don't know how to express the depth of my love for you.

Taken directly from my personal journal, still hadn't seen her...
Monday, Dec. 19, 2011
   How do You want to speak to me today, Lord? Your Word, Your Spirit, Your presence, Your people, my husband, son, daughter, other family...? I open my heart to You - desperate for You. Longing for Your touch on my sweet baby, and on my own spirit as I wait on You. Provide grace for the moment. Strength for this day. We're depending on You - hoping in You. It's hard to give Anna to You. But it seems like it shouldn't be. She's in the best care in Your hands. I just love her so much. This hurts so badly, Lord. Carry me. 
   Touch Matt & bring him health. Don't let him get depressed. 
   We need Your touch. We cry out for Your supernatural touch, Father. Step in with Your power. Stretch her tiny lung veins so she can pump blood & live. 
   So many are praying for Anna to be healed. You hear every prayer. There are children praying for her. There are people coming back to you who haven't prayed in a long time. There are those praying who don't know you personally, but pray anyway. May they come to know You, Jesus!
   It doesn't seem right for her to die with all the people watching & hoping. I have to trust that You know what is best for Anna, for us, for all the people watching. But it's so hard...
   Show Matt & I what to do when faced with tough decisions. We don't want to have to decide these things. Please make things clear. Obviously clear & total peace-filled. It sickens me.
   Christmas is coming. Just a week away. What are you going to do this week? Keep providing strength.

And from the journal for Anna again, after she was gone. I couldn't sleep...
   My forever daughter - 
   You are with Jesus now. You left us around 6:45 this evening. I'm so thankful we had time with you. We all got to hold you before you were gone, then you passed away in my arms - resting snuggly between Daddy & I. I'm going to miss you so much. I can't believe I'll never get to hold your hand, kiss you, or stroke your eyebrows ever again. Oh, sweet girl... Mama loves you so much, and I miss you already.
   We were blessed with 11 days with you. And I'm truly happy for you. I rejoice that you're in heaven. You are so fortunate to be with our Father & Jesus. You're going to experience your first Christmas in heaven. I can only imagine what it's going to be like. You are whole and healthy now. I'm so glad. It's a burden lifted knowing you're well and perfect and dancing for Jesus. Your life brought people closer to Him, and I'm honored to be your mama. My arms will always ache for you. Daddy & I will always miss you.


  1. Dear Matt and Alissa,

    I received your beautiful card celebrating Anna Joy's life today. Thank you so much for sharing it with us. It is prominently displayed on my fridge where I can continue to see her beautiful, precious face and pray for you.

    I apologize that I haven't commented here much in the last few months. But please know that I think of you all the time and continue to pray for you.

    I have been so touched by Anna Joy's life. I started writing a blog post right after her memorial service. I finished it today. I hope that what I share in how much I learned from her can be an encouragement to you, a reminder of how big of an impact your precious daughter left on this earth.


    With love and prayers,

  2. Your writings are so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your inner most thoughts and prayers. A beautiful guide in prayer for others that may have or will go through something similar. Your praise amidst heartache is very uplifting and inspiring. Alissa and Matt, we think of you often and hope you are doing well.

    God bless,

  3. I just started reading your blog. When I found out my little girl Esther had CDH I was desperately trying to find other CDH mom's who were going through what we were going to have to go through that lived in Washington. We didn't find your blog til now. Our little girl has passed also. She was born May 12, 2012 at UW also and died at childrens May 2, 2012. WE are strong believers also. In fact I would love to get together and support each other through this time. I haven't read much of your post but will catch up this weekend to see what happened in your journey. I am so thankful we both have the Lord through this as we miss our little girls so much. Here is our blog so you can get updated also if need be. It may be to raw and touching at this time for you also. rhondaandjasonholtrop.blogspot.com. Love to you. Praying for you in this moment!!!! Rhonda Holtrop

  4. Thank you for sharing your beautiful and heartfelt writings. What a blessing to read the inmost yearnings of a mother who loves and trusts the Lord. God bless you, Matt, Isaac, and your family.

  5. Still thinking of you often and praying for your family. Thank you for sharing your journey as you're able.

  6. Your Anna WAS truly beautiful physically. I was in awe when I saw her photos. She was truly a little Angel. And you are so right, moreso beautiful for God's glory. Still praying for your family. I can't imagine the grief, the journey. But I do know our God is walking every step, every breath with you. He is good.