Thursday, November 22, 2012

Even Now

Nothing like a holiday to awaken emotions. Good, bad, ugly, beautiful... they're all here in me. 

Somehow I am overflowing with thanks today. It's Thanksgiving; we're sometimes forced to   list our blessings or speak them aloud. 

Amazingly, I don't have to be forced. Oh, I have reasons to be angry and questioning. And I do express those feelings, believe me. Those are real and necessary in the healing process. 

I am full of sadness over my loss of little beauty, Anna Joy. But a genuine thankfulness has risen up in me as I reflect on all the blessings of my journey through her story. Like God prepped my heart and mind while I was sleeping last night.

This morning Matt told me to peek out our bedroom windows revealing the pink sunrise, bright over frosted rooftops. Like it was quietly asking, "Will you continue to hope?" It's a new day.

Not long after that sight, my precious beautiful son practically jumped through our bedroom doorway, announcing his welcome to the day. Enthusiasm beaming on his sleepy, but happy look.  

God has blessed me abundantly, and I feel that fullness has brimmed and spilled over. I want to share these blessings with others. I want to shout the goodness of God - YES, even now, in presence of severe pain. 

I am grateful for being drawn so close to Him that my every breath depends on His faithfulness. His grace saves me day after day.

* * *

There is no adequate way of expressing our thanks to all of you who have walked this journey with us this past year. Matt and I would like to send out two small words that carry huge meaning and sincerity for us. 


They sometimes seem trivial and familiar. Please believe them, though. They come from our hearts wrapped in authenticity and humility. 

We have often discussed how blessed we have been through the support we've received. Truly, we have been carried by God through YOU. Your prayers, your cards, your encouragement, your empathy, your hugs, your gifts...

We had these announcements printed this past spring and did our best to send out to those we could. There was no way we could have sent a tangible one to most of you... thousands of you who have cared and prayed. 

So here is one for you. Imagine it was sent to your mailbox, hand-addressed. 

There is always something for which to be thankful.

We celebrate that gift today. The gift of gratitude. The ABILITY to be thankful. 

Even this... Even now?

Days of questioning. Weeks of heartache. Months of sickness. Year of hell meeting heaven. 

Yes. Especially now.

I choose to look toward heaven. 


  1. Your sweet baby passed the day after mine. I love the announcements. They are beautiful. I didn't even think to send any out. Thank you for sharing this post with us. Couldn't be more perfect! <3

  2. Alissa and Matt,
    It is my privilege to watch as you walk this journey of loss. Did you know that wherever you have been you've left whispers of hope, promises of faith and declarations of His love? It's true. I imagine the Lord must be smiling through His own tears when He thinks of your determination to glorify Him even through this most awful pain. I am so blessed by your story every time I read your blog. I pray His blessings over you and your sweet family. ♥Kathy K

  3. As more holidays and a special birthday approach, know that you are prayed for daily, loved completely, and trusted to show all of us a new road in this wilderness of life. We each seem to have our own lonely road to open. We're praying that the Lord will continually draw you closer to Him, and that you will know without question that you are loved.

  4. I don't know if you have heard the Natalie Grant song, "Held," but it is one which has greatly ministered to us since we first heard it, years ago. Blessings on you and your family. My prayer for you is that you keenly feel God's presence and comfort, and that you hear something from Him that is just for you.

  5. Happy Birthday sweet Anna Joy. Your life touched so many people. Thinking of you today Alissa.

  6. Thinking and Praying for your family!

  7. I stumbled across your blog around this time last year. Grieved and grieved. I've checked it every couple of months since. Realized it's the anniversary of her death. I'm so sorry. I have no words.

  8. I just looked through the precious pictures of your dear Anna Joy. Thank you for sharing her with us. Thank you for reminding us to look towards HEAVEN! Praying that your family will find peace today and throughout the holiday season.

  9. Thinking of you all today and praying that you feel God's continued presence and comfort as you remember that blessed and so dearly loved baby girl. Anna Joy brought "joy" to me in ways that can't be expressed adequately in words. Thank you for sharing her with so many of us. For sharing her with me. For letting me a be a part of the journey. And that I can share in the mystery of pain and joy of having her and losing her. Love to you all Alissa, Matt and Family!