Friday, December 24, 2010


As many of you know, my daughter, Annabelle Lillian Faith Phillips, was born in July with a severe heart condition. Basically, she only had half of a functioning heart.

They had told us to anticipate at least 3 open heart surgeries, one within the first week of life, another at 4-6 months of age, and another at 2 years of age. We were to also anticipate 4 weeks to 2 months in the hospital to begin with.

Annabelle is 5 months old as of Monday... has had 2 open heart surguries, and now has at least 3 more to go. She has NEVER been home.

I'd asked God along time ago to PLEASE let her be home by CHristmas. Thanksgiving would have been nice, but when we found out that we wouldn't be leaving the hospital for a while due to her complications, I told him I would settle for Christmas.

Then we got some blowing news that it didn't look like Annabelle would be home for many weeks, if not months, right around Thanksgiving. God asked me to give Him EVERYTHING... including my dream of Christmas at home with my WHOLE family. I was crushed... but I gave it to Him anyway. I could be bitter and hold onto it for dear life, or I could let go and enjoy Christmas, regardless of where.

It still wasn't easy though. The month of December was the hardest month I've gone through in a really long time, except maybe the first month of Annabelle's life.

Then last Sunday... the doctor gave us some encouraging news. There was a CHANCE that we might go home by Christmas. Annabelle had to do PERFECT all week, all her O2 levels wonderful, no fevers, nothing wrong.

So we prayed. We asked EVERYONE we know to pray. I begged God to PLEASE let her have a great week.

Well, her O2 sats have been *almost* perfect. But she's had a fever at some point every day. She's had blood in her stool and a scare with that. As the week went on and fevers continued, my hope started to deflate a bit. Then yesterday, the doctor came in and said he was really worried about sending her home. He just wasn't sure it was a good idea, and didn't want to compromise her health. I, even though I wanted Christmas, agreed.

He said the answer wasn't no yet, but still a maybe.

Then on Thursday... they had a big meeting with all the cardiologists and the heart surgeon.

And despite a few of Annabelle's blips this week, they decided that she was indeed okay to go home for Christmas!

So, as I type, it is Thursday, and Annabelle is scheduled and ready to go home tomorrow, on Christmas Eve!

She is our Christmas Miracle!

Now, we still probably have to come back for another surgery in January, so we might only be home a few days, or a few weeks, but we will take however long God grants us at home and be thankful for each day, each hour, each minute.

My four girls!


Renee Ann said...

Truly a miracle! Praying the time with your family all together under one roof is sweet and peaceful and passes slooooowly! I'm continuing to pray for your daughter. Blessings . . .

Sarah Forgrave said...

I don't think it was a mistake you posted here today, Krista. Such an exciting day for you and your family! Baby Aubrey and I prayed that Annabelle would be a good girl overnight and get to come home with you. Can't wait to see pictures of the family reunion.

Sherrinda Ketchersid said...

I just read your tweet about her high fever during the night and my heart aches for you that she might not get to come home! I am praying for God's best for Annabelle and a miracle for you Christmas!

Sandra Stiles said...

As always thanks for the update and know that there is a continuous outpouring of prayer on your family's behalf. May God truly bless all of you this Christmas and bring you a brighter New Year.

Krista Phillips said...

Yes, we ran a fever overnight. Still don't have a FINAL NO yet so I'm not giving up until they shake their head. I think her fever is gone now... but still not sure why it spiked in the first place.

On top if this... I took a shower this morning because it helps me destress.. and the bathroom flooded. LIke 3 inches of water in the bathroom as well as half of Annabelle's hospital room.

I think the Devil is trying to give us a bad day! Scott and I woke up and were rocking Annabelle to help her feel better and singing praise songs even though our hope was dwindling. I think that made the Devil mad.

Well PHOOEY on him I say!!!!!

Charlotte Kay said...

Yes, PHOOEY on him!!!
You encourage so many others and defeat satan at the same time when you sing those praise songs at such a difficult time:)
Remember, He has overcome the world and is with you each moment of this trying time. I want to share a poem I wrote using the scripture that confirms His power and makes satan mad!!!!



When feeling troubled
And worries seem doubled,
Take Heart!

As problems appear
And tend to leer,
Take Heart!

Because trials loom
And tend to consume,
Take Heart!

Although quite concerned
With nowhere to turn,
Take Heart!

Though restless and weary
And all seems so dreary,
Take heart!

Even as anxieties mount,
On Him you can count;
Take Heart!

Since turmoils rave,
His power will save;
Take Heart!

While discouraged,
Count on His courage,
And Take Heart!

*Charlotte Kay Saltzman*
September 30, 2010
Inspired by the Scripture John 16:33b NIV
“In this world you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Keli Gwyn said...

Krista, my heart goes out to you as you await the final word and deal with the apparent setbacks.

My mind goes to the story of Gideon. He asked for the fleece to be wet and the ground around it to be dry. You've spent several months in which there have been many parched days when hope seemed elusive.

Next, Gideon asked for the fleece to be dry and the ground around it wet. Well, you've been flooded--literally. I wonder if this could be a sign from God showing you that you're soon to be overwhelmed with happiness as you take your precious little princess home for Christmas.

I have a hunch you're feeling pretty drained right now, so I'll hope and pray for you that God will give you the desire of your heart and that your family has a wonderful Christmas at home. No matter what happens, though, I pray you sense the Lord's presence in a mighty way and that you're filled with joy despite the circumstances.

I'll be watching the comment trail and Twitter for updates.

Charlotte Kay said...

I am not sure if you can view this message from Max Lucado on youtube, but I think it is meant just for you!!!!!!!!!!

Casey said...

God knows the perfect timing Krista and I will continue to pray no matter what! He can see the future, we can't, so trust in His unfailing love. And I have faith we will see a blog post soon with her snuggled in her big sister's arms at your house. :)

Angie Dicken said...

Krista! Hoping that you are getting good news right now as I type! God is great and that stinky old devil can't mess with His plan!
Hope you have the Merriest Christmas!

Keli Gwyn said...

For those of you not on Twitter, here's the update Krista just posted at 7:40 p.m. Eastern time.

"Leaving the hospital to go home. My heart is breaking leaving my Annabelle behind... but we'll come see her tomorrow. God is still GOOD!"

May the God of comfort wrap His arms around you, Krista, and uphold you as you do your best to celebrate with a heart that is heavy.

Casey said...

Thank you Keli, I saw it on Facebook. My heart breaks for her too, but just like you said, God WILL COMFORT them through this. The Word promises that He is the God of all comfort!

Mary Vee Writer said...

Merry Christmas sweet Annabelle and to her family as well.

Beth K. Vogt said...

May God continue to be your Emmanual. Praying for your family.