"Do not be afraid any longer; only believe, and she shall be made well." Lk. 8:50
It has been a little while since we gave you all a "list" of specifics to pray for our daughter. I believe that God has called us show the power of prayer to His people through our tiny little princess, Ansley. We have struggled through some emotional difficulty and discouragement recently and God revealed to me that there is so much of Ansley's situation that I won't let go of. That He is calling to us that we are to let it all go, to lay Ansley's life (and Zachary's for that matter) down before Him. He asks of us:
"Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." (1 Pet. 5:6-7)
This is challenging, but also liberating. We have found peace, comfort, and refuge but it is a constant struggle to not "pick up our anxiety back up" after casting it on Him. As weird as it sounds, it is humbling to ask for prayer at times. In some ways, it is admitting that things are beyond our control. The further I travel through this journey, the more and more areas of my life I see that I refuse to let go of control. So, as you all pray with us please pray for these 5 items every day for the next two weeks and we will update you how she is doing in regards to what the body has raised up to the Father on her behalf:
1. She is not gaining any weight. She is having difficulty eating (solids and nursing). Pray that she would tip the scale at our next check up.
2. We have begun on solids again. This was delayed because last time she was (best I understand the doc's explanation) getting fluid into her lungs because her windpipe wasn't closing enough when she swallowed. Last time this fluid build up resulted in a mild case of pneumonia (and a trip to chez Children's). She has shown some signs of last times troubles, coughing, choking, some heavy breathing, BUT everything has been significantly milder!! (no waking up in the night screaming!) Pray that Ansley will not aspirate and no fluid will be in her lungs.
3. Ansley has had to see a specialist because her swallowing is incorrect. She has a high palate, sensitive gag reflex, and backwards caving of the tongue. What this means is that the already arduous task to teaching her how to eat is much more difficult. She naturally has a inclination to push food out instead of swallow. In the past week we have been feeding her it has gone well in the fact that we haven't had to take her back to Cildrens and she seems interested and excited about eating; however, at this time she really isn't "getting" that she has to open her mouth and swallow on her own. This is tough emotionally for obvious reasons. Pray that Ansley will learn quickly and correctly how to swallow and eat solids.
4. We are beginning to work on "cognitive development" with Ansley's TEIS specialist. This is a little scarier for us because we can see physical signs, but mental development is a little more "unseeable" and thus a little scarier. Plus, she has always been right on track with the physical development, but her cognitive development is not currently where it should be. Pray we would see signs appropriate to her age such as: reaching for us when we come near, more syllable sounds, holding things with two hands, more recognition of surroundings, stranger anxiety, etc. She has been showing signs of trying to crawl/move forward, but her upper body needs strengthening. Pray that Ansley's cognitive development would be just as full of God's grace and power as her physical development has been for the past 7 months.
5. As always, our faith is in need of prayer. It has been a journey full of trials, ups, downs, and everything else. We are constantly under attack from the enemy for our stand of faith and public hope in God's word. Pray for our spiritual strength and protection. As always your verses, emails, and letters are greatly appreciated. The more that we have believers stand with us in our wholehearted hope in the truth of God's word and the bold confidence that the Lord's power is not bound, the stronger our faith becomes.
"Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope." Ps. 119:49