Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Grace Everyday

Dear helpful prayer warriors, 

Help us fix our eyes on Jesus the perfecter of our faith, He is the One who actually knows it all.  We are in another time of not knowing what is afflicting Anna. That is why i need my Friend that knows what’s going on. What a constant companion of wisdom, encouragement, and revelation He is. Just in writing about my Jesus and knowing His perfect love, i see my fears being cast out. 

Oh but its hard to endure in the moment, not everyone is called to bring the suction machine to the dinner table. But God has equipped me for this. Anna’s coughs sound like a lawn mower that just won’t turn over. The gunk slinks up and down her throat with each cough seldom reaching her mouth where I can get it.  I want to cough for her. We perform chest percussion to compel more effective coughing. It works, and once the liquid is cleared I can feel her heart racing. We are staying the course of this uncertainty be it illness, allergy, or inabilities. May the Lord be gracious because He doesn’t ask us to turn things into a pity party or to feel sorry for ourselves. 

In Christ we are more than conquerors, in Christ we lay down our plans, trust in His plan, and we consider the needs of others more highly that our own. That is why I canceled last nights outing and stayed with my family.  Jesus has given me all I need for life and godliness and suctioning. He’s given me prayer warriors too. I cannot slump in worry or faithless impatience. Let me compel us to pray. The Almighty is laying the groundwork for His glory to shine through again this very night. May God grant me the right response to this suffering, so a pathway of His workmanship would flow forth. I am standing by, removing distractions, leading my family spiritually to face this hardship newly.

Lastly, we got Anna assessed with her developmental delay diagnosis in order to satisfy the requirements of Medicaid. it’s the testing that attempts to give her an IQ rating and see how well she follows directions. They were asking a blind person to “pick the image that is similar” or “blink for yes” and parents could not help. What a circus. The test was cut two hours short and will likely declare her as having the cognition and ability of a young infant. We were warned with bitterness from our online community of special needs families about this test. But it is God who gives wisdom and understanding. So Anna’s allotment is not measurable by these worldly measures.  We were reminded in our family devotion time last night that spiritual wisdom from God is not the world’s wisdom. “But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.” James 3:17-18. We see these qualities of wisdom in Anna everyday. May she be a peacemaker sowing peace, reaping a harvest of righteousness to the glory of God.

Please pray:
  • once again let’s ask in the name of Jesus Christ for Anna Elizabeth to be healed in both the acute and the broad forms of her infirmities and afflictions for God’s glory.
  • For songs of praise and adoration to flood our household, our hearts and outlast the illness. 
  • That Anna and I would understand that  “we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. So this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:16-18
  • For increased communication, I have been trying to get her to say “daddy”. It was something I gave up on years ago but I just had the thought to try again. 
  • For her hand chewing habit to stop, her right index finger is calloused to the point of mutation and her wrists have bite marks all over. 
  • For greater ability to manage her saliva and mucus. 
  • For family devotion times to be reestablished after dinner time

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Anna's Home

Dear prayer warriors,

I ran into an overwhelming amount of things to do and a double dose of fatigue once we got home. But we are home!! Simon and I pulled out the Slip and Slide what fun we had as Anna and Renee watched on. I stepped on a wasp and got stung on the foot, it was worth it! Thank you for sharing our burdens and helping us lay them down before the Lord.

While in the hospital there were so many distractions removed, my focus was so specific: seek God and pray for Anna. Anna's long napping allowed for some prayer updates. I know I pushed the limits of our email relationship:) thank you for reading and praying. The power of prayer is awesome. Yesterday, I received a reply that struck me from one of our prayer warriors. It read:
 "Except for the negative of poor health for Anna, the time you spent with her consoling, encouraging, and loving her must be treasures in your heart." So true, only God can do that, He turns bad into good. Perhaps this is what that famous pastor means when he said: "don't waste your suffering".

We learned that we can walk away from a hospital stay feeling like church just got out. I spoke with Lindsey about it a little, we noted that God's grace visited us, drawing us to Him. Our hearts and mind toward our Savior. This makes me think that God answered this prayer request I asked just before the trial started:

- increased time with Jesus. Lindsey and I both feel our prayer life is estranged from more fervent times of devotion. Joining the church has helped. Thankfully we started up BSF and CBS this week. “Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it Jesus it’s my plea”
Please Pray For:
-Anna to strengthen and rid herself of the infection completely, that no fevers or illness would complicate her recovery
-Lindsey and I to communicate well, the fatigue has challenged my character today, we do have a date on the calendar though!!
-Renee to sleep better at night, she is getting more teeth in. up like 5 times at night
-my return to work to be met with God's grace, my company rolled out a new paid leave when immediate family is sick perhaps my absence will qualify for this new benefit. but also that a supernatural amount of freight got worked in my absence!

Humbly thankful for Jesus and His grace through this storm.

The Currats

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Mercy Showcased

Prayer warriors, 

Praise the Lord who returns the joy in Anna’s personality after it was subdued by illness. Saturday night we entered this place pale and limp, disconnected from all that was going on. Her sicknesses can overwhelm her sweet personality for a while, but God’s grace is showing itself strong in the return of the kooky-coos, harmonic-hums, and squeaky squeals. Anna and I shared a sweet time of singing to the Lord together. She was singing in her language and me in English. It was a grace-filled moment last night amid the storm.  Her smiles are breaking through and even the nurses are delighted. 

Other than that moment of worship, Last evening was rough with still much excessive mucus coming up needing to be managed out. Thankfully we have all we need at home to manage that. So optimistically we seem to have one foot out the door this morning although no signal yet from the medical staff. Her bowel cleanse is almost complete.  The fever has left for more than 30 hours now. She had a good nights sleep.  We switched to an oral antibiotic. 

The only complication was that her IV got dislodged from her vein and remained under her skin. It was caught in time before lasting damage could incur. Her fingers and wrist seem to be working great.  But her left forearm arm is 3 centimeters larger than the other one. It looks like a water balloon. So we are waiting for her forearm to return to a normal size. Pray that her body would absorb the excess. We are thankful for the nurse’s vigilance to catch it as soon as possible because I was busy sleeping in. 

In other news, Lord has answered our prayers; remember the neurosurgeon’s office that we called five times to set up an appointment and they did not even return our phone calls weeks ago? Well that neurosurgeon showed up in our hospital room to adjust Anna’s shunt and assess whether or not the infection was impacting the shunt. So now we established care, have an upcoming office visit, and received an apology. 

God is working. I am encouraged by the display of Christ’s unity that my BSF men’s group is showing my family in concern and prayer. We are united in Christ! I literally met them all once for like a hour, and they are believing God for Anna’s healing with us. I told them via group text last night that  “It comforts us to see the show of mercy from saints crying out to God on Anna’s behalf.” That truth is actual for years now, true of every enlisted Anna prayer warrior! thank you!!!

Lastly we joined a large church and had yet to develop relationships therein and by God’s grace they sent a pastor/elder over to pray with us, anoint Anna with oil, and fellowship with us! 

With love, 

Nic, Lindsey, Anna, Simon, and Renee

Monday, September 16, 2019

A mighty Fortress is our God

Good Morning prayer Warriors, 

The fever persisted all day, much suctioning and repositioning. We were limited to cold compresses and Tylenol, it was a long afternoon and evening.  Lindsey, Simon, and Renee came to bring meals and keep us company. Lindsey is so good with the medical lingo, she is excellent at knowing Anna’s needs and what our options are; often the medical team needs to make second rounds on us because I didn’t ask some key questions. Thank goodness Lindsey is on the case!

 I snuck out by myself to be with the Lord for a little while; I took a slow walk around the medical campus on a beautiful Colorado night. It’s those moments that allow for my heart to come to grips and be in check with all that’s going on, there is usually some productive tears to find greater surrender to God, my dependence on Him becomes so tangible in moments like that. The Spirit always lays on me that the appropriate time to work on heart matters is now, and once I go back up stairs it’s time to lead with faith, and care for the needs of the family. That sentiment always encourages me onward in the Lord during these storms. The Lord calls me to be emotionally available to my wife and kids, for me that can be a real challenge. 

We initiated a bowel flush which is still ongoing double diapers and all. the doctors suspect that the persistent bowel backup Anna has can press against her  urine track and cause urine to build up in the bladder leading to the urinary track infection. Pray that we would find a more permanent solution to Anna’s constipation problems. 

We took labs right at bed time to see if the kidneys were still working overtime and irritated.  Praise God, the levels of inflammation have decreased and the doctors felt comfortable giving medicine that is filtered through the kidneys to take a more aggressive stand against the fever. All night Anna has been without fever. Add to that, the saliva reducer kicked in, she slept rather well. The bacteria culture that is growing in Anna's urine has been identified so the antibiotic is especially tailored for attacking it.  we are in the right direction. 

Please pray that the infection and fever would continue to be cast out of Anna. That her shunt would be protected from infection. Pray for my relationship with the day nurses as we have had some miscommunications. For wisdom in the care plan and treatment of Anna’s condition. we are hoping for a Tuesday discharge should the fever stay away. Thank you for walking with us in prayer believing that God has good in store for Anna. 

God is so very good and we are in the refuge of His wing.

the Currats 

Saturday, September 14, 2019

"Child of weakness, watch and pray"

Dear Prayer Warriors, 

I wish I had some deep nugget of Truth that the Lord revealed and impressed upon me to share with you to encourage you along in the faith, but really we are in need of prayer. Anna is not doing well. In my nervousness I have been identifying with that lyric:

"I hear the savior say
Thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray
Find in me thine all in all.

'Cause Jesus paid it all
All to Him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain
He washed it white as snow

child of weakness watch and pray find in Me thine all in all."

As I write, Simon is next to me laying track on his 200-piece train set, and Renee is busy tasting the tracks. Anna and Lindsey are taking naps. It’s a quiet afternoon. We are coming out of a week of family-shared viral illness.  Anna has been progressing through it and she’s the last one with lingering complications. Actually she is still running a fever of 102 and spitting large mucus balls for nearly a day. I think her symptoms are flu-like. She certainly is getting sicker than what we were. We have her on oxygen, we are suctioning and repositioning her.  Pray for God’s grace to steer us clear from this illness; That Anna’s fever would go down and her o2 level up.

Join me in praising and thanking God for our new beginning out here in Colorado Springs. He is working and His plan for us is unfolding. Even though we were excited at moving we remained unsure what exactly God is up to. As we grow in this new place and wait for Anna to feel better, I think it’s a great choice to celebrate answers to prayer.

I remember asking for prayer for a new home church, this was tricky because we needed a fellowship that met on Saturday or Sunday nights because of my work schedule. The Lord provided Calvary Worship Center, where we have been seeking God in community prayer meetings, and celebrating the diversity of Christ’s body with the blessing of a multi-racial congregation. We prayed for a new night nurse, and God made a way for that. These two pieces of our family the Lord has provided, and how much better we are now thanks to them! God knows our needs. In other answers to prayer we finally got a doctor’s prescription for a new stander. So hopefully we will get it in time for Christmas. Anna is continuing to do great with bolus stomach feeds. We are now giving her more muscular stimulation around her mouth, and mini tastes of foods. May the Lord increase her abilities.

We miss our family, dear friends, and how well resourced we were in Littleton. It took moving to realize that our case manager was exceptional. Out here we have yet to receive services for Anna’s specific waiver these things would include respite, home care, music therapy, home modifications, and massage therapy. Please pray for God’s favor in activating these things. 

God is looking into all these things for us!

Please pray for:

-full healing for Anna from this illness and the brain damage. She is not currently hospitalized but we are ready should anything deteriorate.

-the right therapists and companies to help us. We are looking to switch our PT. 

-the only pediatric neurosurgeon in Colorado Springs to return our calls and take Anna on as a patient. The new Children’s hospital has a neurosurgery clinic but nobody who can reprogram Anna’s shunt valve after she gets an MRI. So we need this guy to partner with us.

-our case manager with Medicaid is a new hire and just moved to Colorado Springs. Pray that she would be our advocate and become familiar with Anna’s waiver, the companies who service our area, and especially that she would have compassion for Anna. We are meeting with her again this coming week.

- increased time with Jesus. Lindsey and I both feel our prayer life is estranged from more fervent times of devotion. Joining the church has helped. Thankfully we started up BSF and CBS this week. “Just a closer walk with Thee, grant it Jesus it’s my plea”

-us to find ways to serve our new church to the glory of God according to His gifting and equipping.

The Lord Bless you richly for these selfless prayers.

The Currats

Monday, August 12, 2019

"Surprise Us Lord"

Dear Prayer Warriors,
At our visit to Anna’s Pulmonologist last month I expected to accomplish one thing: to get a prescription for a continuous pulse ox machine. It’s one of those things that would just help us and our nurses when Anna is sick. However as soon as we arrived this guy had us off balance. He is quite a character. He asked if he could hold Renee and greeted each of the kids with such interest. We told him how pleased we were at Anna’s lung health for the last two years, that the CPAP, Airway clearance vest, Singulair, Flonase, and Flovent have all combined to optimize her lungs. We didn’t want to change a thing, so we finished by stating our hope for that prescription for the machine to monitor her oxygen level. 

The Pulmonologist replied, “I think we should take her down to just one medicine and send you home without a continuous pulse ox machine.” His response was shrewd and jarring. He was challenging us to see our daughter as normal, or very close to that. We submitted an appeal and he replied that he had every confidence in our ability to monitor our child and that if we had any concerns that we should use the little hand held pulse ox to spot check her.

I was tempted to dismiss him because he could be undermining what I felt my daughter’s needs were. But mostly I was challenged and humbled as a father. This specialist doctor challenged me to rejoice and be glad that God is working. Anna needs less medical intervention, praise the Lord indeed. As I thought some more about this unexpected turn of events, what seems to be going on is that the more confident I become in anticipating Anna’s needs, the less confidence I place in Anna being healed. Moreover, the less I surrender over to God.

Where else I have assumed Anna’s incompetence because of past failure, diagnosis, or complication? Is she being unnecessarily medicated? unnecessarily aided in mobility? Does she still aspirate when she eats from the mouth? I feel encouraged to ask God “what can Anna do? Surprise us Lord encourage our hearts.” The doctor was right, Anna has been doing great with just one lung medication for the last three weeks.

On Anna’s Facebook page I have posted videos of her standing nearly unassisted with a good posture. Another video shows her sitting independently for about a minute or so. What a gift to wonder at the things going on behind and beyond our own thoughts and abilities, by the Author of Life and Supreme King in the spirit world Jesus Christ.

The Lord has placed Anna’s feeding on my heart. One of the most medically invasive treatment in Anna’s life is her 20-hour a day tube feed into her intestine.  We did this to resolve her GERD, from ages 1-3 she was refluxing 30-50 times a day, aspirating it, damaging esophagus, wardrobe change etc... discouraging times as a daddy. But all this reflux has stopped thanks to the food skipping the stomach. What a good thing, perhaps you long journeying prayer warriors remember those prayer requests “for the strengthening of her esophagus sphincter. That the Lord would restore its proper function to Anna.” Recently I supplemented 4 ounces of water into her stomach (bolus feed) because it was rather warm outside. She had no reflux, I wondered “did God answer that prayer in His own time?” So now we are trying to bolus some ounces of food back into her stomach, slowly. Anna’s stomach has been nearly empty for 2 years save saliva, stomach enzymes, and medicine. She has handled the bolus well with minimal reflux. If she can take her meals in bolus feeds to the stomach, she would only need to be tube fed at night, she would not need to be hooked up to a machine.  

Anna may be an invalid according to science and social measurements. However, in the Light of Christ where she is seen outside of just her injured physical body, she has a spirit unstained by the world.  I know she is validated and purposed for God’s glory. May we place all things in the capable hands of Jesus for His perfect glorification to come about. 

“Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?" John 11:40

Please pray for:
-continued renewal of our minds regarding God’s plan for Anna. that we would hope for full healing as refining fire of our faith through unbelief and long suffering. Is anything too hard for God? 
-Anna to be in the pathway of God’s blessing daily, whether that looks like the removal of suffering or her ability to be encounter the Father’s love for her.
-wisdom and faith as parents to know that God is working even if Anna needs to stay on 20-hour feeds, confined to a chair, speechless, and blind. It is well with our soul. 
-a new night nurse. One of our military nurses got orders and is leaving in a month.
-For services to fall into place. We have been transferred to El Paso county, we have found providers, there just remains the hope of getting respite providers, house cleaning, a stander, and hippotherapy.

May the gift of prayer bless you as you pray for us. Please let us know how we can pray for you!

The Currats

PS. The picture is of a 2-mile hike we did this past weekend above timberline. we were able to take Anna up to 12,800 feet in a specially modified backpack (notice the foot straps). We would have never thought this would be possible but God wanted to amaze us!

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Boat Loads of Prayer

Dear Prayer Warrior, 

I hope you sense that you are actively sharing in God’s grace through these updates. God’s grace is probably the most experiential part of our faith, that is why testifying about its presence is so important. Kind of like a birthday cake that is tailored to the birthday person’s favorite tastes. He or she can keep the whole cake for themselves, but sharing it is better and becomes part of the celebration. You dear prayer warrior are invited again to have a piece of our grace-cake from God. Let’s praise Him and celebrate God’s grace to us. He promises to meet all our needs in Jesus, and what He promised for me, He has promised for you too. I know I love hearing how Jesus meets the needs of other saints.

 "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me” 2 Corinthians 12:9. Let’s boast of my Savior. I prayed that His light would be witnessed through these words reflecting anna’s weakness and our family’s need. Our hopes for Anna require supernatural intervention! By God’s grace may our prayer needs transform into a “yes” to the glory of God

You should see the joy that God’s provisions have lavished on us, our home is brimming with answers to prayer. We have a ramp out front, an adaptive swing out back, new flooring for a wheelchair, fresh paint, dozens of repairs, a grocery delivery service, God-fearing neighbors, and to my wife’s delight a compost pile. It is a privilege to have a guest room and a balanced budget, our new chapter is under way we pray that this house would be a place used of God for His mission. Ever since our marriage we have lived in noisy places, now there is much more quietness on our small street (with the exception of hearing the bugle every morning at 6:30 from Fort Carson army base). It is a good reminder of the spiritual battle we engage in daily too. 

A few of our needs have been activated with ease. Lindsey and I have joined a summer Bible study with Freedom in Christ Ministries, that has been refreshing because Lindsey feels so drawn to participate in their mission. We also registered at the local chapters of our structured bible studies BSF and CBS. Other met needs include, night nurse coverage for 6 nights a week, (two more nights than we ever had in Littleton). I continue to praise God for my transfer. At the new store, I’ve grasped joyful leadership collaborating well with peers, treating the challenges I have with grace and creativity instead of stress and manic effort.  I am encouraged to have a brother in Christ at my new workplace. Pray that God would help me draw out of my team their very best, a passion for hard work, and excellence in executing the many demands. Praise and glory to God.

We long for God to reveal the right local church for us because we know He produces countless blessings through His church body. May He use us and the spiritual gifts He graces us with there for eternal, Kingdom impact.

The busyness at home has been often too much, we ask for God to ease Renee at night so she can sleep without waking in discomfort. Praise God her reflux is on the decline but teething seems to be starting. Anna has had some days with excess secretions needing suctioning in the day time which is not that common. She seems disengaged more frequently. O to have toys, time, and activities that would draw her to focus more. We do see Simon engage Anna with a toy at random times, what a joy that is to see. So much going on, please keep us in your prayers as the Spirit leads you!

Please pray for:

-Anna’s Medicaid case to be transferred from Jefferson county to El Paso county. This ought to have been done a month ago, however our new case manager is missing some documents to make the transfer final. This means all waiver services for Anna are not happening. (Massage, music, hippo-therapy, house cleaning, as well as any home improvements).

-wisdom and attention to detail for Anna’s new physician. We have been so thankful for what’s called the Special Care Clinic at Children’s Hospital they have a team of primary care physicians with extensive experience in serving special needs kids. This clinic is only available in Aurora so for sick kid visits it’s just too far. The new children’s hospital in Colorado Springs does not offer primary care physicians. Our new doctor has limited experience with special needs cases, anna’s pt, ot, and speech therapies are on hold because of needed signatures from her. Pray that this will happen ASAP.

-our ability to fill the gaps that this move has created in Anna’s care. Anna is without about 5 weekly therapies. We have struggled to dedicate just 30 minutes a day to stretching her. She hasn’t been in her walker hardly at all since she has been here. Our priorities have been so many with the new house, Simon, and new baby Renee. We count on God to bestow prioritizing and helpers. now that we moved away, we have limited help that we were used to having with friends and family. 

-a new stander. 6 months ago we had a prescription for it, a letter of medical necessity from our pt for it, we selected the one that was best for Anna, and sent all that to the medical equipment people and waited. after 5 months (because it usually takes that long) i checked back and they said they were waiting on a prescription. If only we had known. So now the old prescription is expired and we need a new one, our doctor cannot just write another one she has to see Anna again and she has a 6 week wait to be seen. 

-a community to be built around Anna. This has been the overarching desire we have had since we grasped the extent of Anna’s medical needs years ago. We know we need to keep bringing people to her. Friends, caregivers, and prayer warriors. Pray for a strong bond with a church body here eager to know her, we pray that the new nurses in Colorado Springs would know the sweet anna nuances. we hope to continue relationships with the nurses and friends Anna had in Littleton, but moving away brings a negative impact for sure. Pray for kids her age to want to know her and not just be momentarily curious.

- Lindsey and I to transfer companies for our caretaking for Anna.  Finding a company to activate our CNA skills for Anna is easy, but we want to right one and there are several factors to consider. 

-full miraculous healing so Anna can walk, see, and share in her own words how her Healer reigns over all her suffering turning hardships into worship and awe of Him.

From our point of view, your intercessions for us lavishes another layer of grace that must be bragged about to the fame of Christ. 

With love, 

The Currats