Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Thursday, August 24

Clutching at straws

Hi there!

We went to the hospital for a scan on Wednesday morning. There was nothing to see. They tried to comfort us with the idea that 'the womb might be hiding something', but we felt they were just trying to be positive. They took some blood for hormone tests, promising to call back in the afternoon.

I took the rest of the day off work, and we went for a family walk. The movement got things going, and we had to ruch home so that MRs could go to the toilet for thicker, more clotted bleeding. By the time the phone call came, we were already convinced that the baby had miscarried, and were not surprised that the hormone levels were low. We still have to go back fro another test on Friday, to confirm whether the hormone levels are going up (good but highly unlikely) or down (bad but likely).

Today, her bleeding is much less, but her tummy bump has gone down, adding to the conclusion that the baby has gone.

So where does this leave our faith?

We believe God wants us to ahev a baby, so why does it not come? Is he too weak? Is he trying to teach us more? This pregancy would have been good timing for things too numerious to list here - now all that is gone. The clock is ticking as Mrs gets older and we can't leave it too long before having a baby.

If we have been wrong about this, what else are we wrong about? Am I also wrong about moving to freelance work, which I believe is from God? (I found out today about major tax obstacles which need big changes to my plans and I will probably have to leave my employer completely.)

Are we the most deluded people on earth?

Or is God just testing our faith? And is this then a God of Love?

So you can see that today we are really messed up.

But we have been in times like this before, and God has always lifted us out of them. And so we continue to trust, and despite everything, Mrs has come out with some really strong statements of faith in the last 48 hours.

Watch this Space!

(Salt lake at Uyuni, Bolivia. I went there as a child. I pinched his picture off the BBC website [i think] - apologies if it breaches your copyright - put in here to illustrate how lost we feel.)

Monday, August 21

Suspected misscarriage - will faith prevail?

This weekend has been a complete roller coaster of highs and lows.

I was supposed to attend a college friend’s wedding on Saturday, but cancelled because of my wife’s bleeding. She would not have been at all happy about me disappearing to the other side of the country for a day or two when the pregnancy was threatening to miscarry.

She had bleeding on and off all day Saturday. But she still looked very rosy and pregnant, and I wasn’t too worried, still in faith that this was just a hiccup. But towards evening the bleeding became heavier and thicker, and we became convinced that it had indeed miscarried.

Gloom all round. Yet I still couldn’t really attach myself to the idea that it had miscarried, perhaps a sort of denial or delusion. Or perhaps faith. Anyway, Mrs (I will call her Mrs rather than “my wife” from now on) keeps on reading her books.

She stayed at home on Sunday while I took the kids to church. We made a quick getaway afterwards, not wanting to have to fend off questions about where and how she was and how our fostering is going.

I couldn’t ask my wife to cook, and I can’t, so we had lunch at Pizza Hut.

We did the jobs we had missed on Saturday during the afternoon, and she went back to her books. I was on warden duty at church in the evening. A fantastic service: a workshop on the gift of prophecy. Not very Anglican, but extremely good (despite some minor theological errors and other incidents separating zealous but immature Anna and zealous but longwinded Dora from the microphone).

Came home full of the Holy Spirit. Found Mrs still on the couch, but in a much better frame of mind after reading more books. Some hope – or clutching at straws – that it may not have been a miscarriage after all.

Monday’s appointment has been postponed till Wednesday, and so until then we won’t really know what has been happening.

Meanwhile, my two oldest boys came back from Soul Survivor. Buzzing! They are making the transition from inherited faith to a faith of their own. Fantastic! We just hope and pray that our faith about the pregnancy is vindicated, so that we feel we are leading them into something that is actually right!

I still need guidance regarding contract working. I discussed it with my bosses on Friday, and while they are willing to accept me on a contract basis, they strongly advised me against it. Colleagues who work on contract have skills that apply to various industries so when one is quiet they go to another. But I am more specialist, so come the quiet periods I would be first to be out the door and with nowhere to go. That is human wisdom, but if god has told me to do it then it would be folly not to. So I need clarity regarding God’s will in this.

I have now filled up your entire prayer time!

Friday, August 18

Pregnancy worries again

Following a routine arthritis check up weeks ago, My wife received a letter suggesting she should have various blood tests - probably routine for her age. She made a telephone appointment to discuss these with her doctor.

The appointment was Thursday (yesterday), and she took the opportunity to tell him she was pregannt and had some bleeding. He wanted her to go for a scan the next day (today) but she put it off to Monday becasue our babysitters (the two oldest) are away this week.

She has just phonmed to say that the bleeding is getting worse, and is accompanied by pains. (she had pains last night but I dismissed them as wind). So now she is very worried. The books whihch comforted her last time have now lead her to worry that it is an ectopic pregnancy.

We do believe we will eventually have a baby, but don't believe that christians are exempt from bad news such as misscarriage before God's will is fulfilled. It would be particularly dissapointing to lose this baby after previous answered prayers (from you readers) about all this.

I wouldn't worry so much, but last night I had a very vivid and gruesome dream about her losing the baby.

So please continue to pray over the weekend. I will update you when I can.

)also this afternoon I have a meeting with my boss about going onto contract work. Pray for that too, but concentrate on the pregnancy)

Wednesday, August 16

Character, Communion and the Identity of Christ

I recommend to all my readers that they follow the "Christian Community" Blog Link in my side bar to the left, and see the post titled "Character, Communion and the Identity of Christ". It is excellent - especially the explanation of the doctrine of original sin. I couldn't put it better myself - which is why I am directing you to it!

Done it!

Well, I have taken the plunge and sent an email to my boss asking if he can let me chnage to contract work and still work for him. I think company policy will stop it. We shall see!

Thanks for comments

As Christians we often teach a gospel of "come to Jesus and all your problems are over" -but of course becoming a christian is to climb onto the most terrifying but exhilerating roller coaster imaginable.

So I am sitting at my desk looking like an ordinary middle class middle aged engineer in a shirt and tie, when really I am in this massive adventure. I sometimes feel I am riding on a rhino, sitting on it's snout and steering it by the horn.

There is a book by John Ortberg called "If you want to walk on water you have to get out of the boat" or something like that. I haven't read it, but I can tell its content by the title. I heard about the book shortly after moving into our house with a humungous mortgage. It was the encouragement I needed - I had stepped out in faith to buy the house, but the waves of mortgage were terrifying. I cling to Jesus, and am still walking on the water.

So coming back from holiday recently and finding all the bills, I lost a night's sleep. But now I feel OK because of the idea (given by God, I believe, before the holiday) of changing to working on a contract basis rather than staff and so harvesting 30% more. I realise that aspects of my original plan were unethical and I now have to navigate around these, which will be tricky, but I trust God will show the way.

So its great, but terrifying!

For those following the story of my wife's pregnancy, she is still feeling pregnant but still getting bits of bleeding. Books she has read suggest this is 'erosion of the cervix' resulting from hormones. So we continue to trust God.

Thanks again for your fantastic support.

Monday, August 14

Answered prayer

Thank you very much for praying for me again - especially for the prayer in the comments to my previous post.

My wife tells me this morning that the bleeding has stopped, and that other pregnancy symptomns are stronger.

Isn't God good?!

If you stop and meditate for even a short period on this, rather than just glibly taking it for granted... well I find it hard to put into words but it is really amazing. If only I were a song writer!

Sunday, August 13

Worry worry...

It seems taht every time I post good news, I have to step back from it in my next post. My wife has started bleeding a bit.

We know that in some preganancies there can be small flows from time to time, but this is also how her sixth pregnancy started to misscarry. We hope that we are not going that way again!

Back from hols

Back from our holiday.

Brief summary:

2 nights with my parents
7 nights in a caravan in St Austell - Cornwall


Dad gave me a free watch - a freebie from some advert they rplied to, but didn't fit his wrist. Usefull, but embarrassing telling friends my watch is a rejected freebie!

The day before we went, my wife took a pregnancy test - POSITIVE!!! A definite blue line!!! Praise God, and thanks to all those that prayed!

Struggling though, becasue she has few symptoms, and feels this is a sign of a weak pregnancy about to fail. Please keep praying.

THe holiay was great - loads of quaint fishing villages, surf, etc. We were priviliged to have a private beach for the caravan site, with two old square-rigged sailing ships moored in the bay, and the local village conveniently had a fantastic firework display on the last night.

Back home to reality, trawling through the mail with bad news on tax, school fees, unauthorised overdraft fees etc. At face value, our finance are unsustainable.

Didn't sleep at all last night as a result (plus feeling ill and with tinnitus screeching at top volume), but at least I got the laundry done. Convinced God is in all this, and he gave me several reassuring verses during the holiday, but its hard to see at times.