Did you get that?! One more time, ASA IS HOME!!!!!! Our little boy came home yesterday after four very long, exhausting weeks (and one day)!


Asa finally gets to wear his ‘coming home from hospital’ outfit!

To make it even more of a special day, yesterday was Jon’s parents’ wedding anniversary. And it wasn’t just any anniversary, but Margaret and Ray’s GOLDEN wedding anniversary! We were a bit naughty as we kept it a surprise! We invited both sets of parents round for a cup of tea and cake after we ‘visited’ Asa. The discharge from the neonatal unit took much longer than expected as there was a long checklist to go through, plus we had to feed him (and occupy a toddler, yikes!). I texted both sets of parents to say we’d be 20 minutes coming home. In they walked to discover their little grandson was waiting to give them a cuddle! SURPRISE!

Left: My mum, Anne, made this cake for Margaret and Ray’s Golden Wedding Anniversary, for our little informal gathering. (With extra special secret guest!).
Right: My mum’s first cuddle of Asa, aged 4 weeks and 1 day old!


This morning, we took Asa to church without anyone other than our parents knowing Asa was home! No-one really noticed at first, except those sat in the ‘Oasis’ area where we were sat. There were a few whispers, people pointing and trying to crane necks and see what was going on, and Mark Lonney informed Matt Lewis, who was speaking, that baby Asa was in the building! We did inadvertently cause some commotion in Matt’s sermon (sorry Matt!). I must admit, I have been dreaming of this day for ages, finally getting to show off our whole family, and we did it. After church we could barely move for people wanting to see him and talk to us.

We are incredibly blessed to be part of Bethesda – it’s such a supportive, loving, compassionate, prayerful church. I’m in tears as I write this. We have seen and experienced God through these many, many faces, these friends, this family of ours. It feels like home.

Friday afternoon I had a phone call from the unit to say that Asa might be discharged the following day and would I like to come and spend the night at the hospital ‘rooming in’ to get used to looking after Asa. It was a long and difficult night as Jon couldn’t stay with me, and Asa had to be woken and fed every 3 hours through the night, taking sometimes an hour (or more!) to feed…plus his noisy breathing (stridor) made it difficult to sleep. A lot of the night was spent in tears, but we knew we were close to having him home!

P1090073Our first night at home altogether as a family. Precious times!

Made For Community

“Churches are not museums that display perfect people.
They are hospitals where the wounded, hurt, injured and broken find healing”.
Nicky Gumbel

 I saw this quote from Nicky Gumbel on Twitter today. It reminded me of Bethesda. It reminded me that we are all made for relationships and all made for community.

I am needy.
I am hurting.
I am sad.
I am missing my little boy.
I am made for relationships.
I am made for community.
I am grieving (as awful as this sounds, it is true – I love Asa but he isn’t quite what I was expecting and so naturally here has to be some grieving process for the boy we do not have and acceptance of the little beauty that we do have!)

We all need community. Your struggles are different to mine, yet God cares about us both the same. He made us for community, to be with each other, to serve each other in love. I have never felt so shaken and afraid in my life yet filled with joy and happiness at the same time. I am so needy of Christ yet life is a blur and I don’t even know what to pray sometimes.

I am reminded of Hebrews 10:25: Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” I have said it many times that Bethesda is a very special place. Full of special people. Where a special God meets with his specially created people. This church – our spiritual home – is where our heart is and we have felt the love of this community more than ever. Through our church we have figuratively had a hug – several hugs in fact – from God. We have had grace, love, compassion and support piled on to us and probably will continue to do so. The church – and many Christian friends in other churches – have been God’s practical outpouring of love and hope in a time of despair.

Without community and relationships we would have struggled to get this far. We are so grateful…