August 17, 2011
Good morning from the Philippines! It is drizzling and dark at the start of this new Wednesday, and most of you are on the other side of the globe ending your day. Francis and I are sitting in a hospital room two hours from our home, listening to the rain and talking to Jesus, and wanting to bring you all along into a moment of this journey with us, as we experience new depths of His heart today.
For the past almost three months, unknown to most of you, we have been growing a new missionary who is to join our team in early march. Yes, we have a new Daytec swimming and growing inside of me, and as all of Jesus' plans are good ones, we have welcomed this surprise with joyful hearts. We have prayed that this pregnancy would be different than when I was pregnant with Julia, and that God would give me strength and health. God has given us lots of grace and joy, but the vomiting has been worse than our last pregnancy, and it has been a struggle to keep the strength I need to chase after a very energetic ten month old Julia (who is absolutely delightful, by the way, -- the most amazing girl ever.)
Last week we made the five hour trip to Manila and had an ultrasound. There was our little miniature love, jumping and squirming around, looking so perfect and baby-like already, heart beating strongly, everything looking wonderful.
Two days ago I began having extreme lower back pain, and a low grade fever. As I napped in my bed with Julia yesterday afternoon, I experienced a sudden, massive gush of blood, and continued to hemorrhage for the next few hours, losing between 600-800 cc of blood. France, and the staff of our clinics gathered around me praying life over our baby, over me, started and I.V., and called the ambulance to take me the two hours over winding mountain roads to the closest hospital in our island. The only ambulance in our town turned out to be wrecked, so our neighbor, the Vice-Mayor, graciously lent us his van for the trip.
An ultrasound at the hospital last evening shows that our baby is alive and active, but there is a bleed in my uterus, of unknown cause and location, and over half my uterus is filled with massive blood clots. The bleeding seems to have stopped, but all the medical staff looked at us with sympathy, making sure we are aware that they are not very hopeful concerning the future of our baby. As my uterus continues to contract to dispel the blood clots, there is a very strong possibility, from a medical standpoint, that the baby will be dispelled with them. My cervix is slightly dilated at this point.
As France and I put our hands over my belly and prayed over this child that God has given to us but still holds on to, we were overwhelmed with a thick covering of grace, suspended in a sling of peace that, as God promises, surpasses even our furthest understanding, covering and protecting our hearts and minds from receiving or walking in fear or anxiety. As I watched our baby on the screen, wiggling and waving those tiny hands and feet, even as a bright cloud of blood pushed him or her into the corner, I could almost see the hand that holds and covers him, the hand that created and controls all things.
We are being held by those hands as well. I am on complete bed-rest, not allowed to move to use the restroom or shower. My beloved husband is once again loving me like Jesus does, taking care of me and holding me. Our sweet Jules is staying at our house with our wonderful staff who delight in taking care of her, even as her parents ache from being away from her. And we wait. We wait for these blood clots to pass, and we pray with faith, believing that God's plans for this life are great, and that He will do great things for His glory in the middle of what looks almost hopeless. We smile as we rest in mercies that are brand new for us this morning, and look to Jesus to write the next few pages of this story. He is good.
Please join us in praising Jesus for all He is doing, and continue praying over this little life that already has so much purpose and destiny.
We love you all, and as we have expressed so many times before, but never can enough, we are incredibly, incredibly grateful for you. Thank you for holding us up, for loving us through, for praying with fierce, wild faith to our great God on our behalf. You make it possible for us to continue walking out all God has called us to here in the Philippines.
Francis, Leah, Julia, and new little Daytec