Video – Interview – Exeter


Tanya after filming Belmont


If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I was recently invited to speak at Belmont Chapel, Exeter. I said, ‘Sorry, I’m housebound’; they said, ‘Then we’ll come to you.’ So the church brought a camera to my house, an hour away from their church, and asked me lots of questions about my experience and theology. They played this 38 minute video interview to 200 people gathered there, and then I did a live Q&A session for them via the wonder of the telephone (I opted for low-tech so that nothing would go wrong – and we still had a slight glitch on the night! Ah, technology…)

The Exeter crowd were very kind to me, and I was so impressed at the commitment that this one church has to accessibility, and the ways that they loved me well in getting me to speak there. AND… (drum roll) – now you can watch it too!

It’s a long video, so I’ve put a little guide to the topics below, so you can skip ahead to the relevant parts.

AND look out later this week for the 250 minute audio recording of the Q&A session (which I’ve also transcribed for those who can’t listen to audio).

A favour to ask: 1) lying on a sofa is NOT a flattering angle. 2) Last-minute, I put on extra blusher in a hurry because I’m normally washed out by camera lights. This time, the camera guy knew what he was doing, and you can see very clearly my blusher which looks like a partially-trained monkey has applied it. So – just imagine me looking more glamorous as I say all the things! Thank you!

Without further ado – here is the video on vimeo.


Interview at Belmont Chapel – highlights:

0:00-3:45 Introductory remarks, reflecting on sense of calling

03:45-5:45 How did your comfortable life get turned upside down? 

5:45 -8:45 What is ME? What do doctors think? Is it even a real illness?

8:45-10:00 What is the prognosis for those with ME? What’s your prognosis? 

10:00-11:37 What was the hardest point of your ME story? 

“How can I look after a baby when I’m like a baby myself?”

11:37-13:36 How do you keep believing in God when He’s silent in your suffering? 

“There is a narrative that when the worst happens God will be the most close to you”

13:36-14:40 Were you ever tempted to lose your faith? 

“If it’s good enough for Job, it’s good enough for me!”

14:40-16:38 How did Job help you? 

16:38-18:00  Are you still mad at God? 

18:10-19:10 What good does it do to have God in your life? 

19:10-22:05 Is God good – when there is so much suffering? 

“if this life is all there is, how is there justice in this world?”

“we all feel that pull to eternity”

22:05-23:30 What do you say to those who say, “God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life”?

23:30-27:02 What does God’s calling look like for you now? 

27:02-29:00 Why did you start blogging? 

29:00-30:24 Why ‘Thorns and Gold’?

“It’s so important that we know a suffering God”

30:24-34:08 How do other people react to your disability? 

34:08-35:44 What would you say to Christians who are going through a time of suffering?

35:44-38:50 What would you say to someone who doesn’t believe, who just sees a random world where bad things happen? 

“God also brings gold”

That link to the video again – the video on vimeo.
Thanks so much for watching – let me know what you think!


'It’s so important that we know a suffering God' - @Tanya_Marlow - 38min interview on suffering, #MEcfs and God: Click To Tweet

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18 Responses to Video – Interview – Exeter

  1. Stephanie 11th November, 2016 at 5:55 pm #

    Excellent interview. I adore that church for coming to you.

    Some particular points that stood out:

    No matter how many times I hear your birth story it brings me to tears. Having your life ripped out from under you under those circumstances is heartbreaking.

    Always love your thoughts on Job. So much goodness here I took notes.

    ‘What qualifies as a ‘wonderful’ plan?’ and ‘do we hear that from global Christians or does it only fit comfortable middle class Westerners?’ Yes!! Could you hear my cheers from across the Atlantic? 🙂

    Really, so much good stuff here. Thank you, Tanya, and heartfelt thanks to the Exeter church.

    • Tanya 20th November, 2016 at 10:19 am #

      Thank you so much for watching and for taking the time to say what you most appreciated. It makes me particularly happy that someone viewed my words as important enough to take notes. HUZZAH! It makes me feel Very Important and Lecturer-y. Much love!

  2. Vicky Beeching 3rd November, 2016 at 10:38 am #

    Such a great interview! Loved watching it 🙂

    • Tanya 6th November, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      Thanks, Vic-stix! That means a lot!

  3. Amy Robinson 1st November, 2016 at 9:36 pm #

    I’ve just been able, finally, to watch this video. It was wonderful, and I felt as if I got to spend a bit of time with you. Thank you.

    • Tanya 6th November, 2016 at 5:45 pm #

      Thank you SO much for watching it! I really appreciate that! Will look forward to reciprocating somehow 🙂

  4. K 1st November, 2016 at 7:50 pm #

    Watched your interview, Tanya, and wish I could talk with you for hours! Congratulations. I was particularly in awe of your skilful and succinct explanations of the messy, messy ME world. I have so many thoughts to share they won’t fit in a comment, and I hope to watch your video again on a day when I have more energy and make notes of all the things I’d love to say. But since neither of us is able for that (ME), I saw this quote from the minister husband of a woman who has ME/CFS and thought you might like it: “As for his faith, it has always been “a questioning faith,” he says. “God in our view is big enough that we can shake our fists once in a while,” he says. “It’s OK to cuss and say, ‘What the hell are you doing to me?’ If God’s not big enough to be questioned or screamed at, then God’s not big enough.””

    • K 1st November, 2016 at 8:10 pm #

      Ooh I see you already saw it as you left a comment!

      • Tanya 6th November, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

        good to re-read it again – i’d forgotten it

    • Tanya 6th November, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

      Oh, I love that quote – thank you. And thanks for congratulating me on my explanation of ME – I always feel like I don’t even know where to start with the whole politics of ME, so I’m glad I sounded succinct! Sending much love from my bed to yours.

  5. Elizabeth Trotter 1st November, 2016 at 3:08 am #

    Loved the interview Tanya!

    • Tanya 6th November, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

      Thanks so much for watching, Elizabeth! I really appreciate it!

  6. Sabine Mueller 31st October, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    Hi Tanya, looooved the interview! Thoughtful and smart answers. Sensitive and deep. Challenging and comforting. Loved especially your thoughts on “Is God good?”. Thanks for being so open and vulnerable. Keep up the good work! Wishing you just the best for body, soul and mind! Blessings from Germany.

    • Tanya 6th November, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

      Thanks so much for watching! I’m really glad you liked my comments on ‘Is God good’. Look out for the Q&A audio I’ll be posting later – it answers more of those kinds of questions…! Thank you

  7. Mark Allman 31st October, 2016 at 5:28 pm #

    “God also brings gold”…. So do you. Enjoyed the video. Glad you had that opportunity.

    • Tanya 6th November, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

      Ah, thank you, Mark! You’re most kind. Hope you’re well


  1. What I’m Into Sep Oct 2016 | Tanya Marlow - Thorns and Gold - 7th November, 2016

    […] Video – Interview – Exeter 30th October, 2016 […]

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