Tuesday, March 18, 2008

(Bump) Not Sad

Tuesdays are good for Recycling! This was originally posted on 1.11.08, just 3 days after Gwyneth arrived, while Tricia was still in her medically induced coma.

If you have a few hours to kill and want to be encouraged, Google "Tricia Cystic Fibrosis", "cfhusband" or "Confessions of a CF Husband".

I've read as many of them as I can find, and have posted "Thank you!" on every single one (except for those that don't allow me to).

As I've read each comment on those other blogs, I've come across a few that have mentioned how "sad" our story is. I couldn't disagree more.

Sad is the furthest emotion from my heart these past few days and weeks. I have never experienced so much joy packed into such a short period of time in my entire life.

Pain? Yes!
Frustration? You bet!
Helplessness? Duh!

But, no sadness here.

I've seen members of my own family return to God, heard from couples who have considered their marriage more deeply, read of mothers who have hugged their kids more tightly, seen Duke staff by Tricia's bedside in prayer, witnessed the increased faith in a real and tangible God of so many strangers and friends, and been told of people coming to know my God for the very first time...all because He has chosen to use Tricia, and now Gwyneth in an eternal way.

This is a story of Hope in the future, Joy for the present and Blessings for the past. It is a story of a God Who takes a left turn just as you are moving right, Who shows you the mountain top while others see the valley, Who never leaves nor forsakes you, and Who is bringing you to a destination that is unfathomably beyond anything you could have desired for yourself.

The past few days have led me to the most foreign places (physically, emotionally and spiritually) I have ever experienced. And yet, every single moment, I have felt a peace and sense of purpose like I did not know existed. It is something that I absolutely cannot understand or explain. Although I have recently asked God for many things He has not yet given me, I would not trade a moment of this past week for anything in the world.

My bride is living and, I believe, on her way to a successful double lung transplant and many years of watching our baby grow with me. I have a miracle daughter who is seriously challenging her mother for the top love in my life. Our families have shown me pieces of their hearts that I have never seen before. Strangers have become eternal friends, old friends have become new again, good friends have become great friends, and the best friends have become like family.

The only sadness to this story is that you might be reading this right now without relationally knowing my God like I do. But, that can change in an instant if you want it to by simply expressing to God with your heart that you believe in Who He really is and desire to know Him now and forever.

If you could only see the way Tricia smiled today when she heard my voice and feel my heart jump into my throat like it did that first day we met over 7 years ago or see the tears that flood my eyes whenever I touch Gwyneth, you would believe and know that there is no room for sadness in my life right now.

Our story could change at any moment, with an outcome that I may not be able to deal with on my own. But, my God will never change, and neither will my memories of this past week.

Nate

137 comments:

Rick Lawrenson said...

Well said, son.
Go God!

Wobbly Librarian said...

And I loved the post a few days ago where you assured us that if you lost either of them, you were confident in where they would be. And peaceful about that. That was such a powerful testimony. Certainty in the bad times speaks volumes.... and you shone then, both of you.

Sarah Furlough said...

What a moving post. I agree, there is no sadness here. Only, hope, faith and love.

Alisha said...

Thank you for using this time as a chance to share our great God to those who may be reading it and don't know Him. What we go through on earth pales in the light of eternity and I thank you for not missing the opportunity to reach the many who are following your 'not sad' story!

Pam Doughty said...

Eternal. That says it all. So many things that we do or want or worship are man-made and will crumble, but what we are witness to here is eternal and God-blessed. There is no doubt that God is with all three of you, and He always will be. "Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take." Joshua 1:9 (The Message).
Grateful for a great God...

Anonymous said...

Nathan, so glad you set the record straight for those who can't see God's love in all this. As I said before, you have opened my own eyes so much. Sure, I ache for the desires of our hearts to be brought to fruition. But, more than that, I am flooded with joy for you, Tricia, and Gwyneth Rose. I am elated, overwhelming happy, in ways I never imagined, with a growing love for Christ. Thank you again for sharing so much of yourself so that the rest of us might re-evaluate our relationship with Him.

Love you,
Your cousin Amy

Anonymous said...

I admire your faith and outlook. I wish the best for you and your family and will be praying for you all. I have added a link to my blog with the hopes that more people will keep you in their prayers. Congratulations on your little girl, she seems like quite the little over achiever already!
Stacy, mom to 23 weeker Conner, surviving twin of Braedon
www.aboutthelarsons.com

Anonymous said...

I am so amazed and touched everytime I read the updates. The most awesome part is your love for and trust in the wonderful God we serve. I am inspired and strengthened in my faith.
Sending prayers from California

Stephanie Johnson said...

I was told by a friend that I should read your blog to pray for you, and I must say that your story has encouraged me to not only pray, but to be thankful for how wonderfully God is glorifying Himself through your beautiful bride. I'm thankful for the faith and hope I'm able to experience through your words.

vb2000rn said...

Nathan, You have an amazing way with words... Praise God Trisha has you! You both are such a testimony!

Anonymous said...

Here is a poem a dear friend e-mailed me earlier today, rather yesterday (Friday). Thought I would share it as it seems fitting. Not sure of the author.
-Amy (Nathan's cousin again)

"Whatever your cross, whatever your pain,
there will always be sunshine, after the rain....

Perhaps you may stumble, perhaps even fall;
But God's always ready, to answer your call....

He knows every heartache, sees every tear,
a word from His lips, can calm every fear...

Your sorrows may linger, throughout the night,
But suddenly vanish, dawn's early light...

The Savior is waiting, somewhere above,
to give you His grace, and send you His love...

GOD PROMISES A SAFE LANDING, NOT A CALM PASSAGE."

Meghan said...

Got my blog audience praying for you guys! Hang in there Nate! And tell Tricia and Gwyneth the prayer warriors are ON it!!

Rebecca said...

Nathan, Tricia, Gwyn and family! We've never met, but I stumbled upon your blog one night and have watched from afar as your story has unfolded. Tonight, I wrote about you in my blog (www.rdnsdtr.wordpress.com) - and then went to your blog to check on "your girls" before going to bed - only to find this post. It is a true honor to be able to share this journey with you and your family - thank you for being so open and honest - and for allowing all of us to learn from you. Sending our prayers and love from Wisconsin!

Megan & Company said...

You guys are taking over the internet. When Lifetime comes knockin' at the door, don't sign a contract until someone absolutely fabulous signs on to play me! ;)

On a serious note, I have no words to express how in awe I am of the way you care for and love my sister and little one. No words.

Anja said...

Your testimony is amazing. I'm glued to your blog and passing it on for prayers.

BelleLaDonna said...

Your blog amazes me at how our God reigns! I have a very renewed walk with God after seeing your incredible witness! I am still praying for your family and also praying that I can continue to strive to be a better witness for the Lord! Thankyou for sharing with the world your "miraculous story"!! What an AWESOME GOD we serve!!!

Still Praying in Terre Haute, IN,
LaDonna

Rhea said...

Nate:

It's so awesome to see that even through all of this, you still have hope. That's such an awesome testimony to the power of Jesus Christ in your life, and such an encouragement to other Christians when we struggle.

Still praying for you and your girls.

getnhealthy4babies said...

this is the first comment I have left you...i have been reading for several days now...i dont know you but have cried many tears reading your blogs and praying to our heavenly Father for you and your wife and beautiful daughter. Your faith amazes me...just last night I told my husband about your whole story and this evening my mother, we have gone through four miscarriages and I was telling them how much you have went through and how it is so much more than what we have went through yet your faith is so strong...i agree with your post...its not sad...in fact I was telling my mom just tonight... "its a beautiful love story" you will continue to be in my prayers and I know God is holding you and your family with His righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 ~Thank you for letting me see Jesus in you and your wife and already even in your beautiful daughter!

Love in Christ,
April

Susie said...

I was directed by another blog I read to come to yours... What an amazing story of faith your family has been living. I pray for Trish, the baby, and you and hope that God answers prayers for a long and happy life for your girls. Your family will be in my prayers daily.

Anonymous said...

Nate ~ I commented earlier today about the JOY I feel in my own soul as well as emmenating from your blog pages during this time. Thank you for sharing that joy again. THOUSANDS have read of your unfailing faith, love, and determination. Conversations around dinner tables (especially mine!) about our family, your faith, our own faith have truly started what I will call a revival. Again, instead of crying out, "WHY ME? you, Tricia, and Gwyneth are obviously shouting USE ME!!! to the Lord...and WOW is He responding. My 14 year old daughter voiced an opinion at dinner about the fact that the medical community might have thought the best thing would have been to terminate the pregnancy but God is in control here...He has a plan for Gwyneth...even at her little tiny teeny state. She said she hopes anyone considering abortion might see the intensely moving picture of your finger with Gwyneth's little hand clutching it! Yes, my 14 year old daughter has been moved by your story. Speaking of Gwyneth's little hand....I was struck by the resemblence of her hand to the picture of Tricia's hand in yours in the "Hand on a Miracle" blog. AMAZING.
Keep on keepin on, Nate. And as always, you're in my family's prayers. Me, my darling hubby, my 14 year old, my 12 year old and my 7 year old.

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

What a wonderful explanation of your faith and trust in God! So many hearts and lives are being changed through your story. We are humbled to be a tiny part of what God is doing as we continue to pray for His peace, strength, and healing for your beautiful girls. I continue to picture Tricia "resting under the wings of the Almighty" (Psalm 91) as I pray for Him to restore her strength.

Thank you for allowing us to see the depth of your love for your God, your wife, and your baby girl. So many will be forever changed because you were willing to share! To God be the Glory!!

Be sure to get some rest since being a Daddy is lots of work! It is obvious that you already treasure every moment with Gwyneth Rose. There's nothing like the bond between a Daddy and his little girl! :)

Our love and prayers,
The Edwards family

Latisha said...

I am speachless and in awe over your testimony, love faith, and devotion not only to your family but in Christ. Your story has shaken something in me that is slowly waking me up. I always knew, but I now KNOW when I am falling he will always be there holding me, loving me. I have Crohns Disease, and I am having a "flare up" and I am living in fear of making my Dr's appt. But because of Tricia's strength I am no longer afraid of what the results might be, because my life is predestined, only he knows my story. You are giving so many people hope, through your blog. How blessed you are to be doing God's work. I will continue to pray your family, and a special prayer for the nurses and doctors who take care of your wife and child. May you sleep well tonight.
Your testimony is encouraging and unwaivering and so uplifting, thank you thank you thank you.

Sisco Family said...

nate... i am so touched by your faith and the strength that the Lord has given you. it was just over a year ago that my husband and i were in the NICU with our son before he had open heart surgery. The Lord really sustained us through that difficult time and i am praying the same for you and your family. i will be saturating you in prayer!

Erin said...

Nate, I just wanted to let you know you have a sister in Christ in Missouri. A friend of mine posted a link in her weblog and I've been nothing but encouraged by your family's story. I will be sending a link to my family and friends, just to add to the prayers mounted for you all already.

Final question: What's up with the UV light? How does that benefit little Gwyneth? I work in a hospital, but I've always wondered that. Thanks!

(Oh, and in case nobody's mentioned this: CONGRATULATIONS to you and Tricia on becoming parents!!)

Jane-Jane said...

Beautifully said.

FourBlackSheep said...

The words that come to mind are lyrics to a song 'Our God is an AWESOME God!'

It is so AWESOME to see how God is not only working in the lives of Tricia and Gwyneth, but in thousands of others as well.

I am struck by how powerful He is. In the day to day life I sometimes forget, but when I see something like this, I am quickly reminded of how BIG He is.

Our God certainly IS an AWESOME God.

I simply cannot wait for the time I come back to the computer to check your blog and see that Tricia is awake and hearing all about Gwyneth.

There are angels among you - Ashley

Meg said...

Your faith is an awesome testimony to how God works. You have given it all to God. He is the ultimate physician. Thank you for allowing us all to be part of your journey. Your story has deepened my faith in our wonderful Lord.

walkingbyfaith said...

When I first heard about your story I, too thought "wow, that's so sad," but earlier this week when I sat down and read every one of your posts from the beginning, I realized how "not sad" this really is. I see the pain, frustration, and discouraging things you are dealing with, but I also see the joy and encouragement received by every small and large miracle God performs. This story isn't sad..it's amazing, it's encouraging, it's intriguing, it's a blessing, and it's a miracle.

If I don't ever meet you this side of Heaven, I will remember you, Tricia, and Gwyneth as long as I live.

Sending big hugs your way because I know you need them!

Kellee Flatt said...

All I can continually say is Wow! You, Tricia and Gwyneth have touched my life in more ways than I can express. Thank you. Thank you for your incredible faith!

Anonymous said...

Dear Nathan -
Sadness - no!!!

Joy, Beauty, Faith, Hope, Promise, Healing, Trust, Belief! My prayers continue!
With love -- Lynne B.

lonely said...

Nate,

I am not a religous person. In fact, I am almost jealous of those who have deep seated faith. I am in awe of your strength. I am in awe of your wife and your daughter. Such fighters you have! I remember days in the NICU. I remember being able to touch my daughter for the first time. I remember how her heat would "burn my heart" when I was finally able to hold her. That burn would keep me from the time I left until I was able to return again. Soon, you will be holding your precious gift and you will know exactly what I mean. Please know that you and yours are in my heart and on my mind.

jullylaw said...

Thanks Nate for being a living example of these verses...
Philippians 4:4-7 (The Message)

The Message (MSG)
Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson


4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

6-7Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

Anonymous said...

nate and family,
found out about everything thats going on from cysticfibrosis.com and just wanted to let you know that i'm praying psalm 27:13-14 and 51:8 for yall. i have cf as well and am from the durham/chapel hill area and so please let me know if there's anything i can do. one of my roomates is a nurse at duke and said to let her know if there's anything she can do as well. here's my email if you or anyone in your family needs anything: jcathell@elon.edu

Lissa Lane said...

AMEN! Your story is not sad at all. Ironically I was going to post on my own blog something in the lines of this but about another situation. You are so very eloquent

debangel said...

Been reading for a few days but didn't want to comment and leave you yet more to read...but I wanted to say, I really love you guys. Praying for you, with you and because of you, in Escondido, CA. Thanks for the boost to my faith when I really needed it. You're in my prayers tonight, beautiful family.

darcymcm said...

I have been praying for you, your wife and your daughter for days now. I am one of those that you posted a "Thank You" to today.
Our God is an amazing God and a faithful God. I experienced some of the same feelings that you are having when my son was born critically ill. The power of prayer and the faithfulness of our Lord is amazing. Once you have seen it with your own child you can't help but offer it up time and again for someone else's family whether you know them or not.
God is good and I am so thankful for the many blessings He is pouring out on you, Tricia and Gwyneth.

mel said...

I was thinking tonight about the prayer chain that has formed for your family as well as the other families there at the hospital. If it were to be streached out, I'm sure it would wrap around the earth at least once! It blows my mind and gives me goosebumps everytime I read the comments and prayers. It's so uplifting. Looking forward to the day when Tricia get's a look at Gwen! She's a beauty:) Can you please continue to update us on the other families as well? Thanks.

Rachael and Travis said...

Nate, that was awesome!

Skyescraper said...

Nate, your writing is amazing and even more amazing the way you view life and all that you are going through... but it's a testimony to your faith in the Lord and HIs faithfulness in your life. I feel like it sounds so trite to say 'you're in my prayers', but you are, and each day I find myself on the edge of my seat to find out what God is doing in the lives of you, Tricia and little Gwyneth. God bless you and keep you all.
- Skyescraper
from TheWorshipCommunity.com

Laura said...

I found you through another blog and have not been able to get you off of my mind. You are in my prayers. I used to work in the Duke ICN so I know first-hand that Gwyneth is in the best hands:)

Anonymous said...

Your testimony is awesome. I have been following your story for a few weeks now. I want you to know that I have never felt sad just excited to see how God was going to work in this situation. I continue to pray for all of you. I am a medical provider so I am also praying for the staff. I know from that side how a family with your faith and a REAL relationship with our God can minister to healthcare professionals. I have not met any of you but I do have the assurance that if I never meet you here I will meet you in Heaven.
I continue to ask God many times daily to bless you and give you the desires of your heart. I believe He will do just that.
Thank you for sharing your lives with the world. I have read some of your comments to my unbelieving coworker which lead to an open door to talk about the Lord. Thank you! You are a blessing to the world!!
Kelly in Wisconsin

Lisa in Holly Springs, NC said...

Your faith is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your very personal story with all of us. In this short time, your little Gwen and beloved Tricia are touching more lives, bringing more people to Christ than many of us will do in a lifetime. How awesome!!

Continued blessings and prayers....

Elizabeth said...

I agree with you- yours is a story of faith, courage, and strength!!! Keep em' Coming :)

Karen said...

Do you feel like Joseph I wonder, entrusted to care for the unfathomable wrapped up in tiny diapers? I'm not saying Gweneth is another deliverer, but I am saying that this is a miraculous event. I can't think of a better wise man to bring us all the sweet smelling gift of your love for our Savior shone through a sick woman on a ventilator, and a tiny daughter in an incubator. We stand amazed at Jesus, and your family, and you and Tricia. Thank you God for showing us all what power the body of Christ has, and how we all share the magical presence of you in this story.

beth from HH NJ. said...

I am so glad you were able to put that which was in your heart into words. I know it is hard when people experience a hardship to look at it as making a difference in who you have become. "Bad" things that happen most people would not say I would do it again if God chose to allow it.
I know your words and your honesty behind them. I alway say that hard life experiences change you forever, but that is not a bad change. Some would disagree, I live by it.
I have been reading the comments on your blog how life's have been changed, encouraged,and renew. I am confident God is using you and you family for a greater cause. You have challenged, and encouraged me and I thank you!
Last night I sat in bed reading your blog, and your dad's. I chatted with my husband about you and your family, and how God has been using your life. We were not sad for you but happy. Not happy for the hardship, but happy for how God uses what the world looks at to be devastating and makes it a beautiful story.
We chatted how one night we prayed over our very ill son and ask God to only heal him if he was going to grow up to some day follow God. I know it may seem harsh but I think for us the importance of his eternity out weighed the now. He is now 10 and the amazing conversations we have about Jesus Christ make me sit back in awe.I thank God for allowing my 3 children for accepting Christ into their little hearts. I pray the Lord will use them to be compassionate, loving, christians who allow Christ to guide them in whatever comes.
Thank you so much for sharing your family with us. I pray for you and your strength. You must be exhausted.(in a good way:) You and your family have been an amazing testimony! I look forward to what God will do in your lives, and also to the comments on your blog of how He is changing hearts and lives forever because of your testimony.
We continue to pray!!!(for Joe and Kendra too.)
I am sorry for being so long winded. My friends would tell you I love to talk and share.

Scott said...

Wow, and you are a worship leader not a preacher? I see a book in your future, you are a gifted writer communicating a passionate message! Praise the Lord for all He is doing and has done to bring you to this moment. Thanks for sharing. We are praying.

Scott

Wendy said...

What a powerful post!! I was told of your story and led to this blog a week ago by a friend who was encouraging me to pray. Over the past week I have been praying fervently for Ticia and Gwenyth. I have been encouraged and inspired immensely by your faith and the evidence of God's power!!!! WOW!!! PRAISE GOD!!

The Young's said...

Nate,
How blessed are you to recognize the miracles Gods grants each day. In the beginning of the post you mention how God is using Tricia and Gwyneth however, to deliver his message to the world he has chosen you. You define by example the change we need to see in this world. I thank my God for the gift of you and I remain in prayer for your precious daughter and her courageous mother. Tricia has shown the world what respect for life is. Life the greatest gift and first miracle we all experience.
I feel blessed to read your words and humbled by them. Have a wonderful day.

Anonymous said...

Your lives continue to encourage and challenge me daily. Lately I've been thinking, if Tricia could, in obedience and faith, follow this path...why do I not obey God in the "smaller" things - like trusting God financial - whose only possible negative outcome would be my own potential (minor)inconvenience?

Through your story, we are all reminded daily how very BIG and wonderful God is! HE IS ONLY GOOD!

beachbug said...

Praying for those that are reading your blog but still haven't trusted in Christ.

beachbug said...

I forgot to add "scrapbooking, Yeah! you are lucky)"

Anonymous said...

What an incredible testimony of the "Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people" question. Because "all things work for good to those who are called according to His purpose" and all things are working toward God's soveriegn plan for us - we don't know why these things happen, but we can have confidence that GOD IS IN CONTROL and is providing the grace and strength we need to get through day by day. What a testimony you and your family are to that fact!
~Sheryl

Rosi Truex said...

Nathan,

Your posts are the first thing I read in the morning and the last thing I check in the evening. One thing that has really stood out to me since before you even knew Tricia was pregnant is the love your family radiates. You ARE a blessed man, no doubt. I don't know much of your family history, but I did live in the home of your (Lawrenson) grandparents while attending Liberty. It was the first time I had ever experienced a functional home where family members loved and supported each other in Jesus Christ, (and, I have to admit, the first time I actually had RULES to abide by!) But, the legacy that your grandparents passed down to their children, and your dad and mom passed down to you (and you will pass down to Gwenyth) - Jesus Christ, is so awesome ... I don't find your story sad ... I find it to be the testament of a GREAT God, and the testament of what having Godly grandparents and parents is all about.

Melzie said...

Go you!! It's my first time here, passing time from being up way too early for a Sat morning.

I have a student (high school) with CF, and I just have to think that I hope she finds someone equally as wonderful.

Many prayers & positive thoughts for continued success of everything!!!!

Sarah Coates said...

Hi Nate- I am a friend of Patience Leino and last night she showed me your blog. I have a little one growing in my womb that is the exact same age as Gwenyth. So it is pretty amazing to look at your baby's pics and know that is how tiny my little one is. This story that God has given you is utterly amazing. The trust you have in God literally leaps from your pages of posts. Your story is going to resonate in many people, and you, Tricia and Gwenyth will be the link God uses to save many souls. Praise God!!! Now that I know about your family please know you will be in my prayers daily. Jeremiah 29:11- For He knows the thoughts and plans He has for you (and Tricia and Gwenyth). Plans to give you a hope and a future! Amen!

Anonymous said...

I have not posted yet either, but have been reading for a couple of weeks now. I agree with all the other responses, but one of the things I love here is how this is a whole "family affair," on both sides of your extended families. It is clear how much Tricia's family cares for you, and vice-versa. We have been married nearly 13 years, and I've always joked with my husband that "my parents love you better than they do me!" We have had many trials (though none of quite this magnitude), and the loving care of family and dear friends made all the difference in how we were able to weather the storms.

In Exodus 17, you will remember the story of how Aaron and Hur held up the arms of Moses when he was tired, so that Israel could prevail in battle. I pray that you will continue to find that same loving support from your family, friends, church, and internet strangers to keep you going in the days and months to come---so that you too can be victorious, no matter what the external circumstances.

We have friends just a few minutes from you in Durham. If you need snacks, laundry facilities, someone to bring coffee, just let me know and I will put you in touch with them.
Lori in VA
Bedrockfd@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

i am a friend of erin's and my sister was a close friend of shana's. she asked us to pray and i just wanted you to know that many people here in south jersey are praying for you and your family. god is with you and god is good. thank you for sharing your faith, many are touched i know.

Anonymous said...

Nate- Although we have never met, it is encouraging to know that you serve the same God that I do!!! I can't imagine how unsaved people go through trials. There is a peace that passeth all understanding when you allow God to lead you through those trials. He is a God of love, grace, mercy and healing. We in Michigan are praying that God fully heals your 2 girls, and that he will use this miracle in your life to reach some of those who may not know him. Thanks for sharing your journey with us. We are looking forward to seeing what God is going to do. Continue to look to Him because that is where your true strength will come from. With all of our love from Michigan,

The Hager Family

Anonymous said...

I have gotten into the habit of grabbing a tissue now *before* I check your site. And I've never needed one as much as I did as I read today's post. We are all praying for a precious mom and baby, but I'd like to add that you are an amazing husband and father. They are so, so blessed to have you, and we are all blessed by the journey you are taking the time to share with us. May God continue to bless your household.

Tina

BuckeyeNP said...

Eleven pages into the google search, I quit. I got it. :) Our God is at work in mighty ways, not only in your lives but in the lives of all you have touched with your story. Peace to you all today, prayers for strength for Tricia, a continued weaning off sedatives, lungs at the ready when the time comes, and a smooth ride for Gwyneth all the way. I can't wait to see what God does with these miracle girls.

Heather's Haven said...

Nate, I came across your blog thru another blog I visit. I cannot tell you how encouraged I am by your faith and the faith of your sweet family. I have been lifting you and Tricia and Gwenyth up to Dad. I have cried both tears of fear and tears of joy for each little triumph your girls have come thru. I am awed by the strength you are given through our loving Dad. I have felt that strength, but all too often I rely on my own, alone. And it's not a good place to be. Thank you for reminding how big my God is. He is able to do more that we can think or imagine and He is doing a good work in your sweet family, no matter if it "looks or seems" good to our human eyes. In His love as your sister in Christ, Heather

Di said...

Nathan, Your faith is amazing. It has made my faith and my walk with God closer and deeper. I continue to pray for all of you. God is with you!!!

Proud preemie mom said...

Nathan,

I continue to be astounded by your faith in God & your strength. You are an inspiration to many. I feel no sadness for you at all - I remember well the 127 days when our 24 week son was in the NICU. It's not sad, it's a miracle, and we know who creates those.

I just sent an e card to your wife, and in it I told her something that is astounding to me. My husband and I are both carriers of the CF gene - & we know we have astounding odds against us to carry a full term pregnancy again. I just said the other day to my husband it would be our luck to get to full term but to have a baby with CF. Two days later I was directed to your blog, then to your wife's - and I absolutley have let that fear of CF go. It was almost instantaneous. Your wife is an inspiration, has obviously had a beautiful, full rich life. I have such a peace about it now and have no fear whatsoever of that challenge. If we are faced with that someday, I will think of your wife and embrace it with a smile. Certainly not sadness. I do feel God led me to you to show me the way to let a fear go, and I thank you both for that.

So continued prayers for you and your amazing girls. They are so, so lucky to have you!

Liz

Proud DAD /Grandpop said...

Nate, please make sure Agnes is able to use your computer as soon as possible to review this blog.(I am home today for those wondering why that statement.)I am pleased that God has allowed us as a family to be a visible witness through this journey. I may have stated but the other day a medical staff person commented how the staff was impressed with all the family and friends that are supporting the main cast of three.God has given us a small part of this journey to be a living witness for Him. God has been so real and precious to us all. Wow - what a blessing so many years ago little Tricia came into our lives. She will have to take a DEEP BREATH when she is able to see how her story has changed lifes. Thanks again Nate for proving what a fantastic husband and care giver God has allowed you to become.

Audrey said...

I have just sat for an hour and caught up on your story. What a beautiful story it is! I will be praying for your precious ladies!

Tanya said...

I am just amazed at how GOd is using your family Nate! SO many lives all around the world are reading, watching and praying and God is doing awesome things!

Praising God for revealing His Glory!!

Undomestic said...

Wow! Your love, hope, strength, support and faith is nothing but inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story. Prayers from Minnesota for...well...everything!

Anonymous said...

VERY well said!
We continue to be encouraged by your faith and strength...
It is amazing how God has been able to use your story to impact thousands around the world!
Our God is an awesome God!
Like so many others...Our prayer lives and perspectives have been changed forever...
Thank you for being willing to be His vessel.
We are still praying for all of you!
We love you.
~ Dana and Wil Haupfear

Keri Johnson said...

Hi Nate-
My name is Keri and I work with Bethany McKinney down in Nags Head. She told me about yalls story a few months ago, when yall first found out Tricia was pregnant and what a blessing that was! I have since kept up with you guys, checking daily for new updates, and I just needed to tell you how truly touched I am by you and your family, whom I've never even met. Not only touched by your story alone, but also by your love and faith in your God. It has made me want to get to know him and build an everlasting relationship with him just as you have... and for that I will be forever grateful to you. God bless your beautiful family!!

Anonymous said...

Nate

Your blog is so amazing to follow. I admire you for your faith. Your wife and daughter are two very lucky ladies. Please know that there are so many people thinking of you, Tricia, Gwyneth and of course the rest of your family.
Can't wait to read your posts in upcoming days to hear about Gwyneth's and Tricia's fight. Thanks for sharing.
Sherry

TN Tyke Momma said...

God has gifted you with an amazing ability to communicate His sovereignty and grace even through the tough challenges you have faced! I know the fears that come with having a tiny preemie...3 out of our 7 were preemies. But I also know the indescribable peace God places in a Believers soul at those times. Our 1st daughter was a preemie and died from a GBS infection at 1 day old. I was not a Christian then, but God made the worst time of my life to also be the best time in my life. It was at that point that I fully put my trust in what Jesus did on the cross on my behalf. I am lifting your precious family up in prayer often. May the Lord continue to bless you and shine through you!
Gweneth is absolutly precious!
In His Love,
Kara

foytix said...

AMEN! Your words are so true. This story is not sad, it is a source of faith, happiness and miracles that God is providing. I have prayed more daily than I have in a long time. God is truly using Gwyneth and Tricia to do his work. So many people have been brought together from all over the world in prayer for your family. That is amazing! It restores my faith in the compassion of man for one another. I will continue to pray for you and your girls.

Tami Foytik

Anonymous said...

It makes sense to me when you say, "there's no time for sadness here"........you have so much to focus on and much to be thankful for. Praying for you and your beautiful family.
Megan

anita said...

I'm so proud of you, my dear ex-Light member...God is using you mightily. You truly are a Champion for Christ - Doc would've been proud!

Love you!

Marla Taviano said...

Now, that brought little stinging tears of JOY to my eyes. Wow. Praying, praying.

God sure is using you something fierce.

Karen said...

Wow, I am speechless. Your faith in God is amazing to me, given everything that you are dealing with at the moment. Your wife, and daughter, are beautiful. You are luck to have them, just as they are luck to have you. I will keep you all in my prayers. Congrats on becoming a Daddy!!!

Karen

Jenn said...

Nate

I couldn't agree with you more. You are a very blessed guy. God is doing awesome things in your life. I am praying and believing for the best in your situation, and I believe God has already given you a Miracle. and has many more to come. You are "Blessed"!!!!!!!

Marie/NHC said...

Nathan,
Just when I think my well of tears have run dry, you bring forth a river...again. Human words cannot express what I am feeling after reading this post. What you have expressed is just too enormous for me to comment on. Just know that I will be dwelling on your post all day and thanking God for you and Tricia and Gwyneth. Not for myself only but for all of the people that have been touched by your story. Only God knows how many people's lives have been changed by witnessing your faith.

Okay, let me try to express some words of how I feel about you and Tricia.
Love for you, awed by your story, pride in your faith, priviledged to know you, priviledged to know your families, grateful that you both had excellent parents, desire to be more like Christ because of your faith in Christ, humbled by the fact that God has used you in a powerful way and your willingness to let him use you no matter the outcome, confident that your story has brought Christ to many unbelievers and hopeful that they will put their trust in Him. Thankful that God gave you a gift for communication and that you have used it and will use it for His purposes.

Alright, that being said, I wish I could be a fly on the wall when you are able to tell Tricia about the miracle of Gwyneth. Well, I don't really want to be a fly but I would like to witness!
Take care of yourself and your precious girls!
Marie

wereart said...

That was perfectly said, right up there with "Tangible Love." Heaven is rejoicing with each of your testimonies. You're an amazing young man who has taught me so much. Thank you

Anonymous said...

As your Dad so aptly stated, your story has me in a "full nelson". I am amazed and humbled to be a witness to your lives. I knew of Tricia from the CF website and ever since she posted asking for prayers and linking to your site I have been along for the ride. Your faith, love and family is inspiring.

~Mary from WI

hemidemisemiquaver said...

AMEN, NATE!!!!!!!! AMEN!!!!!!!!
To know the Lord personally is to have a NEW LIFE!! A life FULL of joy no matter what!

Anonymous said...

After reading your latest blog this verse jumped into my head...

But now remains
faith, hope, love,

these three;

but the greatest of these is love.

I Corinthians 13:13

We serve an AWESOME GOD!

Andie said...

You are such an awesome testimony as to what a faith in the TRUE God looks like. You are so strong. I'm so amazed at your faith and hope. Being a lifelong Christian, and a pastor's wife, I still feel hopeless once-in-a-while, and then I remember who is in control, and that helps. I will continue to pray for you and your girls!
Blessings-Andie

Crystal said...

I don't think your story is sad. I believe it is amazing! Prayers for you and your family are with you.

Anonymous said...

You can't imagine how your lives have changed my life for the better! I will keep you all in my prayers and heart for the rest of my life! GOD is so amazing and its evident in the lives of Tricia and baby Gwyneth Rose! May you be completely and totally refreshed today! Can't wait to see more miracles happen!
Praise the Lord!!!

autumn and Eddie miles said...

I missed some of your entries yesterday and was anxious to see them today!! What an amazing perspective. I love that God is obviously settleing your heart with His awesome peace!! We are still praying!!! Your daughter is beautiful!!

Anonymous said...

I agree the google pages are amazing...as are Tricia Gwyneth and Nathan...I said this before & i really feel it is true ...the nurse praying in the O.R. for Tricia and Gwyneth was the ANGEL GOD sent to keep them safe in that O.R. and I beleive Tricia was chosen to show the world MIRACLES do happen ...you just have to BELEIVE..
Showering you all lovingly with prayers
Long Island , New York
P.S.My mom in florida shared your story when she went to her Doctor this wk and in return the whole office is now praying for you all ...she went to speak to her Priest and in returm Tricia Gwyneth and Nathan will be prayed for daily by so many more...
Everyone i shared the pic of Gwyneth grasping her Daddy's finger
are left speechless and many moved to tears..there really are no words for something more touching, more beautiful than you ever have laid eyes on before

Anonymous said...

I have been following your site for awhile. Your story is absolutely beautiful. I continue to pray for Tricia, your beautiful baby girl, you and all of your family. What an emotional week it has been for all of you. Your faith amazes me. God Bless You!
Love,
Susan

Anonymous said...

Nathan, your complete trust in God is unwavering...Thankyou. We are constantly praying in California. Your story is THE OPPOSITE of sad, it is that of a family that practices what they preach. May God bless you extra today. We all love your family! ( and we don't even know you in person, we know your heart..even better!)

Rich and Lauren said...

amazing. we are still praying and thinking of y'all. you guys are amazing missionaries!

Melissa in Iowa said...

SAD...Those people are so wrong.There is nothing sad about your story. this is Comming from a mother of a child born at 22weeks, with a terminal chromosone disorder.He lived for the most beautiful 50 min of my life.Dont you, Tricia or Gwyneth ever be saddened by what is happening. WE greatful god has given you this journey.Not only for you to strengthen in the lord but to everyone who is reading. I have grown so much with the passing of my son and with you sharing Tricia and Gwyneths journey. There isnt a day go by that i havent shared your story and the strength its given to me. God has a reason for everything. Sometimes it doenst seem fair , but in the end we get the true messege, and learn that "it is fair"

Monica H said...

"I have a miracle daughter who is seriously challenging her mother for the top love in my life."

This made me cry. I think you are an incredibly blessed man- a husband and a father. Who could ask for more?

Given Grace said...

What an awesome story to glorify our God! Thank you so much for giving Him the glory and drawing others to Him!

Anonymous said...

What an incredible way this is for you to witness to the world about God! I get teary-eyed every time I read your site. It is so true-no sadness, just miracles each and every day. I can't help but praise God every time I think of all He has done for your family.

Anonymous said...

What an incredible way this is for you to witness to the world about God! I get teary-eyed every time I read your site. It is so true-no sadness, just miracles each and every day. I can't help but praise God every time I think of all He has done for your family.

Jen said...

I've been following your posts since a friend in VA Beach told us your story. You are an amazing encouragement to so many people. We experienced a life changing experience back in Oct. when our 10week old had to have open heart surgery. Your words about peace in the midst of it all and knowing God has a bigger plan really hits the spot. If you can hold onto that perspective, I think you can make it through just about anything. Know you are being lifted up all over the country and our God is a BIG God who can do miracles!

c&v said...

What a beautifully written post. We praise the Lord for what He has already done in your life, Tricia's life, Gwyneth's life, and others who are around you and who are reading this blog.....for what He is doing now....and for what is to come. We have been praying for you all and will continue to. What a great opportunity the Lord has given you to share your faith with so many. Both in how you are living your life in faith and through your writing of His faithfulness. What a powerful testimony.
inHIM
c&v

Patty said...

Add my blog to the list of places talking and praying for you all. Your story is amazing and I feel blessed to be following your story.

Anonymous said...

A mutual friend passed your blog on to me and asked me to pray for you. I've been mesmerized every day by your strength and love of God. It's so inspiring! I have passed your blog on to the students attending Houghton College in NY. We are all praying for your girls! I am also praying that God keep you filled with his strength.

Sarah's In the Midst of It said...

Our family has been keeping up with your updates and praying for you and your girls. God is doing amazing things through your story, and I look forward to the day when both of your girls are discharged from the hospital!

Thanks for sharing your story with so many people; lives will be changed because of this.

Anonymouse said...

You're right, its not sad. As I've been reading your family's story over the past few days, I've been encouraged and humbled by your faith and by the awesomeness of our God.

Praying that the doctors and nurses will marvel at the healing power of the Great Physician.

Anonymous said...

Hi Nate, just a note to say it's been a privilege to journey with you , Tricia and Gwyneth and see the work of God, first hand. We serve an amazing God! My faith has increased just following your story. For sure, God is in control and everything will be all right! To Him be the glory!

Thank you for such display of faith, hope and love! It's very touching and inspirational!

You've somehow become like part of my life just like the Leinos when I started following Isaac's story!

Remembering you all in my prayers ...

Sister in Christ
Annapolis, Maryland

petunia said...

My goodness, God has given you a talent with the word. I am so moved by your posts. Your love for your wife, daughter and God is so tangible in your writing and it brings me to tears every time i check in. I pray that everytime I read it's more good news.

The Hallenbeck's said...

Nate, Trisha, and Gwyneth
You know me as jcilove from the WT boards. I've been following your story lately and can honestly say that I've read many of your posts through tears. Your story is encouraging and a testimony of your faith in God. I love the picture of Gwyneth's fingers next to yours. Amazing! Congratulations on your miracle baby and know that you are being prayed for in Nevada.
"God my God, your beloved needs you now...."
Jennifer

Frazzled said...

I just found out about your blog yesterday (from my Sunday School teacher) and have finally caught up. What an amazing story and testimony! You and your girls will certainly remain in my prayers here in the good ole state of Texas.

angie said...

Awesome words, Amazing God!

Jeff & Meg said...

Wonderful post! My son was born with RDS and while he was not nearly as sick as your sweet girl, all the terms sound familiar to me. I cannot imagine going through situations like these without the Lord and His peace.

Michelle in St. Louis said...

A friend told me about your story and added a link to her blog. I cannot express to you how blessed I am to have read some of your postings. What an awesome testament of the GREAT God we serve! I am awed and inspired by both the faith you bring to your circumstances as well as the courage that you possess. I will certainly be praying for your family. You are right. God uses the things of this world to draw people unto Him. Thank you for continuing to do the work of the ministry throughout your journey. God bless your whole family!

Rosheeda said...

It is a beautiful thing to know God this way. It is so sweet to seem Him in a way that forces the dark to hide because God is so real and so tangible to you. I'm praying for your girls. God does all things well. I know this to be TRUTH, and it excites me that you and your family do as well!

Paige said...

I've never sensed sadness on this blog. One thing I have sensed is anticipation, as you watch and see how God will work next. I see this as an opportunity for God to do great things. Sounds like it's happening.

blueskies said...

I have been reading your blog and I think you are such a beautiful family..I am really happy for you and Tricia has the most beautiful smile! Thanks for sharing you wonderful story with us!!

Sonja said...

PRAISE GOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
:)))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

OUR GOD IS AWESOME..............

Ellinghouse said...

What it come down to (and I know you know this) is that it's really God's story to tell, not yours.

My father in law just lost his right lung last week due to mesothelomia (that we suspect he got serving our country over 30 year ago) and to see him physically reduce from what he use to be, (pillar of health) is truly heartbreaking.

But, the joy in his story is that he knows that this is NOT his story to tell. It's God's!!!! And wow! God is changing lives through my father in law and his journey. God is doing the same through yours, without a doubt!!!! Praise god for you and being such a witness in the dark.

Rachael and Travis said...

This was by far my favorite post.

Mariahs Mom said...

I enjoyed this so much. I want to thank you for helping me to get a perspective on live and how God chooses to use us. You have really helped me to focus on His love and what I can do to love Him more through this time. I totally agree with you...thanks again for the reminder. God is so good!!

Tricia :)

Q's NEWS said...

Your blog has brought me to tears, but not tears of sadness. I feel so connected to you, Tricia and Gwyneth and cherish every blog you write. I have had a smidgen (or smaller) taste of some of the things you go through - one of my closest friends has PPH (Primary Pulmonary Hypertention) and will eventually need a double lung and heart transplant. There is a trio of us that mixes her medicine that goes into her port every other night. Reading your blog has completely opened my eyes to what she is facing. And I told you in a different post that my 7 month old grandson (whom I simply adore) spent his first 6 DAYS in the NICU which I thought were endless. And I love my husband as truly as you love your Tricia. So knowing how those three things make me feel and then realizing the monumental things you go through daily just really give me a total respect for you and all you stand for. And you are right, people DO read this blog and come back to the God they pushed aside. What a wonderful blessing you are to so many!

Love from WV,
Susan

Q's NEWS said...

PS. Not to mention how you crack us all up with your goofiness.

Carol said...

I'm thankful that you bumped this post today because it was very uplifting and spiritual for me. I'm so happy that both Tricia and Gwyneth have moved in forward paths since the day you wrote this. I'm a better person for having found your blog.

Emily said...

Amazing outlook...as always I am inspired. I apologize if I have ever refered to your situation as sad on my blog. You challenge me to look at this life in a totally different light.

Carey said...

Just plain beautiful!

Aunt Bree said...

Amen. Well said. I am one of those who hugs my husband and my three kids tighter. Your story has strengthened my faith, hope and love. What a great God we serve!

Sabrina

Lisa said...

I remember reading that post when you first posted it...I can't believe how long ago that was! This is when I knew what a special family you were.

By the way....you only need to google "Tricia" to make links to your page come up on the first page of a google search. There is a certain Tricia in Wikepedia that comes up first, then you guys are like number 5 on down on the page, just by googling her first name!
She's officially as famous as Cher!

Leanne B. said...

I rarely comment on other people's blogs, especially people I do not know, however, your blog is truly an inspiration and affirmation of God's love! And I thank you so much for opening up your lives and helping so many! You and your family are such a blessing to all who have come to know you!

Kristy said...

Beautifully said Nate!!! Your awesome.

Love and Blessings,Kristy

Kristy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mindy said...

amen! Thanks for sharing. I love the beauty of God truly meeting us and equipping us no matter the circumstances. You and your family are such a testimony and it is great to see you shouting it out on the www!

Ginger said...

Amen Amen Amen!!!
PS you have never posted yet on my blog:)

Susan said...

If this post doesn't do it for someone out there, I don't know what would. Thank you all for your amazing attitude and steadfast love for Christ and what HE has done for us.

Debbie said...

Praise the Lord! Thanks for the wonderfully testimony you live & give. I know it is only God working through you, but what an awesome God we serve.

viclmbrt said...

viclmbrtPerfect Bump! Prayers are answered and miracles happen....and continue. PRAISE GOD and TO HIM we give the glory!!
Victoria

Kristi said...

I second your dad's comments -- well said!
Praising GOD for the faith of both you and Tricia, and for the wonder of the miracles that surround you!

Bird On A Wire said...

to God be the Glory ! And Thank You for reminding us all what it is to truly walk with the Lord.

Amanda said...

"For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them called according to His purpose." Thank you for using your situation to touch countless others with the message of Christ. You could have looked at it so differently. You have made yourself vulnerable to ridicule and rejection. Trusting God completely is something learned through experiences like yours. I'm learning to trust God myself. I continue to pray for your family.

Grammy and Olivia said...

I visit your blog every day and come away not feeling sad but feeling your hope,love and confidence in our great God.

Jen said...

You're amazing and that was absolutely beautiful. Your attitude is so incredibly inspiring. I think about your family all the time and the prayers will continue. God Bless.

Dos Blessed said...

My family has been reading your blog for several weeks now, joining your journey, and praying for your family. We have miracle babies too and your journey is close to our hearts.

Stanley Hauerwas is one of my husband's favorite theologians. When our girls were still in the NICU he picked up an anthology of his work put together by a medical doctor. He thought it might help prepare our hearts for the road ahead not knowing then what the future may hold (as if today we do?). In one chapter he states:

“Necessities force us out of our paths of least resistance, and, as a result, they make us more likely to form communities that know how to care for one another.”

As you too have learned, we’re far richer for traversing a path that is sometimes uphill, unpaved, uneven and winding. We’re getting to the place where we would not have had it any other way.

Thank you for your faithfulness to your purposed path and all of the eternal communities that have formed as a result of it. We continue to pray for your strength, perseverance, and pure joy! Peace to you all!

The Boyds Family said...

What a beautiful post - although, I have found that you have MANY beautiful posts.

Hang in there...God has a plan - but I don't need to tell YOU that :)

I'll be praying for you and your family!