Saturday, January 19, 2008

Our Choice (Part 1)

For all of her life, Tricia has been praying a very specific prayer, that God would use her life with CF to do something amazing and extraordinary. And, for the past few years, she has added a second specific prayer. Until recently, this second prayer was a secret from all but a few people...it was even a secret from me.

But, first, let me give you a little background about us.

Tricia and I met about 7 1/2 years ago one Sunday morning at our church (I promise I'll give you the whole story another time, 'cause it's good). It was love at first site for me, and we began dating almost a year later. I was (and still am) Tricia's first and only boyfriend.

I knew that this was the girl for me, and very early on in our relationship I explained to Tricia and her parents that I fully (or at least as fully as I could at that point) understood Tricia's disease and what that might mean for my future. While we wouldn't be married for another three years, I told them all that I was committing, then and there to becoming the caretaker that Tricia would need. I promised that I was looking to marry Tricia, and that if I had any doubts up to that point, I would have already bailed because I knew Tricia didn't need the stress of a hurtful relationship on top of the hardships of her disease.

I was 20 and Tricia was 19.

Tricia was in good health while we were dating, with just a very slow descent. Even when we married, you would never have known she had a killer disease. But, we knew that there were no guarantees, and that even a simple cold could literally become deadly for her in the matter of a few days. Talk of marriage came early, and we soon decided that we wanted to take advantage of every minute of our lives together. On August 24, 2003, we became engaged. We were married less than a year later on June 27, 2004.

The day after our honeymoon ended, I began my first full-time job (as worship leader at Westwood Hill Baptist Church) in VA Beach. Neither of us had finished college at that point, because, again, we wanted to make the most of the time we had. Some people thought we were foolish, and it wasn't an easy decision, but looking back, we know it was exactly what God wanted for us.

We knew we wanted to start a family, but we also wanted to have at least a little time all to ourselves, so, we gave ourselves about a year to just enjoy being two. That first year of marriage was full of fun and excitingly new things for us.

God did not make a woman more perfectly fit to be a mother than Tricia, and, although being a father scared me (and still does), I've always known that it was what I wanted as well. For nearly two years, we tried to get pregnant.

I know that this is not a long time compared to many stories I've heard, but, because of Tricia's declining health during that time, we new our window of opportunity was not very large. And, because of Tricia's CF, as well as some other issues, we knew that conception was a small chance and pregnancy a huge risk for the two of us.

All during that time, while Tricia's CF doctors informed us of the risks, they were also very supportive of our decisions. In the spring of this past year, however, they finally told us that a pregnancy would be more risk than we were willing to take. So, although it was very difficult, especially for Tricia, we halted our pregnancy plans.

At that same time, Tricia's docs also advised us to consider being evaluated for the double lung transplant that could save Tricia's life. The 5-day evaluation process took place at the end of June with good results (meaning Tricia was a candidate), and we began making our plans to transition to living part-time (and later full-time) in Durham.

All this time...all the while that we'd been married, Tricia had been praying that secret prayer. She knew, that what she was praying for would take something that beat the odds, that defied science and that could only be explained by God.

Tricia was praying for a "miracle baby".

(Part 2)

62 comments:

jenn said...

A friend just told me about your blog the other day, and of course I've cried reading some of the past entries and praying for your beautiful family. God's mercies are new every morning, you guys. I believe for a miracle!

Brad, Carmen, Braylen and Alea Fleck said...

And a miracle baby you have! This story brought chills!! God is good all the time and all the time God is good!!!

shelley. said...

Wow - now what suspense to hear the rest of the story. The story of your lives just gets more and more amazing. And more and more obviously God.

josh and nicole said...

Tricia, you are a beautiful mommy! Gwyneth is such a lucky girl!

"Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your hearts desires."
(Psalm 37:4, NLV)

Chelle' said...

Can't wait to read part 2 tomorrow. Thanks for sharing this with us today! Hugs to the girls!!

Leeds Family Blog said...

What a beautiful story. I can’t wait until Sunday morning.
I love reading your blog and check it several times a day.
You and your girls are in my prayers.

Kristi said...

The entire time I was reading this post I had goosebumps. ^_^ I can't wait to read part 2 tomorrow!

I also check in several times a day. I get worried if it's been a few hours since you posted!

Lisa Collinsworth said...

I have chills running up and down my spine. Amazing...can't wait to hear more.

Princess Talana said...

I thank the Lord every day that I found a man willing to accept my CF. I'm sure Tricia does as well. When you grow up with CF you wonder if anyone would. But you Nate, are willing...

Anonymous said...

I'm a new poster but have been reading your blog and praying for you for a while. I am praying that you see God's hand in everything and that you feel the comfort of all the prayers being said for you.

Karen in TN

Erin said...

And God answered you with beautiful Gwyneth! I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this story... God bless you and Tricia!

vb2000rn said...

God answers prayers... I am without words.....

Stacey said...

My friend Jami sent me. I'm humbled by your story and for what it's worth, I'll be praying like mad for you, for Tricia, and for your baby girl. I'd like to link your story to my blog, but only with your permission. I'll wait to hear. May God's blessings continue to lift you, especially on the days when you just don't know if you can hold yourself up.

Jessica said...

I have recently begun to read your blog, and am amazed each day to see the work of God in your lives- thank you for sharing your journey and your love for each other and God, it's quite an inspiration.

BelleLaDonna said...

I love part one..although..I feel like I do when they end a television show that I am really intrested in..."why did they end it like that...ugh..guess I will wait to watch it next week...haha!" I am looking forward to part 2!!!

Still Praying for your girls!

LaDonna

Baby Leino said...

i love this story!!!

beth said...

I can't believe you are doing a to be continued....I was ready for a long wonderful story.
Just kidding. I look forward to the rest. I even look forward to the movie of the week with the miracle ending.
I pray you all sleep well, and Sunday is uneventful.
That is an amazing prayer Trisha! "Our God is an awesome God who reigns from heaven above...our God is an Awesome GOD!!!!!"

Christy said...

You guys are amazing. Baby Gwyneth is amazing. Our God is amazing. Thanks for part 1. It was a blessing. >:0)

www.xanga.com/smileygirl91 said...

I can't wait to read part 2. You certainly do have a miracle baby!
You are in my prayers. :)
-Allison

Anonymous said...

I have to wait until the morning?! AAAGGG. Don't you know you have a bunch of Confessions of a CF husband blog addicts on here! ha ha

Thank you for sharing your story and I can't wait to read more! God Bless your family!

Lissa Lane said...

I'm crying. I can't wait to read more of your story. Thank you so much for putting your lives out here to touch and bless so many people.

God Bless you
Melissa
xxx

Emily said...

What a testimony y'all have! As a mom to three little miracle babies, I have to high five Tricia on this one. Can't wait to hear the rest of the story, Mr. Harvey. ;)

Chrissy said...

Prayer #2 has been answered and I feel God working on #1...looking forward to part 2...hate to wait till morning! Love and prayers, Chrissy

Heather said...

And you're just going to leave us hanging...that's ok, I'll be back for more tomorrow.

Shandelle said...

Oh no fair to keep us hanging all night!!!

Hugs to your family!

Anonymous said...

Oh, cliff hanger! Ahhhh!

One Happy Family! said...

And a miracle baby you have received in your precious Gwyneth! You guys are simply amazing! I can't wait to hear part 2!

Many prayers still being said!

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am praying for your family and checking in often. I have 2 great-neices that are having tests (sweat test) done on Tuesday for CF. They are both preemies... one is 17 months old and was 13 weeks premature and the other is 3 months old and was 9 weeks premature.

Gila said...

Amazing story so far....am looking forward to part two!

Hope Tricia and little Gwynneth are doing well today. Perhaps G-d will bless you with some poop....

:)

Gila

suzie said...

Our God is good...I'll be looking in for part 2 this afternoon.

Much love to you all.

MakesMeSmile said...

Have been reading your blog since the day before Gywneth was born, I'm hooked! Can't wait to read part 2 of Tricia's choice. Have been praying for all three of you as well as your families. May God bless you with many years together!

Baba's Blog .. Babies Are Special said...

Good morning, it is very early and I can't sleep,so what is the first thing I think of when I open up my eyes.... you guys...Praying that your Sunday together will be a relaxed and peaceful day.Nate ,I can't wait to hear the second part of your love story.Hugs to Tricia,Gwyneth and you.

Scott said...

I can't wait for part II. What a beautiful love story! Thanks for sharing Nate and for praying and dreaming in what could be Tricia!

Mrs. Breezy said...

Nate & Family-
My family and I came across your blog on accident and have been utterly amazed and what the Father is doing in the lives of your family. He promises that he will pour out His blessings to those that are Faithful to Him and that is just what he is doing. We are stationed in Illesheim, Germany currently and I am actively invloved in the Protestant Women of the Chapel. You have over 50 ladies from all over the WORLD praying for you in one place. I am going to pass your blog along to them to read so that they may pray for you more specifically! Blessings and Peace be with You and Yours.

Alison said...

The Lord heard and He answered!!!!

Mrs. Breezy said...

Nate and Family-
Just a short note to let you know that you are being prayed for in Illesheim, Germany. I came across your blog on accident and have just been in utter amazement at the work of our Father. I was listening to Casting Crowns yesterday in my car and the song Praise You in the Storm came on and your family instantly came to my mind. Despite the trails that you all are facing you have chosen to stand Firm in y our Faith. What a testimony to those who do not believe.
Please know that the Illesheim/Ansbach Germany Protestant Women of the Chapel are praying for you. We are gathering in Germany, women from all over the World, praying for you and your precious girls. Thanks for Sharing your Story, it is truly proof that we serve a Saviour who will never leave us nor forsake us!

Rick Lawrenson said...

Just to warn you all:
Nathan is a "24" junkie.

Anonymous said...

Nathan, you told that story like a "fairy tale." You have a way with words. You do know that you need to write a book don't you? You could call it "Confessions of a CF Husband"." I mean I am telling you. It would sell like hotcakes (especially if you advertised it here.

I am patiently waiting for part 2.

Anonymous said...

Oh Nate- You can't leave us hanging!!! When I saw that part two was coming this morning, I hoped that it would come before I left for church. Now I will be sitting through our service wondering what the rest of the story is!!! Thank you once again for your willingness to write about your situation. I know that God is using it for His GLORY! May you have a wonderful Sunday with your two precious girls.

With Love, The Hagers in Michigan

Michelle said...

This story is so sweet. I have been praying for all of you and your CF friends, too. You are a wonderful husband.

wereart said...

Tricia.....

Wasn't it the cowardly lion who said, "I do believe in witches." "I do believe in witches." "I do believe in witches." "I do." "I do." "I do."

And today because of your faith, thousands are saying. "I do believe in His miracles." "I do believe in His miracles." "I do believe in His miracles." "I do." "I do." "I do."

Janet said...

So, it's Sunday morning.......c'mon Nate! Get blogging!!!! :)

Sarah Furlough said...

This is a great story... hurry up with part 2!

Anonymous said...

life is not as fragile as dr's want us to think it is!

Tommy said...

Goodmorning,I pray everyone had a restful night.Please pray for the Helene Mission group as their travel continues.Hopefully they will all meet in Roatan today and they can continue their journey together.God was definitely at work yesterday as He constantly helped us work out arrangements when it seemed the trip was in danger of falling apart.George was a huge blessing to all when he used his diplomatic charm to get Delta to accomadate everyones needs when they were happy to let everyone spend 40 hours or so living in various airports.Instead everyone got super nice hotels comped (which they should have been) by the airline. Josh showed Godly leadership skills as he reminded everyone that their mission work could be done wherever God led them. As Christians we should always work to honor God wherever life leads us. Anyway, the whole group worked to take everything in stride throughout a very long day for everyone. Gwyneth is definitely a miricle child. I have no doubt she will do great things for the Lord in her life with all the Godly influences she'll have in her life. I've never know anyone to have more. Claire and I will continue to pray God to grant your every need. Your brother in Christ, Tommy

Jane-Jane said...

what a great love story! And God, not being ordinary in any of his plans, will surprise us all with the "rest of the story"

still praying in SC!

Debra said...

You are good at suspense-writing, Nate. You were building up to the answer "What secret prayer was Tricia praying?". I enjoyed hearing about your background and look forward to hearing that story about your first meeting. Sounds like a story!

Can't wait to hear Part 2!
Debbi (Aspiemom)

Risha said...

Thank you so much for sharing this story. I can't wait to hear the rest of it! What's amazing to me is that Tricia's secret prayer for a miracle baby is now a prayer being prayed by thousands of people! God is amazing!

Shawna from Oklahoma said...

Come on a cliff hanger??? WHAT?!?!?! As if you really need to hook us. I am going to need a 12 step program soon. My husband thinks I am nuts!!
On a serious note I have been reading this blog since the Lienos posted it on their blog. I prayed for them and feel honored to pray for you and the girls. I have told many people about you guys and they are praying too. I may have even led my best friend into the need for a 12 step program too. (At least we will be together lol) One other little note is that after reading all the posts on organ doner info I am so glad I made that choice when I turned 18. My fam is very against it but they are also not believers in Chirst so they do not have the peace that I do. I pray that when I die that ALOT of people are able to use my organs to further the Kingdom of God. Reflectiong on this has given me new motivation to take better care of my body so that the next people to get my organs get good healthy ones. Thank you so much for the blessings I recieve from God every time I read your blog. What a joy it is to read every day. (or 1000 times a day) I love the pics and the history. I just am really blessed to be apart of this through prayer. The bond of Christ is strong! I love your family!!
Shawna from OK

PartyofFive said...

What an amazing, beautiful story of true love. I read about you and Tricia and your baby girl on another blog and have been following your story for the last week. Your girls are both beautiful...what fighters they are.

amy said...

What a wonderful example of God's presence in your lives and the awesome journey He is bringing you through. God's amazing miracle, Gwyneth, is so beautiful and we pray for her and you both daily! Cannot wait to read the second part our your story!!

Danielle Davis

Anonymous said...

My sympathies at the loss of your wife and daughter.

♥PugPosse♥ said...

This is a beautiful story...I can't wait to hear the rest of your amazing stories....
You should turn this Blog into a Book..or at least print each entry out...

Anonymous said...

at the risk of sounding negative -- i hesitate greatly to post this, but feel it's necessary -- i find it a bit irresponsible to bring a child into this world at the risk of her mother's health. i love your strength and faith, but you three are paying a huge price. i pray that i am proved wrong and that someday i see the bigger picture that you see.

Chris in Iowa said...

I found your blog through a friends blog and i am so hooked. I spent hours yesterday reading all your archives.
God is Good and your girls are all living proof. A miracle indeed. May God continue to bless you all.
Chris in Iowa

ashleykristin said...

"For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition I have asked of Him." 1 Samuel 1:27

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jenny Thompson said...

We continue to pray for you. The desire to be a mother is very a noble and sacrificial one. I went crazy waiting three hours to see Tommy. Tricia, you are brave on many levels. My name means white wave,but that wasn't on purpose, I like that you chose a name based on meaning. We love you- Jenny

Sis said...

As a woman who also prayed for years for a child of her own and brought a child into this world at the risk of her personal health, I can promise you each day with my son is a special gift that was worth the price paid. If I could do it again I would without hesitation. Cherish each and every moment. Praying for you all.

Grace said...

Nate, you and Tricia are amazing parents. While some people may not understand your decision, the fact of the matter is this... the choice you made took more trust and work than the other would have. Your trust in our Heanvenly Father is so strong that you can embrace anything thrown at you. Consider youselves hugged from a family in OH!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MilePost13 said...

"at the risk of sounding negative -- i hesitate greatly to post this, but feel it's necessary -- i find it a bit irresponsible to bring a child into this world at the risk of her mother's health. i love your strength and faith, but you three are paying a huge price. i pray that i am proved wrong and that someday i see the bigger picture that you see."

Thank you for writing this. I understand completely that a lot of people either disagree or don't understand our choice. I sincerely appreciate your honesty and your willingness to keep an open mind. I pray that you've read Part 2 of this story as I think it explains a little more about our choice. Please, know that my primary goal is to simply tell our story...if people change their opinion about something because of our story, then that's pretty cool too. Thank you for reading the blog, and please, continue posting.

To those who have bashed the above poster for his/her comment. I've deleted your posts (two of them so far) for three reasons:

1) As a Christian, I understand that not everyone will agree and understand our choice, and I can respect that, especially when it appears to come from somebody who seems to at least be willing to consider both sides of the story.

2) As you both appeared to be speaking as Christians, I am disappointed that you attack a person simply for openly stating his/her opinion. He/she did not attack or condemn our choice, and your responses were uncalled for.

3) If I feel the need to defend myself and my wife and daughter, and I want somebody else to do it for me, I'll ask. I'm a big boy.

For the time being, I'm locking further comments on this thread...

Thanks!

Nate