Sunday, January 20, 2008

Our Choice (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 First)

We decided that September 4 would be the day that we would officially make the transition to Durham and Duke to begin the physical therapy that Tricia would need before being placed on the Transplant list. We moved out of the house we'd been renting for two years (in Nags Head, NC) and placed most of our belongings into storage while taking our bedroom furniture, medical supplies, clothes and a few other things into a spare bedroom at my parents house (where we planned on staying when we cam home on the weekends).

September 3 was a Sunday, and that night, as our church gathered together for a service, I took the stage to share the new and plans with many of our closest friends and family. Tricia stayed home because she was not feeling well (not unusual). Little did I know that, literally as I was sharing our plans with the church, Tricia was finding out that God was about to take us on a huge detour.

When I arrived home that night, feeling a sense of relief from telling the church about our plans, Tricia met me at the door with, "I have something to tell you, and I'm not sure how you're going to react..." Of course, I'm thinking our dog had gotten run over by a car, or something crazy... She took me into the bathroom, showed me the pregnancy tests (I think she used three just to be sure) and told me that she was pregnant. God was giving Tricia her miracle.

The next day, when we arrived at Duke, we immediately set up appointments with the transplant doctor, the OBGYN and Tricia's CF docs. The transplant doctor's reaction (spoken) is not something I want to repeat (I like to keep this blog PG), although I thought it was a funny at the time. He advised us that our best choice would be to terminate the pregnancy.

The OBGYN told us that she had never once recommended to any of her patients to terminate a pregnancy, but in Tricia's case, she was making the exception.

Tricia's CF doctors already knew exactly what our decision was going to be about the baby, and other than a look of shock, they were very supportive (as was everyone else once we told them of our choice).

This morning, thousands of churches across our country are remembering National Sanctity of Human Life Day. (read My Dad's Blog for more about the history/purpose of this day)

In years past, I've taken part in considering what this day is all about, but it's always been just a passing thought. A few years, I didn't even really think about it at all.

But, this morning, this day has taken on such a completely different meaning. In the past, it has been about standing up for what my Christian world view tells me is right and against what is wrong. But, now I'm seeing those things as the smaller picture.

God is showing me, through the life of my wife and my daughter, that today is really about two things.

1) Sanctity of Human Life is about trusting God.

No matter what side we may fall on with the issue, abortion is not a belief. It is a choice that is birthed out of a belief. Our belief was that God wants what's best for lives, that it was God Who allowed this pregnancy to happen, and that it needs to be God who determines the final outcome. Because of our belief in God, our choice was easy.

For us, abortion was not about life or death, murder, right or wrong, etc. Our choice simply came down to whether or not we were seriously willing to trust God. And really, what else did we have to hang on to at that point? To abort would mean to turn our back on God, and Tricia's chances of surviving the pregnancy were 50/50, Gwyneth's were even less, and the window of opportunity for the transplant seemed to have come and gone. But we knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God was answering our prayers by giving us this opportunity.

2) Sanctity of Human Life is about making the most of our time with others.

If I have learned anything during the past few months, it is that my time with Tricia, and her time with me and others she loves is never a guaranteed thing. I have probably spent more time with Tricia in the past 5 months than I had the previous 3 years of our marriage.

I have seen my attitude and perspective change about certain things regarding my role as a care-giver. The things that used to make me cringe, I do with joy. The tasks that caused me to roll my eyes because I missed a few minutes of television show, or a few seconds of football game have become the things that I look forward to the most. My favorite part of the day now is getting into my Jeep and driving to the hospital, knowing that I have a full day of just being with or around Tricia and Gwyneth.

It would only take a few moments for me to easily become a childless widower. But, that's really how all of life is. We never know what the next second will bring. I hope to never look at life the same, never again choose to take my family and friends for granted, and never pass by another stranger without looking for an opportunity to be a blessing.

I am not perfect. In fact, I consider so many others in my own life to be much more spiritual and strong and loving than I am. All I know is that, the moment we made that choice to trust God, my entire life changed.

And, for me, that is what Sanctity of Human Life is really all about. Simply living life in pursuit of loving God and loving people does so much more to change hearts and minds and lives than any hellfire sermon, political personality, or picketing campaign will ever accomplish.

Tricia literally came within a few breaths of sacrificing everything to give Gwyneth life. If that had been the case, and even if that is still what happens, to know that we have trusted God with our choice will get me through today and tomorrow.

God is answering both of Tricia's life prayers, at the same time...He is doing something extraordinary with her life by giving her the miracle baby.

I pray that today, you will take time to consider that human life is sacred because it comes from God, spend time appreciating the life you've been given, and love on the people you find yourself with.

Thanks!

Nate

138 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nathan,
This is the most wonderful perspective on the sanctity of human life that I have ever read. Thank you for sharing. You need to write a book.

Thoughts and Things said...

It is so easy to see the effect Tricia has had on you. Of course I did not know you before nor do I truly know you now, but it is obvious Tricia and now Gwenyth, are God's tools in forming who you are and what your purpose is.

foytix said...

Amen! I agree you are a great writer, you really should consider publishing this story. Praying for you and your girls.

Carol said...

Well said Nate...we are so happy to be on this faith journey with you and know that no matter what, God is using you all to tell His story about human life and what it means to live for Him.
May God bless you today as you celebrate Christ's life in you with your girls.
Carol and Les

Sarah & Bradley said...

Nate, thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts with so many people. You're right, it always comes down to trusting God. Are we fully putting our life in his hands, or just saying we are? You and Tricia are living testimonies that you have fully put your lives in His hands. For that God will bless you more than you can ever imagine! Tell Tricia I understand her prayer for a miracle baby. I too am carrying one. By putting my trust solely in Him, God gave me the desires of my heart. I'm so thankful that God has given her a miracle baby and answered her prayer.

josh and nicole said...

Thank you, Nathan. This was soooo refreshing! You--in word and deed--represent the heart of your God so well. Thank you!

("Simply living life in pursuit of loving God and loving people does so much more to change hearts and minds and lives than any hellfire sermon, political personality, or picketing campaign will ever accomplish." Thank you! Thank you!)

Pam Doughty said...

Wow. I do believe that God speaks through people now just as He did thousands of years ago. He is clearly speaking through your words today, and through your and Tricia's lives over the past years and Gwyneth's now. He will continue to speak through you for as long as you let Him, and that will hopefully be for many, many years for all three of you. Thank you, God, for giving us voices "crying in the wilderness" even today.
Praying for you all....

One Happy Family! said...

Thank you SO MUCH for your post!
You have no idea how much it speaks to me. Thanks again!

One Happy Family! said...

Thank you SO MUCH for your post!
You have no idea how much it speaks to me. Thanks again!

Kellars Mommy said...

I love this...Thank you for sharing, your ability to put these thoughts and feelings into words is a unbelievable witness in itself..Praying for Tricia and Gwyneth daily!!!!

Patty said...

What a wonderful and touching post(s). As always your words have touched my heart and soul. Am praying for your girls as always.

Sara said...

Amen!

Marcia said...

Amen! and amen! and amen! and amen!!!

Becky said...

Thank you for sharing your heart today. It has been a joy to peek into your life and see the love you have for your wife and daughter and our God. Praying for you in Snowy Michigan.
Becky

Janet said...

Nate...beautifully written. Thank you for being so willing to share your heart with others. Many will be reached and I bet you won't even know how many until we stand before God and give an account of how we used the opportunities He gave us. I spent most of yesterday praying for Tricia's donor family.

Luvs2Sail5 said...

Nate, I check on here all day and night for updates. I feel like I know you, tricia, and your family. I believe in God faithfully. My mom just passed away in Sept. and I believe she is in a better place and that she is around me all the time. You make me understand what I believe in. I can't explain it. I believe, but didn't always understand it all. I want to go to your church. You make me see why I believe in God and why I have faith. I just want to thank you for that. I have 9 children. 5 biological and 3 adopted and one foster son. My 2 year old, soon to be adopted son kyle, has c.f. That is what lead me here to you and tricia. I would love to have someone like you near me to teach my children about God. I think I can learn from you and that will help me teach them. I thank God for bringing you and your family into my life. Thank you Nate! Praying all the time for your precious girls. They are lucky to have you!

Lisa Orben

clayholley said...

thanks for taking the time to share your heart, nate. may God continue to teach and shape you, tricia, and gwyneth into His image. amen

Jenny and Matt said...

Nate,
This is an amazing post. Thank you for posting a little different perspective on the sanctity of life. What a wonderful gift God has given us in you and your family.

Mandy said...

Perfect! Thank you for the reminder to not take a moment for granted with the ones we love. God bless.

Mandy
GA
www.madelinegracehopkins.blogspot.co

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful!!
May God continue to bless your sweet family.
Heidi

Anonymous said...

Love it!

Renee said...

My older brother was born on 1.22.74, the exact day of Roe Vs Wade. Coming from a Christian family, it immediately made an impact on our family. We've always been Pro Life, and my parents took in foster babies for a few years while we were off at college. In my 33 years, I've never heard anyone describe the sanctity of life like you have. That was amazing, and I do believe it'll impact all of us.

Beverly said...

Thank you for all your posts, but this one is so special on this particular day. As someone before has said, you need to write a book. I heartily agree.

I pray for you throughout the day every day since I have learned of your journey as a CF husband. Your testimony is making such an impact on so many lives. To God be the glory!

thetuckerbunch said...

AMEN!!! We continue to pray for Tricia and Gweneth. 4 of my 7 children will be attending the March for Life in D.C. on Tuesday. I cannot go this year since I just gave birth to a baby girl named Maria Therese Rose : ) God bless you.

Kristi said...

Wow. I think that really says it all.

I'd love to hear what the transplant doctors and OB are saying now.

Praying in Delaware said...

Much like cheering for my favorite football team when they make an amazing, underdog, comeback-from-behind touchdown to win the game, I feel like jumping up and down for you and your family! YES YES YES! This is what the Bible teaches us about trusting the Lord - taking Him at his word that WE CAN TRUST HIM! Not just to bring us sunshine on our wedding day or safety driving in the rain but that He will see us through the toughest moments of our lives and we will be blessed for it! You have encouraged me to sacrifice for my husband, to be generous in my friendships and more patient with my children. Thank you for faithfully sharing your journey and know that saints everywhere are cheering you on!

The Adoption Of William said...

You Nate are an Amazing writer. We are praying for you guys. I wish others would see that a baby is a baby and murder is not a choice.

May the Lord continue HIS blessings,

William's Mama

www.specialneedsbaby.blogspot.com

♥PugPosse♥ said...

I hope the Transplant Dr's and OBGYN give Tricia more than a pat on the back...she proved to them she could do it...This is why God gave her that Miracle baby she prayed so hard and long for. Tricia is a fighter and she gets what she wants....

The Lesko Family said...

I posted about you today. You have really changed my perspective on FAITH. THANK YOU. God Bless you and Your wife and child.
Jill in PA
http://leskofamily.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Amen.

JuJu - said...

A Beautiful post Nate - wow - if you only knew how we agree with this:)

Our Abby-Grace (adopted) is proof of that - we fought for her for 8 months and now she is here and an 8 month old Diva running our house;) She is the youngest of 6 - but I think she forgets that -

God is so faithful if we just trust him and step out in faith. Ab's Birth mother lived with us and we knew all the risks - trying to give her a shot at life - with us - or without us was worth the risk.
I wont say it was easy - I wont say having 6 kids is easy (be real!)but God trusted us with the choice - the choice to fight for this baby or not - He knew OUR hearts and he knew we would fight for Abby-Grace.Abigail means Father's Joy - we chose that becasue we know when she took her first breath - angels danced around the throne and OUR Father was full of joy:)

Life is precious - with adoption as an option - there is no excuse for the alternative!

Thanks for this post! In the midst of poop, spit up and choas - it is easy to forget why God chose us:)

thanks again

The juju Crew;)

Debra said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and story, Nate. I'm sure it will touch many people.

I will continue to pray for Tricia and Gwyneth.
Debbi (Aspiemom)

shelley. said...

beautifully written. thanks, Nate.

Julie said...

Just beautiful. I pray that you will continue to use the God-given gift you have for writing and expressing your emotions to reach the hearts of people.

Even though I was bummed for no "news" - in the immortal words of Gary Gnu - "No Gnews is GOOD gnews...." (Are you even old enough to know what "The Great Space Coaster" is??? Look it up on YouTube sometime...)

Praying with love for your family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your post, Nathan. Watching what you all are going through and hearing your words of faith and trust in God is a more powerful message for Sanctity of Human Life Day than I have ever heard. Praying for you and your girls today.
Leah Courtney

Mary said...

Thank you for speaking to my heart today. It is God through you. As our church prepared for Sanctity of Life today, I offered up thanks, praise, and prayer for your family. Nate, God has already done such an amazing work through you, Tricia, and Gwyneth. It has renewed my faith, brought tears to my eyes, and joy to my heart. I look forward to each update and miracle that God is placing before you. He is indeed an awesome God, and I am so blessed to be one of His children. I'm glad just knowing that we might not ever meet on this earth, but one day my brother, I will be able to meet you and your wonderful family in His Kingdom of Heaven. I pray each day that he pours his blessings upon each of you and gives each of you renewed strength for each day.

In God's love...

Mary Rogers
Trenton FL

suzie said...

Nate I so agree with you, when you DO put your trust in God totally you feel His hand and receive His peace. I used to call it 'my calm' but it was in fact God upholding me in answer to much prayer from myself and others.

To say that you will accept whichever way things go shows you have a relationship with God that is solid and unquestioning. I'm a 'work in progress' on this journey to know God as you do and it all started when I knew I was going to lose my son.

Your blog is the first place I have felt comfortable enough to publicly speak about my faith and I want to thank you and Tricia so much.

I'll shut up now. Continuing to pray for all of you.

Much love
Sue.

Jeni said...

thank you for sharing your heart and your sotry with us.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your posts and you can't imagine how God has opened my eyes so that I can really see how each day is a blessing.

God is the giver of life. Reading this post reminded me of Abraham and Sarah. Sarah, of course, conceived when she was well past the age of conception and God did that on purpose. He did that so that no man could take credit for His works. I believe the same holds true for you and Tricia. Despite the impossible, natural odds you faced, God is the God of the impossible and Gwenyth Rose is here today because she has a purpose and a calling from God on her life.

She is also a testimony to the faithfulness and awesome of God and his son Jesus Christ. May God bless and keep you, make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you, may God lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.

Port Huron, MI

Anonymous said...

Nate,
You for having wisdom beyond your years. Thank you for your sincere and eloquent words about your love, life and faith. You have definitely touched my heart ever since I first came across your blog a couple of weeks ago and started following you on your journey. I am praying for your sweet family and will hug mine a little tighter.
Many blessings from NC

Anonymous said...

Nate-
Beautifully stated!!! I never thought of looking at it that way. Thank you once again for spilling out your heart to complete stangers. Love, The Hagers in Michigan

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

Once again, all I can think of is WOW! That was probably the most powerful Sanctity of Human Life "sermons" I've ever heard, probably because it was written from such a fresh, first-hand perspective. Since I was serving in Preschool at church today, I didn't get to participate in the service. Thank you for sharing you message with me (and so many others!)

Your whole "Our Choice" story was so powerful and touching! You and Tricia are showing the world that your faith is really alive- so much more than lip service or routine, and God is honoring your willingness to share by moving in a POWERFUL way in so many lives! I am so thankful that Tricia had the courage to continue to pray and trust God for what seemed like the impossible. For as we know (but few of us act like), "NOTHING is impossible with GOD." Luke 1:37

We will continue to lift you all up in prayer and rejoice as God answers and moves.

Love from VB,
Laura and family

Anonymous said...

Nate,

Wow, What a Testimony of faith in our God. That is so inspirational that I cannot imagine how I could cope in the light that you are in. Your testimony and faith along with your blog to keep us all updated on the girls and teach us, it is so wonderful. It is a real gift for all of us that read your blog on a daily, hourly, or throughout the day.
God is such an amazing! God can and will always outperform any doctor or medical profession; of course He is the great Physician, not to say that we do not need medical doctors to assist God in His work.
God Bless you and your Family as you go through this part of journey in your lives. We are praying for your family and all the other who are in the same situation. May God’s Grace keep you all strong!

Sheri said...

WOW! So beautifully said! Thank you for sharing your experiences!!!

God is Awesome!

Deborah said...

Amen, friend...amen. Still praying for you...and the millions of babies and their parents out there who desperately need to know that God Whom we are blessed to trust.

Anonymous said...

Our pastor used your story in his sermon today and put a picture up of you two. You have inspired so many of us, Tricia's prayers ARE being answered as we watch this miracle unfold before our eyes. Thank you for being bold!
We love you guys,
Matt and Jenn Kirschner

Rick Lawrenson said...

Our pastor did, too. Plus, he had a great video to show.

Scott said...

Nate,

What a deep, profound, from the heart writing "Our Choice" is! Thank you for sharing. It is the best "Sanctity of Life" sermon I've ever heard/not heard. The Lord is answering alot of prayers in this adventure and now we know of some prayers that started it all, Tricia's. Thanks for both of you being willing to love and sacrifice in a Christ following and honoring way.

With love and respect,
Scott

Jessica said...

Nathan,
That was beautifully put. I too have a new perspective on this Sunday after being witness to your story.
God bless all three of you today!
Jessica in VB

cheryl said...

Wow! I have been very touched and encouraged by reading your blog in the past week or so. I stumbled across it from a link on another blog.
I also ditto that you're a great writer, and more importantly have an amazing heart for the Lord that shines so clearly through your circumstances.
Thanks for sharing your heart, so that other's can be blessed.
Continuing to pray for your precious family!

Jesse's girl said...

What a powerful truth. Not only preserving the human life of an unborn child, but also embracing and realizing the gift of human life in general. Your post reminded me of so much that I take for granted. Thank you for sharing your heart.

Still praying...

ajc4ever said...

Wow! Powerfully written. Still praying for you three.

Angela in central Ohio

Carolyn said...

Nate,
I've been reading your blog for several days and I have become truly inspired by Tricia, you, and Gwyneth. I check in each night, more than once, to see how each of you are doing. I pray for your family. Tricia is so strong and it's apparent that Gwyneth possesses that same inner strength. Your faith in God is so uplifting and refreshing! God Bless each of you! Carolyn

Amy said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

Still praying for your beautiful girls...

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for your post. Wow, it really spoke to my heart as well - your marriage, pregnancy, delivery, and lives are truly evidence of God's work being done here on earth. I am so blessed to have heard and read about the Miracle Baby! May you continue to stand in awe of all the things that are in store for your family.
Blessings,
Beth

TruePraise said...

All I can say is Wow!

Douglas said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and allowing us to be a part of what God is doing in your life. Over the last couple of weeks since I have been reading this blog, I have had the chance to put life in perspective a little bit. Praise God for allowing you and Tricia and your precious Gwyneth to reach into the lives of so many. Thank you.

Danielle Davis

Amanda said...

Here via Trenches of Motherhood. This is quite a story, you have a couple of incredible girls there. I'll be praying for you all. Tell Tricia that even tired, post-delivery and sick she is a vision.

kerryann said...

Nath. I am delurking been reading for sometime and praying for you family as well.
I do not have cf...but had other genetic issues. Those put many issues in to having a child. My oldest Son was a NICU preemie and I spent lots of time in CICU as well. Would I have done it any differently. Nope. God was at the wheel and my trust was in Him for miracles. My son is now 26 and a wonderful young man. I went on to have two more children. Of course the medical field did not agree. I don't believe God does anything wrong its all his will. My Trust stays in Him.
When I look back I would do it all again no doubt in my mind.
About the Sanctity of Life. Thanks for posting what you did.
Your story is a very powerful one. There are others out here that totally understand Tricia wanting that Miracle.

Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts and most of all Tricia and Gwenyth with us.

Scott Lawrenson said...

Nate...well said.In perfect timing,
at church, they are discussing our relationships, particularly our marriage. Your story and example was in my mind the whole time.
This passage was shared:
1 Peter 5:6-7 (New International Version)
"6Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you."
Without a doubt, God has used you and Trish to reveal this concept to me in a very real way.
Love...Scott

Mandy Farris said...

Thank you so much for making me realize whats important in life. You are an inspiration and Tricia is a blessed lady to have such a wonderful and loving husband. You are in my prayers all the time and i pray God gives you your two miracles back healthy quickly.I also pray he gives you strength for them. I am sure it must be exhausting for you but it will pay off. God will renew your strength. Be strong for your girls.
Thanks so much for your openness to share your life.

Ava said...

Preach on!
I found your blog linked to another I read, and am a little addicted to checking on your dear, sweet family! We are praying for you!

College student in OK said...

Nate,
Your testimony is amazing and your faith in God is truly inspiring. I agree with your perspective that respecting the sanctity of life is really about trusting God. My parents have nine (biological) children, and I am thankful for their example of trusting God to provide what is best for our family. I am sure your beautiful daughter will one day appreciate your example of faith and the sacrifices you have made for her.
We are praying for Tricia, Gwyneth, and your family. Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I have been involved in conseling training wit hour local pg center, adn through all the reaading I have done, I have never read such a compelling statement on what exactly the "sanctity of human life" means. Many prayers headed your way daily! - Lesli

Anonymous said...

Still praying for you guys each day. We adopted our daughter since we felt so strongly in that is what God called for our life. A baby that would have other wise not been here if it would have been the worlds choice. Your such a inspiration to me and everyone. Your story is/and going to change so many peoples lives. This should be a documentry or be written. God is so pleased with your faithfulness.
Katie Columbus,OH

theragan3 said...

When we found out at 22 weeks that one of our twin boys had Downs Syndrome they asked us about selective reduction. I couldn't believe they actually mentioned that to parents. Our immediate response was that God doesn't make mistakes and that all life, whether we think it is "normal" or not, is precious to Him. I admire your stand for LIFE - No matter what God is in control, no matter the outcome.
Praying for your girls today.
Erinn
Maryland

Anonymous said...

praying for you from Cambridge, England

Anonymous said...

WOW!!! I just realized how difficult it is to read through tears! And yet I couldn't pull myself away long enough to wipe them away...thank you! You have changed my life so much - I never thought that someone I've never met could have such an impact on my life!
I can't wait to read the book!

Erin said...

Nathan,
You are truly an inspiration to me. The things that you write have have truly touched my soul. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful wife, daughter and self with everyone! I can honestly say that you have changed my life in a very very good way! I pray for Tricia, Gwyneth and you every day.

Anonymous said...

Nate,

I, too, read your blog multiple times a day. It is the first thing I go to on my computer each day, and the last thing I look at on the computer each night.
I read your blog with several hats - as a Christian, as a mommy, and more and more lately, as a lawyer.
I'd like to start with the last today - several readers have said that you ought to write a book. I think you should seriously consider this idea. I wonder even if you ought to ask in one of your posts if anyone has contacts with a publisher, either specifically Christian or "regular". Publishing your story might serve so many purposes. It would put out so many messages that need to be heard - the truth of Christ, the sanctity of life, the need for organ donors, and the existence of hope and faith like many people have likely never seen before you and Tricia. Second, it would very likely create a very nice source of income for you and Tricia as you deal with medical bills and the likelihood that you will not be able to work (for pay) for some time in the foreseeable future. As much as this story has captivated the Internet world, I have to believe that it would appeal to so many more if they could find it. Having said all this, I know that your time is (and will be) certainly full already, but I don't think it would take much to put this together as a book someday. You have already done most of the work. I also wonder if you want to keep this story just for your own family, but given that you have already shared it with thousands and thousands of people, maybe you would be willing to consider this. Just my humble thoughts on this point.
From my perspective as a Christian and a mother, I feel the need to tell you what your story has meant to me. I was pregnant with twins several years ago, and I was overjoyed. My husband and I had decided to have only one pregnancy, and getting pregnant with twins was going to give us the two children I desperately wanted. Unfortunately, I discovered at 20 weeks that one of my babies had a rare and fatal chromosomal anomaly called Trisomy 18. We were devastated. At 23 weeks, my precious daughter Rebecca died in utero, which started my labor with my other daughter, Sarah, at 24 weeks. We were able to hold her in until 26 weeks, but her birth resulted in a three and a half month NICU stay and two very difficult years after getting her home, which included two surgeries, a g-tube, pneumonia, feeding difficulties, isolation, etc. It was very much the most difficult two years of my life, and I am still not "over" the trauma of the experience and the intense grief over losing my other daughter. I have so many times felt so frustrated with God that he would give us the two babies I had prayed so hard for and then take one home to him. I still long for what "could have" or "should have" been. Reading your words every day are getting me little steps closer to accepting my losses - to accept the losses is to show fully my trust in God and to better appreciate fully what He has given us. That surviving twin is now a healthy, happy 4-year old little girl. And I thank God all day every day for giving her to me. In any event, I wanted to be sure you knew what you three have meant to me.
And for any of the trisomy 18 mommy's who might read this comment, I feel like Nate has given you to me, too. I went to one of your sites from a comment one of you left, and from there found a dozen more of you. I thank God for you all, too. Seeing your babies has given me a tiny taste of what my Rebecca might have been like. And along those lines, Nate, if you get a minute (smile), you should check out a site called "99 balloons". Find the video that Eliott's daddy did, and you will see kindred spirits.
Love and continued prayers from Texas

Sanchez Stories said...

Thank you for helping me remember how much I love my family.

I have attached a link to my page so my friends and family can read about your blog and pray for Trisha, Gwenyth, and you as well.

I hope you don't mind.
Thank you for sharing your story.
I would love to hear about why Gwenyth Rose came early? What should we be praying for, for Gwenyth?
Sanchez Family in NM!

Kate said...

what a wonderful testimony and perspective! i agree with the first commenter (is that a word) your family's story and faith would make a wonderful book!

Paul said...

Hallelujah for yours and Tricia's faithfulness to Him! Truly He is the giver and taker of life. You guys are an inspiration to us!

DDinki said...

Nathan;

May the Lord be Glorified through your tesitmony of trusting Him and taking Him at His Word. Life is a gift.

Diane Detmer
wife/CF caregiver - 32 years

Megan said...

Thanks for sharing this! I cannot tell you how amazing it is that even though we may not know you personally, through this blog we are able to be part of the audience of God's grace, mercy, love and miracles. May He continue to bless you beyond all your wildest imaginations!

agmwilliams said...

Nathan,
I found your blogs on March of Dimes "Share" website...I am amazed and totally in awe of your testimony and of your amazing love for God, your beautiful wife, and your precious baby girl. As I have experienced through my own son's premature birth/NICU stay in 2006, the NICU experience alone can be such a difficult, uncertain road...one which without the hope and faith in our savior Jesus, I don't understand how anyone makes it through. People told me during our time how they knew that as difficult as the experience was for us, that we were certainly a "light" in the NICU to those around us. I questioned how that could be true at the time, but I certainly can see now through you and your family's amazing story that you are and will continue to be not only a "light" in the NICU but for all the world to see. Prayers to you!

~Amanda

carlyn said...

Nathan ... I know this is not easy for you, but I know where the joy comes from ... God. When my baby girl was 6 weeks old, I found out that I had cancer and my body should have never accepted this little miracle baby that is now 3 years old. I am trusting God for another miracle baby ... a post-cancer baby that He promised me before I began chemo. Every baby is a miracle, but the few who "should not be alive" are the true miracles from God. I look into Makayla's eyes, even when she is being a pill, and am reminded of God's Grace (her middle name).

Keep trusting God for both Tricia's life and Gwyneth's life. He has a purpose for each of you.

In Christ's name ... I lift up the Lawrenson family to the very lap of God to hold and cherish and protect. Amen

Anonymous said...

Nate -

That was beautifully written. Thanks for sharing more of your and Tricia's story, and of her special prayers, and above all what faith really means. Its just so encouraging to those of us who may be struggling with our own faith to read the very human-ness of your journey of faith. You are an eloquent writer but in the end it is the simple fact that you chose to trust in God, wholly, which instructs me the most.

Tricia's first prayer has been answered and is playing out in ways and degrees that I doubt she could have ever envisioned, and Gwyneth is the most beautiful little miracle. All of our children are and I pray that we all remember that, and care for each other as the best expression of gratitude to God for all his gifts to us. I thank Him for your voice.

Carol

Heather said...

WOW! Thanks for the perspective.

Anonymous said...

What a true testimony to really believing in God, regardless of what the future may look like, you are trusting Him.

I have enjoyed reading your blog, but this was such a moving and encouraging post for so many!

hannahsmom said...

What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing with us! Praying for you, Tricia and Gwenyth!

Anonymous said...

Simply in awe of your peace- I pray that you continue to walk in it. Blessings and prayer in your trials

diaduit said...

THANK YOU for sharing that. As an adopted child myself, and now as a mother (expecting baby #2 in May), I couldn't have said it better. The Lord is using you, Tricia and Gwyneth to bring glory to Him and I am so thankful for that. I am praying for you all today. :)

Anonymous said...

I have never read or heard anything so moving on life. it really touched me. Sending prayers for you and the girls.

Just Me - MJ said...

You, you family, and your experiences - and most of all, your faith - are such an inspiration to so many others. Thinking of & praying for you & yours today and every day.

Anonymous said...

Nate: You and Tricia are truly blessed. We will pray for you daily, The Payne Family in Louisville, KY.

kelly said...

wow. so well put, nate. and what a perfect day to share this. i was adopted, so of course abortion is something i feel very strongly about. i take it rather personal that anyone can think that one "mistake" can be corrected by terminating a life.

Anonymous said...

You and Tricia are one of the very few who are living their lives fully and completely in God's hands - regardless of the outcome, knowing in advance how high the stakes are! I can't help but to think that God will bless your lives so fully because of your complete devotion to Him! Praying even harder for your girls and for you to have complete peace and comfort from Him!

Julie Nickerson said...

That was beautiful! Thanks for that!

Rebecca said...

thank you for being so trasnparent! your faith, hope, and trust is so apparent... God will surely use you and your family.

praying for you guys,
Rebecca (Timberlake)

NuttyGal said...

Your words calm me. They restore my faith in humanity. I wish I knew you personally. I wish you were a friend that popped over for a cupa tea and a chat. I have so much I would like to ask you about. I wish I had the deep faith and understanding that you have. I wish I knew where to find it. I do believe in God and I know angels watch over us but I just don't understand. I want to understand and I want to trust, it must give such peace to be able to do that. I just struggle to get my head around why some things cause so much hurt and pain. I know it says God gives life and he takes it away, but I just don't understand why it has to be in such a cruel and painful way sometimes? I pray one day I will find him and I will get to know him personally as you have done. I pray for you, Tricia and Gwenyth too - I am so proud of you and I don't even know you. I have a 4 month old baby daughter and I pray that she is surrounded by people like you as she grows up. Much Love XXXXX

Gloria said...

1/20/08 Dear Nate and Tricia,
Found your site quite by accident off another friend's blog. By God's design here are some items not by accident to add you to my prayer list:
my husband is from NJ (Wood-Ridge, Bergen County)
we lived for 13 years in Cumberland County (Vineland and Millville)
our favorite shore point was Strathmere, we used to live just 35 miles from there, we loved the ocean
My husband is a Bible Teacher at a Christian School
I am a nurse and have taken care of many CF patients, we had a frequent visitor to our Peds unit in Vineland named Vicki (she frequented St Christopher's in Camden when more ill than we could handle
we probably have more in common age wise with your folks since we are in our 50's :)
Our daughter was born in 1982, so you are the same age
Our youngest son is a Nate also
we left NJ 7 years ago for New Mexico where I continue to do nursing in a Postpartum unit and my husband continues to teach Bible at a Christian School
we worship at a PCA church here Grace Covenant
We always wanted to visit the OBX but never got the opportunity to
Being Sanctity of Human Life Sunday is a good day to tell you of our dear friend Anthony Levatino who speaks passionately for Pro Life being an OB MD and a former Abortionist. We worship together at church and I care for his patients in the hospital. He is speaking today in NJ. You can find lots of information on his testimony by googling his name.
God's richest blessings on you dear ones in addition to your delicate "White Rose".
Gloria

Alisha said...

Wow! Amen and Amen!

Meredith said...

Like so many others have said, you have tremendous faith and trust in God that so many of us wish we could say that we have. Your words really hit home and were so powerful but yet came from the heart. What a blessing it is for myself and so many others to open our computers every day (sometimes ever hour) to tune into your blog spot to see what the report is for the day. Gwyneth is a very blessed little girl to have such WONDERFUL, LOVING and God fearing parents. The both of you are living the American dream! You have it all and you don't take any of it for granted. I thank you for opening your heart and a piece of your life to the world! You both bless me every-time I log on to check on your family. I agree with one other person who left a note, "You need to write a book". May God Bless you today (as I know he as and will continue to do). Many prayers being lifted up to the Lord for Tricia and Gwneth as always. Meredith/Orlando FL

Jessica Morris said...

thank you for sharing that.

bjriley said...

Hi Nate, I think a very successful book is in your near future. What a corageous spirit you have. No doubt about Tricia but you are the one holding the family altogether right now, despite the separated floors. Without you and your fun sense of humor, these girls would not survive. I hold back tears with every blog I read but I appreciate your strength with each day. May God be holding you and your girls in the palm of His hand. Blessings are ahead.

Marsmile said...

You are an excellent writer, Nathan! Your posts just draw me in (think of a hand grabbing your neck and pulling you towards the screen). That's how enthralled I am and I have learned more about what Christianity is like through this post! This blog is definitely an eye-opener for everyone including those who, like me, struggle with Christianity (i.e. weak faith, doubts, etc.). I'm signing thank you (using either hand, palms flat, bring it to your chin with the inside of your palms facing your neck, and then move your hand forward down until the inside of your palms almost face the 'sky'). :-) Thank you for sharing your experiences with us all!

Continuing to pray for you all including transplant donors/recipients and their families and friends.

Marissa :-)

Collegegirl said...

What an amazing post!!! You and Tricia chose to have Gwenyth! Thank the Lord that she has GREAT parents!!! God Bless your family!!!

Vicki said...

Nate..
Thank you... I have no words, your truth rings throughloud and clear.

May God continue to hold all of you in the palm of his hand.

~Vicki

Anonymous said...

I am just entering onto your story, and your family is in my prayers each night. It is wonderful to see such an honest treatment of your perspective on life. Mine comes from a different place (the stillbirth of my daughter two years ago). But, nonetheless, I see in your story and my own the worth of life for its very sake, and the way that trusting in the plan and purpose of our lives is so very important. Warm thoughts.

Jen in Al said...

Thank you!!! Praying for you all every day!
By His Grace, jen in al

Heather said...

Thank you for sharing your story, thoughts, feelings and testimony with us. You have a wonderful way of writing.

Praying for you and your girls.
Thank you for what your wrote about Sanctity of Human Life Sunday.

I linked back to you today.

Patti said...

Thank you for sharing your first hand account of the sanctity of human life with us. I have an account of my own that I elected to share on my own blog as I was inspired by yours.

elj377 said...

Nathan,

As I have read both your blog and your wifes, I feel that I know you both from somewhere, and then it hit me that in the body of Christ when we meet another believer there is a connection and that is our Savior. I have tears in my eyes as I write this and I am praying for your beautiful baby and wonderful wife. I am thankful for your allowing others to join you on this journey. Thank you for reminding us of the importance of Trusting God. That choice is the most important. My family has been going through some struggles of our own and it's so easy to dwell on all the negatives. Thank you for focusing on the positive which is that God is in Control!

beth said...

Nathan,
I again sit with tears in my eyes. Your words are so honest and so true.
I hope you don't mind I share another story with you:
When I was pregnant with my 3rd child the doctor suggested ending the my pregnancy. I 1st was appalled, and then I was shocked. I was so ill, and had such a hard time but never had those thoughts. As a mom I was fighting for the life in me from the moment I knew she was in there. Every week I had a visit I was told get ready for a miscarriage and just call. For 30 weeks I was told this. I did spend time in bed, hospital, on IV fluids, taking anti nausea pills, and lots of Pepsi. It was the only thing I could drink.
I tell this story because the Lord at this point had given us 2 miracle children, and we prayed for the safety of our 3rd. She was not planned and it was 4 years after our 2nd child. I believe God's planning is way better than we could ever plan!!
I did have her a few weeks early but as you are seeing with your own eyes most little girls are tough from the start.(tough bossy, demanding:)
I did have complications, and even came home to have to go back to the hospital a week later. I did pass and they brought me back. I never felt panic, iT was the best rest I ever experienced. I am glad God chose to let me be with my family longer. Life is short so living it to share what God has done, and how much He love's us is soooo important and is just a huge part of our lives. My husband and I never regretted any of our decesions and have layed it all at Gods feet for everything!It is such a relief to do that!
I bet your parent's prayed before you were born that you would be a godly man. WOW look what they were blessed with!!!
We continue to pray for your lovely family!
Sorry this was so long:)
beth

Anonymous said...

That was woderfully put. Isn't that what all of our choices in life are about, do we really trust God or are we wanting to take control of our own lives.

Amy Lynn said...

I just wanted to let you know that I have been following your story and reading your blog and you and your family have been on my heart. Thank you so much for keeping us all posted on how Tricia and Gwen are doing and also for sharing your thoughts. You have already truly glorified God. You, Tricia and Baby Gwen remain in our prayers. I agree with everyone else that you should write a book. God has given you a special gift for writing and your blog alone has already blessed so many. Thank you so much.

I truly enjoyed your post on the Sanctity of Human Life. I am still in tears from reading it and have passed it on to many others. I hope it is alright that I put out a prayer request to my prayer group for your family.

Karen said...

Wow. Very well spoken. I totally agree with everything you have said. You guys are the greatest. Still praying in Shelbyville, Tn.

Jodiferkay said...

Just over a year ago, my husband (also a "Nate") and I had our own miracle baby girl (she was born 11 weeks premature and due to complications, baby "Bekah" and I both almost didn't make it). Thanks to God's intervention and a lot of people praying, we now have a vibrant toddler and are so blessed. We can't understand what you all are going through but Jesus does and we are thankful that He is your stronghold. We don't know you personally, but we are committing to pray for you from Oregon.

Christina said...

My prayers are daily with your beautiful family. I said a special prayer for Gwenyth this morning as I held my Goddaughter at her baptism. Your blog today put in words everything I have felt but could never put into words, thank you. I am a mother of almost 4 year old triplets, selective reduction was pushed on us and for not one second did we ever consider it. I can't imagine my life without any one of my girls. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am humbled and inspired.

Susanna said...

beautiful post nate..thanks for sharing...we love you all.

Zac and Jenny said...

I've been following your and Tricia (and Gweneth's) story for the last week and a half. Although all your posts engage me (I'm one of those that checks for updates several times a day)... this post was particularly moving. You've really given me a lot to think and pray about. Thank you.
-Jenny

Anonymous said...

Learning to trust God w/ the nitty gritty decisions in life is an awesome awesome experience. Praise Him fro that gift he has given so that your lives are full of meaning. Time is such a fleeting thing compared to eternity that we will spend with Him and one another. TO discover this as you have now on this earth is a great treasure! Thank you for sharing with all of us! God bless your lives and testimony to help others experience the blessing of faith in Him as well. maryklein

Kathleen in TX said...

I've been praying for Tricia & Gwyneth although I've never commented. Watching God working in your lives has been amazing to me. It does all really come down to trusting in Him doesn't it? You and Tricia's faith has been a true witness.

Jennie-Marie said...

Thank you for your incredible thoughts. And for the great reminder to love and enjoy all that surrounds us and that God puts in our path Today. Many prayers for your beautiful family.

Blair said...

What a beautiful witness to life your family is! You are a true example of what it means to be Pro-Life, and more importantly what it means to trust in God. Thank you.

Robin said...

Wow! I continue to be encouraged by your faith and love and humility. Praying for you and your girls!

Mayhem And Miracles said...

This is the most beautiful post I have ever read anywhere. So perfectly worded, divinely inspired. I have followed your blog for a couple of weeks and never planned on commenting. I didn't want to be redundant with all you have going on. But I HAD to let you know as a struggling, imperfect fellow believer - how this just oozed of Truth and blessed me immensely. Tricia's CF has certainly been used for something extraordinary. God has answered her prayers in mighty ways and blessed us ALL for her seeking Him.

Casey's trio said...

This is a beautiful post! I am so happy to read that Tricia is feeling stronger and that you are able to share with her all of the supporters she has rooting her on. I'm so happy you were blessed with your miracle Gwyneth.

dynamitt said...

I don't understand why you guys even tried to get pregnant knowing it was such a huge risk involved. How could you as a husband (who clearly love your wife) go ahead and try to conceive knowing that if it did happen there was a huge risk for you to lose both your baby and your wife.

I am glad things are going well for you too.

Anonymous said...

Thoughts and prayers winging their way to you from Northern Ireland...

xx

heathergyoung said...

I just wanted to say I'm praying for you, your wife and little Gwyneth. A friend referred me here and I'm so glad she did.

May God bless you in ways you never imagined.

-Heather

Anonymous said...

Nate (Nathan!)
One of my life verses is Psalm 20:4
1 May the LORD answer you when you are in distress;
may the name of the God of Jacob protect you.
2 May he send you help from the sanctuary
and grant you support from Zion.

3 May he remember all your sacrifices
and accept your burnt offerings.
Selah

4 May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.

5 We will shout for joy when you are victorious
and will lift up our banners in the name of our God.
May the LORD grant all your requests.

6 Now I know that the LORD saves his anointed;
he answers him from his holy heaven
with the saving power of his right hand.

7 Some trust in chariots and some in horses,
but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.

8 They are brought to their knees and fall,
but we rise up and stand firm. ...
*****
here's another take on it from Psalm 37

3 Trust in the LORD and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

4 Delight yourself in the LORD
and he will give you the desires of your heart.

5 Commit your way to the LORD;
trust in him and he will do this:

6 He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.

7 Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
**********
I was reading some of the comments to Greg. His immediate comment on one of the post about the "why try" is this:

"How do we know that God did not give you (Tricia) this desire so that He (God) could perform a miracle and be Glorified."

Our ways are definately not God's ways (good thing!)

That goes hand in hand with beautiful Tricia's Esther's account "such a time as this" Esther 4:12

Shouting for "joy" with you and continuing to Praise God for the Miracles in your life and for your family's willingness to be used as His vessel for bringing the Good News!
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring Good News!
lv
Cindy W -OBX
who has to use anonymous because she can't get signed on any other way!

gretchen said...

Thank you for letting us in to your lives. My 5 year old daughter asks me everyday to "check on our baby Gwyneth" and we are praying for you and your girls!

Mom of 3 said...

Your words continue to touch the lives of so many people, my family included! God is so good and amazing! Seeing how strong your faith is in such a trying time is encouraging to me with the minute things that discourage me. We will continue in our prayers for you and your family!

Anonymous said...

Nate

It's refreshing that you are open to all the comments and opinions of others. There will always be those who disagree with your decision.

I think you and Tricia made the right decision. You have shown such an amazing trust in God to see you through.

Terri said...

Keeping you in our prayers. I LOVE your perspective on the sanctity of life. You write about it so well. Your family is touching many!

gen-here said...

I need to come back when I have more time to read the comments. But I wanted to tell you that I fully and completely respect and honor the decision that you and Tricia made to keep Gwyneth Rose. It's amazing to me how "simple" a decision about life can be to us (me and my husband... and apparently from your writing, you and Tricia). It was something that my husband and I talked about extensively before we married and before we attempted to conceive either of our children. If God saw fit to entrust us with a new life, we were going to take Him at His Word to never leave or forsake us and go with it - despite what it might look like to the world. I can't imagine how difficult this time is for the three of you right now. But I know that in the midst of it all, there is still great joy and the knowledge that you can one day face your God and say, "I tried to follow Your lead as best I could."

mamaellebelle said...

I too found you from a friend's blog and have been thinking of and praying for Tricia, Gwenyth, you, and your families since. Your beautifully written posts and your faith have moved me to tears several times. I look at my 14 mo daughter and husband through new eyes. I can't thank you enough for sharing your lives with us. Continued prayers for you all from Illinois!

Lisa in Holly Springs, NC said...

Nate - Thanks for sharing so much of your faith and strength! I was sitting here reading your blog and was just feeling sorry for myself (my youngest child has a non-life threatening medical problem). It hit me - how grateful to God I am that I have her with me, at home, without a ventilator, without tubes & monitors..... It took me a second, and then I cried because I realized how futile life can be. You truly cherish every single moment with Tricia and Gwenyth. You are an inspiration for us all to do the same with our loved ones.

The Feldhausens said...

Nathan, thank you for sharing your perspective and experiences. My husband has CF and we adopted a baby in 2006. We faced some of the same challenges that you and Tricia did, however of course not the physical difficulty of the pregnancy (more the contemplation of "what if" and deciding that God will provide the energy that I need to care for them both if need be. I look forward to hearing more about your journey.

walkingbyfaith said...

Until this post, I never knew there was a Sanctity of Human Life Day. Wow. I will definitely remember it for next year. Thank you so much for sharing the background behind yours and Tricia's choice. I've always believed that God knows exactly what He's doing, and after reading that Tricia prayed for a miracle baby I chuckled because I fully believe the first time those words left her lips and traveled to His ears, the first time that thought entered her mind, God knew this would be where you'd both end up. How amazing to see how He's worked in your lives.

ThinkingChristian said...

There seems to be a little bit of an undercurrent of "Ha! Showed those doctors!" Just wanted to gently point out that doctors are not exactly agents of the devil! God uses doctors (and nurses, respiratory therapists, techs, you name it) as His agents to perform miracles :-)

Brian & Amy England said...

Nathan and Tricia..
Wow...I was led to your blog from another friend who recently found you. what a blessing to read your story..your on-going, trusting in the Lord story. Thanks for the blessing.
Over the weekend at church someone said to "Pray for something so big, that only God can answer it"
Sounds to me like you pray BIG and thankfully we have a reallY BIG God!!!
My prayers are with you and I look forward to reading more of your journey. Congratulations on a sweet baby girl!

Leanne said...

Wow, what an incredible, incredible story that is.

ThinkingChristian said...

Some posts got deleted - I just wanted to clarify that my comment above should really read "There seems to be a little bit of an undercurrent of "Ha! Showed those doctors! in some of the comments left under various posts." I was in no way criticizing Nate.

Anonymous said...

Nate, you are doing a great job. After reading your story (risks, etc.) it's wonderful you are giving Trish a nice life. It's fun to see all the pics and videos of you two and Trish always seems to be joyful. What an inspiration. And Gwenyth is the cutest little baby. I'm praying for you all and God bless.

Tracey said...

Nathan, I have been following your blog on your life with Tricia and Gwyneth for a while, from all the way in the UK. I lost my only child, age 8, to CF 7 months ago. Every day is a struggle for me to survive as my love and devotion to him seems as great as your love and devotion to your family. Your writing touches me deeply and I want you to know that the way you perceive life is very special and your willingness to share your story and emotions with strangers is like a hand being stretched out to those in the dark. Thank you and I send peace to you, Tricia and Gwyneth.