Sunday, December 28, 2008

Welcome to our Blog

After some thought and discussion, Jeff and I have decided to start posting information about Jacob Elliot Tuley and our journey of faith through this blog. We are not promising anything spectacular, but we figured this may be an easier way for others to hear about "our story."

Here's the background...

On September 10, at 20 weeks along in our pregnancy, we found out that our son, Jacob Elliot, was diagnosed with (Right Sided) Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia. This means that his diaprhagm on the right side did not develop properly and has a large size hole, thus allowing his liver to go into his chest and hinder lung developement. At that appointment, we were told that we had a few options. 1) to terminate the pregnancy, 2) to go as long as his body will last (which could be full term or not) and then deliver, 3) to look into surgery options, but with minimal survivability. To give you an idea...about 80 to 90 percent of people terminate the pregnancy when given this prognosis. Basically, he would not be able to take his first breath and would not come home with us, but that Heaven would be his first home.

Of course, Jeff and I were both devistated, and both of us can remember that day very clearly in our minds. We came home, cried, and prayed for wisdom to make the right decision for our son and for ourselves. At that time, we decided we could not terminate a life that God had given us. We decided, through much prayer and petition to God, that we were going to give Jacob the best life and love we could while we had him. We started looking at things quite differently.

At that point, Jacob had already gone to two St. Louis Cardnials games, served others and helped out at a Habitat for Humanity Build, been to the Nation's Captial,and spent time with his dog Jackson. Everything Jeff and I had done we began thinking as though Jacob had done it too. We decided that we wanted the family to participate in this too, so we asked Grampa Winkler to take Jacob on a Harley Ride, Uncle Biggie (Jim) to take him flying, and to have others read the stories to him and sing the songs to him that they would have wanted to if he was here. My mom made a tent (in what was going to be his room) and we read stories to my belly. In addition, Jacob has served the homeless on Thanksgiving with his Tuley family, and helped out one of Mommy's closest friends in Mexico.

So, Jeff and I began experiencing things for Jacob and showing him as much love as we could while we had him. So far, Jacob has already lived a very full life!

We have been toying with both the idea of delivering Jacob at Baptist Hospital and doing no surgery, knowing that he will pass from this life, or delivering Jacob at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital and doing everything we (the doctors) can, knowing that he "might" pass from this life. As a parent, it is hard to sit back and do nothing, even if the chances are "a long shot" so we decided to deliver at Vanderbilt and see what God can do.

This whole process has been trying on our faith, but also brought us closer together and closer to God. We know that Jacob is in God's hands and we are going to ask for wisdom and faith to continue to make decisions that would be best for him, but we are also asking every day for our Miracle, for total healing. And who is to say that these doctors are not our Miracle? God has always been in the business of the "glorious impossible" and we are praying for that!

I didn't mean for this to be so long...but it's hard to put hours and hours of doctors visits, research, and Jacob's experiences into a few paragraphs. We will be posting some of the pictures of Jacob's experiences later in the blog. For those of you that are still praying, we can't thank you enough. Please continue, it is what has kept us going in these past few months.


  1. Jeff, Julie and Jacob,
    I love to hear your faith walk. All of us are praying for a miraculous healing and continued wisdom, patience, love and faith. You are very precious.
    Your friend,

  2. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. As you know, we will be there for you in any way we can! You are in our prayers every day!

  3. Thank you Julie & Jeff for opening your lives to us all. We continue to pray for your family and little Jacob! We love you all!
    John, Cousin Shellie, Emma and Ella Story

  4. Jeff & Julie ~
    We have been praying for Jacob and his entire family since hearing about him from his grandma. Immediately we had the family of God in Smyrna join us in praying. Though we do not know the answers God has ready for the many prayers that have been offered, we do KNOW that we serve a perfect in following the faithful steps of Jacob's parents' we will wait on the Lord knowing that He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly more than we can ask or imagine!
    Carol Bartilson

  5. Julie,

    Thank you for starting this blog. You have been in my thoughts and prayers every day, though I haven't been emailing you much because I don't want to intrude into the space you need to go through this process. I am glad to have a place to come to see how you are doing, without being a bother. Much love, Megan

  6. Julie - so glad you started this blog. I loved reading about Jacob's wonderful experiences to date and continue to pray for your miracle. You were such an inspiration to our whole group last week. Love you, Jenny Aiken

  7. So glad we can keep up with you this way. We love you both very much and are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.


  8. Hey guys,
    You are such an inspiration for so many. We are in constant prayer for Julie and Jacob, and tell all that we see about your amazing journey.

    Not a day passes that I don't look at our own Peyton and thank God not only for her presence with us, but also for the process that we went through to have her here today. I would not change a thing in the faith-building story that is her life. God is good.


  9. Julie and Jeff,
    I am so inspired and encouraged by your faith and what you have decided to do for Jacob. Doctors "practice" but God "knows"!
    I have seen your love blossom and grow and if there are any two people that will make it through such a tough time, it is the two of you. I love you guys so much. Jacob has wonderful parents.


  10. Julie & Jeff,

    My heart and prayers are with you. I pray that God will heal little Jacob. I think of you everyday.


  11. Dear Jeff and Julie,
    I am praying also for you & precious Jacob. We’ve come to know him as well and love him so much. Please know that we are going to celebrate Jacob’s birth and we will be feeling the joy that he will bring to us all as believers. I picked a second name for him just to baby him a little more, which is (MR) which stands for (Miracle Reminder) MR. Tuley.
    “Psalm 72:19 Bless the glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen”
    Love you all,
    Sue Abutineh

  12. I am very proud of you kids. Remember God is able to do exceedingly beyond all that we can ask, think or imagine. We will see you soon. Your faith has been an inspiration to me. God will continue to be glorified. Keep the Lord first, meditate on His word, Pray always. My grandson Jacob is in good hands.


  13. Julie,
    You do not know me, but I heard your story through Heather Hood and found your blog linked on hers. I wanted you to know that you and your precious Jacob have been in my prayers constantly for quite awhile.
    Sarah Jenkins & family

  14. Dear Jeff & Julie,
    I marvel at your strength! I am so thankful that we have a caring Father in Heaven who gives us both strength and wisdom, if we but ask, when faced with difficult decisions in life! You were given horrendous news at 20 weeks gestation. Not only were you given bad news, you then had the difficult task of deciding what to do. Through faith, prayer and trust in the Lord above you chose life for Jacob. A most unselfish choice considering all the "unknowns" regarding Jacob's health. The one thing you do know is that there will be difficult times ahead for all of you as Jacob goes through procedures, etc. As family and friends we will continue to pray for you and our prayers will be answered according to God's will. I have seen many miracles working in the NICU. At the very first start of my NICU experience I took care of a beautiful baby boy diagnosed with a congenital diaphragmatic hernia. He survived although given little hope for survival. That was a number of years ago and treatments, procedures, etc. have come a long way in neonatal medicine. I feel strongly that the Lord answered your prayers, and you listened to his answer, in regards to where to deliver! I will continue to prayer for all three of you! I'll also pray for the doctors....pray that they will be inspired to do what is in the best interest for Jacob. Good luck and may God watch over and protect you during your time of labor and delivery. I know that the Lord will be with you because of your faith, obedience and desire to serve Him.
    With much love,
    Lynette Diederichs

  15. You don't know me, but I'm a friend of Tracy Beasley's. I delivered twins on 1/21 and my heart goes out to you and your family. I am praying prayer after prayer for you and your son and hope that he is able to meet his wonderful parents. Your story about Jacob is inspiring. Thank you for sharing so openly and honestly.

  16. Jeff, Julie and Jacob,

    Sending prayers upward and hugs your way. We are friends of the Otts and we are in Franklin. So, if you need anything -- from toilet paper to quiche -- we are close and would love to help out!

  17. Hello from Orlando, FL. I am so sad to hear about your and Jacob's story, and yet, I can't think of a story that has brought such hope and faith in me. What a wonderful thing that the two you are doing with such a special child. I pray that the delivery is easy, and that the surgery little Jacob needs will go well, and that God will guide the surgeons, physicians, and your hands.

  18. Julie, Jeff and Jacob,
    We are praying for the "glorious impossible." You all are an inspiration to so many. We pray that God will guide the hands of the surgeons. And that all will be well with you. You all are in God's hands and he will keep you. He still performs miracles. You are in our prayers.
    In Him,
    John and Melinda Knott

  19. Dear Julie, Jeff and Jacob,
    Please know that I am lifting you up without ceasing. What a blessing your story is. Thank you for honoring all of us by sharing your journey with us.

    Suzanne Rowe

  20. Jacob is a miracle baby. Praise God, the maker of miracles!

    Sarah and John Rmmage

  21. Oh wow! I didn't know any of this. I haven't been to class in so long. This blog entry is written so beautifully! I may be coming in late, but I know he still needs prayers and I am praying!

  22. Jeff and Julie: Mary Jo shared Jacob's story with the Fresh Faith (Seniors) class at the North Atlanta church. This is to let you know that many prayer warriors are praying for you and your precious baby. Carol Townsend

  23. Jeff and Julie,
    I don't know you but we have a lot in common. My husband and I went to Lipscomb in the 80s, I went to North Atlanta Church for about 2 years, and we are now back home in Tennessee. Jacob is a "Little Angel" and a fighter. We are praying for you daily.

    Holly & Steven Wright
    Pleasant View, TN

  24. Hi Jeff and Julie,
    I am friends with Jamie and she has spoken of you both so much that I feel I know you and Jacob already. If Jacob is anything like his family then God has given him the ability to fight. "Be Still and Know that I am God." The peace which comes from that passage is the peace that Jesus knows you, He loves you, and knows what is best for us even through the insanely hard times. He has Jacob in the palm of His hand and you all as well. May His peace give you comfort right now as you all fight for life and for the opportunity to know one another more. My prayers are with you all.

  25. Dear Cousins,
    I thank God for your faith and that you stood strong in the face of what had to be substantial (albeit subtle) pressure from the medical community. You are an inspiration to all who wonder if they should give up on prayer when He doesn't seem to answer. Please give Jacob a hug for us, and hug each other for us too. Lots of love Chris & Lois Ehlers

  26. I met Jacob just today on your blog, having received a prayer request from the Tulip Grove Baptist Ch. prayer chain. We are parents of a son, born 13 weeks premature, and we were told had only a 25% chance of making it... This was 26 years ago, in Indiana, when NICUs were
    "primitive", compared to now... Neil is now 26 years old, married, healthy and happy. My heart rejoices and aches for what you have been, are now, and will be, going through. Tears and fervent prayers will continue for you all, and all who care for Jacob, especially concerning the surgery tomorrow. God bless.
    Ronda Walter, Mt Juliet

  27. Hi Mrs.Tuley, it's me Michaela, from your 4th grade class. Jacob looks so cute! I miss you a lot! So does everyone else especially Deserea and Alejandra. I hope you have a merry christmas. My e-mail adress is