Monday, November 7, 2011

The beginning days of N+M...

Early July 2010 (shortly after my heart transplant) my family gathered for a family reunion. My good friend and cousin, Trevor, reminded me of a promise I made him (a loooong time ago) that I would visit him in Kansas City. He gave me a deadline this time because soon he was headed back home to North Dakota for good. I promised him again, but I don’t think he believed I would really make the trip. Well, I’m a promise keeper so two weekends after the family reunion I headed to KC along with another cousin of mine (my parents felt much safer because he was traveling with me). Trevor’s brother also met us there so it was just an extended family reunion. We had a great time hanging together and getting into deep conversations about the opposite sex. I told them what I wanted in a guy, “but not until October” and they would tell me what they hoped their wife to be like....and look like.

When I was in the hospital back in April 2010 I told my brother-in-love, Kyle, he needed to set me up with a man. I told him I would be ready by October. I didn’t want to start dating right away because I needed to recover and obviously have time for myself. I didn’t want to have to explain to a new guy why I went to rehab or why my mom had to give me shots every day. I didn’t like how skinny I was and it would be hard to juggle a relationship when I have doctor appointments or blood draws every week. I hoped by October to not only be physically ready but emotionally ready as well. It was all [kind of] a joke, and I know things don’t always happen in the time we want, but I was really just trying to set a goal for myself. Doctors told me it could take a year to feel really good and I didn’t want it to take that long, especially with my social life.

All of us cousins went shopping on Saturday. I am your typical girl; this excited me. However, I was still weak when it came to walking a lot, especially in sunny 90 degree weather. My doctor advises me to not be outside if it’s over 80 degrees (how did I live through this last Missouri summer?). The heat not only makes me tired, but it makes it very difficult to breathe. When we made it to Urban Outfitters you would normally see a smile from ear to ear on my face and me run wild to find the best garments with the best bargains. This time a quick walk around was sufficient and as the boys disappeared downstairs to the guy departments, I sat in a nice comfy chair by the shoes. It seemed like hours I sat there, but really only about an hour and a half (oh, those shopper boys) and finally I saw them waiting in the check out line. “Finally!”

I wanted to go home, but nooooo, Trevor HAD to stop by Five Guys to see his friend that was in town from Nashville. “Oh gosh”, I’m thinking, “I’m not sure if I can handle this”. We hung outside (of course...outside) for a while. After going to a couple other places we finally made it back home and his friends came a long. I was able to sit in a great recliner chair with my trail mix; I was satisfied. I watched Trevor as he interacted with his friends. I watched Nathan (Trevor’s friend from out of town) as he stood up to tell stories and used his hands to explain...a lot. Nathan was very inclusive of me and my other cousins, but I was still so tired (and the only girl) so pretty much kept to myself.

The boys ended up heading out for a late night hang and I opted to stay in and get some rest. I remember writing in my blog that evening about it being 3 months out from getting prepped for my transplant surgery.

We headed back home on Sunday and went on with life. Randomly I would get a Facebook comment from Nathan telling me he was passing through St. Louis and just thought of me. I did feel it was sweet, but at the same time I had absolutely NO interest and thought he was just being nice. The next time he went through St. Louis he messaged me and I replied. I told him I would be in Nashville soon because my aunt and uncle were moving to the area. We planned a “hangout” for when I would be there, but I honestly thought it wouldn’t happen and if it did it would probably be short and awkward.

Well, those Facebook messages kept coming and I kept replying....still thinking nothing of it. Maybe I was naive? Or maybe it was because it wasn’t October yet? Maybe it was because I didn’t want a long distance relationship again? Nathan wrote me and at the end of the email this time he put his cell number. I was developing an interest, but being the “play hard to get” girl I have always been I replied to the email acting like I never saw his number. I wasn’t going to be the one to text or call first! No way...that is the boys job. Later (September 9. Don’t think I’m weird for remembering a random date...It was his birthday!) I replied and gave him my number and literally as I finished typing I had a text from him. “Whaaat? He texted me already?!” We continued communicating the entire month of September, but it wasn’t until October when he came through St. Louis (on his way to KC). He was traveling with a friend so me and my girlfriend met them at a mall. We walked around awkwardly and had a bite to eat. He was nervous. I was not. I had to keep the conversation going. He paid for my food. I gave him a hug goodbye and off they were.

A few days later him and his friend had to head back home to Nashville and that would only mean one thing.  They would be heading through St. Louis again. He told me he wanted to see me again, and I wanted to see him too. This time I met him and his friend at a restaurant. He seemed a bit more comfortable this time, but I still felt I had to keep the conversation going. Maybe it’s because I talk a lot? He hugged me goodbye this time and I knew it wouldn’t be the last. I think he did too. He continued to text me that evening, but it wasn’t until the next night when he called me for the first time. It was almost mid October and I really liked him; I could tell he liked me too. It was probably just a week later and he packed up his car to come visit me. Not just pass through, but actually meet my parents and stay at my house... He was nervous. I was not.

The weekend went very well and I could tell he wanted to make us official. I knew I had to talk to him about things before I could ever let that happen. “Nathan, I am a huge risk.” “I don’t want you to get involved with me and get scared later on.” “I don’t want to get hurt and I don’t want to hurt you.” “I have medical bills.” “I take medicines several times a day and I would die without these medicines.” He seemed to react okay to those comments, so I kept going... “I may not be able to have children.” “Fifty percent of transplanted hearts only last 11 years.” “My body could reject my heart.” I let him have it and left him speechless. I told him I didn’t want him to say anything to me now. I wanted him to talk to his parents and close friends. I wanted him to pray about it and really think about it. I wanted him to make a knowledgable decision and really know what he would (or could possibly) be getting in to when being with me. He respected my wishes and we didn’t really talk about it further or even after he left town.

I knew it was a lot of information to give someone, but I could tell something was different with this guy. I wouldn’t have just told someone on a first date or a second or a third date, but I felt it was only right to let him know. I didn’t want to be dating for a year and then have to tell someone about all my risks. I wanted to scare him off now...not far down the road.

Nathan came back the following weekend. I knew something was up. We talked about everything and to this day I couldn’t tell you exactly what he said. All I know, is he said exactly what I needed to hear. He didn’t just say ‘It’s okay’ but he explained a lot of things and promised me was exactly what I needed. “Megan, I want you to be my girl.”

Towards the end of October we were "official" and the rest is history.....

Our very first pictures together:

We love this picture.  So very early into our relationship.

Headed to Nashville.  We originally planned to meet up there, remember?  Plans changed.  He drove all the way to St. Louis to pick me up and we headed back to Nashville.  I could have easily ridden with my parents... He insisted.  I agreed. 


He was there to hold me during the tears of remembering my donor and her family.  He was there to celebrate my one year heart birthday.  He was there for the party too:

He celebrated my "Life" trip with us at the beach!

And when he loves my niece as much as I do, it's hard not to love this guy...

He was there for me when I cried on the phone multiple times about my Grandpa and my Grandaddy.  He was able to make it to the funeral and burial of my Grandpa.  

On what started as a really bad day, he came to St. Louis to surprise me. This is shortly after he nervously popped the question, "Megan Rachelle Moss, will you marry me?"!

Some Engagement pictures.  Visit Scout Photo here to see more.

We were married a year later.  It was an absolutely perfect day.  God is good.


Megan Johnson


  1. Such a beautiful story!!!! So happy God brought yall together!!!!

  2. I cried so hard while reading this. So happy for you! :)


  3. amazing. you guys are amazing.
    madelyn rens-long

  4. What an amazing story. I am so happy for you two! God is so good!

  5. Wonderful news! I have been thinking about you gal and Congratulations on your wedding! He is adorable and I'm glad he is taking care of you! <3 Congratulations Megs and Nathan!!! Yay!!! :D

  6. Thanks for sharing with us Megan. You know we are all so invested in your life so we love to hear about how happy you are. Nathan definitely sounds like just the guy you were praying for. So very happy for you both...enjoy your beautiful life! I love you!
    Mama Stine

  7. I am an old friend of your cousin, Melody. Isn't it awesome for love to be so easy?!

  8. I love this post. I read every word. I LOVE hearing love stories. And of course yours is super special. Thank you...I needed a little pick me up this morning!