Johannah’s Testimony

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I’ve had this post sitting in the “Draft” section for a while now, just waiting for the right time to share it. As I was stalking Instagram last night, I came across this beautiful family. My heart broke as I read her story, Friday Introductions from the past couple weeks and the journey of her sweet daughter. I hope this reaches you, it touches your heart and encourages you to continue to believe for your miracle.

When Christopher and I found out about our first little, we were so excited. From the time that I found out I was pregnant, I knew it was a little girl. I constantly prayed for her. I prayed that the Lord would anoint her and that even as a small child, she would come to know Him. That she would have something planted deep within her heart that she could always hold to. That we would be examples in Christ that she could look up to. That she would be a vessel to be used by God.

In Hebrew, Johannah means “Gift from God”.
My pregnancy and delivery were both more than great, so there was no exception when she graced us in this world.Johannah was an AMAZING baby.  From 8 weeks to 6 months, Johannah slept through the night with no problems. At about 6 months, she went through a stage where she would only sleep for a couple hours at night and be up for most of the day. There is no stretching this. She would sleep for a couple hours, a COUPLE, and then wake up in the middle of the night for about 4-5 and then sleep another couple {2-3} and then start her day. I thought I was going to go crazy through this stage. It went on for MONTHS and I got almost no sleep in those months. We would play, watch movies and spend hours of quality time together. Then when she started teething, we got a whole different baby.

My happy go lucky baby, turned into a complete {drool} monster.
Johannah was always a very scheduled baby- and stubborn. She would throw fits, for sometimes hours, for no apparent reason. I would hold her, console her, sing, play, anything to try to help her. NOTHING helped. . And when I say fits, I mean she would cry, scream, holler, kick & hit {mainly herself}. And when I say “no apparent reason”, I literally mean it. It seemed that they would just start and end whenever she felt like throwing one. When she didn’t get her way, she was very hard to handle and the fits would start all over again. I cried with her through those hours. Most of the time, they ended with her just giving up, falling asleep with teary exhausted eyes. I still don’t know what she needed, why she cried, or how I could have helped. It still hurts me to know I couldn’t help her because I didn’t know what was going on in that beautiful head of hers.

She didn’t mimic things, like most children do. There was no clapping hands, no pointing, no waving bye bye, no talking, none of anything. She ignored us, A LOT. We knew she comprehended and we knew she understood, but she was very stubborn about showing it. {She didn’t talk till she was almost 2} She smiled and laughed and played, but there was a lot of just watching. Sitting and watching and taking things in.
She liked things a certain way, for everything. She would only take a certain type of cup, or she would go without and she absolutely refused to drink from a straw. She would ONLY watch a certain television show and would cry if anything else was put on. Besides immediate family, she REALLY didn’t care for new people. It was a serious problem.

We dreaded going anywhere around people that we knew would pay her any kind of attention. There were many times we left family gatherings, birthday parties, church functions and so on.

She also did this thing, she actually still does this thing, when she gets excited. Her mouth opens, her arms start flailing and she shakes. It’s adorable, really, but she did it quite often. Many people asked why she did it, and to be honest, I don’t know. I still don’t know.

She was different.
For a very long time the enemy fought us with the thought that there was something “wrong” with her. That she wouldn’t be smart or that she may be autistic. People often confronted us about the issue and questioned our parenting. They thought we weren’t doing anything about her “disability”, but we were trusting God.

Over a period of many months, I did a lot of research. I spoke with a couple doctors and sought out parents who said their child was also like mine. There was so many things to consider. The doctors said that if she understood and comprehended, that if she was progressing and not regressing, that we should just keep doing what we are doing for now.

“It could just be a delay”, they said.
Although a “delay is better than a “disorder” or a “disability”, it’s still something that no parent wants to hear, ever. The moms I talked to said that some kids grew out of it, some still had troubles and some were worse than before. I shed many, many tears, praying and waiting on God for an answer or direction. I am ok with having a child with special needs or a disability, I just knew that I needed God’s help to continue on like this. I knew that I needed God to intervene and give us the wisdom to deal with the situations we were up against. I would see other children talking and catching on, mimicking and being “normal”. It broke me. I wanted more for my child, for her.

He gave me this child, He knows her, He made her, why would I not seek the creator of our child?
As much as I hate to say it, there were many times that I thought, “Lord, our child is a gift, a gift is supposed to be something special. But, I’m not sure what you’re trying to show me here.”

I decided that therapy would only be something that we looked into if the Lord gave us the unction. I had heard too many horror stories of children who had reverted from being “pushed” to do things. That was something that I was not wanting to risk.

One day, Christopher came out from prayer and called us over to the living room chair.
That night, he prayed over her and from that very night, Johannah has advanced more than I could ever imagine.
The fits have stopped and she is smarter than I could ever imagine. Now, at 2, she knows all of her letters, can sing the alphabet and can recognize each one. She can count to 15 and recognize numbers 1-9. She loves animals. She can name so many along with the noise they make. She watches educational shows, cartoons, and more. She has become more interactive with others, she now mimics and her vocabulary increases every day. Her understanding of things blows me away. Listening to her learn new things, hearing that sweet little accented and lispy voice brightens any day. Watching her love her brother with such a passion amazes me.  She amazes me with all the things she knows and how much love she shows.

I won’t lie, this was, has been, and continues to be one of the hardest things I ever faced.
There were many times I questioned, desired something else, wanted something more. Wanted to understand and wanted things to be different. But to be honest, if I went through this just to be able to share what God has done and can do, I’m ok with that. If Johannah’s testimony of God’s love and power touches only one person, I would say it was worth it. If I went through it only to remind me that God is still on the throne, that He is still able to do all that He said He would, I’m proud to be the family He worked through.

Yes, she is still very stubborn and only does things on her time, but God continues to work on her!
We still try to work things around her schedule.
We still have to try to figure out what she wants or needs, quite often.
We still have good days and bad days, but what kid/parent doesn’t?

However, looking at her now, you would never know that we ever battled with her.
I’m so thankful for Johannah’s testimony! My God still heals! My God is still faithful! My God still delivers and sets free! He’s so able to do something in your life!

I encourage you today to trust Him. Whatever you have need of, whatever your searching for, whatever burden you carry, lay it at His feet. That song says, “Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, just to take Him at His word.” Trust Him today. He’s the same yesterday, today and FOREVER. The Bible says that He is no respecter of persons. What He’s done for others, He will do for you. His grace is sufficient, his love is boundless. He’s the friend that sticketh closer than a brother and He is ALL I need, He’s ALL YOU need.

Psalm 119:90 Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth.

Has Christ done something amazing in your life?
Email me or share below with our readers to encourage someone else!

UPDATE: Now at 5, Johannah has no inkling of delay. Her pediatrician is amazed at her progress and she is brighter and more amazing than I could ever imagine her to be.

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