Friday, December 4, 2009

Johanna's Gift

(First a back story, and this is gonna be lengthy)

Last summer I had the privilege of hearing the director of the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center speak at one of our ladies Bible studies.  At the time I was absolutely amazed by the organization.  They are a Christian, pro-life organization that ministers to ladies that find themselves in a crisis pregnancy.  They encourage the choice of life, and not abortion, and also present Christ to each of the ladies.  It really is an amazing ministry.  I was personally surprised to learn about how needed this ministry is.  I had thought of this ministry often and had at one point prayed that the Lord would show me how my family and I could be a blessing to them.  Little did I know what the Lord had planned for us.

One day while I was talking with Mom, I revealed to her my ongoing fear that Johanna will be forgotten by everyone but me.  As the conversation progressed I also revealed my desire to use Johanna's story to minister to other.  She suggested the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center, and suggested contacting them to see if there was a way that we could be a blessing to them.  With Mom's help(actually she did all of the leg work for me), we have been able to find a way to work with the Caldwell Pregnancy Care Center.

Each lady the center ministers to is given a diaper bag that contains very basic but very needed baby supplies.  Things such as diapers, wipes, an outfit, a pacifier, and bottles.  These are things that I personally took for granted when Clayton was an infant.  We have been given the opportunity to help the center financially by providing a portion of the funds necessary for these diaper bags.  The bags will include a short version of Johanna's story, and hopefully her picture.  They are going to call the diaper bags "Johanna's Gift".

This is the version of Johanna's story the ladies will have in their bags.

"Our daughter Johanna Raye Carswell was diagnosed with Trisomy 18 at 13 weeks gestation.  Trisomy 18 is an incurable chromosomal disorder that is termed "incompatible with life".  The only "option" for a child diagnosed with Trisomy 18 is termination.  We believe that every baby is a gift from God, and ending her life was not an option or even an afterthought for us.  We chose to continue her pregnancy and our daughter was born on October 23, 2009.  She lived 63 precious, wonderful, and priceless minutes.  Her short life forever changed us.  Johanna continues to teach us many lessons about God's grace, mercy, and love.  That is Johanna's gift.

I wanted to share this with ya'll since you've walked this journey with us.  I'm thankful God is still teaching me how to give.  I'm thankful that He's still using Johanna.  Even though she's praising Him, He is still using her here on Earth to minister to others.

14 comments:

kirstenpetree said...

That's so great!

Monica said...

Such a blessing.

Rebecca said...

Love it! What an amazing way for Johanna's life to be honored and to bless the lives of other babies who will be using those items.

The Tylers said...

That is beautiful. What an amazing way to honor Johanna's memory. :)

Lucy and Ethel said...

What a wonderful way to share Johanna's story!

Lucy

Jamie Lynn said...

I think it's a really awesome idea.

Erin said...

That is wonderful! I am so glad that before you learn of exactly how Johanna has blessed people in heaven, you get to witness it here on earth! Now that is truly a blessing!

christina said...

thru you thru you! He's using her THRU YOU! It's all about how we submit to HIS perfect will, even in the imperfections of this world and even our imperfect bodies. I am so loving this, you know that! I'm so excited for you! SO SO excited for you. I know it's humbling. but it's just what our hearts desire. I love that God provided a way to remind you that what matters to you matters to Him. ah...love it! loveu!

Elizabeth said...

What a great way to continue Johanna's legacy! I'm sure it touch many of those women's hearts.

Myra said...

That is just precious.

Allison said...

:)

Holly said...

I want to thank you for sharing this and for choosing the CPC to give back to. I hope your story ministers to the women who go to the center. CPCs are very close to my heart as it was at one of these places I received post-abortive counseling with warm love and care. They took me under their wing when I was hurting so badly. I still work closely with my center and see the impact they have on the lives of those who seek their services. The work is truly priceless.

Maryellen said...

WOW that is remarkable. Johanna's life is making such a difference.
Her legacy will live on. People who live well into their 90's sometimes sadly don't have as much an impact as Johanna's precious life has had.

Kelly said...

Nikki, this is amazing. What an incredible opportunity to share Jo's story!