johanna price: bloom

from the johanna price: bloom reading plan

BY Diana Stone



Come, let us tell of the Lord’s greatness;
    let us exalt his name together. Psalm 34:3

The snow falls steadily; it’s a typical Minnesota winter’s day.

Every being in this house is napping, with the exception of me and my heart dog Scout. The one who showed up on the doorstep of the Atlanta house I wish I’d never purchased, but the tool that God used to set my future into motion.

It’s quiet lazy Sundays like this—when there are toys strewn across my living room and diapers in the washing machine—that I remember this life of motherhood is God’s precious gift to me; a gift I long despaired I’d ever receive.

When we were battling infertility, when another month went by without two pink lines, I clung to Matthew 7:11.

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

God cannot give me a bad gift. And if even Earthly fathers long to grant their children’s requests, how much more does our loving father in heaven long to give us the things we ask for?

There was purpose in my infertility. There was purpose in the waiting. I had hope then that there would be, because God’s word told me He had plans to give me hope and a future (Jer 29:11), but it wasn’t until I was on this side of the Jordan that I could see it.

Waiting woman, it is hard. Please hear me when I tell you that I know it’s hard. My heart almost turned to stone. I cried so hard once that I broke every blood vessel around my eyes. I grieved that if it weren’t for me, my husband would be someone’s daddy.

I almost fell into the trap of “why me?” Bitterness tried to grab me like a thief. But over and over I was reminded, yes, why NOT you? Have I ever gone hungry? Have I ever been unloved for even one minute? Have I ever been truly alone? No. Never. I have always been given more than I deserve. Because I deserve death.

And then on an ordinary Friday motherhood came in a phone call. A baby has been born. You’ve been chosen. Come and get your son. We drove through the plains and over mountains and through a blizzard, and my heart beat a brand new sound: mother love mother love mother love.

At the top of our stairs there was now a nursery; a room where a baby slept. Where a sweet boy was rocked and fed and sang over. He grew, and he grew. He smiled and laughed and walked and talked. He said “mamamamamama,” and “daddy” was his favorite word.

I dared not dream of more. How could this miracle happen again? Why me? Why would we deserve it?

Yes, He whispered. Why NOT you?

“He settles the barren woman in her home, a happy mother of children,” Psalm 113:9.

“This is for you,” He told me. “Remember: I can do anything.”

And on an ordinary Sunday night, much like this one, the phone chimed again. A friend asking, a young woman we know is looking for a family. Can we tell her about you?

Yes, we said again. Yes.

And so she called. And so we met. And so she came to our home and played with our son and we broke bread and watched movies and she took my hand and held it to her belly to feel this baby, a promise come to life, kicking away on the inside. And so we loved her.

And on a November morning, two years to the day we got word that a baby boy had been born, another text message chimed: “My water broke.” I raced to her and stood with her all day. Holding her hand, rubbing her back, encouraging her. The nurses kept asking, “Are you sisters?”

And that night, in darkness, our daughter entered the world.

When the nurse handed me a pink bundle, I whispered in her ear, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Our lives are ordinary. Our toddler watches too many Pixar movies, and our infant daughter wakes up in the night. We fight about what’s for dinner and who got up last with the baby. Our sliding glass doors are perpetually smudged by dog noses and toddler fingers.

But every minute of every day our life is a miracle. (And you know what? So is yours.)

God uses me, the worst of all sinners, so that you might believe.

At a baby shower celebrating this sweet baby girl, friends gathered around us, this tiny flower and me, put their hands on us, and prayed. Let her know You, Lord. Let her understand the sacrifice made by her first mother. Let her laugh and sing and chase after You, oh God. And someone prayed, “Thank you Lord for using Johanna’s life to bring You glory; thank You for Your faithfulness.”

And what I am learning, slowly but mightily, is that my story isn’t about me. It’s not about how God was faithful to me. These children are His. He knit them together in other women’s wombs. He protected them, and for plans that have yet to be glimpsed, He chose Aaron and me to be their parents.

My heart was broken at the thought of never being someone’s mother. I was crushed, and I mourned. I prayed, oh how I prayed, that if His will was for something else that He would plant a new desire in my heart. But He didn’t; instead He allowed that seed to burrow down in waiting and then, oh, how He let it bloom.

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "johanna price: bloom"

  1. suebee says:

    Absolutely precious! A true testament and inspiration of Gods love and your faithfulness. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Rachel says:

    As someone who is actively walking through the process of secondary infertility, your words were like balm to my soul. One of the biggest lies that Satan has tried to tell me through this exhausting, emotional time is that I am alone in this. I know that I am not, but it’s helpful to read posts like yours where it’s clear that I am far from the only women to feel this gut wrenching emotions. I do not want this to define who I am as a Christ follower, wife, and mother. I loved what you said about bitterness, that it tried to grab you like a thief. I have actively been fighting bitterness daily since our journey began. In the past 24 hours, I’ve had two pregnancy announcements and bore witness to a conversation between several women who were planning their third children… their biggest concern being that they didn’t want to “lap” their friends who had only had one baby so far. Oh, to have that be my biggest fertility problem. During those times, I feel bitterness start to grab my heart and squeeze and all I can do is cling to Christ and pray. Christ, His love, HIs goodness, His glory… it’s the only answer to infertility. As you said, why NOT me? My biggest problem, salvation, has been solved. May I cling to that in the hard days ahead. You are a gifted writer and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Rachel, thank you for sharing. I do not have bitterness beat; it's a daily fight! But I never want to miss the amazing blessings I get to share life with every day because I think God owes me something or that I'm "missing out" on something. Keep bringing your hurt and your questions to the cross.

  3. EmmyBoo says:

    What an amazing testimony. Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna. Your children are beautiful, and so blessed to have a mother and a father like your husband who will always treasure them for the precious gift that they are.

    I pray that the Lord will continue to bless your family, and show you and direct you on your path of motherhood. I'm only 19, so I don't know much about it. But I know my sister is only 16 months younger than me, so my mom has told me many stories of having a baby and a little toddler at the same time. I pray that you will stay strong mentally, physically, emotionally, and most of all spiritually so that you can raise your children up in the perfect will of the Father.

  4. LaurenC_ says:

    Johanna, your testimony touched me so deeply and gave me so many things to really think about. I've learned to hold my head up through waiting, suffering, and understanding that my desires may not be in line with His desires for me – and that's okay. But yet there can still be hope. "Why NOT me?" doesn't have to only apply to suffering, it can apply to blessings also. I too have prayed hard & often for God to remove a desire from my heart if it is not part of His will, and yet it remains. You've helped me see that perhaps He wants it to remain because, truly, He can do anything. I'm so blessed today by your testimony. You have a beautiful way of writing.

  5. Beth Anne says:

    Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous.

    Thank you for those words. It's like you've known how I needed to hear them.

    1. Thank you BA. xxoo.

  6. Abby says:

    Johanna, I read your story last night as I was headed to sleep, and it literally brought me to tears. I am about to graduate from college and for the past 9 months I have been looking for a job. And over the past 9 months God has continually shut doors and has yet to provide me with that security post-graduation that I so want. It has been a journey for God and I wrestling, and your comments about the temptation to be bitter rang true for my life.

    Psalm 27:14 has become my anthem: "Wait for the Lord, be strong and courageous, wait for the Lord". Thank you for your willingness to share and your love for this community!

    1. Abby, yes! Be strong & courageous. Thank you for sharing. Do whatever you can to fight off bitterness; it will choke out all your joy.

  7. Suz says:

    Wow! The testimony of your journey is just as beautiful as your family. I pray God continues to bestow blessings of all kinds on you!

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