"I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace." Acts 20:24

To Tell of His Grace

Monday, April 24, 2017

Fearfully Obeying....P.A.

One thing we know for sure at this point in our journey as Christ followers ~ our lives are not our own!!! And we are SO very thankful for that!!! HIS WAYS ARE ABOVE ALL and we have seen that time and time again as we have stepped out of our comfort zones and into the comfort of His loving arms.

About a year and a half ago I had a dream. A very real-seeming, vivid dream where I woke up and knew in my spirit that God had spoken to me. I was in a room in China and being walked towards a woman with a baby boy in her arms. He was all bundled up in almost like a snow suit and all I could really see was his sweet & adorable face. As I got closer I knew instinctively in my dream that this was our child. I began to walk at a faster pace towards him, ready to scoop him into my arms. The woman waved her hand at me saying, "not yet, not yet" and I woke up.

I had an overwhelming feeling that God had just showed me that we had a baby boy in China! I told Brodie and we just kind-of laughed it off......after all, we were in the THICK of praying through one of the biggest decisions (apart from adoption) that our family has ever made ~ moving to Haiti for the remainder of Kaleb and Khloe's adoption.

We moved on and continued to seek God's face regarding His will if we should move to Haiti. Ultimately, He made it very clear that He was in fact inviting us to experience His glory by surrendering our fears and desires and following Him to Haiti....which is exactly what we did a year ago. It was one of the scariest and hardest things our family has done but WOW did we experience His glory! We had Jesus alone to cling to and what a beautiful time in our lives it was. I look back now and can feel the sacredness of that season. We are so thankful that He invited us on that journey and humbled that He gave us courage to say YES!

We entered into a season of integrating Kaleb and Khloe into our family....teaching them what family is and learning yet again to lay down our lives and let Jesus' love flow thorough us to bring healing and wholeness to their precious hearts. Our new normal began to develop and I honestly didn't even really remember having that dream. Until.......

A few months ago I had another dream.....and I'm really not a big "dream" person. In fact, I rarely remember my dreams at all. I believe that Jesus desires to speak to each one of us. Especially those of us who call Him Lord and have become His children (John 1:12). He speaks in many different ways; sometimes He speaks through other believers, sometimes through His Spirit living inside of us, and He also speaks through His Holy Word. I have friends who often feel the Lord speaks to them through dreams and I can think of many times in the Bible where the Lord speaks to people through dreams - the main one that stands out to me is Joseph, when God shows him that he is to take Mary and baby Jesus to Egypt to flee from Herod (Matthew 2:13). So although I usually don't have vivid dreams like this I had now had 2 where I felt God was revealing something important to me.

This 2nd dream (which was about a year after my first dream) had the very same little boy in it. He looked about a year older but I knew it was the same little guy and I had the exact same feeling in my gut ~ that this was our child. This time I was holding him over my shoulder. I remember that he had a diaper on, and he was FILLED with joy! He threw his dead back laughing and I saw his face - the same boy - and there was something distinct about his right eye. In my dream I kept telling him to look at me with both of his eyes because his right eye seemed to wander a bit.

I woke up....this time I knew God had just showed me our son. I told Brodie. Again he was sure it was just a dream and that there was no way we'd be starting another adoption so soon after moving back home with Kaleb and Khloe :)  So I assumed that I was just to pray for this boy and if he was ours that God would reveal it at the proper time.

Just a few nights later I was laying the 3 littles down for bed and out of no where felt a strong nudge to look at Lifeline Children's waiting list ~ I ignored this prompting at first but kept feeling it so I finally logged on. I scrolled past dozens of adorable faces until I saw one that literally took my breath away! I saw the EXACT face (down to the snow jacket he was wearing!) from my 1st dream!!!  I couldn't believe what I was seeing! I clicked on his sweet little face to read about him......his special need???  Down syndrome.

What??!! Lord, there's no way! We are SO unqualified for that, Lord! Plus, we just got home 8 months ago, we are still bonding and adjusting, we still have days where we're totally over our heads! Jesus, You know we can't handle that!!

I felt His response so clearly in my spirit ~ "You're right, you can't handle a child with Down syndrome. You can't even handle what I've already entrusted to you. It is I who works in you to will and act according to My good purpose. Apart from Me you can do nothing. But with Me, ALL things are possible. "

I knew then and there that He was asking us to love this child and be his forever family ~ He was inviting us to love this child as He loves him. He perfectly knit him in his birth mother's womb for a glorious purpose. For His Glory!

I mentioned it to Brodie......he said he was 10,000% no. Jesus kept pressing this child on my heart. I asked Him WHY I was feeling this child was ours when Brodie was adamantly sure he wasn't. I felt in my heart as if God said, "I can change his 10,000% no to a confident yes in a moment ~ just trust Me." Both of our other adoptions the Lord spoke clearly to Brodie FIRST ~ that was so much easier for me to follow his lead and just trust that Jesus was leading us. Now it was me who heard the Lord first and I found myself doubting everything the Lord was speaking to my heart.

I asked Brodie if we could just request his file to find out more about him. He was fine with that so we did. I opened the file with updated pictures.....in the updated pictures I saw the exact little face I saw in my 2nd dream where his right eye drooped a little ~ again, I couldn't believe it! I felt like I already knew this little boy since the Lord had showed me his face as a baby in my 1st dream and then a year later He showed me what he looks like now in my 2nd dream!

Brodie knew the Lord was clearly doing something by giving me those dreams. He knows that more than anything I ONLY want what Jesus wants and he trusts me to hear from Him. We decided to take a few weeks to fast and earnestly pray & seek God's face. We decided we wouldn't talk about it at all together and only seek God's will. This was something we needed to hear His Voice clearly on and be completely unified in.

The last week of our fasting and praying (that makes us sound super spiritual but really we are just super desperate to only do what Jesus wants and doing some type of fast always helps us seek Him in a deeper way) Brodie and Kennady went to Haiti and Brodie had more time alone with Jesus then he's had in a long time. The Lord very clearly opened his heart and within a week or so of him being home we knew it was the Lord's will to move forward in bringing this sweet boy home!

I love how Brodie processed this all ~ he trusted and knew that Jesus had revealed His will through these two dreams. As he withdrew from his normal, daily routine and had no distractions he knew in his heart that this was God's will.....but as he says, he needed to grieve. He needed to grieve what his plans & dreams were for us in our future. We don't know what our future will look like but we do know that it will be very different now. I admire how he processed and even mourned giving up his dreams and desires for our future. As he says, we don't have to be "excited" right away about what God calls us to...we just have to obey and trust Him to work it all out.

So here we are, qualified only by the Spirit of Jesus living in us, at peace only because Jesus Himself is our Peace, obeying only because Jesus works in us to will and to act according to His good purpose and hopeful only because the God of all hope fills us with joy and peace as we trust in Him!!

Apart from Jesus we can do nothing....but with Him ALL things are possible!!

So without further ado we would like to introduce the newest Johanson.........

Kai James Johanson
We submitted our paperwork last week and already have Pre-Approval!!! We will keep you updated as things progress along :)))


  1. Oh my! What a handsome little guy! Congratulations! We adopted our son who has DS from China 5 years ago and he blesses our socks off every day! Praying your process is a speedy one! Blessings!

  2. OmGOSH! Sobbing! Love you guys!!

  3. Wow!!! Love the back story on this precious boy and that he truly is a dream come true. Love you guys! - Rhonda Schafer

  4. This is just beautiful. I LOVE how God works. And I love you both. Kai as well as the other six are Blessed to have the family they have.

  5. Wow! Loved reading your story! I love your hearts that follow after God's heart! God has a special plan for this young boy! You guys get a front row seat to see it unfold.

  6. WOW! Always a joy to read your blog and see how you seek, trust and obey God's leading; you are truly amazing!!
    Erin Vargas