This week on Beauty Is Rising, Kelli speaks with Johanna Cannelongo.
Johanna is a mama of 8 children – 4 naturally and 4 “supernaturally” by the gift of adoption. She lives in Maryland on a little farmette with her husband and family. Her husband can only be described as funny and kind, and super patient with Johanna’s obsession with all things furry and feathered. Majority of Johanna’s time is spent giggling and playing with her babies, but she can also be found gardening, in the barnyard or at her computer writing.
Each day is lived chasing joy while pushing forward in faith after the loss of their little girl, Gianna Lilyfaith. Johanna and her family desperately miss Gianna, and live with half of their hearts in Heaven. Gianna has taught her and her family so much about being brave, keeping faith and making space for co-existing joy and sorrow that fill each moment.
“Jesus is our LIVING HOPE and hope saves us every day.”
Johanna referring to the donations that were sent to the same agency in China Gianna came from after Gianna had passed away just a month before. These donations were donated to a girl with the same heart disease Gianna had.
“That is light right there like that is straight up light in the darkness. And to see how your baby’s life is being poured out into another one’s life immediately it is God.” [ Johanna 3:04 ]
“ … I felt like the Lord was ripping our hearts open saying there are more miracles, Gianna’s miracles are not done. And I want you to not miss them. So keep your heart open and we didn’t know anything else.” [ Johanna 3:08 ]
“You don’t run from hard because there is there is joy in the heart. And if you run from the hard you miss the joy that’s on the other side.” [ Johanna 18:32 ]
“ … He is lifting you and showing you this incredible glory he wants to reveal within the depths of your pain, and you can’t help but to be drawn to it because that is light and that is where you want to run when you’re in the thick of darkness. And he took the deepest pain the deepest loss of our lives, and he gave us a heart that was even more broken for the orphan and even more convicted to live for eternal gain.” [ Johanna 24:10 ]
“Thank you God that your goodness chases us down. That you hunt us down with your mercy and your loving kindness in the valley of the shadow of death. You don’t stop …” [Johanna 36:20 ]