Cardboard Testimonies

On Easter Sunday, we were blessed to participate in cardboard testimonies at our church. If you’ve never seen (or heard of) cardboard testimonies, you can see an example here. It’s an incredibly moving presentation of people sharing something God has done for them, or something God has helped them overcome.

Our testimonies are powerful.

Here is Chad and my younger son, Logan with their original cardboard pieces.

Cardboard Testimonies

When Logan was born, I was only allowed a brief moment with him before he was taken away to the NICU because of complications. I’d been scheduled for a c-section that Friday, but the Sunday morning before, I went into labor. He hadn’t been very active since the day before and it turned out it was because he was in distress. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck multiple times and he’d passed meconium in utero and had complications from that. Doctors said if I hadn’t gone into labor on my own, his life probably would have been over before it began.

At 5:00 am the day after he was born, a doctor came into my room:  “Your baby is having seizures.” This doctor was trying to help my son and had no time for bedside manner. He immediately went into a litany of tests being performed, possible diagnoses and complications.

I won’t lie, I was scared.

100_2590

 

The seizures continued and later that day, Logan was transferred to a nearby hospital with a better NICU and access to a better neurology department. I chronicled our week-long journey in real-time. But in the end, I sat in the NICU holding my newborn Logan while a neurologist told me that my baby had brain damage. They couldn’t say for sure if it happened in utero or at birth, but it was there. He said the damage was similar to what would be caused by a stroke and that if an adult suffered such damage there would be no hope. They would be a vegetable or dead.

He kept saying “we can’t know how bad it will be, only time will tell.” He said worst case is that my son would be in a vegetative state, require constant care for the rest of his life, might never be aware of his surroundings, never be able to speak, never able to recognize me as his mother or tell me he loves me. He might never walk or talk. He might have cerebral palsy. The list of potential problems and complications was seemingly endless and severe.

The hope offered was that sometimes a baby’s still-forming brain can compensate for such a loss. The best case scenario was that he’d have milder learning or physical disabilities.

As I cried into my baby’s sleeping head, clutching him tightly to my chest, I wanted this doctor to tell me it might be okay. I said “So the other parts of his brain might compensate so that you can’t even tell anything’s wrong?”

He was quick to correct me. “No.” This damage is there, and it is permanent. The only thing we don’t know is exactly how badly his life will be affected. It might not be very bad. But, he assured me, my son would have some sort of disability.

When I relayed this to others, I would put on my happy face, and I would dress it up. I would leave out the worst case scenario and focus only on the best. But I was there, alone in the moment when the doctor happened to come, and I will never forget the scary and uncertain prognosis delivered to me that day.

It was a waiting game.

But then he started to laugh.

Logan

And he started to roll over, sit up, and crawl.

100_4620

And he started to walk at 10 months of age.

100110_1763

At 18 months, he recognized all his colors, even though he couldn’t really talk yet.

Logan

And at 2 years old, a switch seemed to flip and he went from not talking at all to speaking in full sentences, almost over night.

Logan

And slowly we watched our little boy grow, meeting or exceeding every developmental milestone.

Logan's Testimony

And on Sunday we were able to share the rest of the story in the form of a cardboard testimony:

Cardboard Testimony

 As he grows, I can share more and more.

At 4 years old, he started to read. And at 5 years old , he is reading on a 3rd-4th grade level.

IMG_2885

 

He is full of life and continues to run and jump and play like any other 5 year old.

DSC_0805

Comments

  1. says

    Cardboard testimonies always make me cry, but yours especially. Oh, Crystal, wow! Praise God! And I can’t imagine the fear in his infancy . . . bless you.

  2. says

    Thanks for sharing this! I have never heard about cardboard testimonies before but I like the video and this story you just shared. It’s amazing what faith and prayer can do. Congrats on a healthy little boy :)

  3. says

    Wow! I am in tears not because I am surprised at what our God did but just at the testimony of faith and so many people doubt God. STOP putting God in a box and expect what he has already done for us on the cross!

  4. Kristen says

    I don’t even know you and this was an emotional read for me lol! I’m so happy for you that your baby is growing and developing and even more, that you had faith through such a trial! Praise God, who is able to do abundantly more than we can ask or think! Eph 3:20

  5. John says

    Maybe I’m getting old, maybe it’s because I have a 3 year old, maybe God is simply melting my heart. I cried with Joy at this. Praise God for making us this way!

  6. Elena says

    Reading your story was so wonderful and very emotional because I went through a similar situation with my youngest child. She became stuck en utero (five minutes between head and body delivery) and needed to be resuscitated (no heartbeat). She didn’t have an APGAR until she was 23 minutes old. Her cord blood was tested and the level of oxygen was about as low as it could get which indicated severe oxygen deprivation. My husband and I were told that she’d likely have brain damage and that they couldn’t predict the extent of it until she was around two years old. She could have cerebral palsy, she could never walk or talk, etc., yet she met those milestones every single month and when she was 11 months old, she smiled at me and said, “I wuv vu.” LOL, I nearly fell off the bed I was that shocked! Now, that was either, “I love you” or “I love food” but it didn’t matter; she said something and from that point on, she kept talking. It’s amazing what God can do! Amazing!

    BTW, your little boy is just adorable. :-)

    • Crystal says

      Elena, thanks so much for sharing your story! God is still in the miracle working business! And, how sweet that one of your daughter’s first phrases was “I love you”!

  7. lostinavalonor says

    Wow…thank you Jesus! What an awesome blessing! I’ll be sharing this at my Homemaking party tonight.

    Blessings,
    Mrs. Sarah Coller

  8. Tesha Papik says

    Oh Tears….. I found you from a link up. My third son was diagnosed to have brain damage while I was pregnant, we were terrified. He is now a healthy 8 year old doing great! Beautiful story!

  9. Tara says

    I too was in tears reading your story. We just went through this very thing in January. Our son was born not breathing and blue. He was on a cooling mat for 3 days, but did show some spots of damage on his brain. The doctors didn’t give a grim prognosis, but they did say “wait and see”. So far he is 2 months old and smiling and cooing tons! Each milestone is so precious and such an answer to prayers. He is our miracle. Seeing your little guy gives me even more hope for the future. God is good.
    Thanks for sharing.

    • Crystal says

      Thanks for reading, Beth! It’s definitely something to remember when my faith is shaken because of other things, it’s great to go back and remember God’s faithfulness.

  10. Jane says

    I never heard of cardboard testimonies before, but I love it!! Rejoicing with you!! Praising God that He pays no attention to scientific diagnoses!! Thank you so much, God, for the miracle you performed in this family!! Tears of joy and gratefulness!!

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Thank you, Jane! Now that he is 5, we could add even more awesome things :) Yes, so glad that God is bigger than a doctor’s prediction.

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

Thank you for joining in the discussion!