Jonathan’s Story and “The Voice”

On July 7th, two days after my first son was born, I remember being pushed down the hallway of the hospital with my new baby in my arms headed to the car to take our “family” home. 

It is one of the most joyous moments a mom can feel in her lifetime.  Yet mine was clouded with tears.  I have pictures of me sitting in that wheel chair, with “It’s a Boy!” balloons and gift bags attached to the handle bars.  And in those pictures, if you look past my smile, you see a mother’s worried heart.  My eyes were swollen from crying so much because in my arms was a little boy who couldn’t hear the sound of my voice.  At least that is what I thought. 

You see, Jonathan failed three separate hearing tests in the hospital, and the nurses told us that he would have to have special testing done to see if he could hear.  Unfortunately, the first appointment available for that special hearing test was three months away. 

So when I took my baby home from the hospital, our lives were filled with uncertainties.  

Can Jonathan hear us?  

Will he ever be able to speak?

Will he ever hear my voice say “I love you?”

It was a little too much for this first time mama to handle.  

I have videos of us being at home that first day.  My mom, sister, and other family members had stopped by to bring meals and visit with Jonathan.  My eyes were still swollen from crying.  I remember my mom holding Jonathan and talking to him in her precious loving way.  

“Well, Jonathan, you are just perfect!  Yes. you. are!  You are the most beautiful little boy your Nana has ever seen!” She covered his face with kisses and gently bounced him up in down as she rocked him.  Oh how she loved Jonathan!

I kept thinking, “Jonathan, do you hear Nana?,”  And praying to God that he somehow could. 

Through a series of events, our pediatrician convinced us that Jonathan was fine and didn’t need to take those special hearing tests, only to find out 2 and a half years later that he only had 50% of his hearing and needed to be fitted for hearing aids.  It was quite a roller coaster ride, but we were thankful for the very spirited, happy, and healthy toddler that he was.001

Mom paid for Jonathan to take speech lessons because Cy and I were broker than broke.  I was a stay at home mom, and Cy was a bank teller.  We couldn’t afford to pay attention.  :)   She also helped us pay for doctor’s visits and his hearing aids.  You see, insurance companies do not cover the cost of hearing aids, and my mom wanted to make sure Jonathan had everything he needed!scan0012_thumb[2]

Anytime there was any issue at all with Jonathan’s hearing or his aids, my mom was there.  She adored Jonathan and was always so proud of him.  So when Jonathan began to sing at an early age, mom was even more thrilled!  Especially because Jonathan mostly sang hymns and praise choruses about her beloved Jesus.  :)  Jonathan sang his very first solo when he was almost three.  He sang “Victory in Jesus” a cappella in front of the congregation.  Cutest thing you ever did see, and Mom was there grinning from ear to ear. 

She was also at  Jonathan’s school when he sang his very first “performance” in the talent show.  He sang, “How Can I Keep from Singing” by Chris Tomlin.

Little did any of us know that a little over a year later, Jonathan would be singing Amazing Grace at her funeral, as she requested.  I believe all of heaven opened up that day as my 10 year old son sang with all of his might for his Nana.   It was one of the saddest, yet most beautiful moments of my life, and I will never forget it!  I know that Mom was beaming with grandma pride in heaven as he sang. 

And now, just 6 years later, Jonathan will be singing on one of the biggest music stages of his life.  Y’all, he auditioned for THE VOICE!  

CULVER CITY, CA - OCTOBER 28:  A general view of the set is shown at a press junket for NBC's "The Voice" at Sony Studios on October 28, 2011 in Culver City, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

It has been the most amazing, unbelievable experience, and I am so happy to share it with you, my faithful readers! 

Please tell everyone you know that you have a “friend” who’s son is on The Voice!  Because we are friends, ya know?!

So it has been quite the journey we have been on with Jonathan.  From crying as I held him in my arms as a newborn to cheering for him as his sings in front of millions….

God is so good.   He is so faithful.  

But let me make one thing VERY  clear…even if Jonathan was to have lost all of his hearing, and if he was never able to utter even a single word….I WOULD STILL PRAISE HIM!!

God is ALWAYS good, and He is ALWAYS faithful!

I know in my heart of hearts that Jonathan’s hearing loss was all a part of God’s story for his life.  And what other’s may see as a “disability”, God has used as an “ability” to reach others in His name.  Jonathan loves the Lord with all of his heart, and it is his desire to honor him in his life and to share God’s love with others, in Jesus’ name. 

So if you watch The Voice this season (which you better!) and you see my son on stage, may you enjoy every note he sings, but even more importantly, may you remember his story and be reminded of God’s AMAZING GRACE!



  1. I definitely plan to watch your son on The Voice. And I love knowing the rest of his story! Praying that many will be inspired by his voice and his story!

  2. Beautifully said. Cannot wait to see Jonathan on The Voice. An amazing young man from a wonderful God loving family

  3. I have never watched The Voice but you can know I will be watching tonight!!! I have been following your journey through 2 moves and many family changes. I am honored to be your friend <3. GO Jonathan!!

  4. I know y’all are so proud of Johnathan and what he has accomplished thus far. I get to watch the first hour, so I hope I get to see him. If not, I’ll watch it later. God bless!

  5. I’m watching now! So excited for you all, praising God for this opportunity for Jonathan. Can’t wait to see him!

  6. We never know how we touch other people. I had a not-so-great day, but after reading this blog, I can tell you that I am grateful that you write it and share with us your grace and sweetness. Thank you for all that you don’t realize you do. And thank you for making my evening peaceful. I am excited to watch The Voice this evening. I am blessed and feel so happy that we are friends. XO Dawn

  7. I am waiting & watching for “our” Jonathan…Two people in my family have called to get the time & channel to see him tonight…
    Go Jonathan…….Love & prayers always..

  8. What an amazing testimony of God’s love and plan … the one none of us can ever see … the one that happens only when we walk with Him one step at a time. Go Jonathan! Love you guys!

  9. I don’t watch The Voice but I certainly will be watching tonight. God bless you Jonathan and your lovely family. I am excited for you all. xxx

  10. Will be watching and waiting to see your Jonathan perform on The Voice…a show I don’t watch until now. What a blessing your mom was for Jonathan and your family…tears are still flowing from reading your post. The love she gave will be part of him forever. Gramma’s truely are our angels…

  11. I still remember hearing Jonathan sing the first time at church. It was amazing! A voice that pure is truly a gift from God, especially with his hearing loss. As impressed as I was with his singing, was always more impressed with how polite & humble a boy he was….. Great young man with awesome, God loving & God fearing parents!

  12. Thank you for sharing his story Traci. I have a child with special needs too. What a blessing it is to have been chosen by God to be a momma of a special child. Praying for Jonathan. Hopefully next week he’ll be on :-)

  13. What a beautiful lady your mother was. We don’t get The American voice in Australia , so good luck to your son. I love your blog.😊

  14. What an amazing testimony! God’s faithfulness, Jonathan’s faithfulness in using his talents to glorify Him, your Momma’s faithfulness in her unconditional love for the Lord, you, and your son, & your faithfulness in trusting in Him, even in uncertain circumstances and sharing this with the world-so good! Be blessed! Can’t wait to hear more about Jonathan’s journey. :)

  15. This brings me such joy for you and your family. I’ve only been part of your journey from your blog, but wish you all much success. Love all the posts and am confident that God is listening to and will answer all your prayers. Good luck Jonathan!

  16. Tracy, I do not watch the Voice but will for sure this season!!! Jonathan has gotten so handsome and I love his voice, He is going to do well! This story really touched my heart and made me cry it was so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us. I look forward to your posts always and yes we ARE friends! xo, Deb

    ps Good Luck Jonathan!!!

  17. I’ve always remembered this story. I watched tonight and will tomorrow. I’ve been following all his concerts and the Ky Oprey and always felt he had “it”. I’ve already told everyone about my “friend;s” son, but it’s hard to explain. I really do feel as if I know you and yours. I’ll be rooting for your Jonathan tomorrow, you can count on it.

  18. Enjoyed this beautiful story. Will you be able to let us readers know the night he will be on? I don’t normally watch the voice but would love to watch Jonathan’s performance. Good luck Jonathan. No matter what,God is so good. 😃

  19. Watched him last night…..a very talented performance. WOW, only 50% hearing @birth and look where he is now !! Congrats for ‘making it’ through this first round. I’ll be watching and rooting for him. :-)🎵🎶

      1. Hi Rebecca! He hasn’t aired yet. There are five episodes of the blind auditions, and he will be in one of those. We don’t know which one either. Thanks!

        1. I didn’t think I had missed him but the above commenter not only said she had seen him but he got a chair turn. How strange.

  20. I’ve always been a fan of Jonathan!!
    Hope he will still sing at “Gospel on the Green”
    Great guy, great family!!

  21. Traci,
    I have read your blog for ages. Love it and your faithful witness for Jesus! I know your mom is so proud of you and your sweet family! I will be watching for Jonathan! What a great story! God is so good!

  22. Traci! If you’re still out in Burbank, my brother (Wilmore native & Jess Co grad) works at NBC/Universal, so he’s right there on the lot. I’m sure he and his wife would be happy to help however you need — even a church to visit on Sunday. :)

  23. Go Jonathan! Got it recorded, will be watching soon. So happy for him,what an incredible opportunity to learn the music business. Doesn’t get any better than being noticed by Scott Borchetta. You’re such a great mom Traci!

  24. I was just coming over here to tell you what happened this weekend…. We were at my moms house and I picked up the newspaper and saw Jonathan’s picture and an article about his blinds audition! I live in Harlan (where Jordan Smith is from) so my town is all about the Voice. I was so excited. I told my family I “know” his mom. I told them about his hearing loss because I’ve been a reader of yours for years, and had read about it before. We’re glad we have another Kentucky boy to cheer for this season!! #teamJonathan. (:

    1. Oh my gosh! You are kidding me?! I would love to see that article. Do you still have it? That is so cool! Thanks for cheering him on!

  25. We can’t wait to see Jonathan! It’s being preempted tonight by the Cardinals. I don’t have to tell you how disappointed we will be to miss him for the dang Cards! Thankfully we have a DVR.:)

  26. My son (who LOVES music) and I watched last night hoping to see/hear Jonathan…and we’ll watch again tonight!! It’s funny, my husband chuckled when I said “The son of a friend of mine is going to be on The Voice.” He said, “A friend? Do you actually know her?” HA!! Well, I feel like I know you, Traci! I’m so excited for Jonathan and your whole family!! EEEK!! I can only imagine how proud you are that he’s sharing his gift from God with millions!! Central Illinois is rooting for Jonathan!!

      1. Thank you for confirmation! I had to record last night’s show, but in the recap, I was afraid he auditioned but didn’t make the cut. We gather to watch The Voice at my Mom’s house. I read Jonathan’s story to her. Needless to say, tears flowed. She’s a Jonathan fan before he’s even aired. He’s a 4-chair turner in our opinion already! xoxo

  27. Thank you for sharing, I remember years ago reading a post you wrote about Jonathan and just being so very moved by how God has helped you all with his hearing loss and how he uses the voice God has given him. I am rejoicing in his faith in our Lord Jesus, may God be a shield about him, his glory and the lifter of his head. So very happy for you all and thank you for sharing these joys with us as we also share your sorrows. With love from Sonja

  28. I watched last night and did not see him either!!! Was so looking forward to it. Can someone update us?

  29. I told my husband about my “friend’s” son (I’ve been following your blog for years) being on The Voice and he was eager to watch it too!
    God is faithful…yes!
    Looking forward to watching him tonight!

  30. Exciting! Congrats to him! We’re cheering for him! I wish I had TV so I could watch, but I’ll just have to catch it online. I hope you’ll provide a link once it airs!

  31. So exciting I can’t wait to watch! I have 2 daughters with hearing impairments. Sounds like our stories are similar although my oldest wasn’t diagnosed until she was 5 :-(. Best of luck to Jonathan!!

  32. As you know that we are fans of Jonathan and I have saved all the things you have posted. I keep listening to them. I still cry when I see the ones from Ky Oprey and with the blind piano player. He is in God’s hands. We will be watching with a lot of Kleenex in hand. Our hearts go out to you all and God blessings.

  33. Jonathan’s story touched my heart and brought me to tears. I am so excited for y’all! Praise God for all that He has done!

  34. I can’t wait to see him I know how you feel BC my G son tried out foe american idol I wish him the best of luck

  35. We had the privilege of meeting your precious family about two years ago at the Ky State Fair, where we saw Jonathan compete. We were sitting right behind your family and enjoyed getting to speak with you after the competition. We were all so impressed with him and his obvious love of singing. I was so excited when my friend, who was at the Fair with me that day, shared on FB that he was going to be on The Voice! We will be watching in eager anticipation from Louisville, cheering him on all along the way! Congratulations, Jonathan! God bless you!

    1. That is awesome, Erin! I’m so glad you remembered my boy! :) We are so excited to see his audition finally air. Thank you for cheering him on! :)

  36. Love watching the voice and now I feel like I actually know one of the contestants just from following your blog.

    Wishing Jonathan the best. What an amazing opportunity just meeting all the artists.

    Nana is definitely looking down on you!

  37. I missed the premier, but will be sure to watch next week. It’s always a joy to see young people using their talents to glorify God!

  38. Your story is very inspiring to me right now. My son is 2.5 and the doctors have gone back and forth on if he needs hearing aids or not. The latest as of Monday is yes to aids. This has been devastating for my husband and I but we know God has a plan for Maddox as well. Thank you for sharing.
    PS my lil man loves music too! Maybe in 15 years he’ll be following in your sons footsteps! :)

    1. Jessica, I know how devastating of a diagnosis it can be at first, but I promise you that Maddox will be perfectly fine! :) They have made such huge advancements in hearing technology that he will have better hearing than you! ha! :) I used to tell Jonathan he had “bionic ears” like a superhero and he loved it. Just take it one day at a time. Please email me if you ever need anything.

  39. Wanted to jump up and down and tell people my friend’s son is going to be on the voice. Then I thought, wait, she doesn’t even know me! Ha :) I feel like I know you as you share your heart on your blog. Know that your fellow sister in Christ prays for you and is cheering for Jonathan. Thank you Traci for sharing your heart. You are a blessing to me.

    1. Yes, Darla! We ARE Friends! If you follow my blog, you do know me, so please tell people your friend’s son is on The Voice! Thank you so much for being a faithful reader. God bless you!

      1. Thank you for confirmation! I had to record last night’s show, but in the recap, I was afraid he auditioned but didn’t make the cut. We gather to watch The Voice at my Mom’s house. I read Jonathan’s story to her. Needless to say, tears flowed. She’s a Jonathan fan before he’s even aired. He’s a 4-chair turner in our opinion already! xoxo

  40. I think this is such an amazing story and I will be rooting for him. I’m from Harrodsburg, KY. We support our own ’round here! Good luck!

  41. I am not home Monday evenings so I am unable to watch. Can you please put a link to a sight where we can catch his performance. Thanks and Congrats!

  42. What a wonderful heart touching post for me to read today. Blessed me beyond my beyond to hear testimony about your son’s hearing and how God has been so very faithful. Your mama would be so proud! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  43. I can’t believe it – I don’t usually watch the voice but did see few performances this week and must have missed him. I love the story of how close your son and mother were.

  44. Why u gotta make me cry all the time!!??

    Can’t wait to see ur boy on tv and meet ur sweet mama in heaven! 😍

    Love u guys!

  45. What a beautiful story. I remember reading your posts about your mom in the past, and just saw your post on facebook, I love this beautiful tribute to your son, mostly his love of the Lord. I don’t watch the voice, but I might just have to tune in!

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