Late last night I was talking to my beloved cousin Jen (we are more like sisters than cousins…oh, I just love her). Anyways, she was telling me about her weekend spent at the Grand Ole Opry. She was working at a trade show for her company when she spotted a person whom she has greatly admired for years… Joni Eareckson.
Now, I cannot believe I had not heard this name before, so I asked why she admired her. Then, she told me her story…
When Joni was young, she dove head first into a body of water, misjudging its depth. This caused her to become permanently paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Through this agonizing experience, she has openly shared her struggle with anger, depression, religious doubts, and suicidal thoughts. However, to God be the glory Joni began depending less on her own strength and finding strength in The Lord.
Joni learned to paint with a paint brush in her mouth, sing, write books, and star in movies giving testimony to her life.
Here’s a video….
As Jen and I were talking, I was so taken back by the choice this woman made for her life. Because she most certainly had a choice. She could have either let herself waste away in self-pitty, or she could have handed over her life to God and give Him glory.
I’m sure she cried out to God on many occasions to take this heavy burden away. But, He didn’t. I’m sure she wanted to give up. But she didn’t.
Ladies, how many of us know how she feels? I know I do. I can’t tell you how many times this bible passage from Paul has played in my mind…
“Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. ”
~2 Corinthians 12:7-10
Joni’s pictures and singing wouldn’t speak as loudly as they do if they came from a person who’s body was capable on its own strength. This woman is special beyond words. She has a new admirer…
Whatever it is that we are going through, let us remember this woman. We are all going to face trials- it is promised. But, we have a choice.