The Day That Changed Everything

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • July 30, 2014
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media

Joni on a stryker frameJoni: An Unforgettable Story

Today, 47 years ago, I took a reckless dive into shallow water – it was a fateful dive which completely altered my life. At first, when doctors told me I would be a quadriplegic, I sank into a deep depression. Thankfully, Christian friends were praying and, eventually, I began to take a closer look at the Bible to see what God had to say about my plight. I learned that the God of the Bible is not sometimes sovereign. He does not occupy the throne one day and vacate it the next. He is supremely in charge (often for purposes we cannot understand the side of eternity). But as we trust Him, some of those purposes can become plain. And for me, His purpose has meant giving the love of Christ to thousands of people with disabilities here and abroad. That is worth decades of life in a wheelchair. The Joni book details much of the story (share it with a young reader this summer). And remember, the difficult season in which you find yourself may puzzle you, but it does not bewilder God. He can and will use it for His purpose.


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Joni, I first got well acquainted with your story this year when reading some of it with a couple of my students at the school I taught at. It was inspiring, but as I wasn't deeply suffering, it only partly resonated. I think that it wasn't too long after that that I downloaded A Place of Healing off of the internet. To be honest, I wasn't overly interested in it at the time, but I just downloaded it because it was available for free. Little did I know that I'd be in the physical position I am now only months later. Without providing unnecessary details, it's been an extremely trying time as I've been fighting and often losing battles against a nasty disorder. I am a sporty young man that likes to be tough and sang-froid in the midst of difficulties, but this has about put me to the limit. Your book, with its realistic yet faith-filled approach has been a blessing and a reminder that I have a sovereign, faithful God. I know you must get a lot of requests for prayer, but if you don't mind praying for me once, that would be much appreciated. Thank you and may the Lord continue to use you and sustain you.
  • Aug. 2, 2014
  • 2:19 p.m.
  • NB
Hi, I'm currently reading your book, "Joni & Ken". Thank you for sharing your story. God bless both you both as well as your ministry!
  • Aug. 2, 2014
  • 8:24 a.m.
  • Rosemary Gaynier
Thanks Joni for you ministry. A little over a year and a half ago, my daughter and I read your book. She was 12 at the time. She was struggling with ill health and depression. She wished to write to you and you honoured that by writing back within a week or so. A real blessing. Last year was rough for all of us, but by God's grace, our Jess is so much better. God bless. Paul LOOYEN.
  • Aug. 2, 2014
  • 7:24 a.m.
  • Paul LOOYEN
Joni, thank you so much for your courage and inspiration. Most of all, thank you for always giving the honor and glory to our Heavenly Father.
  • Aug. 1, 2014
  • 11:37 p.m.
  • Ruth Ann Turner
Joni, you are such an encouragement for me to never give up to my physical limitations. Post-polio syndrome keeps me in pain and my legs often don't want to work, but God has given me a joyful heart and His Word is my strength.
  • Aug. 1, 2014
  • 9:45 p.m.
  • Sharon Woodard
I have a special needs son who will be 28 in October. He is the apple of my eye. You Joni have encouraged me so much throughout my son 's 28 years. I get your devotions every week. So uplifting. You have been given so much wisdom from God. I remember reading all your books about your early life. Also about you telling God you wanted a closer walk with him & shortly after your accident happened. You touch so many lives & probably don't hear a lot about that. May God continue to use you in many ways & we know his grace is sufficient for today ! God bless you my sister in Christ.
  • Aug. 1, 2014
  • 6:55 p.m.
  • Donna
I too have a day that changed everything, my day was Oct. 23, 1995. I had emergency brain surgery that left me disabled. I was very depressed also but watching and hearing about you helped me realize that my life was not over. I want to thank you Joni for all you have done and continue to do
  • Aug. 1, 2014
  • 6:47 p.m.
  • Beth
Joni, Your story has inspired me for over thirty years. Your joy despite your ongoing difficulties is the essence of Christlikeness. Thank you for following Him so closely and being an example to His followers worldwide!!!
  • Aug. 1, 2014
  • 5:30 p.m.
  • Evie
My Aunt Hilda gave me her book when I was in High School, in the 70's. I was involved in my youth group and used her book as an example of how God can, and does answer prayers. That anything can and should bring glory to Him. And have used her book over the years with different churches over the years. I am sorry this happen, but so glad Joni was strong enough through Christ to share her story. Thank you!
  • Aug. 1, 2014
  • 12:58 p.m.
  • Becky Pound
Great reminder Sovereignty of God is not popular, but it is true.
  • Aug. 1, 2014
  • 9:44 a.m.
  • Michael Fowler
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