Celeste's Story

  • Oct. 5, 2018
  • #9505

Celeste does not let cerebral palsy get her down. Her bright smile encourages others, as she exhibits trust that God will meet her needs.

From Deuteronomy Chapter 33 “As your days, so shall your strength be”.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and there are many times when I need the comforting assurance of that verse. From Deuteronomy 33 as my day is, so shall my strength be. In other words, whatever problems I’m facing, whatever hardships and sufferings I might be going through today, God is going to give grace and help in proportion to my need. However low I feel, God will go lower in order to lift me up. No trial is so hard, so awful that help from heaven won’t do – rather, as my day is going, so shall there be commensurate grace and hope and help all from the hand of God.

Oh my goodness, how comforting is that, right? And I often need to be reminded of it when I'm at work, especially at Joni and Friends. And who’s there to remind me of this marvelous truth from Deuteronomy? It’s always my co-worker Celeste. Celeste works as a clerk in our accounting department, and she has a disability—cerebral palsy. I can hear the click-click-click of her crutches as she comes down the hallway. And it always, always brings a smile. If she happens to see the lines of pain or weariness on my face, Celeste is always quick to flash a grin and remind me that God's strength is in perfect measure with my need today and all I have to do is acknowledge it and receive that strength. It comes easily, when Celeste offers her encouragement because life for her is pretty hard. Everyone at Joni and Friends thinks the world of this young woman and the way she handles her disability. Celeste used to work at a movie theater, but one day when Ken and I happened to go to that particular theater to see a film, I noticed this girl handing out 3D glasses and she was using crutches, so I wheeled up and struck up a conversation. We learned that she lived with her aunt and grandmother, and that she was a vibrant Christian. Celeste recognized me and so right then and there I invited her to come and volunteer at Joni and Friends. One thing led to another, and Celeste was eventually offered a job in our accounting department. She is a diligent employee, but she also adds much to the culture of our ministry, given her bright attitude and persevering spirit.

Like I said, life with her disability isn’t easy for Celeste. But she takes her own advice and firmly believes that as her days go, so shall her strength be. As difficult or painful as her day may be, God gives help in proportion to her need. And for all who look on, dear Celeste is a beautiful audio-visual aid of Deuteronomy Chapter 33, verse 25. It’s clear to everybody that looks on: Celeste doesn’t let her disability weigh her down. She trusts that God is going to meet her needs, even when they are desperate. And this young woman is making it; she’s living independently and she’s an asset to our entire team. I’d love for you to visit my radio page today at joniradio.org and enjoy a photo of Celeste that I’ve posted. Whenever I record radio programs, there she is, my friend Celeste sitting in the control room. praying for my lungs, my breath, energy, strength and stamina – radio day wouldn’t be complete without seeing that young woman on the other side of the glass in the control room, even as I'm seeing her now. Hey, Celeste!”

In closing, October is National Disability Employment Month. And if you are an employer, consider hiring workers like Celeste – they enrich the work culture so much. And while you’re at joniradio.org, download your free copy of “Life Transitions,” which will help the disabled young people you know to take those first steps toward independence. Just like Celeste. It all begins at joniradio.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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