Joan Liggin's Story

  • Sept. 26, 2018
  • #9498

Joan’s life changed when she was convicted of her sin, received God’s forgiveness, and followed His direction in humble obedience.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada with a lesson about forgiveness.

It’s also a lesson about obedience, and it starts with my good friend, Joan Liggins. I first met Joan when she came to work at Joni and Friends more than twenty-five years ago. She was a humble woman of prayer who worked diligently in data entry, and everybody grew to love Joan and her sweet spirit. But Joan wasn’t always that way. She grew up in an Italian home in New York where cursing and screaming were always punctuated by slammed doors. At school, Joan was constantly being sent to the office for picking fights. She’d steal small items from the 5 and 10, then larger things until she was arrested. That only stoked her fire. She’d tell lies and flirt at her older brother’s drinking parties, and she was outraged when her parents finally moved the family to California in order to get out of New York.

Joan was drawn to a quiet, shy boy in school; it wasn’t so much that she liked him, but that she felt she could control him. They dated and shortly after high school graduation, Joan found herself pregnant. She married John without a hint of love in her heart. Joan was not good at raising their little girl, Renee. It was a repeat of the way her parents treated her, yelling, demanding, and slapping. She found release at a job and struck up a friendship with a guy in programming. Occasional lunches led to secret rendezvous in hotels. And before you know it, Joan was back to her old ways. She demanded a divorce from John. Her husband, shy as he was, dropped his head and conceded. From there Joan dived into the relationship with her co-worker which always ended in more drinking and parties. She knew she was hitting rock-bottom. Thoughts of ending it all filled her mind, until her cousin called and invited her to church. She didn’t want to hear from a self-righteous preacher and his rules and regulations, but when they went that Sunday evening, Joan was deeply convicted. The Baptist preacher said, “I am here to tell you that ‘This is the love of God: in that while we were yet a sinner, Christ died for you.’” He went on to explain: God is the Father running down the road to embrace the prodigal before He has spoken a word of contrition. That night when Joan opened up her heart to Christ, she knew she had been transformed. And that night Joan felt the chains of sin literally break and fall away, leaving her feeling fresh and free. Before that Sunday night was out, she knew what she must do.

She must remarry her ex-husband. A man she did not love. And so she did, all because of her love for God. Unbelievably, John agreed to remarry the woman who left him and his daughter. Joan saw her choice as a reflection of Proverbs 14 where it says, ‘The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down.’ Joan knew she had been that woman and she began praying for her husband and daughter, wanting to build her house; learning afresh and anew how to be a good wife and mother.

Now, this is quite a story of forgiveness, but as I said, it is also a story of obedience. Humble and soft-spoken Joan has now been married to John nearly fifty years, and you have never met a more devoted wife. Her husband has not yet come to Christ, but that only energizes her prayers. Find out more about forgiveness and obedience by going to joniradio.org today and asking for our free offer, a booklet I have written called “When God Seems Unjust”. And while there, take a look at a video that I have shared on forgiveness. It’s all there for you at joniradio.org. God bless you today and thanks for listening to Joni and Friends.      

© Joni and Friends

 

 

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