The Story Of April

  • Feb. 20, 2006
  • #6211

Joni shares about a hospital visit she made to April, a young girl who recently broke her neck.

The other week I had to go to the hospital for a check-up - and while Ken was driving me, I started to think, Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute. Joni and Friends received an email from the mother of a young woman named April who just broke her neck; and I think she's rehabilitating in this very hospital I'm going to! Well, I made a phone call and found out - yep, that's right. April was there at that particular hospital. Ken and I got there early. We had time to check it out and find April. And sure enough, when I wheeled down the hall and turned into the occupational therapy department, there this woman was. I wheeled up beside her. April was sitting slumped in a wheelchair, her occupational therapist was working on her arm; and April was just crying her eyes out. And sitting next to her as she was sniffing back tears, I was struck by the memory of the time when I, too, used to spend so many hours in rehabilitation crying - just like April. Like her, I just could not absorb the news that my doctor was telling me, that I would never ever walk again. So sitting there in OT, I took a deep breath and breathed a prayer and I told April, "Honey, I've had been praying for you." And she looked at me and said through her tears, "Oh, Joni, please, I'm so glad you came but when am I going to be normal again? When am I going to be normal?"  

After I left the hospital that very day, I got back to the office and wrote April a letter. And I have since followed up with a couple of telephone calls and cards. But still, her family and April is hoping that she'll be normal. 

 And you know, her story is so much like ours, isn't it? Oh, we go through some horrible accident, or we receive a bad medical report, or there's a death in the family, or a divorce, or our marriage turns sour, we begin struggling with pain and we cry and we wonder when things will be normal again. We just can't seem to absorb the news that things have changed, that things are different, that things won't ever be quite the same. 

I have news for April, and I have news for you. She is normal. And for all of your heartaches, you are normal, too. Because you are like everyone else, you are normal in a very abnormal world filled with suffering and disappointment, heartache, disease and death. If you, like April, have experienced any one of these trials, then please know, friend, that's normal. Even Jesus said that in this world you would have trouble, but be of good cheer, take heart! Christ has overcome the world and the peace that He gives you and that He gives April (and I know her heart will soon experience that peace) - the peace Jesus gives in this abnormal world reeling under the weight of the curse, His peace will more than suffice for all that you have lost. It's because His peace is super normal; it's out of this world.  

If you are suffering, friend, you are not abnormal. That's the way things are in a world that is under the curse. And until Jesus comes back to lift that curse and wipe away the pain, His peace is enough. Even for April.

© Joni and Friends

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