Tracy's Testimony

  • Oct. 12, 2018
  • #9510

When trials and suffering change our lives, choose to place your trust in Jesus, who promises the best things are yet to come.

Let me share a word about the people who encourage me.

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and one of those encouragers is my friend Tracy Traylor. Many years ago, she was a freshman at Baylor University working on a degree in design. Tracy was a budding artist and she loved making jewelry; in fact, she planned it would be her career. Her plans, however, took a turn when one weekend she was driving home in a thunderstorm to see her parents. The pavement was slick, her car skidded on the road, and she ended up crashing into a tree. The accident left her paralyzed with very limited use of her hands. It also caused a brain injury which took away her ability to speak. As I shared, that was years ago. And now, decades later, Tracy is still in a wheelchair, still cannot speak but, oh, does she still enjoy her first love – designing jewelry. She gave me a beautiful necklace she created – it has a medallion on it which Tracy imprinted a leaping deer. Why the deer? It’s a reflection of her favorite verse in Isaiah 35, where we are told that one day God will come to rescue us and the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf unstopped, and the lame will leap like deer. Whenever I wear that leaping deer necklace, I pray for my friend Tracy and for the many people with disabilities like her.

In fact, Tracy and I have become email buddies and we jot notes of encouragement to each other all the time. Whenever I see her name in my inbox, no matter what I’m working on, I just have to open her message because I know I’ll be uplifted by whatever she has to say. Like the other day when she sent me this email (by the way, she types with one finger; it obviously takes her great effort to compose a message, just like it takes her hours and hours to fashion one of her amazing necklaces). Anyway, this is what she wrote:

“Joni, I saw this quote and had to share it: “If Jesus heals you instantly, praise Him. If you are still waiting for healing, thank Him and trust Him. Why? Because your suffering is a sermon. [Don’t you love that?] God is going to use your suffering to change others, she said. Or He will use your suffering to change you.” Then Tracy goes on to say, “Joni, I know that you and I have frustrating times, times when we feel like pulling out our hair, but God gives His children a promise that “deers” need to hold onto (and she spells it d-e-e-r ) then she writes in all caps, “THE BEST IS YET TO COME. Isn’t that a great promise? The best is yet to come, Joni. I just wanted to encourage my deer friend in the chaos of this life. Our day is coming!”

Oh friend, can you see the choices that Tracy has made in her suffering? Jesus may have chosen her for the furnace of affliction, but in that, she has chosen Him—to trust and have confidence in Him; this college freshman, active and healthy, who is now paralyzed, cannot speak clearly, and must use a wheelchair. Boy. I tell you what, she has got it right – the best is yet to come. I write about friends like Tracey in my newly revised book “Heaven…Your Real Homewhich is being released this month. And to celebrate this new book, I want to give you a packet of tracts about heaven. Just go to and ask for your free gift, my packet of heaven tracts. One day, there’ll be no more pain, no more tears, no more sorrow or sighing. Hallelujah! Celebrate with me today at Oh, and please know that we at Joni and Friends care about your troubles too. Our staff gathers every morning to intercede on behalf of friends like you who contact our ministry and need a prayer. Again, just write us your prayer request at

© Joni and Friends



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