Just found out that Joni Eareckson Tada internationally-beloved disability advocate, artist and quadriplegic, was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had the privilege of meeting her a while back at an event that I was singing at and where she was speaking.
When she was 17, a diving accident left her a quadriplegic. This means, she can’t use her arms or legs and has to wear an extensive upper body brace to keep her upright. After surrendering her life over to God, she began to turn her trial into an opportunity, as she founded an organization called Joni and Friends to increase ministry to the disabled community throughout the world. She has appeared twice on the Larry King Live show, worked with Condolezza Rice, written 35 books, had a featured film made about her life and has become a highly sought after painter. (she holds the brush with her MOUTH!)
I was shaken to hear this morning that she was recently diagnosed with cancer. As if she didn’t have ENOUGH to deal with health-wise as it is! The reason that I share all this with you, though, is because of how blown away I was at her response to the diagnosis. Not only is it beautiful, it demonstrates faith, trust and hope that I don’t want you to miss.
In response to her diagnosis she said: “I’ve often said that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, who loves us and wants what is best for us. So, although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me,” she said. “Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken (her husband) and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope and strengthen our witness to others. For years I have hoped that my quadriplegia might encourage people struggling with cancer … now I have a chance to truly empathize and journey alongside, affirming that God’s grace is always sufficient for whatever the disease or disability.”
WOW. Really take in her words and response for a moment. Try to imagine what it would be like to be in her shoes… and then imagine her words coming out of your mouth. Does it even seen possible?
With the Lord, all things are possible. With the Lord, we are strong in our weakness. With the Lord, even the hopeless have hope and a future.
I was just really impacted by her words this morning and wanted to share them with you. I pray that I could have the same kind of attitude as difficulties flood into my own life. May her words remind us all of the purpose in our pain and the beautiful plan that the Lord has to work it for our good<3
Find out more about Joni here: http://www.joniandfriends.org/