On Thursdays for the foreseeable future, I will be showcasing the stories of great women of faith throughout history. This will include biblical women and other historical figures as well as women still doing great work for the kingdom today. My goal with this series is to introduce you to women doing big things in the name of Jesus to inspire you to relentlessly pursue your own calling, whatever that may be.
I first heard of Joni Eareckson Tada when my dad introduced me to her as a little girl. She was the first woman who came to mind when I decided to start this series. She has shown such incredible faith and perseverance throughout intense and difficult suffering. She is an amazing example to all of us.
Joni had a fairly normal childhood. She grew up happy and healthy in a home that loved and supported her. However, one day in 1967, she was involved in a tragic diving accident that left her as a quadriplegic and unable to use her hands. She spent 2 years in rehab, but emerged with a strong faith and reliance on Jesus. She knew that she was going to be able to use her situation for God’s glory.
“He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The most intense the pain, the closer his embrace.”
Joni has chosen to spend her life writing and speaking about God’s goodness. She’s written over 50 books, and serves on countless disability ministry & organizational board, including the National Council on Disability and the Disability Advisory Committee for the U.S. State Department. She runs an organization called Joni & Friends that is the leading disability ministry in the U.S.
Through her books and her countless speaking engagements, Joni constantly uses her influence to share the Gospel. She has some of the best responses for why God allows suffering that I have ever heard. She truly sees God’s goodness through all of this, and knows that he holds her fast.
I encourage you to read more about her journey, and would highly recommend her most famous book, The God I Love.
“We will stand amazed to see the topside of the tapestry and how God beautifully embroidered each circumstance into a pattern for our good and his glory.”
“Heartache forces us to embrace God out of desperate, urgent need. God is never closer than when our heart is breaking.”
“Only God is capable of telling us what our rights and needs are. You have to surrender that right to him.”
“This paralysis is my greatest mercy.”
(Biography Source: Joni & Friends)