Hi everyone! Today I am back with another Inspiring People post. This person inspires me so much, and here is her story:
Joni Eareckson was born in 1949. She loved to be outside and do things like swimming and hiking. One day when Joni was a teenager, she was swimming in the Chesapeake Bay. Thinking the water was deep enough, she dove in head first. She hit her head on a rock on the bottom and broke her neck, becoming paralyzed from the neck down. Joni had to be in rehab for two years, during which time she had many spiritual struggles. Before her accident she was a strong Christian, but now after her accident she doubted her faith in God as she lay useless in the hospital. She had lots of friends who came to visit her, but she needed spiritual as well as physical healing.
One day Joni’s friend Steve came to see her. She was so fed up and angry with God for letting her accident happen that she burst out with questions for Steve like, “Why did God do this to me?”, “If God is so powerful then why didn’t he stop it?” Joni felt like she didn’t deserve to be handicapped for the rest of her life, and she was blaming God. Steve shared a Bible verse with Joni that challenged her thinking. Acts 4 :28, which reads, “They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” If you read a little bit above this passage in the Bible you can figure out that this section is talking about Jesus’ death. Meaning Jesus dying was no mistake on God’s part, or anyone else’s. God knew what was going to happen to Jesus way before it ever happened, and it was for a reason.
This gave Joni the assurance that God allowed her accident for a reason. She soon learned to paints pictures with her mouth instead of her hands and was out of the hospital in a short time. Joni now knows that God’s plan is not always the plan she has in her mind, and she uses her disability to praise God. She is now married and often speaks publicly about her faith.
I find this story inspiring because Joni went through so much, and God never failed to provide what she needed. Her injury did not stop her from living for God and glorifying Him. She went through some very hard emotional and spiritual times as well, but God came out on top. God will always be with us, no matter what’s going on in our lives.
Did you like this story? If you would like to find out more about Joni or read a more detailed version of her story, I recommend this book: Joni: An Unforgettable Story by Joni Eareckson Tata, or this blog post by GirlDefined.