Heroines of History: Joni Eareckson Tada

“He has chosen not to heal me, but to hold me. The more intense the pain, the closer His embrace.” 
 –Joni Eareckson Tada

Here at Bloom!, it is our heart’s desire to encourage young women to heed Jesus’ call to share the gospel and live a life worthy of the calling we receive from God.  It is not an easy thing to do in present times, but Heroines of the Faith show that no matter what country or decade we live in, all Christians go through trials, persecution and refining moments that help mold us to be more like Christ.

It is our hope and prayer that in spite of the many discouragements we face, day to day, that we are reminded of 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 which says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” We have featured various women who all featured an aroma of grace and intense desire for our Lord, Jesus Christ, and I thought it would be an encouragement to read about Joni Eareckson Tada.

Joni was born in 1949 in Baltimore, Maryland and grew to be a vivacious and adventurous girl. As a teenager, she had a love for horses, hiking and swimming. When she was 17 years old, she suffered an accident while diving into the Chesapeake Bay, and became a quadriplegic as a result. During rehabilitation, she suffered a myriad of emotions from anger, depression, doubts and suicidal thoughts. She felt very helpless and questioned a lot on God and His will for her life. God used prayers and His word to lovingly turn Joni from her depression and despair.  She prayed, “Oh God, if I can’t die, then show me how to live” and God’s answer was to brighten her hope and to heal her heart slowly.

Through this, Joni started her recovery and learned to paint using a brush and her mouth and began selling artwork. She has written a lot of books and has recorded musical albums as well.  In 1979, she founded Joni and Friends, which is a Christian ministry that reaches out to those who suffer from disabilities around the world. One of the many ways they do it is by refurbishing wheel chairs and donating it to people in developing countries where children or adults are able to receive the chairs. She has been featured on the radio and on television and has shared the gospel on numerous occasions.

Her life is a present encouragement to all of us, whether we are going through physical disabilities or illnesses or we are facing the often heavy load of day to day life. We are constantly reminded that we can do all things through Christ who alone can give us strength for the day to day (Philippians 4:13).

Dearest Bloom! Reader, how has God used pain and suffering in your life to perhaps mold you or turn you back to Him? We would love to hear your stories on how God works. Also, if you need prayer, please write us. We would love to pray for you and talk with you. May God’s peace cover you and comfort you through the day long.


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