48 Years as a Quadriplegic

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • July 30, 2015
  • Joni's Posts, In the Media, Video Archives

In 1967, a reckless dive into shallow water completely changed my life. I was only 17 and doctors were telling me I would never be able to use my hands or legs again. Those were dark days back then — days filled with anger towards God; days when I would tell my sister, “Just close the drapes, turn off the lights, shut the door and leave me alone.” I didn’t want to live. I wanted to die.

Forty-eight years have passed since then, and I am still no expert at quadriplegia. But the despair, the depression? With the help of Jesus, I no longer abide in thoughts of darkness. Instead, I surrender those thoughts and fears to The Man of Sorrows, every morning asking Jesus to show me how to live. And on this day, I thank Jesus — yes, I truly do — for all that He has done through almost half a century of quadriplegia and paralysis. It’s why I love sharing my story, like I did in this interview with Eric Metaxas, because I can encourage others with the same comfort I have received from the Lord (2 Corinthians 1). So, please, join me in giving praise to God for this very special day — and then pass on the encouragement by sharing this video.

Would you like to mark this milestone with Joni?


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Always so very authentic and inspirational.Praying for your Ministry,Marriage,and His Grace to cover and hold you,through it all...with Love and admiration,your Sister in Christ,Sue Powell
  • July 30, 2015
  • 10:52 a.m.
  • Sue Powell
I love you Joni. I am 48 years old. You have been my hero since I was a teenager. I love you so much. God has used you in a miraculous way. I can't wait to see you running in Heaven.
  • July 30, 2015
  • 10:45 a.m.
  • Melinder Caudell
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