Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Inspiration For When Health Issues Get You Down

Joni's First Kayak Ride

For those who may not remember, Joni Eareckson became a quadriplegic in 1967 from a diving accident. She was a teenager at the time. She spent two years in rehab. During this time she mourned the life as it was and accepted life how it was. She wrote an autobiography which detailed her journey through rehab, her anger at what happened to her, her depression, and her doubts in her faith. Later she learned to paint with her teeth, sold musical albums, and starred in a feature film about her life. She married in 1982 and survived breast cancer. Joni survived what life threw at her. Joni did't let her disability define her. She continues to go for it.

Today, was a difficult day for me. I got my methotrexate shot. I was dizzy and had a headache (not a migraine) after the shot. I managed to get to my next doctor's appointment (thank heaven for a daughter that drives). After the appointment, we stopped at the hospital to see a family friend who has a disabling disease. I tried to smile and nod during the visit. My daughter didn't notice the look that passed between the one we were visiting and me. She understood how bad I was feeling. No words were said but she knew. Later, my daughter saw how close I was to passing out and went home. I spent the afternoon in bed. 

My day wasn't the best, however, I refuse to let disability define me. When I am having a bad day, I think of others like Joni Eareckson Tada and her joy in living. Here is what she had to say about her recent kayaking trip with her husband Ken. 

"Family Retreats are always filled with “firsts” for kids or adults with disabilities, as well as parents. And sometimes even Ken and I experience a wonderful “first.” Yesterday they got me into a two-seater kayak and Ken and I had the BEST time. He paddled me out onto the pristine lake amidst the cool and quiet – all I could hear was the lapping of his oars. We drifted in the middle of the lake, overwhelmed and awestruck at God's generosity… at this sweet gift. We always come to Family Retreat praying we will be able to bless others..."

*Pictures and quotes from

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