Follow Me as I Follow Christ

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • June 18, 2017
  • Joni's Posts

Joni and her dadFather’s Day always makes me reflect on how grateful I am for my dad, especially for the way he handled pain. When I was growing up, I always knew my father suffered from very bad arthritis (he often injured his joints in his early wrestling days). Rarely would I see him grimace, but if he did, it was only for an instant, then he’d continue with his trademark smile. As a proud daughter, I loved his attitude. But after I broke my neck, I needed my father’s example. His approach to pain inspired me to do as he did: grimace at the hardship, then gather myself and trust God. It was my way of imitating my dad.

If you are a parent who deals with physical pain, you have a huge impact on the way your children handle suffering. If you respond to your trials and disappointments with grace, humility, and trust in God, your children will have a powerful example to follow. It’s what I Corinthians 11 means when it says, “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.” It’s no secret that children imitate their moms and dads, so bear up well under your trials. Little eyes are watching and imitating.


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This blog post is wonderful. This post reminds me that my Father, from a very different generation, really struggles with something that disables-and he can't even see it! I think in his day, there was very little diagnosing, until MRI's came along. My Father is a stoic German, and raised us to be self-reliant, hard-working, and never give up. Telling him I stopped working due to MS was harder than any hardship I've had from the disease. "It feels good when it stops hurting...pull yourself up by your boot straps" is what I remember hearing over and over. I think he said at one point, "just put that MS stuff behind you" How I wish!! But you know, he may not understand at all, but I know he loves me. Whatever I was raised with, was much more of so for him on a German farm! Now he texts me to make sure I'm keeping busy, (which I am with the Essentials of Daily Living" that now consume my days) but I will spare him the details, reassure him I'm "busy", and thank God for a Father that provided for his family, and raised us to love the Lord. We were in the House of God every week-priceless!
  • June 19, 2017
  • 6:11 p.m.
  • Becky Schaar
Joni, this is a sweet picture. Is this your Dad? You are such an inspiration to so many. God Bless You. That song "Alone, Yet Not Alone" is so beautiful, I still cry when I hear it, and really enjoyed the movie.
  • June 18, 2017
  • 3:49 p.m.
  • Sharon