A Mother's Heart

  • By: Joni Eareckson Tada
  • May 14, 2017
  • 1 Comment
  • Joni's Posts

Joni's MotherNo mother ever likes to see her child suffer—whether it’s being teased on the playground, breaking a leg or, in my case, breaking my neck. When it came to my quadriplegia, nobody felt it more keenly than my mother. Mothers seem to bear the burdens of their children in a way that, well… even fathers don’t quite understand. They feel their children’s pain. Even in early days after my accident, the smallest things broke my mom’s heart. Like hearing the footsteps of my sisters bounding up the stairs to their bedrooms, while I remained in my makeshift ‘bedroom’ in the corner of our living room. Although my mother tried to make it homey, she still grieved that I couldn’t join my sisters. Once I saw her shake her head and say, “I just don’t understand; I don’t get why God allowed this to happen.” She wasn’t resentful against God; she just couldn’t see the good in the accident that altered my life. All she saw was the pain, and what I had lost.

Years later, when she attended a Joni and Friends’ Family Retreat, something clicked. Mother saw scores of special-needs families enjoying themselves—kids with disabilities participating in fun activities, parents enjoying date night, great Bible teaching and prayer. She observed all the joy and healing happening and said in amazement, “Joni, none of this would be happening had your accident never happened!” It was the first time she actually saw the purpose behind my pain.

When it comes to suffering -- especially the suffering of a child -- it’s easy for a mother to think that God’s purposes have been thwarted. But God’s ways are higher than our ways, and Romans 8 is a promise to stand on: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Today is Mother’s Day, a reminder that Lindy Eareckson went home to be with Jesus more than 15 years ago. Oh, if she could only see what Joni and Friends is doing now among the disabled in every nation! Then again, maybe she can. Looking down from heaven’s grandstand, Mother may well be celebrating God’s good purposes not only in her daughter’s life, but in the lives of thousands of young people like that 17-year-old who once broke her neck!

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1 Comment

Joni, My heart goes out to your mother!! As you know my husband Steve is quadriplegic. Thank you for bringing us family retreat and your company for couple's dinner and for giving me hope on this mother's day that our daughter's suffering since that time has a purpose we can't yet see!! Linda
  • May 14, 2017
  • 10:15 a.m.
  • Linda Young-Miller