My High School Reunion

  • Jan. 3, 2018
  • #9308

Listen to Joni share about her 50th high school reunion and how you can inspire your friends by confidently expressing your faith in Christ. 

Joni high school headshot

Hi, I’m Joni and I just got back from my high school reunion.

Yep, it was my 50th high school reunion (can I possibly look that old?) and it was quite something to see so many classmates from homeroom, chemistry, geometry, physics, and physical education — especially schoolmates who were into choir and athletics. And as you can imagine, at our reunion, we all brought with us lots of old photos from high school days. And believe me it was so surreal to look at photos of me on my feet, photos I had never seen before of me playing field hockey with my hands wrapped around a hockey stick. I tell you it filled me with such wonder, because so, so many years have passed since I felt my hands hold things, or felt my legs walk or run, bend or stretch. But looking at those yellowed photos, honestly, I felt no pangs, no remorse, and no regrets at all. Looking at those photos, it almost seemed like the young girl with blonde hair on the hockey field was somebody else, a different person — it’s been so long since high school. No, I didn’t feel sorry that I was no longer on my feet; I just felt a wondrous fascination. And each photo was a reminder that as it concerns time; I am SO MUCH closer to heaven than I am to those days when I was on my feet. It hit me afresh that I am heading for heaven!

It also struck me as I looked around at the room of people, all of them either with a bottle of beer or a glass of wine or a yearbook in their hands, it struck me that most of these friends, unless they embrace Christ, will perish — and, oh, my goodness, that weighed heavily on my heart. One old friend who had in earlier days professed Christ as her Savior told me that all that was water under the bridge. She believes in karma now and only in what can be scientifically proved.

Still, it was so heartwarming to be with all my old school friends. Nowadays, there aren’t many people around who knew me before I became a quadriplegic, but given that my diving accident was only a few weeks after high school graduation, this group of men and women at my reunion, they remembered me well. They have followed my life, and have heard about what I do among people with disabilities around the world. Even though most of them do not embrace Christ, they still consider me an inspiration. Which is why I kept thinking of that wonderful verse from the Bible “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” With that in mind, whenever I was greeted at the reunion and was asked how I’m doing, I was quick to reply “Oh, I’m grateful to God for my good health; and that it's all a gift from Jesus Christ.” The way I figure, with a smile, and speaking confidently about Jesus, and then seeing my wheelchair … well, unbelievers can connect those dots. And hopefully they will remember that encouragement when they fall on difficult times, or experience disability.

As my husband, Ken and I left the reunion, we earnestly prayed for all those classmates, and when I got home, I followed up with notes of encouragement and a couple of newsletters about our ministry, just to keep the conversations rolling with these folks. And you know what? It’s all a reminder for you. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so. So today, find creative ways that you can speak confidently about Christ to everyone you meet, because we want to see those old friends and neighbors at the grand, heavenly reunion at the feet of our Lord. It will only happen if you say so. When you have a chance today, drop by joniandfriends.org.

© Joni and Friends

 

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