In the summer of 1967, Joni Erickson and her sister rode their horses to the Chesapeake Bay to go for a swim. The result was tragic. Joni dived into shallow water, struck her head on a rock and became a quadriplegic. She is paralysed from the neck down.
During two years of often painful rehabilitation Joni learned how to paint with her mouth, and what this disability meant for her faith. At times Joni was angry with God, demanding to know why he let this happen, even at times wishing she hadn’t survived. But in the years since Joni has learned that it is in her weakness that God’s strength can shine through. She has been a source of enormous blessing to people all over the world as she shares the faith that sustains her.
At first Joni found it impossible to reconcile her condition with her belief in a loving God. But one night Joni became convinced God did understand. The catalyst was a good friend who said to her, “Joni, Jesus knows how you feel. He was paralysed. He couldn’t move or change position on the cross. He was paralysed by the nails.” The realization was profoundly comforting. “God became incredibly close to me and eventually I understood that He loves me. I had no other identity but God, and gradually He became enough,” stated Joni. “I prayed for healing and truly believed it would come. The Bible speaks of our bodies’ being glorified’. Now I realize I will be healed; I’m just going through a forty or fifty year delay, and God stays with me even through that.”
Source: Joni and friends website, Joni’s books