You may or may not have heard that Joni Eareckson Tada, founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, was diagnosed with breast cancer last month.
A quadriplegic for over 40 years now, she could have responded in anger and self-pity, and no one would have faulted her for it. Instead, she continues to model a tenacious trust in her God, and a desire for His glory to be shown above all else.
You’ll see what I mean as you read her letter below, as well as her post-surgery updates here.
After you’ve read her letter, you may want to listen in on Joni's conversation with Nancy Leigh DeMoss all this week on Revive Our Hearts as they talk about everything from service to suffering to marriage to more . . .
And, please continue to keep Joni in your prayers!
A Special Message From Joni:
June 23, 2010
You have always been so faithful to pray for Ken and me--especially for my health. But today I bring before you a new concern. I have breast cancer. Ken and I have been assured by our doctors that there are many new treatments for breast cancer, and we are very hopeful for a successful surgery and a full recovery.
You have heard me often say that our afflictions come from the hand of our all-wise and sovereign God, and although cancer is something new, I am content to receive from God whatever He deems fit for me--even if it is from His left hand (better from His left hand, than no hand at all, right?!). Yes, it’s alarming, but rest assured that Ken and I are utterly convinced that God is going to use this to stretch our faith, brighten our hope, and strengthen our witness to others . . .
Especially at Joni and Friends. We’ve always prized the ministry God has given Joni and Friends to people facing a variety of disabilities; everything from autism to Alzheimer’s, from spina bifida to spinal cord injury. For years I have hoped that my quadriplegia might encourage people struggling with cancer . . . now I have a chance to truly empathize and journey alongside, affirming that God's grace is always sufficient for whatever the disease or disability.
I will be undergoing tests the rest of this week, after which, I will have surgery on the afternoon of Monday, June 28th. Please pray that the upcoming tests, surgery and subsequent treatment will be successful (thankfully, my quadriplegia has no bearing on either the surgery or the treatment; I'm like any other woman with breast cancer--I simply want to focus my energies on getting better).
Of course, I believe that God can and does heal and I covet your prayers to that end. Most of all, please pray that God will pour out grace-upon-grace on Ken and me. We’ll be posting regular updates on “Joni’s Corner” on our website--also posted here you will find an article called “Don’t Waste Your Cancer” by John Piper and David Powlison, both of whom are cancer survivors. I can’t begin to describe how encouraged I’ve been just reading their insights--I'm sure you’ll say the same after you read it. We join you in resting in the assurance of Psalm 62:5-6, “Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.”
Yours in His sovereign care,
Joni Eareckson Tada