Culture > Q&A

Loving life

"Loving life" Continued...

Issue: "Another dark day in America," Jan. 12, 2013

When were you able to pray again with faith? Finally, under the power of other people’s prayers and hints and whispers of the Word of God, I prayed one short prayer that changed my life: “Oh God, if I can’t die, show me how to live.” That was probably the most powerful prayer I had ever prayed. My depression began to lift and the despair to dissipate. 

That took time. If at that time there had been an assisted suicide law, would you have asked someone to kill you? Oh my goodness, yes. When I was depressed in the early part of my hospitalization, I begged my girlfriends to bring in their mothers’ sleeping pills, their fathers’ razors, anything. I’m grateful there was no physician-assisted suicide law around back then. I would have tried very hard to mount some court challenge to change the definition of terminal illness so that it might include spinal cord injury. I would have done anything to put me out of my misery. I was so miserable. That was 45 years ago, though. What a different world we live in now, because there really are people with disabilities trying to change the court definitions of “terminal illness” in states like Oregon and Washington. At our ministry we’re working hard to prevent that from happening and to give hope in Christ, so these people, like me, will find a way out of depression. 

What do you think your life would have been like had you not broken your neck? I don’t say this in front of hardly any audience, but in front of this audience I will: I believe what happened to me was an example of Hebrews chapter 12 discipline. I do. I’ve had Christians ask, “How can you say that of God? That’s awful for you to say He would discipline you by making you a quadriplegic.” No, no, no. Read Hebrews chapter 12: God disciplines those He loves. Had I not broken my neck I’d probably be on my second divorce, maxing out my husband’s credit cards, planning my next ski vacation. I wouldn’t be here extolling the glories of the gospel and the power of God to help a person smile, not in spite of the problems, but because of them. 


Watch Marvin Olasky's complete interview with Joni Eareckson Tada:

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.


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