This is the true love story of Joni and her husband of 30 years, Ken Tada. A love story showing what it truly means for a man and a woman to live in love … in sickness and in health.
Even the honeymoon wasn’t easy. Did Ken realize what he was getting into when he proposed to Joni, a quadriplegic woman? As their marriage years moved on, Ken became increasingly overwhelmed by the never-ceasing demands of caring for Joni, who begins to experience chronic, extreme, nightmarish pain. Ken sinks into depression, and the couple finds themselves on parallel tracks in life, married and living under the same roof but drifting apart emotionally.
But as they fight for their marriage and find their way through the mazes of depression and pain, they wrap their two lives around their rock—Jesus.
During Ken’s denial of Joni’s diagnosis, and Joni’s thoughts of how wonderful a quick exit to heaven would be, they experience a personal visitation with the savior you will never forget.
- A Vulnerable Look at the Tadas, but Some Concerning Areas
Joni and Ken Tada share some of their very personal struggles with quadriplegia, chronic pain, cancer, depression, and the regular every day trials of marriage in this book. I particularly appreciate the focus on Ken and his struggles with depression as well as learning how to be a caregiver. However, it is a bit awkward being presented in the third person.
My biggest concern is Ken's promotion of John Eldridge and contemplative prayer. There is also really no mention of how they may have connected with and depended on their local church through their struggles. There is some mention of their attendance of Grace Community Church in the early days of their relationship. But that's it. In our culture of autonomy and individualism, it is vital that we as believers learn to connect with our church community to support and rely on one another. If that is what Joni and Ken did/are doing, it would have been very helpful to discuss this in the book as well.
None the less, there are some helpful things portrayed along the way. Just be sure to practice discernment regarding the contemplative prayer promotions. Ken seems to have ultimately pursued the correct direction (regarding his care for Joni), but that is far from the norm with contemplative prayer because it depends on listening to our own heart, which the Bible tells us is desperately wicked.
If you are specifically looking for a helpful book regarding pain, disability, cancer, etc., I would instead recommend Joni's book "A Place of Healing."
- Encouraging and Vulnerable
This book is highly inspiring and motivating to live your life for others and for God's purposes. Joni and Ken are extremely vulnerable about their relationship's ups and downs, which makes them even more endearing. Anyone wanting spiritual encouragement, and especially those in a relationship where one spouse is disabled or ill would highly benefit from this book.