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A Place of Healing: Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty

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In this eloquent account of her current struggle with physical pain, Joni Eareckson Tada offers her perspective on divine healing, God’s purposes, and what it means to live with joy.

Over four decades ago, a diving accident left Joni a quadriplegic. Today, she faces a new battle: unrelenting pain. The ongoing urgency of this season in her life has caused Joni to return to foundational questions about suffering and God’s will.

A Place of Healing is not an ivory-tower treatise on suffering. It’s an intimate look into the life of a mature woman of God. Whether readers are enduring physical pain, financial loss, or relational grief, Joni invites them to process their suffering with her. Together, they will navigate the distance between God’s magnificent yes and heartbreaking no's and find new hope for thriving in-between.

224 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2010

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About the author

Joni Eareckson Tada

312 books435 followers
Previously published as Joni Eareckson

Joni Eareckson Tada is CEO of Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Joni and Friends provides practical support and spiritual help to special-needs families worldwide, and equips thousands of churches in developing disability ministry. Joni is the author of numerous bestselling books, including When God Weeps, Diamonds in the Dust, A Step Further, winner of the Gold Medallion Award, and her latest A Spectacle of Glory. Joni and her husband, Ken, have been married for 35 years. For more information on Joni and Friends, visit www.joniandfriends.org

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5 stars
1,289 (56%)
4 stars
603 (26%)
3 stars
299 (13%)
2 stars
55 (2%)
1 star
23 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 236 reviews
Profile Image for Kara.
504 reviews4 followers
October 11, 2012
Listened to this on the way to work but took this few notes.
Joni used an awesome story of Perlman performing a concert during which a string broke. He continued the symphony, re-fingering the whole thing. When he finished and the crowd exploded with applause he stated that a true artist takes what is left and makes a unique, beautiful sound/story that couldn't be made if something hadn't been broken/taken away.
God doesn't say "be thankful." He says "give thanks."
Don't ask God to change your situation, ask Him to change your perspective.
Carbon turns to diamonds only under pressure and with time.
All I need is what I already have.
God doesn't waste pain. (In the Epilogue, Joni rejoices that God has relieved her chronic pain only to replace it with breast cancer. She then joyfully resolves that she won't "waste cancer.")
Profile Image for Linda.
175 reviews8 followers
February 12, 2012
I bought this book for my Kindle while in bed struggling with an illness. I live with chronic pain as well. It was really helpful to me. There was so much that Joni said that I liked, I started out trying to underline it all on my Kindle. Between my Kindle freezing (which they do when you underline a lot) and finding so many good points to underline, I finally gave up! I would have underlined half the book! This book was a good reminder to me of God's love and care, even when it seems He isn't answering. As I say, it helped me when I needed it most. Thanks Joni!
24 reviews1 follower
November 2, 2014
As my illness progresses and death draws nearer, this book (a type I always avoid), was just what I needed. Hope, spirit, resilience and examples are just what I needed to get through my next stage in treatment.. I listened to it on audible while my body recuperated and found that my body's recuperation was accompanied by the spiritual strength this book provided.
Profile Image for Noel.
247 reviews141 followers
March 3, 2022
If you want to read a book about suffering, Joni Eareckson Tada is a great person to look to. If you don’t know her story, I highly recommend reading her memoir titled Joni. It’s an incredible story where she details the accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down as a young woman, and how she struggled and somehow found a deeper relationship with God through it all.

This book was written 34 years after her initial accident, and during the writing Joni was suffering with intense physical pain related to a fracture in her back. She’s lived through much suffering in her life, but she’s clearly so full of joy and hope and faith and biblical wisdom and she’s so incredibly inspirational.

If you struggle with understanding how a good God can allow such terrible suffering I highly recommend this book. Or if you’re experiencing suffering in your life and feeling distant from God, give it a read.
Profile Image for Mandy J. Hoffman.
Author 1 book89 followers
August 24, 2010

This is the raw, honest, and vulnerable sharing from Joni's heart and from the Word of God about suffering. It's a powerful look at how God is a loving God and has plans for us to bring glory to Him and grow in our relationship with Him.

I enjoyed Joni's amazing perspective, steady faithfulness, and open honesty. She addresses the issue of Healing Services in a kind, yet biblically sound way. After reading this book you will have a better appreciation for your life as it is and for all that God is doing in your life.

This audio book is read by Joni and hearing her voice just brings this book to life - planting it's truth deep inside your heart. If you are going through a hard time this book will encourage you. Or if you are facing an easy time right now, this book will help you prepare for when life isn't always the way you want it.


In this eloquent account of her current struggle with physical pain, Joni Eareckson Tada offers her perspective on divine healing, God’s purposes, and what it means to live with joy. Over four decades ago, a diving accident left Joni a quadriplegic. Today, she faces a new battle: unrelenting pain.

The ongoing urgency of this season in her life has caused Joni to return to foundational questions about suffering and God’s will. A Place of Healing is not an ivory tower treatise on suffering. Its an intimate look into the life of a mature woman of God.

Whether readers are enduring physical pain, financial loss, or relational grief, Joni invites them to process their suffering with her. Together, they will navigate the distance between God’s magnificent yes and heartbreaking no and find new hope for thriving in between.

* * * * *
This book was provided for review courtesy of christianaudio.com and the opinions expressed are strictly that of my own.
Profile Image for John.
27 reviews11 followers
February 5, 2011
"Wrestling with the Mysteries of Suffering, Pain, and God's Sovereignty" is an apt subtitle for this book, for just like Jacob wrestled with God many centuries ago, Joni has been wrestling with God for decades, ever since she took that dive into a too shallow lake as a teenager and became a quadriplegic.

Joni doesn't speak on suffering & healing as a lofty theologian, or as some shallow social commentator, but as a real woman who has walked through real suffering and pain for all her adult life. Unlike many sufferers, however, she has developed a rock-solid conviction of both God's love for her and God's sovereignty over her quadriplegia. This fusion of personal experience with Biblical truth is what makes this book so powerful.

She starts the book with a quote by John Stott: "The fact of suffering undoubtedly constitutes the single greatest challenge to the Christian faith." She then launches headlong into a discussion of the question of healing and God, both personally and theologically. Further chapters discuss the benefits of suffering, how the sufferer can bring God glory, regaining perspective, and the impact of suffering on the Kingdom of God.

The title of her final chapter is a phrase she has earnestly repeated over the years: "Thank you, God, for this wheelchair." In it she opens her heart to say that she really is content, for contentment is "realizing that God has already given (me) everything that (I) need for my present happiness... If there were anything more that I needed, God would have given it to me."

A Place of Healing is a rich treasure of wisdom & comfort to share with anyone who is struggling with any kind of suffering. Highly recommended.
Profile Image for Amanda.
437 reviews9 followers
January 23, 2016
Wow, Joni is an amazing woman, and this book is fantastic for anyone struggling with health challenges. She has the ability to look at situations God has placed her in and praise him for his work through it. This book was super encouraging to me, and make me praise God for the capacities I have and for the challenges he has given me, that he may use me through them.
I listened to it as an audiobook, but would consider re-reading it as a book too, because I'm sure I missed pieces of it by just listening to it.
Profile Image for Trisha.
131 reviews2 followers
January 17, 2015
One of the most beautifully encouraging books about pain and suffering I've read.
Profile Image for Ramsey Hootman.
Author 6 books119 followers
August 21, 2014
I got this book during a free download promotion and just opened it out of curiosity, knowing I liked Joni but not really having a specific interest in this book.

However, I soon found that it was exactly the book I didn't know I was looking for. A couple of years ago my daughter was stillborn, and since then I've often struggled with all of the various dark and bitter thoughts that attend the loss of a child.

A Place of Healing is not just about physical pain or disability. It's about how we, as Christians, can face a world filled with pain and suffering and still see a God who is good. Not just that, but to take joy in his purposes, even if it means enduring pain.

I have to say that it was refreshing to hear from someone who accepts, in both an emotional and theological sense, that God MEANT for these things to happen. I had several people tell me that God didn't WANT my daughter to die. Frankly, from what I see in the Bible and in the world, that just doesn't make sense. If He didn't want it to happen, then he ought to have stopped it. But if He DID intentionally allow it, that means there is a purpose to my pain. I may not know what it is, but it is there, and I can rejoice in knowing that one day I will understand.

Thank you, Joni, for refocusing my perspective and reminding me what truly matters.
Profile Image for David.
514 reviews14 followers
December 31, 2013
A friend gave this to me at the beginning of the year and said it helped him while he was in the hospital. Honestly, I didn't know anything about the author and the beginning chapter felt like this was one of those syrupy, sappy, cheesy Christian books, which isn't necessarily a bad thing but I've had my fill of them and don't find them palatable or filling anymore. I set it in my backpack and thus forgot about it. Ten months later I pull it out late at my mom's house and decide to at least finish it. I'm glad I did. Joni Eareckson Tada is a quadriplegic and talks in depth on her struggle and achievement in the realm of suffering, pain, healing, and how God plays in the mix of it all. The book is steeped with personal story and scripture throughout so if you're looking for a book with more story or less scripture forget-about-it. With this one, you've got to take both and you'll be glad you did. There are a few sappy moments, but don't let it deter you from revealing one woman's encounter with the grace of God. Go Joni!
Profile Image for Brenda.
352 reviews
February 6, 2017
The fact that Joni wrote this from the midst of her pain made this so real, so relate-able, so powerful. She wasn't through it. She couldn't see the other side. She didn't know whether there would be any relief this side of heaven. She asked, "Why?" She didn't know the answer to that question, but she knew the answers God has given her through the years. She knew that He is faithful and works all things for her good and His glory. She knew that He has a purpose for her pain and that His care for her is "breath by breath, heartbeat by heartbeat, moment by moment." Even more, she reminds us that God cares for us that way, too, that He is sovereign over our circumstances, that He is working for our good, that He has a purpose for our pain. This book is for everyone. Its principles apply to every type of hurt or disappointment. And good luck getting through chapters 9 and 10 without a tissue! Highly recommended - definitely a "good read."
Profile Image for Meredith.
100 reviews1 follower
June 11, 2012
I really appreciated this perspective on this book. Joni is writing concerning her battle with chronic pain and how to find joy and contentment in the battle. She answers questions so many of us ask in our own minds about pain and suffering. Her responses are biblical and help dispel some of the "christian" answers about faith and healing and sin. The biggest idea I came away with was that God uses suffering and pain in our lives to draw us into sweet communion relationship with Him. This book is helpful for anyone going through any form of suffering whether physical or otherwise. As I head into my own journey with cancer, I found great Scriptural jewels to meditate upon.
Profile Image for Chris.
56 reviews1 follower
January 10, 2018
I read about half of this book and stopped reading for several months. I am so glad I finally finished because the stories about her wheelchair donation crusade are worth the whole book (and they are in the last quarter of the book!). Good read if you or someone you love needs healing or has a disability.
Profile Image for Diane Perry.
1,206 reviews29 followers
August 15, 2015

She is such an inspiration. This book is helpful in so many ways. No matter where you are in life she offers hope and insight to get you through. The scriptures were beautiful and as always she is a great teacher.
Profile Image for Birgit.
454 reviews8 followers
March 12, 2014
This is the very first book I have ever listened to and it was ok. For a new Christian (not sure if I can call myself that) I did find it a bit heavy going at times but nonetheless inspirational.
Profile Image for Tammy.
20 reviews
February 2, 2016
I highly recommend this to everyone, but especially those who struggle with chronic pain and suffering.
28 reviews7 followers
May 31, 2016
I read my father in law's copy of this book and since he suffered with chronic, and often, severe back pain, the book was much more meaningful to me. Also, I am familiar with the author's story.
Profile Image for Ashley.
258 reviews1 follower
April 14, 2017
What a wonderful, encouraging, and convicting book! I loved it from start to finish.
68 reviews
June 2, 2022
Excellent. Excellent. Excellent. I listened to the audiobook read by Joni herself and it was so very encouraging. 💯 recommend to everyone! Joni is a modern day hero of Faith who humbly gives all credit to Jesus.
Profile Image for Tammy Jata.
110 reviews2 followers
February 4, 2023
This is an excellent book for anyone going through their own pain and suffering. Joni has had 40 years in a wheelchair and a lot of time to read and meditate and contemplate on who God is. This book has a lot of insightful thoughts on how we are to pray and why healing may come to some and not others. I have highlighted key thoughts on my kindle, so if you would like an idea of what is in this book please read my highlights here at Goodreads. There’s a lot of deep things to think about.
Profile Image for Danielle Williamson.
187 reviews16 followers
April 16, 2019
Joni wrote this book while she was in chronic pain and that amazes me. Her honesty is stunning and hopeful- she is so full of grace and truth that it's exactly what she spills out in this book. I would give a copy of this to anyone who is going through suffering, and I know I'll be returning to it again and again. Joni is a masterpiece! (The only thing that made me a bit uncomfortable in this book were the last two chapters in which she shares stories about traveling to distribute wheelchairs. Though I am grateful for the way that Joni & Friends helps people, some of the American-messiah language made me uncomfortable. I say this knowing that I am a bit sensitive living in one of the African countries she mentions.)
Profile Image for Elise.
384 reviews
October 20, 2020
I got about a quarter of the way through this one, but life is too short for books you don't absolutely love.

I didn't agree with a lot of what the author said about miraculous healing. I did, however, agree with her thoughts on physical ailments and hardships helping us to lean more completely on God and focusing on spiritual health.

That being said, I felt like she kept saying the same thing over and over again.

Also, why do authors read their own books for the audio version?! It almost never works out. Being a published writer doesn't mean you're a good orator. I'm going to stop before I say something mean...er. 🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️
Profile Image for Victoria Guyadeen.
Author 3 books6 followers
September 10, 2020
I Highly recommend this book! I believe it changes lives. I underlined so many nuggets of wisdom and used those quotes in prayers. I think this book is fundamental for every Christian, not just those who are chronically ill. This book will help shape your view on physical healing and the issue of when healing doesn't come in the way people expect/hope. I felt like my theology was written in this, it was amazing to see someone having the same theology. It did help me grow in the Lord. Put this on your to read list!
Profile Image for Lone.
129 reviews1 follower
March 23, 2022
What an amazing and encouraging book from Joni who knows so much about suffering. If you want lived life in suffering under a sovereign God this is one of the best books to read. There are a lot of theory and theology used to explain the problem of suffering and pain in so many books. But reading about the actual experience is far better. Thank you Joni for being honest and encouraging in your life. All glory to God🙏
Profile Image for Tuesdayschild.
714 reviews11 followers
November 23, 2021
3-4* for the audiobook.
I think this is one of those books that I would have appreciated more as a physical book.
This is my first introduction to any writing by Joni E. Tada, and now I'm wondering if she always writes using such a conversational tone?
I appreciated hearing her talk so candidly about her struggle to deal with pain, and scriptures of encouragement (which in this setting, aren't the shady green pasture type verse).
Profile Image for Jonathan.
Author 10 books5 followers
December 2, 2021
This is a book full of hope and positive encouragement for anyone dealing with paralysis. As a quadriplegic I understand the author's point of view. I enjoyed reading this book and can understand much of its perspective. If you want a glimpse into what it's like to deal with paralysis, pain, and some of what we deal with, check out this book.
Profile Image for Emily M.
22 reviews2 followers
May 4, 2018
Suffering can turn us from a dangerous direction.
Suffering reminds us where our true strength lies.
Suffering restores a lost beauty in Christ.
Suffering can heighten our thirst for Christ.
Suffering can increase our fruitfulness.
Profile Image for Autumn Kovach.
339 reviews
June 7, 2018
I was very encouraged by Joni's book. Even though she experiences a very extreme and unique version of suffering, her writing is very compassionate for Christians who suffer in many different ways. To hear her story of how God works in the varying seasons of her trial is encouraging that God is always working to teach us more of him in new ways we never had to.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 236 reviews

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