Co-Laborers with Christ

 Twelve years ago when I turned 50, my life changed forever. When I attended my first Joni and Friends conference,  I celebrated the person God had created me to be. Before that time I was determined that I wasn’t going to be limited (or be put it in a box) because of my cerebral palsy. Despite my college degree and raising a daughter, I wanted to forget I had a disability. But as I stepped into this conference that was the very part of me that I was able to not only embrace but celebrate.

Throughout the past several years, I’ve been able to attend some of Joni and Friends family camps and learn about the different ways they minister to people with special needs. Last week, two friends and I were privileged to be able to attend a leadership conference at the Joni and Friends, International Disability Center. Going there was like going behind the scenes and getting to get to know the people who worked there.

After our last meeting, my heart was gripped by a picture of a man with bent legs and skinny arms being ministered to by a servant from the Joni & Friends Wheels for the World team. For some reason, it also made think about another organization that I’ve been involved with for many years, Good Samaritan Ministries. I choked back a few tears, as I considered how God binds up our wounds, and calls each of us to be co-labors with Him (1 Corinthians 3:9).


  Lyla at the chapel


5 thoughts on “Co-Laborers with Christ

  1. You have such a discerning, gracious and compassionate heart!

  2. Rejoicing that we are both contented with HOW God has made us! And yes I – like you – have been influenced and blessed by our dear JONI! She helped me wade through the pain and come to a place of acceptance and gratitude!

  3. Thank you for sharing this, Lyla. I think embracing and celebrating who we are is difficult for many of us–whether we have visible ‘disabilities’ or not. Your message here can apply to everyone.

  4. The last several months have been similar to a foreword of a novel; a notice that God makes a way when there is too much to do in too little time under too much pressure. Jesus finished everything in the moment; no loose ends. He showed us.

    Now, I have reason to look for how, in His inner life, He daily stayed in a finished state of being as He walked toward the Cross for 33 years. His experience with the Cross was an acute suffering, His anticipation of it was long term, as in chronicity. It gives fresh appreciation for, “I and My Father are One.” Something to consider.

    I believe somewhere in the answer is the defeat of the victim spirit.

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