Kara Tippetts. This woman has changed my life in so many ways. Have you heard of her? Have you read her blog Mundane Faithfulness? If not, please go read her blog, learn about her right now, and then come back here.
Kara is now with the Lord and has died from breast cancer that metastasized. One of my best friends, JG, introduced me to her blog two years ago when Kara had just started on her cancer journey. In God's providence, learning about her story came just at the right time. I was at the tail end of dealing with my PPD and by having someone to pray for, write to, and read about I was able to focus positively on someone else's story vs. always dreading and lamenting my own.
Kara had a way with words. She was real, honest, and she always brought every struggle back to her faith in Christ. Despite all her trials, endless treatments, tears, and reports of news on cancer spreading, she still inspired me and so many other readers. One of her most memorable quotes, to me anyway, is this: "suffering is not the absence of God's goodness". Whenever I was angry at God for my lack of joy, when I had dark thoughts and was full of resentment toward motherhood it was these few words from Kara that reminded me of a promise. My suffering was not in vain and it did not mean God had left me; he would work even this out for my good and his glory. Here was another mom wearing God's mask to me, a woman and mother who was suffering, not in the same way I was obviously, but she managed to use her hard for good. And she helped me.
Kara updated her blog very often and kept her readers informed about her many battles. Through all of her pain she managed to be a graceful wife, mother, and friend. It was through her openness that I felt like I had known her personally, even though we had never met in person. She had emailed me back on questions I had and also became someone I started to write letters to. Having someone to encourage who was going through a difficult time was so good for my soul. In the midst of the chaos in my own life I was able to bless someone else and in return be encouraged far beyond my imagination.
Kara is no longer with us, but there are others who could really use our encouragement. They are in our communities, they're in our churches, our work places, or are behind a computer or smartphone sitting in the dark, all alone with a baby. When we are going through the tough times in our own lives or are overwhelmed with our daily tasks it is so gratifying to pray for and love on someone else who shares our suffering. Pray, write a letter, send a care package, prepare and deliver a hot meal, go on a coffee date or a shoot off a quick email. All of these small ways can change someones' bad day. We are called to carry one another's burdens, and what better way to do that than by sharing your struggles with someone else and by helping someone who needs your help.
Diagnosed with terminal cancer Kara wrote two books, Big Love and The Hardest Peace. I haven't yet read Big Love but it is on parenting and is on my wish list. The Hardest Peace is a moving book on finding God's peace through the rough patches of life and is also a memoir of her life. They both are not long reads but the content is invaluable and so convicting.
Please pray for Kara's husband, Jason and their four children, Ella, Harper, Lake, and Story Jane. Kara's husband, Jason is a church planter in Colorado Springs and is now raising their children as a single widow. He, along with Kara's closest friends are still contributing to her blog and Kara's legacy lives on.
Who has helped you in times when you were struggling? Is there another mom whom you have a learned invaluable lessons from? How can we practically help others who are also suffering?