“To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace.”
– Brennan Manning
I am not one to read books by Christian authors that are published as “inspirational.” However, I just finished reading The Hardest Peace; Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts. I discovered Kara and her story in 2014. I’m not really sure how I found her or her blog, Mundane Faithfulness. What I do know is that I came across her story at a time of pain and struggle. Her words touched my heart. The short description of her book made me buy it to give to a friend.
I continue to follow Kara’s blog, though she left this world a few days after my friend Linda. I continue to be drawn to Kara’s words as her friend Blythe Hunt reposts Kara’s blog entries under Kara’s Collection. So recently I bought a copy of The Hardest Peace for myself. I do not want to make this a book review; rather it is reflective of how Kara’s words touched my heart.
Kara’s story is familiar to anyone who has gone through cancer treatment that included surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. And yet her story, like our own, is unique. While the book presents as Kara’s testimony I know first-hand what she, and those who cared for her, went through. There is a deep, ugly side to cancer treatment, and cancer death. Her chapter on losing her hair was deeply profound for me, because while she touched on the struggle there was so much that remained unsaid. I knew exactly what she really meant with her kind and gentle words. To be honest, my words would be much harsher. But I get it. I never thought of myself as prideful in my looks until I lost my hair. That was, and still is, the most devastating part of my cancer story.
I tell you this because Kara’s story has made me take a look at my life; my faith. I write about seeking grace. Now I know that grace met me on that table where I lay for my first biopsy. It was grace that was with me during my treatment. I discovered grace during my years of healing. And it is grace that I need as I continue to move forward.
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