Disclosure: I received a copy of The Hardest Peace to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% my own and that of the good Lord above who helped me to write this post.
Kara Tippetts is the author of The Hardest Peace and an amazing person. She is the mother of four beautiful children, wife to her husband, Jason, (whom the book is dedicated to) and a Christian. Nothing out of the ordinary until you realize that she’s also a phenomenal woman who is battling Stage IV cancer.
I had an entirely different post prepared to publish, but my thoughts felt jumbled, disorganized. I did not know what to expect when I first read Kara’s book. I knew that she was a Christian, and I knew that she was battling cancer. That was it. I’d never read her blog, had not found her on social media, had not had the pleasure of reading any of her work.
So I was extremely surprised to see how much our childhoods mirrored each other, as well as our reactions to those events that attempted to shape and define who we would become. Our desire to not be a product of our childhood, to be different, to break the cycle.
My heart soared when I realized that we both came to God through a friend as a teen as well. The similarities in our early life stories is what kept me enthralled, kept me engaged, kept me reading. What more would this amazing woman and I have in common?
I read with interest how Kara and Jason’s faith helped them create the amazing relationship that they have, and I wonder to myself, “Will I ever have that?” I don’t feel that same connection, that same love, in my relationship at the moment.
I identify with Kara and her relationship with her children – both before and after the diagnosis of cancer. When I was a legal assistant, working 50 to 60 hours a week, I missed out on so much. I did not take time to understand the gifts that God had given to me in each of their firsts, in seeing their smiles, in their plea for a bedtime story, in the way that they treasured moments alone with me.
“I did not see because He was not a presence in my life. He was an afterthought.”
I envied Kara’s walk with God, her ability to constantly turn to Him in the face of everything, and to read how He helped her through the hardest struggles she has ever faced. How she was able to find love in the church community, through her friends and her family, and have Him show her how to gain peace and grace through the hardest of times in her life. I envy that.
Kara’s book brought back God’s grace and love to my heart, showed me how being a mother is such an amazing gift. Reminded me of the many blessings that God has given to me when I remember to lay my problems at His feet and then forget them. To trust in Him explicitly to know what is best, to answer my prayers in His time.
The Hardest Peace is a beautiful testimony to God’s love in the face of adversity. A testimony to the power of positive thinking, to the power of God’s love, and to finding joy and happiness in the gifts of God’s love and grace.
“Whoever listens to Me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” – Proverbs 1:33
That’s powerful, and true. After reading The Hardest Peace, I miss my relationship with God. That’s on me, not Him. He has always been there, waiting patiently for this child to return, much in the same way I watch the clock and wait for my boys to come home so I can embrace them and tell them how very much I love them, and how very much I missed them. I know that one day I will not be here to give them those hugs, to caress their sweet faces, to smooth back their unruly hair. I have learned to cherish every moment I have with them and with my daughter, because I have seen first-hand how fleeting and short life can be. We need to make the most of every day, for as long as we have to do so.