One of the fun things about having a beloved friend publish a book is that I get to introduce her to friends and family. Sure, she has her blog that approximately 3 trillion people follow, but reading her story linearly and in one big chunk is different. While a blog can jump around from topic to topic and have different purposes in each entry, a book is centered around certain themes. In The Hardest Peace, Kara uses her story of cancer to celebrate God’s love for her—how he pursued her, how she learned more about his character and love from Jason’s love for her, how she understood the depth of his passion for her through her own love for her children. And, of course, how God is using cancer to continue to woo her as she depends on him day by day—often moment by moment—just to function.
You see, this is not a typical book about living and dying with cancer. Kara is not trying to triumph over cancer, but to triumph over the selfishness that prevents her [all of us…] from living a full life and loving big. She is not lecturing her reader about how we should live; she is preaching to herself, reminding herself of God’s love and how rich life is because of it, despite external circumstances. And strangely (but effectively), she is really not trying to tell her story, but to frame her story in a bigger one—the story of God’s love for us and the life we can find in him.
If you don’t know Kara, you would love meeting her. She is just about as girl-next-door as you can get. Knock on her door and you might find her standing on the other side in a ratty t-shirt, coffee in hand. Her living room might be strewn with Legos and children’s books. Maybe the breakfast dishes are still in the kitchen sink. But that is why we can trust her—she lives honestly and unpretentiously. If you say, How are you feeling today? you might get an answer that makes you sad. Kara lives out of an honest place and speaks out of that place, too. Reading her book you will encounter an honesty so refreshing and so gentle that your heart will be comforted knowing there are people like her in our world.
Here is the deal: Kara knows that she is not likely to encounter a miracle cure for her cancer. But she also knows that she encounters the miracle of God’s love every day. She lives in the confidence and hope of being restored and redeemed in Christ some day. And reading her book, you will want to live that way, too, whatever your circumstances.
I am doing a giveaway of her book tomorrow. If you haven’t entered, please go to this blog post to do so. And if you don’t win, I encourage you to buy the book anyway. In fact, buy two, because I guarantee you’ll want to share.