The Hardest Peace

I have an icon on my computer that is labeled “Kara”. Stored in that folder are multiple Word documents of Kara’s manuscript for her book that comes out October 1, The Hardest Peace. As she wrote, she shared with me, sometimes asking for input and sometimes just because I begged to see it and be a part of the process, which was so fun and exciting.

The timing of the book release is personal for me—it is also my baby girl’s first birthday. With this impending day, I’ve thought a lot about a year ago, how unbearable that ninth month of pregnancy became, how desperate I was to give birth, and how worried I was about Kara. You see, the doctors suspected cancer in other parts of her body. She was scheduled for surgery just past my due date to see what exactly was going on. Aaron and I had asked her and Jason to take care of our 18-month-old son when I was in the hospital. Kara was desperate to have that time with her little buddy, and in all honesty, I wanted that for both of them, too. My little boy adores, as in loves, Kara and her entire family.    VonAndKara

But it didn’t happen. Ann wasn’t ready in time; actually, the same day Kara was admitted into the hospital for her surgery, I was admitted to be induced. My high-risk pregnancy necessitated intervention just as Kara’s cancer did.

As I was being checked in, the nurse asked me for a contact in case something went wrong and I wanted clergy notified. I imagined Jason being called at the other hospital, away from Kara’s side, to minister to me in an emergency. I couldn’t fathom asking that of him, and the tears started rolling. Aaron calmly gave the nurse another pastor-friend’s info.

While I was in labor, I experienced a strange paradox. We hadn’t heard from Kara or Jason reassuring us of good news from her surgery. In my heart, I already knew the awful truth. With each labor pain, I knew I was closer to holding my baby girl, but my mind was conflicted knowing I was also closer to my Kara-fears being confirmed. I sobbed with the labor pains—sobbed. My nurses thought I was crying from the pain; I was, but it was a heart pain of understanding what Kara was facing and what we would all be asked to face.

The inevitable happened: my beautiful Princess Squish was born and Kara’s spreading cancer was confirmed.


In the months since then, I’ve watched with joy as my baby has grown and developed. And I’ve watched with joy Kara labor with love writing her book, her hard story. There were times I wondered if Kara would live to see her book published. Each day with her is a blessing and a reminder of the biggest blessing to come—eternity with Jesus and Kara and my parents and all the saints.IMG_0132

Some days, Kara would text me about her writing process and then email me chapters; I would stay up reading until Ann’s cries to be nursed reminded me of how late it was. These chapters had me laughing, crying, thinking, meditating, reflecting. If Kara had asked for input, I would always have to go back and read a second time because I so easily got lost in her story, unable to even remember her original question to me. I couldn’t put her book down, and I gladly reread those sections!


Last Friday, on the very day of Kara’s book release party, a package came in the mail from David C. Cook. Kara generously and graciously chose me to receive a giveaway copy to give one of my own readers. I’ve devoured my copy of the book, delighting in its polished prettiness. I don’t have to tell you that Kara’s book will have a profound impact on you or that you won’t be the same person after reading it.

Here is the fun part, the part that I’ve been antsy to blog: the giveaway! Let’s get the word out about her book so that others can be blessed by it, too. Please share one of the links below on Facebook, Twitter, your own blog, wherever. Then come back here and comment that you shared. I will then randomly select one of the commenters to win a free copy of The Hardest Peace. If you share more than one place, leave more than one comment.

Mundane Faithfulness blog

The Hardest Peace on Amazon

The Hardest Peace on B&N

Thank you for being a part of this journey and for helping me get the word out not just about this fantastic book, but about this beloved, remarkable woman.IMG_0138

78 thoughts on “The Hardest Peace

  1. Bill Petro

    On Facebook last week, I promoted the link to Kara’s book-signing event at Village Seven Presbyterian Church. I followed up with pictures from the event. It was PACKED. Kara spoke, then had a line of folks waiting to get their book signed by her until 9:30 pm.

  2. Mindy

    I put a link on Facebook! I will definitely read the book – would LOVE to win a copy! I love your heart Blythe and am so glad you have shared Kara with your readers/friends!!

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      Oh, Becky, it IS an honor, isn’t it? I love that you feel that way, too.
      Thank you!

  3. Caroline

    I’ve been so heartened by Kara’s faithful and real journey, her pursuit of Jesus, and drive to share the Gospel. She has motivated me towards prayer and thankfulness. I shared her both Kara’s blog and Amazon link. <3

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      I agree–you can’t encounter this story without being changed.
      Love you, sister.

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      LOL! I’m sure you did and I’m sure you’ve made your FB friends as excited as we are. Thank you!

  4. Karyn

    I shared Kara’s blog on Facebook. She writes so beautifully, and I just cry every time I read her posts. I love her honesty and her ability to still have so much faith and show so much love.

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      Karyn, I wish you could meet. You would have so much in common and would be kindred spirits, I’m sure of it.

  5. Rachel

    Just shared on Facebook. I don’t know her but through your writings and her blog, I know she is an amazing lady full of strength!

  6. kara

    Blythe- I simply love all this love. Your contribution to this book is my favorite. Yours and the stunning last letter from my guy. Goodness- we are blessed my dear. So blessed.

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      I still haven’t had the courage of heart to read his letter. I know it will undo me. You are right–we are amazingly, bigly blessed. <3

  7. Julie

    Thank you for even the possibility of winning Kara’s book. I’ve fallen in love with her through her blog. She is walking with me on my journey of letting my dear friend Martha slip into Jesus’ arms today.

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      Julie, I am so sorry to hear that you had to say goodbye to such a dear friend. Having hope in Jesus and knowing we will see sisters-in-Christ again does not mean that death does not hurt. I will pray for you today that you will indeed find hope and grace in the midst of your grief. May Jesus come back soon so we can be reunited with all our loved ones who have gone home before us!! <3
      p.s. Thank you for sharing the link!

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      Oh, Janice, you are so right! We don’t often encounter people who can articulate the human condition crashing into God’s love so well. I hope everyone will be as blessed as we have!

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      Thank you, Sandra!! I thought about just buying copies for everyone who entered the drawing because I know how much everyone wants to read it! But then I thought about what my husband would say when he saw the credit card bill. :)

  8. Lou Ann Brown

    I have shared all 3 on FB. I share Mundane Faithfulness blog in emails and FB messages and postings as each are a treasure. Thank you for this sweet post that is so real. I appreciate your comparison of giving birth to a child and to a well labored book.
    ~Lou Ann

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      Excellent, Lou Ann! Thank you for being such a faithful supporter of Kara’s, getting the word out about her story.

  9. Mary Lee Riggs

    It was my pleasure to share Kara’s blog on FB. She inspires me to live better and love better.

  10. Tammy Letterman

    Thank you so much for sharing life, love, faith even in the hard places. I have fallen in love with Kara and her family. I was at Nebo Crossing women’s conference. (My home church) I took a friend who is now facing her hard. Limited time. In hospital now. I have prayed for her salvation for years. Praise God she has excepted Christ. She is so afraid for final moments of life. I thought Kara’s hard story would help ease her heart. Sweet Kara came to the back of the church and prayed with my friend who had on oxigen. She didn’t have breath to walk. When Kara spoke to my friend Tammy K. We both saw such sweet faith and love for God. I thought I was helping my friend. Sweet Kara your story has forever changed both of us. Thank you God bless. I can’t wait to read your book. I share all Karas story and post from blog and book. I pray every person that sees any thing about Kara that they except the love of Christ. Even in the hard. God is with us.. Shared on Facebook…

    1. blytheleanne Post author

      Beautifully expressed, Tammy. I am sorry to hear about Tammy K., but I rejoice that she has a friend who has loved her so faithfully and well in her hard. You have a lovely heart. Thank you.

  11. Shannon Magana

    I have been reading her blog for a while, have been praying for her and her family and have been so encouraged by how she faces her hard!!

    I shared her website and Amazon link on FB.

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