The presence of Grace…

It’s four o’clock and I’m just sitting down. I’m group texting my girls. The ones I only know because of Kara and who have become the keepers of my heart through Kara’s illness and death. They are laughing with me, crying with me, and praying for me. My heart doesn’t understand their capacity to love me so big in the midst of their own grief. And when I think about their grief and the goodbye they each had to say, I am almost overcome.

Jason called yesterday shortly after Kara died. His voice was full of emotion and I knew he was fighting to just get the words out. After a short time, our phones went crazy. We spent the evening with our small group, beginning the process of grief together, and then we came home to full inboxes, textboxes, and voicemails. I was up late trying to get organized. Kara and I planned her service and the days following her Homecoming months ago; the moment I dreaded had arrived.

When I woke up this morning, my eyes were wet and my lids stuck together with gunky tears. I knew I had cried in my sleep, mourned in my sleep. I feel Kara’s absence in my bones. I think my DNA has changed and I’m a different person. My bones shout angry complaints of pain; they try to explain that they don’t have hearts and shouldn’t be asked to carry this burden. But my grief dwells deep. It has seeped into every part of me, and it aches.

I went to the Tippetts’ this morning. I took toilet paper and paper napkins and tissue and grieved as I handed it over that I knew to bring those things. I hugged Mickey and watched tears crawl down her soft cheeks. She has beautiful skin that I always want to touch to see if it’s as soft as I anticipate. I had never seen it wet with tears. Story Jane was playing in the kitchen. We raced Barbie cars together. And she told me that half of her was sad and half of her was happy. She dabbed at her nose a lot with a tissue through her sweet giggles, but I couldn’t tell if she had tears or a runny nose.

When Jason walked in, I hugged him big. He has this profound gift of being able to talk through tears, and as we talked, he wiped many away. Ruth played football with Lake outside. He proudly showed off his Peyton Manning jersey. Harper cuddled and giggled in a chair with Jason.

I had feared what being in a Karaless house would feel like. It was difficult. But though Kara is gone, Hope isn’t, Joy isn’t, Grace isn’t. Love still reigns in the Tippetts’ home, and I was comforted sitting where Kara sat the last time I was in that room with her.

My sisters text regularly to check in, to see how my heart is doing. I tell them I’m okay, that I’m trying to lean into Jesus. I am surprised that my heart seems to actually believe that Grace will show up, that Jesus is beside me. I picture Kara seeing His face for the first time—the delight she would have encountered. And I imagine that delight next to me, caring for me, holding me up.

kara and me

17 thoughts on “The presence of Grace…

  1. Sandy Bowman

    I learned so much from Kara’s story. I feel like Kara took many of us on a journey to a place we’d never been and now has sent us on our own journey having learned from her and her relationship with Jesus. Each of our journeys will be different but we have learned about the hard.

  2. Kara Rosenberry

    oh Blythe honey. tears. yours words. more layers of words. you have been ever more on my thoughts these last weeks and these last days and now even more these last hours… oh friend … if there is anything I can do to help. please please let me know. k? xox ox Kara R.

  3. Mindy

    I cannot imagine what those who were closer to Kara must be feeling. I am thankful to have followed her story and to have been impacted. What a powerful testimony.

  4. Beth

    You are on my heart as much as Jason, Mickey the littles, etc. I know about the fund that is set up, but if there are additional tangible ways they can be helped, please do not hesitate to ask. I am hopeful that her service will be somehow available online. There are so many of us in our small school following, that it’s almost as if we should have our own service here 1,500 miles away. What a blessing she was and what a blessing your words are too. With love from fellow sisters grieving.

  5. Wanda

    Blythe, my heart aches for all who knew Kara. I knew her only through her blog and loved reading everything she wrote. You have been an awesome friend to Kara and her family. God bless you all as you go through the next few very hard days.

  6. Sarah Caldwell

    I am praying for Jason and the kids. My daughter Charity was in kindergarten with Harper. My son Levi was in Ellas class for a couple of years in NC. We are all heartbroken for them. Please give them hugs from us and tell them we are praying for them. I am hoping Kara’s service will be live streamed. Thank you for writing.

  7. Jenny fitzgerald

    Thank you, thank you, thank you…thank you so much for giving me a picture into today. Have really been praying so much for you girls that Kara loved so…and who loved her so! Oh, I LOVE that your hearts believes that grace will show up. It already is! Praise be to God! Much love to you!

  8. Karen

    Thank you Blythe for holding up Kara’s arms until her battle was won! She is on the victory side now and we pray for you as you walk alongside so many and continue to point them to Kara’s Jesus! Your words are a gift to us all. May you experience His perfect peace in this the hardest of times. May you sense Kara’s spirit,her courage, her bravery walking alongside you in the days ahead ,remembering the same Spirit that allowed her to finish well resides within you,enabling you to help carry out her final goodbye…
    Loving you up to Jesus now, the Author and Finisher of our Faith upon whom Karas eyes now SEE face to face,

    Karen Weigner

  9. Alis Andrews

    Only a GREAT friend would know to show up with multiple paper supplies! Love displayed, Blythe.

  10. Joan

    Blythe, I also imagine the delight on Jesus’s face when he saw Kara. And the great jubilation and celebrating among the saints already in heaven as they celebrated her arrival. I believe they were anticipating her arrival as we anticipated her departure. Welcome, Sister.

  11. Sibyl In North Carolina

    What a blessing your insightful honest words were to my grieving heart. I hope that you will continue to post in the days ahead. If her service will be lived streamed, please let us know. I helped Kara pack up her house when she was struggling with leaving NC, and told her how God sometime makes us so uncomfortable in a situation or place, so that He can move us where He has a plan and purpose for us. Praising Him for moving her to a community of godly women who would love her and her family with AGAPE love so faithfully and for so long. Thank you.

  12. Amy Deas

    So thankful that you are going to carry on Kara’s page. I never met her but I have mourned her passing as if I had known her for my entire life. It’s so comforting to know that one day we will all be together and that until then God’s grace will hold us.
    When I think of Kara I think of the song This Little Light of Mine. She let her light shine and helped the rest of us to want our lights to shine as well. I know she is just glowing with Jesus.

  13. Lori D'Amico

    Dear Blythe… How are you holding up? I know you don’t know me–just as Kara didn’t know me personally but I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and praying for you as well as Jason, the children, Mickey and all of Kara’ s family and friends.
    Thank you so much for sharing a bit about what it is like in the Tippetts home without Kara’ s physical presence. I can only imagine it was both difficult and yet filled with love and grace amidst the tears. How is Ella doing? I am also the oldest among my siblings. I know that in Ella’ s case, she is well loved and supported just as all the family is!
    I so appreciate your willingness to help keep Kara’ s blog going! You are a wonderful writer as well!
    I pray you are resting peacefully tonight… I need to try and do the same!

  14. Ginger Klietz

    Nine days ago one of the most important individual’s God has, thus far, placed into your life returned Home to Him but through her He’s entrusted you with being part of continuing Kingdom work He had entrusted to her. And right now, Blythe, He knows the sadness you’re experiencing and as His child He is right there to comfort you through each teardrop of your grief. Blythe, your grieving process is personal, just as your relationship with Jesus is, so never feel ‘obligated’ to go by others loss of a loved one’s grief process. You’re a very tender-hearted person, Blythe, yet you’re also filled with the Holy Spirit and I’ve no doubt He will gently guide you through your loss of Kara into a place of deeper grace and gratitude which will bring forth an eagerness to tackle His call for A Smitten Mouse living Mundane Faithfulness. I’m sincerely sorry for your profound loss, yet excited for the new adventure He allowed Kara to ‘invite’ you to participate in. Thank you for blessing my life with your down-to-earth, thought-provoking posts, looking forward to more when you’re ready. Love & Prayers To You.

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