Today is the day! I woke up giddy, first thinking about my baby girl’s first birthday, and then thinking about the release of The Hardest Peace. Kara birthed this book with many labor pains and much joy, and I am so thrilled for the world to hear her story of Grace and Hope in the midst of brokenness.
Reading her book is surreal for me. I read her manuscript as she was writing, but that was in real time. When she tells the story of Harper’s question of if her mama will die of old age or cancer, my mind drifts to when Kara texted me in tears that night. I cried with her, I cried for Harper, I searched for Grace in that moment and begged God to lavish it on Kara and her family. When I read of Kara’s redemptive conversation with Ella over a big, fat, juicy hamburger, I remember seeing them afterward when Ella came over for her voice lesson, traces of sauce on her beautiful face.
How strange to see these moments captured on paper, in a book.
I wonder what it’s like for Jason and Kara to read part of their story in print. I dream about their children reading it some day, reading the letter Kara wrote to them at the back of the book.
I dream a lot these days. I can’t help it, having a [now] 1-year old and a 2-year old. But I dream of other things besides my babies: I dream of Heaven. I dream of seeing my parents, our nephew who was stillborn, my cousin who died when he was only 5. I dream of seeing my aunt and cousin together, Kara and my mother talking [and talking and talking]. I dream of seeing Jesus and asking him all my questions. I dream of my story being redeemed and finally understanding the purpose of pain and brokenness in my life.Reading Kara’s book brings Heaven to mind. While God has not redeemed her body from cancer and from her hard story, he is redeeming her heart already. She tells her story with an eternal perspective, meaning, she understands that her story has eternal significance, that God has purpose in it, that God will (and is) bring beauty and restoration from it. That her story, as suffocating or overwhelming as it may seem at times, is not the point—Jesus is the point. It’s Jesus’ story being told, and we have the awesome privilege of being a part of that greater, Great story.
Reading Kara’s book will make you fall in love with her and Jason. It will make you hate cancer, if you didn’t already. It will make you curious about our church plant. It will make you think about your own story and the hard in your life. It will make you look for redemption and hope in the mundane. It will make you wonder if God will redeem your brokenness. But most of all, it will introduce you to the Grace of God, his lavish and undeserved love.
I will be doing the big giveaway on Friday. If you haven’t entered yet, please visit my last blog post and enter now! And if you are not the big winner, I hope and pray you will still read this book and be introduced to Kara, to Jesus, to Grace.