For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted... Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
The Hardest Peace has quickly moved onto my list of favorite books. I wouldn't say that it's not a book for the faint of heart, but it certainly makes a person reflect on their own life. Rarely do I find a book that connects me so deeply with an author or one that truly changes the way that I see my own self.
Within the first chapter, I was able to identify with Kara. She begins with a story of her childhood and what she endured with her brother and sister. It reminded me of my own tumultuous past and the grace that I am still struggling to give to those who hurt me. Reading of her journey to peace with her past has given me the courage to move forward on my own road to forgiveness.
From her childhood to losing her dream home in a wildfire to her battle with cancer, Kara shares her heartaches with profound honesty. While this story may seem like it is all about struggles, it is also about hope and finding joy in the every day. In the beginning of the book, Kara shares sweet memories of her grandmother, Elnora. She describes her as a joyful woman who radiates the love of Christ. Her grandmother's life was the ultimate testimony. The example she showed gave Kara the confidence that a life with God was the only true way to live. It will be her faith in God that carries her through her struggles and helps her overcome each one.
Kara's battle with cancer may not be 'new' but her story is real and inspiring. She captures a perspective that is rarely seen or understood- the reality of death and who you are leaving behind.
It has been eight years since I have seen my mom. She was diagnosed with cirrhosis in the summer of 2006 and passed away just a couple of months later. During that time, our family learned that a person with terminal illness goes through the five stages of grief, as we would as well. It was a heavy process of denial, anger, sadness, bargaining and ultimately acceptance. It was my mom's courage to accept her fate and her peace that taught me one of the greatest lessons in my life. I was 17 at the time and pregnant with Emily. My life was just beginning and while I know she struggled with leaving me, she had faith that God had a plan. As heartbreaking as it is for a mother to relinquish control, she knew that I would be just fine.
Reading Kara's thoughts on her illness and being a mother reminded me so much of my own mom and what I watched her go through. It makes me both sad and comforted to understand the thoughts of a mother in their shoes.
Kara Tippetts is a courageous and genuine woman who has an amazing story to tell and profound lessons to share. Each chapter is an experience of it's own, and each one ends with questions to ask yourself. The book concludes with letters from Kara to her husband and children. While I can't promise it's an 'easy' read, I can promise that her story will touch your heart.
I recommend this book for anyone who has faced struggles in their life, and let's face it, we all fall into that category! Whether it's a past that hurts you or present situations that have you at a loss- give this book a shot. I cannot give this book and this author enough praise!
|Image from Mundane Faithfulness, property of Kara Tippetts.|
Please pray for Kara and her family now as she is facing yet another phase of her battle with cancer. You can follow her continuing story on her blog and Facebook.
If you would like to win a copy for yourself or a friend (this makes a GREAT gift), enter the giveaway using the form below. Open to US and Canada only!
Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising"): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.