Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Finding God in life’s hardest moments
Kara Tippetts chronicles her difficulties and
triumphs, offering hope to everyone who hurts
Life can be a roller coaster, with unexpected twists and turns. But when things go wrong and you enter a freefall, how do you cling to grace in the midst of fear and disappointment? In her new book, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard (David C Cook/October 1, 2014/ISBN: 978-0781412155/$15.99), Kara Tippetts challenges readers to trade anger for joy in the most challenging moments of life.
Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow . . . and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer. In The Hardest Peace, she doesn't offer answers for when living is hard but asks us to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Most of all, she draws us back to the God who is with us, in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our pain into beauty.
Within the book’s pages, Tippetts looks at her life through the lens of the seasons found in Ecclesiastes chapter three. Chronicling her seasons of childhood hurt, love in marriage, heartbreak in ministry and devastation in illness, she asks this question: In the worst pains of life, is Jesus really Emmanuel: God with us?
“I never expected to be planning my funeral and fighting for my next breath in my 30s,” Tippetts confesses. “I never expected to be sitting on my daughter’s bed with the sinking feeling her mama was going to die of cancer and not of old age. This is my own testimony of what is broken and ugly being made right and redeemed. The brokenness of today causes us to look at hope for tomorrow.”
While her story includes a long battle with cancer, The Hardest Peace holds wisdom for all who have met what Tippetts calls the “hard edges” of life. Whether it’s a marriage you didn’t expect to fall apart, a job you thought you’d never lose or a rebellious child, everyone will come face to face with at least one of these moments.
Growing up in a strict home with a father prone to anger, Tippetts rebelled in her teens. After drugs, alcohol and men left her empty, she finally surrendered her life to Christ. However, her walk with the Lord continues to deepen and change. “Before cancer, I would have said I was on the journey of seeking grace, but in truth I was manufacturing my own faith,” she reveals. “My going, doing, loving, was my faith, not my nearness to Jesus. In the depths of my illness, I was able to set aside my striving and look for God’s presence in my suffering.”
As her journey unfolds in The Hardest Peace, Tippetts challenges each reader to find God’s grace in their own story by exploring five questions at the end of every chapter. “I am not the first to write from the grip of cancer. I am certainly not the first to write on suffering,” admits the wife of a pastor and mom of four. “Many have done so before me with more clarity and understanding. I come to you in these pages as a broken woman, realizing that my brokenness may be my greatest strength — that it may be the greatest strength of us all.”
Tippetts adds that ultimately The Hardest Peace is not a book about trying to “win” at having the hardest story, but about one broken woman who is on the journey to know peace in the midst of hard.
“Losing myself in the startling light of Kara’s story, I have found who I am, who He is and more of the meaning of every breath.”
~ Ann Voskamp, New York Times bestselling author of One Thousand Gifts
“Kara writes honestly about a subject that few of us want to confront. She even manages to find humor in the midst of a horrifying situation. Most importantly, she points readers to the hope that is found in a God whose grace is sufficient for every trial, and whose love for His children is steadfast even in the face of despair.”
~ Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family
“Kara Tippetts’ book The Hardest Peace is at the same time deeply convicting and encouraging. Kara is brutally honest in sharing her struggles all the way from a young girl to now as a mother of four battling recurrent cancer. Through it all, she has found the deep reality of God’s grace and love. This is a book everyone ought to read.”
~ Jerry Bridges, author of Trusting God Even When Life Hurts
About the author
Kara Tippetts is the wife of one excellent man and the mother of four amazing children. She supports her husband, Jason, as he is planting a church in Colorado Springs. Her story was dramatically changed in 2012 when Kara was first diagnosed with cancer. She has shared honestly the painful journey of walking through suffering and looking for Jesus through her increasingly popular blog, www.mundanefaithfulness.com.
In September of 2013 her diagnosis changed, as more cancer was found in her reproductive system and brain. She lives for the graces of time, time with loved ones, time spent building community and sharing her story of living life in grace. Tippetts continues to maintain her blog where she shares her daily struggle in finding grace in all areas of life, not only in her journey with cancer.