I wanted to read The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippets because I thought it would help me in understanding better what my friend who has cancer is experiencing. But this book is about much more than a woman’s journey with cancer. It’s a love story shared beginning with meeting her husband at youth camp. It’s a mother’s journal of a deep love for her children. Most of all it is an account of God’s goodness even in the midst of cancer.
“But we are not the Author of our story. We are the characters.”
Kara exposes her heart struggles as cancer returns time and again. Yet this is how she describes her cancer:
“Cancer is a gift. There, I said it. I can say that cancer and suffering give the beautiful gift of perspective. It is the gift you never wanted, the gift wrapped in confusion and brokenness and heartbreak. It’s the gift that strips all your other ideas of living from you completely.”
When her daughter asked if her mama would die of old age or of cancer. Kara responded to her with her own question:
“In the most painful fear and hurts of our lives, will God be good? Not just the simple: God is good, indeed, always good. Not the rote, recited, memorized answers we have been trained to give in the edges of life. But the asking: Is Jesus really good in the awful of cancer, fire and heartbreak and devastation? In the face of all that is broken, is God good?”
Together they cried as Kara told her that God’s grace would be there for her no matter if she died of old age or cancer.
Kara’s words reminded me of the importance of spending quality time with those we love. Her testimony helped me to cling to the fact that God is indeed good even when circumstances are bad. That, my friends, is the hardest peace…trusting in His sovereignty even when faced with the most difficult trial.
The book ends with a letter to her husband and children followed by a letter from her husband. She leaves the reader with a quote from Dan Allender from To Be Told:
“So take seriously the story that God has given you to live. It’s time to read your own life, because your story is the one that could set us all ablaze.”
You can still read Kara’s journey at her blog Mundane Faithfulness.