A few years ago, one of the blogs I consistently read was by a woman named Kara Tippetts. Although I would never meet Kara, her words and life touched me in deep, lasting ways. Kara’s blog was about her journey with cancer, as a young mother and pastor’s wife. Her posts were hard, sad, and incredibly beautiful. When Kara went home to be with Jesus, I felt like I had lost a very precious friend.
This afternoon, I finished her book, And It was Beautiful, and yes, it was. It was melancholy, sorrowful, and yet so joy-saturated and gospel-touched. This book answered the questions I didn’t know how to put into words during the years of 2014-2015: Does grace go all the way down? Does it reach the depths? And when it is at the very bottom, will it be enough?
Kara’s words and life would answer these questions with a resounding yes. Grace goes all the way down, all the way to death, because Jesus went to the grave for us. At the very bottom, grace is always enough, because Jesus is always enough. There is nothing so hard that his grace cannot sustain us through. Even death.
Perhaps because Kara faced death every day, she was as concerned with living well as she was with dying well. In reading this book (which is a compilation of some of her blog posts), a few things stand out above all else. Relationships matter—deeply. And Jesus is all.
By way of closing, I’ll share with you some of my favorite words from Kara:
“Don’t imagine yourself in the future, because that is you without the grace provided for that moment” (35).
“My heart’s desire is to always be moving toward those people in my life I love so very much. I will fight against the distance, always” (106).
“The tie that binds me here is relationships. Sickness makes those bonds more real, more important. It’s people who grip my heart” (112).
“We are all desperately afraid of what’s hard, but once we face it, it’s possible we find a new joy we hadn’t known before” (131).
“My hope is that I would be slow enough and quiet enough to hear His voice, to be still and know that he is God and I am not” (148).
“I have seen, in my own story, the taking of strength is grace, huge grace to draw me to Jesus” (180).
“Often God uses the painful edges of life to draw us into a deeper, richer relationship with Him” (188).
“If there’s one thing the Enemy of our hearts cannot understand, it is the love of God” (236).
That. The love of God. This love is deep enough, vast enough to take in all of the hard, all of the mess, all of the fear, all of the death. His gracious love is enough for all of it and then some.