Some books are fun to read; some provide lighthearted motivation or encouragement. Kara Tippetts’ book The Hardest Peace is neither of those.
It is filled with hard circumstances and stories, and challenges readers with the more difficult questions about faith, trust, peace, and God’s goodness.
From the publisher:
About the book:
Kara Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow…and the devastating reality of stage-IV cancer.
In The Hardest Peace, Kara invites readers to see the grace of the everyday in all seasons of life and to live well even when the living is hard. This book is an invitation to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Just as the thousands of people who read her blog know, Tippetts explores the hardest questions of life with rare beauty and honesty. Most of all, she draws them back to the God who is present, in the ordinary and the suffering, and shapes every life into the best story of all.
Kara Tippetts and her husband, Jason, have four children and are planting a church in Colorado Springs, CO. Cancer is only part of Kara’s story. Her real fight is to truly live while facing a crushing reality. She blogs faithfully at mundanefaithfulness.com.
My thoughts on The Hardest Peace:
This was not an easy book to read. I was confronted with my own selfish desires for comfort and ease, for a pain-free and “blessed” life. Kara challenged my notion of what blessing actually means.
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. The beautiful, ugly raising to the surface of the importance of each and every moment.
The chapter entitled “Love is Kind,” in which she shares the stories of meeting and marrying her husband, convicted me about the unkindness I often display towards the one God has given me as leader and partner. She says this within the chapter:
Jason often says marriage is the fast road to sanctification. Sanctification–the beautiful and sometimes painful refining of a soul, the kindness of God to involve Himself in our growth in grace. Marriage is often the beautiful tool He uses to shape our lives and expose our edges.
Several times, while reading, I found myself fighting back tears as I thought through the hard and beautiful truths. At the end of each chapter there are questions for the reader–tough questions–to help you process those truths and apply them, no matter what your situation might be.
I would highly recommend The Hardest Peace to anyone who has the courage to be challenged, and at the same time comforted, by the God who does not promise ease, but “…who is with us in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our unmet expectations and pain into beauty.”