Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard

The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's HardThe Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life's Hard by Kara Tippetts

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is about Kara life, battler, and beauty of battling cancer. This is one of the best books I have ever read about someone battling cancer. She gives much insight on a Christian's life living in a "hard" place. As you read the quotes below, please know Kara is now in Heaven worshipping her Savior!

I trust the quotes below (many from authors she read) will be a blessing to you:

It is a honed art, as well as a spiritual discipline, to be able to step back for the details and see how her own stories are woven into a much bigger one…God’s story. ~Joni Eareckson Tada

Kara and I both recognize the vulnerability and transparency are so necessary and communicating a powerful story. But we also know that our testimonies won’t really reach ---or even change--- the life of the reader. Only the Word of God can do that. Which is why I so appreciate The Hardest Peace. It is filled with snippets of songs and slices of encouraging scriptures that in express the story of God and his purpose in our pain. Kara has a way of reminding us that God’s reasons are perfect and that our Savior, intimately acquainted with grief and suffering, is constantly pleading our case before heaven’s throne. What could be more comforting than that? ~Joni Eareckson Tada

My child, the troubles and temptations of your life are beginning and maybe many, but you can overcome and outlive them all if you learn to feel the strength and tenderness of your Heavenly Father. ~Lisa May Alcott, Little Women

If I am going to see myself clearly, I need you to hold the mirror of God’s Word in front of me. ~Paul David Tripp, Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hand

This is indeed the deepest comfort – – to be accepted by God, totally forgiven, and then by grace to forgive the deepest wounds and hurts. ~Rosa Marie Miller, From Fear To Freedom

The work of restoration cannot begin until our problem is fully faced. ~Dan Allender

We are not the author of our story. We are the characters.

Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and trouble is to school and intelligence and make it a soul? ~John Keats

When we lay the soil of our hard lives open to the rain of grace and let joy penetrate our cracked and dry places, let joy soak into our broken skin and deep crevices, life grows. How can this not be the best thing for this world? For us? The clouds open when we mouth thanks. ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts

If the honesty with which I tell my story where the limitation of His strength, well, I would be screwed. But imagine if He were intimately involved in my story, which He is. Imagine if He showed Himself in my hard, which He did, and what if the hard of my story is the beautiful redemption of my today? Could suffering then take on a different hue? Could the coloring of the hard not be so dark, so hateful and gloomy? The well-meaning emails that admonish the way I speak about my story caused me to wonder at the depth of grace that can be understood without the presence of God in the midst of our suffering. If our hard is the absence of a good God, and how can anyone walk in faith?

Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. ~Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts Devotional

Your story is a good story. In the grief, pain, and hope, the Author has a plan. It may feel like a desperate breaking of your very hard, but suffering is not the absence of God or good. In our culture the call often seems to be winning, being the best, most beautiful, most successful, but what if that isn’t the good story? How has suffering made your story richer? How has it shaped your story?

Il faut souffrir pour etre belle. You must suffer in order to be beautiful.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I said Gandalf, “and so do all who lived to see such times. But this is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.” ~J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Jason recently said in a sermon, “We want suffering to be like pregnancy – – we have a season, and it’s over, and there is a tidy moral to the story.” I've come to sense that isn't what faith is at all. What if there is never an end? What if the story never improves and the test continue to break our hearts? Is God still good? How does our story of love change when we look head-on at my absence from this life? How do you live realistically when you feel like your moments are fading, fleeting, too momentary? How do you fight for normal in the midst of the crushing daily news of more hard? How do you see cope without forgetting reality? How do we wrap our children and our love story and continue to live intentionally getting salty tears in the baked ziti? How do we share the story being written for us with our children while we try to protect their childhood? Bald can lead to such beauty. But it is never, ever pretty.

Marriage is an illustration, a living illustration of our marriage to Jesus. Marriage is a reminder, a shadow, a picture of what is to come. When a marriage is based on Jesus, based on love, on grace, on the goodness of God in relationship, all who come in contact with that marriage will go away blessed, richer, nourished. Marriage is to be the place of freedom to deeply know God’s goodness, mercy, forgiveness, and grace. It is to point us to the ultimate Goodness, Mercy, Forgiveness, and Grace that is to come. Is the ultimate “now and not yet” in living.

Yet, while we are comforted by knowing this, let us not rest contented with a weak faith, but ask, like the Apostles, to have it increased. However feeble our face may be, If it be real faith in Christ, we shall reach heaven at last, but shall not honor our Master much on our pilgrimage, neither shall we abound in joy and peace. If, then, you would live to Christ’s glory, and be happy in His service, seek to be filled with the Spirit of adoption more and more completely, tell perfect love cast out fear. ~Charles Spurgeon, Morning by Morning

But because I believe God’s plans for me are better than what I could plan for myself, rather than run away from the path he has set before me, I want to run toward it. I don’t want to try to change God’s mind – – his thoughts are perfect. I want to think his thoughts. I don’t want to change God’s timing – – his timing is perfect. I want the grace to except his timing I don’t want to change God’s plan – – his plan is perfect. I want to embrace his plan and see how he is glorified through it. I want to submit. ~Nancy Guthrie, Holding onto Hope

Give me the courage to stand the pain to get the grace. ~Flannery O’Connor, A Prayer Journal

There is no occasion when meals should become totally unimportant. Meals can be very small indeed, very inexpensive, short time staking in the midst of a big push of work, but they should be always more than just food. ~Edith Schaeffer, Hidden Art

Then the Shepherd smiled more comfortably than ever before, laid both hands on her head and said, “Be strong, yea, be strong and fear not.” Then He continued, “Much- Afraid, don’t ever allow yourself to begin trying to picture what it will be like. Believe Me, when you get to the places which you dread you will find that they are as different as possible from what you have imagined, just as was the case when you were actually ascending the precipice. I must warn you that I see your enemies lurking among the trees ahead, and if you ever let Craven Fear begin painting a picture on the scene of your imagination, you will walk with fear and trembling and agony, where no fear is.” ~Hannah Hurnard, Hinds’ Feet on High Places

Trusting God when the miracle does not come, when the urgent prayer gets no answer, when there is only darkness – – this is the kind of faith God values perhaps most of all. This is the kind of faith that can be developed and displayed in the midst of difficult circumstances. This is the kind of faith that cannot be shaken because it is a result of having been shaken. ~Nancy Guthrie, Holding onto Hope

For the Christian, death is not the end of adventure but a doorway from a world where dreams and adventures shrink to a world where dreams and adventures forever expand. ~Wayne Triplett, Heaven Is Waiting

Interestingly enough, the most – asked question in the Bible – – from Genesis to Revelation – – is “How long, O Lord, how long?” And the most repeated command from God is “Do not fear” or “Do not be afraid.” The people of God consistently cry out for relief, and the God of love bids us trust him. ~Scotty Smith, Objects of His Affection

In Heaven everyone and everything is lovable, but as the Lord Jesus said, “if you love them which love you, what reward have ye?” (Matthew 5:46). In Heaven everyone loves everyone else, and in hell no one loves anyone. But on earth we are in a perfect environment for learning how to love as God loves: to abandon ourselves to loving apparently unlovely people who reminded us that in many ways we are still very unlovely ourselves. ~Hannah Hernard, Hinds Feet on High Places

The sweetest thing in all my life has been loving – – to reach the Mountain, to find the place were all the beauty came from… my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back. ~C. S. Lewis, Till We Have Faces

God’s purposes in present grief may not be fully known in a week, in a year, or even in this lifetime. Indeed, some of God’s purposes will not even be known when believers die and go to be with the Lord. Some will only be discovered at the day of final judgment when the Lord reveals the secrets of all hearts and commends with special honor those who trusted him in hardship even though they could not see the reason for it: they trusted him simply because he was their God and they knew him to be worthy of trust. It is in times when the reason for hardship cannot be seen that trust in God alone seems to be most pure and precious in His sight. Such faith He will not forget, but will store up as a jewel of great value and beauty to be displayed and delighted in on the day of judgment. ~Wayne Grudem, The First Epistle of Peter

Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don’t know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them – – we can love completely without complete understanding. ~Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It and Over Stories

I recommend to anyone who is suffering through hardships or knows someone that is.

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To order this book click here!

Here is link to her blog, she wrote it as she was going through the struggle and now that she is in Heaven her family members continue a beautiful tribute to her by writing in her blog!

Here is the tribute to Kara's life!

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