Sunday, February 28, 2016

And It Was Beautiful by Kara Tippetts

Kara Tippetts didn't sign up for the challenge of terminal cancer. She hadn't planned to live for just 39 years. Yet, when cancer came, she ultimately called it a refining gift. “It causes us to see all things beautiful in the mundane.” This collection of her writings, mostly from her blog, helps us understand how Kara Tippetts lived well and died well.

These short essays include what one might expect as well as some surprises. She shares her thoughts on life with cancer, chemo, surgery, radiation, the quick return of the cancer and it invading her brain, living with awful pain, being needy.

She explains how having cancer changed her perspective, seeing God's faithfulness in an entirely new way. She contemplates doing cancer well, living each day in the “valley of the shadow of cancer.” She writes of knowing she had a limited number of days left on this earth with her husband and children, of being intentional in making memories.

I recommend this book to those who are living a life they never expected to live. You will be encouraged and challenged by Tippetts' experience of knowing she had terminal cancer yet fighting for the moments of joy and laughter, and for herself. “I have cancer, but that's only part of who I am.”

I also recommend this book to those who are caring for or ministering to people with a terminal illness. You will find personal insight into one living with the knowledge of death arriving soon. You will understand the humiliating needs of the ill, the reality of not being able to do simple daily tasks. You'll understand a little more how children behave when a parent is dying.

I also recommend this book to readers in general. You will be reminded of the importance of supportive friendship, of being honest with those dear to you, and the necessity of unconditional love. You will read how important it is for couples to love well in the healthy times so there is a strong foundation for the times of illness.

I recommend this book to Christians who want to believe that God will come on the scene and make everything better, who don't want to believe that God has a plan for their lives that includes hard experiences. You will find in Tippetts' writing a strong faith in God's sovereign plan, even when it might include hard experiences, knowing that it is ultimately for His glory.

Food for thought: “The sovereignty of God in suffering is a kindness to keep us utterly dependent in a way our strength resists.”

You can read my review of Kara Tippetts' earlier books, The Hardest Peace and Just Show Up.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Kara Tippetts went to be home with Jesus on March 22, 2015. You can go to to read entries to her blog as well as current contributions by others.

David C. Cook, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.

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