It didn’t take long after we first met for me to know that I wanted to be your friend.
I’d only recently ended two lifelong friendships and my heart was still broken. You came alongside me and said, “I’ve been there, too.”
We bonded over our love of thrift stores and creating pretty things. Our friendship was almost instantly comfortable, easy.
begged harassed asked sweetly to hear my story, my testimony and I put you off as long as possible; for the pre-Jesus me isn’t someone I wanted you to know. I told you my story and you helped me to better understand my identity in Christ.
You’re my BFF, Kara Tippetts. Yes, I’m 37 years old and I’m using the term BFF, because it’s just….accurate. You are the person in my life who does friendship best.
You’ve shown me how to partner and parent with kindness with a gentle reminder that love is kind. Time and time again, you’ve pointed to grace where I otherwise would’ve never noticed it. You’ve been my ally in parenthood when our daughters needed to be guided toward repentance and a desire to seek out forgiveness from one another. You’ve shared your community with me, directed me to new and beautiful friendships. You’ve reminded me to look for Jesus during the times when I was working so hard to live in my own strength.
You let me say a lot of bad words when we first learned that you had cancer. You said there was enough grace. I stayed away at first, until I knew that you wanted me there with you. I watched you endure chemo over and over again. You handled it all with such grace and strength.
I’ll never forget the day I gathered alongside you, your family, your community to celebrate your last radiation treatment. I just knew you were done, that we’d move away from cancer and toward all the things we’d planned: our super hip thrift shop, summer cook-outs, mom stuff. Our respite was so short.
Our text conversations are my favorite, mostly because you know that I’m better in writing and that I hate to talk on the phone. But, I sure hated the one that said that treatment was over, that Hospice would be called. I couldn’t catch my breath. I could barely contain my tears.
My heart shattered into a million pieces.
I can’t know what the days, weeks, months will look like for you, for Jason and the kids, for us. But, even today, you continue to remind me that grace will show up. Because, it has and it will.
I don’t want to do life without you, Kara Tippetts. But, it is grace that led you into my life and if Jesus calls you home, that is grace too. Which verse is it that you so often speak? “To live is Christ; to die is gain.”
So, today I long for heaven more than ever and I’ve put in my request that our mansions be built right next door to one another. Can you believe it, friend? We get to worship the One who loves us best for eternity. Together.
I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation commends your works to another;
they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty—
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They tell of the power of your awesome works—
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All your works praise you, Lord;
your faithful people extol you.
They tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all people may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises
and faithful in all he does.[c]
The Lord upholds all who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and faithful in all he does.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever.