I don’t know how a heart can be heavy and relieved at the same time, but it can.
Today, Kara Tippetts, a friend to so many—a wife, mother, daughter and sister went home to be with Jesus. We knew it was coming. We’ve been preparing for this for a while. But the sting is still there.
At first, I was doing okay. Kara suffered so much, endured so much pain, that I only had quiet tears and relief that she no longer suffered.
But then it hit. Now, I have swollen eyelids and a disbelief that she’s really gone. It just doesn’t seem possible, no matter how long we’ve had to prepare.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been processing my thoughts and feelings with these keys. How do we do this? How do we let her go?
I still don’t know the answers to those questions.
I only know Kara.
Stubborn. Strong. She clung to faith. She fought the temptation to take her eyes off of Jesus, even for a second. She was a friend. Funny. Wise. Witty. Sarcastic. An encourager.
If she hadn’t been so great, maybe this wouldn’t be so hard. But I imagine there’s a lot of hard to come. For Jason and the kids… for their families. I’ve spent a lot of time praying for them and will continue to, as I know so many will. I know they will be lifted up.
Tonight, as I was putting my daughter to bed, she confessed that she’s sad over Kara… and that it made her think about me.
I didn’t rush to reassure her that I would never leave her. I took to the opportunity to talk about believing Jesus died for us, how that means we’ll get to go to Heaven one day. That we have the promise of being together after we leave this earth. We talked about how we get to have that hope.
And then we discussed where we should meet in Heaven one day.
She and my son offered suggestions… we’d just settled on the corner of Jelly Bean Lane and Gold Street (Hey, they’re kids. The sky in heaven was also made of chocolate in this conversation) when my daughter interrupted with excitement.
I know! Let’s meet at Kara’s house.
Peace rolled through me. Yes, I thought. That sounds perfect. And so we agreed that’s where we’ll find each other in Heaven.
I may not know how to do this or how her family will do this, but I know God will show up. He always does.
The other day, I was distraught over the thought of knowing how to let Kara go.
I texted a friend.
How are we supposed to know how to do this?
Her reply came back: We’re not. Jesus will meet us at the bottom.
Grace came in those words. And it is in this story. If you’re just tuning in, whatever you do, don’t miss the grace.
We may have heartbreaking sorrow. But our sorrow is laced with peace.
Kara would want us to dance. She would want us to love our children and husbands. To enter in with those around us. To parent with kindness. To love big.
She certainly did.