HOPE OVERFLOWING

stories of grace, hope and life beyond cancer


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Farewell Kara Tippetts

Yesterday, this world lost a beautiful soul. Her name was Kara Tippetts. She was 38 years old.

I didn’t know Kara. We had never met. She lived on the other side of the pond, in Colorado, USA. Although I didn’t know her she allowed me into her world through her beautiful blog, Mundane Faithfulness. I first encountered her writing late last year when she wrote an open letter to Brittany Maynard, the young lady who chose to end her life due to a terminal brain cancer diagnosis.

I started reading Kara’s blog regularly, and despite our thoughts on suffering being a little different, over and over again I found myself moved, encouraged and challenged. Even the blog’s title spoke straight to my heart as through my own cancer journey I found myself valuing faithfulness more and more as even when I had nothing to give, I could be faithful with what I had. I could be faithful in the mundane parts of life. This was all that I could offer.

Through the blog and a few short videos I watched Kara come to terms with the fact that she was dying with amazing dignity and grace and it was a privilege to witness this from a distance.

I think that one of the reasons that Kara’s life captivated me so was that, other than geography, many of our circumstances were really similar… We were both diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012, both mums of young children, both married to pastors with a heart for church planting, both desperate to stay on Earth… not afraid to die, but not ready to leave either… Kara described how she felt about dying as feeling like a little girl at a party whose Dad had come to get her early. She was so upset about it as she just wasn’t ready to leave. It was too soon…

And so today my heart aches. Why is it that I am well and thriving and she has left this world? Why is it that tomorrow I get to celebrate another birthday but she won’t get to celebrate again? Why is it that tomorrow I get to cuddle my baby and walk hand in hand with my guy and she doesn’t anymore?

I don’t know.

I don’t know why she was taken so soon and I was given more time.

I will never know.

But, I am so thankful for the life she had. She lived it well. It was so evident that it was full of love, friendship, grace, forgiveness, peace and kindness. She ran the race well and was faithful to the end.

Yet again, I am reminded that life is short and life is precious. As I enter my 33rd year I rejoice in growing a little older as it means I am still here! I am still at the party. This year, more than ever I choose to live my life well.

Farewell, Kara Tippetts. You blessed more people than you will ever know.


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Birthdays

This weekend sees another milestone in our lives, and an exciting one at that! This weekend I will be attending my very first second birthday party (I think since I was two). It is the party of a very special little lad who is the son of two great friends. I cannot wait!

It is funny how life changes as I can’t imagine getting all that excited about going to a children’s birthday party a few years ago! (Although the last children’s party we went to a couple of years back involved a trip to the Early Learning Centre which made Joel more keen than ever before to have children!) But in this season I am really looking forward to celebrating this wonderful little life.

I have been thinking about what to get him for his birthday for ages and finally settled on a gift only to discover whilst at their house today that he already had something very similar. I was mildly gutted but not too heartbroken as I means I get to go shopping for toys again. 🙂 I am excited about baking the number 2 shaped cookies for the children to decorate and for seeing the excitement on this little chap’s face when he sees his friends and his presents. I am excited that before too long it will also be my little one’s turn to celebrate his birthday.

One of the best bits about a birthday party is the moment when the cake comes out with the candles lit and everyone sings happy birthday. It is so lovely to see the sheer delight on the child’s face (adults are less fun as they usually just look awkward) and everyone in the room gets to sing to the child and delight in them and their happiness. And then you get to cheer for them! How wonderful!

That moment of joyful singing and cheering reminds me of Zephaniah 3:17 which says:

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.

He will take great delight in you;

in his love he will no longer rebuke you,but will rejoice over you with singing.

To me this is such a beautiful image of God, His love for us and how precious He thinks we are. He celebrates us, sings over us and cheers for us each step of the way, every day! For me that image just makes me smile and reminds me what an amazing God I worship!