Thursday night…the night we had been waiting for, looking forward to for months, was here. My heart was full of pride for Jill and what she did to finish Just Show Up.
But my heart also whispered my dread: You girls will gather but your gatherer won’t be there. How could we celebrate Jill and Kara’s book without Kara?
And then the rainbows showed up above the house of our host—God’s promise of covenant love for his children. I knew that God was there, that Grace would meet us. That we could smile and laugh and it would be okay.
David C. Cook threw an intimate, lovely launch party for Jill. We all felt honored and cherished just to be there. Jill bravely read from Just Show Up hard, beautiful words, and we cried. We prayed and cried some more. And then Mickey started it—she started talking about our girl, our gatherer. The stories flowed and we laughed as we remembered our Kara.
The Grace flowed and we were comforted. To be in this community was to feel snuggled in bed with Kara again—we were safe, warm, loved unconditionally, celebrated, known, adored.
This is Grace, the unmerited love of God. He met us there.
Jill engaged us from this place of Grace. She reminded us that our love is eternal and this is just the beginning of our community. She reminded us that the hard will one day end and our hurting hearts will be redeemed.
Mickey’s softness brought the calm that we had all become accustomed to before Kara left. We begged her to stay, to mama us through the grief. She nurtured us and encouraged us and we became brave.
Grace met us. We imagined Kara celebrating with Jesus. We imagined Kara’s pride for Jill and excitement over her book—the labor of love during last hours on this earth.
And we were grateful. In love, in grief, in excitement. Grateful.