From an article originally posted September 27, 2012…
On a crisp, winter day last January, I was introduced to my sweet Kara at our daughters’ basketball game. I’d spent the preceding 4 months recovering from the sudden and painful end of a 25+ year friendship, and I had vowed to never share my vulnerabilities or my heart with another friend for fear that history might repeat itself.
Have you met Kara? If you have, you know that your every vulnerability, your heart, your secrets—they’re all safe with her. It didn’t take long after our initial meeting for me to know that about her and to fall to my knees and thank the Lord over and over and over for answering my prayers for a Godly, trustworthy, tender-hearted, and loving friend.
By the end of the school year, we’d settled into an easy and comfortable friendship. I shared my (hair-raising) testimony with Kara, and she neither gasped nor stopped returning my phone calls.
We rejoiced together when she and Jason found a great house on the West side of town, where their new church will eventually be. We discussed paint colors and decorating ideas and imagined all the fun our kids would have playing in the backyard together.
Less than 2 weeks after they moved in, Jason, Kara, and the kids were evacuated as a result of the Waldo Canyon Fire. While we mourned with other families who lost their homes in the fire, we rejoiced with the Tippetts when they were able to return to their home and continue settling in.
In July, I received a call from Jason inviting me to celebrate Kara’s birthday with her and several friends. I programmed his cell phone into my contact information and was surprised when caller id showed his number again a couple of short weeks later.
It’s a phone call I’ll never forget. Jason shared with me that Kara had breast cancer. My brain couldn’t process what I’d just heard and I said something ridiculous like, “Please let me know if I can do anything.” Ugh...
I hung up the phone and cried. And, prayed. And cried and prayed.
Cancer had never been so personal. My dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer the previous year, had surgery, and is now cancer free—Praise God! We are thankful that he didn’t have to endure chemotherapy or any other ongoing treatment.
Kara’s story is so very different. It’s so personal. She is sick. She is enduring the hell that is chemotherapy. She has lost her hair. She is not the picture of health and youth that she was a few short months ago.
I love my friend so much. I hurt when she hurts.
I wish I could take even ONE chemo treatment for her to allow her an extra week or two of enough energy to enjoy her husband, her babies, her girlfriends, her people.
I wish it would make her feel better to let me shave all my hair off.
I wish I could buy enough candles, magazines, Life Savers, ginger tea, and jammies to make this nightmare end.
I wish I could say just the right amount of inappropriate words to make her laugh the tumors right out of her body.
I wish my tears were enough to wash the cancer away.
I’m so very thankful that Kara is so deeply in love with Jesus. Read her blog and you’ll learn that she has a firm grasp on the reality of God’s grace in her world, in her home, in her life, even in her cancer. He is growing my sweet friend’s heart—a heart that you wouldn’t believe could get any bigger.
And, He’s growing my heart too.
Thank you for making me want to try new things, for making me want to be a better wife and mommy, for helping me want to know more about my Savior. You’ve shared your heart and made me want to share mine.
I love you, my sweet friend and I love what Jesus is teaching me through you.
Early in your journey, the Lord gave me this Psalm that I pray for you each day: