Kara’s Collection: Guest Post ~ Retreat Love

from an article originally posted September 16, 2014…  

I have known Kara for 10 years. My name is Autumn, but I am blessed to be called her Diana and to call her my Anne of Green Gables. (If you have no clue why, be sure you read L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables; it’s a great book). God gave us one another because He knew we needed each other, and I am ever so thankful!

This weekend Kara and her two oldest girls flew to NC. This was Kara’s first women’s retreat. Kara has warned me not to just brag on her here, but I must say that is going to be really hard. The retreat was amazing.

God used Kara this weekend to challenge an entire audience, myself included, to love Jesus. She challenged the women to love their husbands, families, and communities. She asked us to be intentional in how we love and to use our health while we have it. She asked us to truly live in community, that each of us has a unique story and to tell it.

I had the privilege of knowing Kara before she had cancer. We were stay-at-home moms with young children and spent lots and lots of time together. The thing I know best about Kara is that even back then, even before a great illness came upon her, God used Kara to grow people. We used to sit on my couch or hers, small kids running in and out of the room and she would challenge me. She asked me hard questions, made me think about the way I lived. She and Jason mentored my husband and me without it being called mentoring. She knew my weak spots and sin struggles and I knew hers. This weekend she stood on the stage and challenged each of us that we can be doing this, too. We can get into people’s lives. That your neighbor’s story is important. That loving your children well is important. That life isn’t easy, but being intentional about love is important.

God is using Kara to speak into the heart of so many. He is using her blog and her book to speak to people in a way we need to be spoken to. I left the retreat emotional and sad, tired and excited, thankful and blessed. I am but one of many that love Kara.

I had the unique opportunity to sit next to Kara while she signed some of her books. It was so encouraging to see women from all walks of life come to her, honored to meet her, thankful for her words and how she encourages them to love better and love bigger.

Kara, I have done my best not to simply brag on you. I love you so much, though. You spent years loving me even though I was a mess. You guided and directed me into disciplining my kids with kindness. You were my everyday friend. We talked, texted, and grew together. I love you, I love our shared time together. You were amazing this weekend.