It’s All Grace ~ Guest Post by Jill Buteyn

Here we are. Right where we knew in our souls we might be one day, but where we prayed and prayed we wouldn’t be. Doing life without Kara.

Grief is strange. Some days I function almost normally. Other days, the simplest thing will bring me to tears. At times, it’s as though a dam has broken inside of me that may never be patched. I compare my grief to others and I’m left confused. Why are they doing it that way and I’m doing it this way?

I’m not even sure how to grieve—as if there’s a handbook and I’m missing pages. I’ve left things undone, simple things I can’t seem to accomplish. And yet some days fly by with a strange sense of normal. I fear a bit that the denial I was in before Kara flew away is still with me. That reality is going to sneak around a corner one day and choke me. It has. It does. All on its own schedule.

I miss her. We all do. Yet at times, I won’t allow myself even that feeling, because it seems as though that pain, that hole, should be reserved for family and Jason and the kids. That all of my prayers should go toward them. Toward lifting them up. Praying for peace. Praying that they’ll feel surrounded by grace and love and strength outside of themselves.

And I know how important those prayers are because I’ve seen them work.

Throughout Kara’s cancer battle, the Tippetts’ home was always filled with a remarkable sense of peace. It was almost touchable in its intensity. Many of us girls would share this same thought with each other. When we would go visit Kara, sometimes she would be sleeping, and so we would often sit with Mickey. She was a receiver of us—a gracious host who knew our hearts intimately and loved us well. Still loves us well. But always, always, just being in their home brought us peace. Even when we didn’t get to see Kara.

It was a reset button. A gift.

How do you explain peace like that in a home where the battle against cancer raged?

God. Only God could make that happen.

And you were the ones who whispered prayers for that peace. Who are still whispering and asking. The Bible says nothing is impossible with God. So maybe that remarkable peace can be had again in our grief.

Peace doesn’t take away the hurt. It didn’t stop us from wanting to keep Kara here and it doesn’t stop us from missing her now. It feels more like a well loved quilt tucked around us while we mourn. Though the pain still exists, it’s covered in something outside of my comprehension. The product of thousands of prayers going up.

Maybe even in this hurt, we can know—even if we don’t understand—that there is a greater plan at work. One we aren’t going to comprehend until the mysteries of Heaven are revealed to us.

I’ve seen many followers of the blog comment and say thank you. Thank you for letting us in, for keeping us informed. But now we get the privilege of saying it back to you.

Thank you for praying. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I know we’ll never know all of the people praying for Jason, Ella, Harper, Lake, and Story, for Jason and Kara’s families, even praying for those of us surrounding them.

It’s… I don’t have words for it. Kara would say it’s grace. It’s all grace. And she’d be right.