Kara’s House

Jill Uncategorized 22 Comments

I don’t know how a heart can be heavy and relieved at the same time, but it can.

Today, Kara Tippetts, a friend to so many—a wife, mother, daughter and sister went home to be with Jesus. We knew it was coming. We’ve been preparing for this for a while. But the sting is still there.

At first, I was doing okay. Kara suffered so much, endured so much pain, that I only had quiet tears and relief that she no longer suffered.
But then it hit. Now, I have swollen eyelids and a disbelief that she’s really gone. It just doesn’t seem possible, no matter how long we’ve had to prepare.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been processing my thoughts and feelings with these keys. How do we do this? How do we let her go?

I still don’t know the answers to those questions.

I only know Kara.

Stubborn. Strong. She clung to faith. She fought the temptation to take her eyes off of Jesus, even for a second. She was a friend. Funny. Wise. Witty. Sarcastic. An encourager.

If she hadn’t been so great, maybe this wouldn’t be so hard. But I imagine there’s a lot of hard to come. For Jason and the kids… for their families. I’ve spent a lot of time praying for them and will continue to, as I know so many will. I know they will be lifted up.

Tonight, as I was putting my daughter to bed, she confessed that she’s sad over Kara… and that it made her think about me.

I didn’t rush to reassure her that I would never leave her. I took to the opportunity to talk about believing Jesus died for us, how that means we’ll get to go to Heaven one day. That we have the promise of being together after we leave this earth. We talked about how we get to have that hope.

And then we discussed where we should meet in Heaven one day.

She and my son offered suggestions… we’d just settled on the corner of Jelly Bean Lane and Gold Street (Hey, they’re kids. The sky in heaven was also made of chocolate in this conversation) when my daughter interrupted with excitement.

I know! Let’s meet at Kara’s house.

Peace rolled through me. Yes, I thought. That sounds perfect. And so we agreed that’s where we’ll find each other in Heaven.

I may not know how to do this or how her family will do this, but I know God will show up. He always does.

The other day, I was distraught over the thought of knowing how to let Kara go.

I texted a friend.
How are we supposed to know how to do this?
Her reply came back: We’re not. Jesus will meet us at the bottom.

Grace came in those words. And it is in this story. If you’re just tuning in, whatever you do, don’t miss the grace.
We may have heartbreaking sorrow. But our sorrow is laced with peace.

Kara would want us to dance. She would want us to love our children and husbands. To enter in with those around us. To parent with kindness. To love big.

She certainly did.

Comments 22

  1. Jenny Fitzgerald

    Thank you, Jill!!! Kara’s house! I LOVE that!!!! I love it! I love all you girls for loving Kara so well! I’m so sorry for the pain that will be tasted now that she’s with Jesus. Peter Marshall, after his dad went Home to Glory, said ..something like “If he is with Thee and Thou art with me, then how can he be very far away?” Praying and praying for all of you dear ones that you will taste and experience such comfort, such peace, such hope from our Living Savior…who our Beautiful Kara is face to face with right now!!!!

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  2. Monica

    Jill – I have a few other stops to make first, but I’ll see you at Kara’s house too. I am excited to meet you both! Until then, may all of Kara’s dear ones be flooded with the peace that passes all understanding.

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  3. Megan

    Stunning and heart-wrenching. I am thankful for your words and for the testimony of a woman I never had the honor of meeting in this lifetime. But I’m pretty sure the door to her house will be wide open, so don’t be surprised if I pop in too! Grace upon grace….thanks, Jill. And, I’m so sorry for your loss. I know Kara was mighty special to you and so many others.

  4. Beth

    Tears again this morning, not for Kara, but for her precious family and friends. Thank you for writing so eloquently for those of us who were never blessed to know her here, but were blessed by her out-loud faith in cyberspace. See you at Kara’s house one day!

  5. Beth K. Vogt

    I know you are missing your friend, even as your breathe a sigh of relief that she is with Jesus today — pain-free.
    When we all get to heaven, I hope you’ll take me to Kara’s house. I didn’t get to meet her this side of heaven, except through her blogs and what you wrote about her here. But all those glimpses make me look forward to one day meeting her when we’re all clothed in our new bodies and God’s glorious grace.
    Sending you a hug this day.

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  6. Rebekah

    Thank you, Jill. Your words help with the sting. I love that your daughter suggested meeting at Kara’s house. Great idea! I think lots of people will be meeting there! Thank you.

  7. Kris Darlington

    Love your words Jill! I was so encouraged reading about your sweet time with your kids. I am praying for you in this tough time. Thank you for modeling friendship so well. I have been blessed to watch your love for Kara and her love for you. Kara certainly has challenged me to love bigger and chase after Jesus in all my circumstances.

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  8. Jeanne Takenaka

    Jill, so beautifully written. Can I meet up with you at Kara’s house too? My heart is heavy for Kara’s family, for you and the friends who surrounded her, and for their families. In these days of sorrow, may God give you hope. And I love the reminder that God’s grace meets us at the bottom.

    Hugs, friend.

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  9. Leigh Ann

    Kara helped me this summer as I went through chemo to find beauty and forget about my own pity party. It was so great to see how she loved her family and friends. It gives me peace -even though I never met her- to know what amazing friends she has to love her family in the future days and years. I’ve been praying for her family and you all her friends in this bittersweet time. (I’m sorry if this is intruding upon a sweet story. This was so kind of you to share this story. I just had to tell you thank you and God bless. )

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  10. Ginger Klietz

    Jill, I’m very sorry for your loss and even knowing Kara’s with Jesus, healed, whole, dancing….still isn’t easy for you. I truly understand what you’re experiencing I lost my best friend nearly 29 yrs. ago (repeat offender drunk driver killed her). Your raw edges of Kara’s loss from your day-to-day life will heal as much as you allow God to do so. Even now I see things my friend would have giggled over, teared up about and it still tugs at my heart….no other person could replace her (nor should they) but I did struggle a bit with all the love I poured into our friendship…it needed to be spread around; perhaps that may give you a bit of a pause as you go through this process of loss, Jill. And I humbly offer this: that love never dies, spread it around in honor of Kara; trust Jesus, Jill, He will open numerous opportunities to honor the high-spirited woman who exuded The Fruit of The Spirit. Again, please accept my sincere condolences. Indeed, His Grace will meet you at the bottom of this.

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      Jill Lynn

      Thank you so much. I appreciate your words and heart. We will definitely keep spreading love. And please accept my condolences on your loss as well.

  11. Lori D'Amico

    Dear Jill,
    You don’t know me but I know a bit about you through Kara’ s blog and so I looked online and found your site. I don’t want to bother you in this difficult time but just want to say hello and tell you I am praying for you as well as the Tippetts family. How are you holding up? I pray Jesus is meeting you in your hard places!
    I know this will sound crazy since I didn’t know Kara personally , but I miss her. And my heart absolutely aches for Jason and especially the children! How do little kids ever get over such a profound loss? I am a Christian and so I know the answer is Jesus and yet I know also there will still be tears and hard times. Oh how I pray for all those that love Kara!! Her service was so beautiful yesterday–I watched it live online and am so grateful for that opportunity!

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      Jill Lynn

      Thank you for your prayers and care. We believe he’s going to be with us and the Tippetts, and I’m so thankful for that hope. Blessings.

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