Over the last two years, but most especially in the last couple of weeks, I have been challenged, encouraged, and shaken by the lovely life of two old friends from summer camp, Jason & Kara. (Read their incredible God story here).
I will be forever changed by Kara’s courage.
Her hope in Christ.
Her example of God’s overwhelming grace in her life.
Her flawless fulfillment of the role our Father has given her.
Today’s post is the reflection of the stirring in my soul because of the story of this beautiful sister in Christ and her faithful and loyal husband.
Dear Jason & Kara,
I have been overwhelmed by you and the God story that He has chosen for your lives.
I really don’t think of myself as a person who gets shaken up by much. Because unless someone messes with my husband or children, I just don’t get rattled too easily. But this story – YOUR story, God’s STORY has shaken me to the core.
Our family was out in Colorado Springs in 2013 visiting the Stricklers and Eagle Lake Camp when they shared the devastating news. When we returned home I quickly began to read and catch up on your story and was quickly hooked to your blog. I do have to admit many times I needed to postpone reading in order to muster up the courage to read your hard and truthful words about the reality you were facing.
I keep reading.
I continue to pray.
And not that it is even my business, but I did ask God, “why?”
“Why Jason and Kara, Lord?
They are serving you the best way they know…planting a church to reach the lost.
They have four little people Lord.
Oh Lord, why the Tippets?”
Then softly He spoke.
And I, slowly began to understand…just a little.
Jason and Kara? I chose them.
I chose this family for this road.
They are being carefully cradled in My Love which is overflowing to others.
“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you slaves anymore because a slave doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. I appointed you that you should go out and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is what I command you, LOVE one another.” (John 15:13-17 HCSB)
I am extending to them, My Peace…that cannot be found elsewhere.
“PEACE I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give as the world gives. Your heart must not be troubled or fearful.” (John 14: 27 HCSB)
Their hard road is elegantly and perfectly wrapped in My Hope to share with those they will touch.
“…and always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the HOPE that is in you.” (1 Peter 3:15 HCSB)
To fill others with His Hope.
To give others His Love.
To show those around them His Peace.
Friends, you both have knocked it out. of. the. park!
The story He has woven into your lives is certainly not one you thought about or would wish for. But its the song He desires you both to sing. And what a tremendously difficult song this is. But wow! Have you both fulfilled your roles.
He knew you could do it.
He knew you were the ones to be His voice through this journey.
You have been His hands and His feet.
You have touched those He wanted you to touch.
You have given His love away to those who needed it.
And none of this comes at no expense to you. For you have learned the price. You have accepted the demands on your lives.
Because, unfortunately, to be a follower of Christ, does not equate “easy life.”
In fact, it requires our complete abandon of our own lives in order to live out His.
Each of our abandons look different and I can not even fathom the cross you both have had to bear, but here is what I know…
Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior.
He has written a beautifully difficult story which many of us have had the privilege and honor to have a small peek into.
Through your story many other stories have been started, challenged and maybe brought into the light…why? because you both have allowed God to invade your heart, soul and minds. You have allowed your lives to be enveloped into His bigger story.
As the end here on earth draws near keep looking to Him.
Continue to look to Him for your words, for your strength, for His peace that passes all understanding. I know you will.
He knew you would.
But just so you know, your story has compelled and shaken me…it has challenged and encouraged me as I know it has many, many others.
And because of this God Story so eloquently written before me and your submission to be used by Him,
I am sharper. I am pruned. I have been changed…for the better.
I will continue to pray for Jason and your lovies, but I will not mourn or pity you.
For that would be dishonoring to you both as well as to our Lord.
I will remember.
I will be changed.
I will choose to have “big love” when its hard or when I think I can’t do it.
I will respond with His Mercy, with His Grace, and with His Love.
Thank you Jason and Kara.
Thank you for sharing a little bit of yourselves.
Thank you for being exactly who our Omniscient God created you to be.
Thank you for being true life examples of what “remaining in His love” practically looks like.
And I look forward to seeing you again, when He carries out His promise and will make “everything new.” Our God is an awesome God.