(Reprinted with permission from byfaithonline.com. Photography by Jen Lintz.)
Kara Tippetts, 38, is the wife of PCA church planter Jason Tippetts (Westside Church, Colorado Springs, Colorado) and a mother to four young children. She is also dying of cancer. Not long after receiving her initial diagnosis of breast cancer, Tippetts started a blog called “Mundane Faithfulness,” where she chronicles her daily battle with cancer and her fight for joy in the midst of pain and probable death. Her rawness, sense of humor, and spiritual clarity have particularly connected with women, with close to 30,000 now subscribing to her blog. In late 2014, despite plodding through three weeks every month of chemo treatments, Tippetts published her first book, “The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard” (David C. Cook). This past Thanksgiving, while Tippetts was in Indianapolis, Indiana, speaking to a group of more than 700, byFaith writer Zoe Erler had a chance to talk with her about the book and what keeps her going in the face of her expected prognosis.
You arrived in Colorado Springs in 2012 with the dream of planting a church. Instead you were welcomed with a shocking diagnosis of breast cancer. What did church planting look like then?
We had only been in town six months before I started chemo, and so the church started out basically not having a pastor’s wife. If they wanted to be a welcoming church, they had to be the ones to do it. I didn’t have the strength. I was often sitting there slumped sick in a chair. I would show up, but I didn’t have any pastor’s wife abilities to host other people. Our church plant was really born out of brokenness. But it has created this safe environment of “we don’t have to pretend that we have it all together here.” And then it created a warm community where the people understand it’s their job to capture the new people and to embrace hospitality where we can’t.