I have known many people who have suffered. Cancer, pain, grief, loneliness. It is all hard to go through alone. No matter how much you rely on God, having someone there to hold your hand and encourage you through it is such a blessing. In the new book Just Show Up, by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn, they give you advice on how to be there for someone who is suffering. How to care for them, what to say, what to not say. You see, Kara Tippetts was that person suffering. She was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. In March 2015, she went to be with the Lord leaving behind a husband, four children, and a huge gaping hole in so many hearts. I was given this book by Family Christian (through David C Cook) in exchange for my review (and I am very glad for it).
Kara Tippetts has shared her entire story on her blog Mundane Faithfulness since the beginning. Her husband (with the help of friends and family) continues writing there as well. I urge you to read her testimony before reading this book because there is so much to be gained from knowing her background.
"I've learned that real beauty
lies in the good that
comes out of the hard."
Being there for someone you love while they are hurting, suffering, or maybe even dying is the hardest thing to do. I struggle with chronic pain (due to thoracic outlet syndrome, degenerative disc syndrome, and other illnesses). No, I am not dying but some days feels like I could. People do not know how to react to me or what to say to me or how to help. When you look okay on the outside people don't take your illness very seriously. But, in Just Show Up we are given some very biblical and comforting advice about this exact subject. Since one of the author's was suffering and the other was the friend.
The story that is woven in this very special book is so bittersweet. I cried and laughed. I could not put this book down. I felt like it was written for me. Although I do suffer from illnesses that keep me from doing a lot of things, I can serve others who are also suffering in some way. I can be the hands and feet of Jesus through my mess as well. Those points are talked about in the book as well as how to cultivate friendships in the hard times, knowing when to keep silent, and when to give them what they need.
"Whether you're entering someone's
life before, during, or after suffering,
it's never too late or too early
to jump in."
I could go on and on about how wonderful Just Show Up is. No matter how much you think you may know about serving those who are hurting and suffering, this is a great read. You will learn so much about what it feels like for the person suffering to be served.
"Depending on how ill a person is,
offering to sit quietly at the
house with them allows the rest of
the family to do something outside
of the home without feeling as
though they are leaving their
If you know someone who is suffering or facing something hard OR if you are the person who is suffering and need help, please read this book. It has comforted my soul and helped me to be able to ask for help and to help in a better and more giving way. This is one of those books that stays with you. It makes your heart open up to those around you. It makes you dig deep into the corners of yourself and find true service for others. I highly recommend this book!
*I was given a copy of this book in exchange for my review. All opinions expressed here are solely my own."