It starts with a phone call, a knock on the door, a doctor’s test result and out of nowhere, hard just showed up.
Suddenly, life becomes divided into before/after.
What do you do when the news isn’t yours? How do you just show up when a friend goes through HARD?
Saturday, I started reading Just Show Up; The Dance of Walking Through Suffering Together by Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn. Within three sentences, I was devouring the pages.
Warm words and gentleness invite us to know the authors and the excruciating, miraculous ways God built this community of friends and taught them how to deal with Kara’s hard and strengthen their relationships.
God put this book in my path because I’ve always known how to care for others in my heart, sometimes too much, but I haven’t always known how to just show up and love people when hurt feelings or insecurities or intensely hard circumstances just show up on our doorsteps.
When life is busy, friendships that balance grace and kindness challenge most of us, but these women dance through this long goodbye with a beauty that only God could have created out of gut-wrenching painful circumstances.How do you handle HARD when it lands on your friend's doorstep? Just Show UP. Click To Tweet
I found tremendous beauty in the way each friend’s gifting served a purpose for Kara and their group. God knit together these friends.
Kara and Jill both write with eloquence and gentleness. I was living this story with them. Maybe because I’ve had some similar hard in my life and close friends that I’ve asked to mother my children if something ever happened to me, but some is just their writing ability and openness.
Jill and Kara take turns writing in each chapter, but they both write stunningly, like water gliding softly over river stones. I caught myself feeling the weight of their emotions so dramatically I couldn’t catch my breath.
Jill discusses the delicate origami art of folding their feelings in and out of the circle of pain to support Kara and her family, caring for each other’s friendships with Kara as she struggled to be herself.
They showed up intentionally for Kara and each other through casseroles and funeral plans. Or ordered pizzas for us non-cooking introverts who are not spiritually gifted in the meal providing. Thank heavens for Little Caesars.
One page, I would be almost physically ill hurting and crying with them and the next my heart would soar with how God worked through that moment.
Each chapter ends with asking just two questions to help us be better friends and better receivers if we’re the friend on the hard side of things.
Bible verses and Godly perspectives pepper this book with more than just how to help a friend deal with a terminal illness, but also practical ways to be a help when sometimes we don’t know what to do or say.
Just Show Up reminds us that platitudes can be worse than silence and hugs are currency for hard.
Any friendship could benefit from learning how to be honest, gracefully forgive weaknesses, and find ways to bless each other through the tough parts of life, even when that doesn’t mean cancer.
I want to buy this book for every woman I know. Offering grace to our friends doesn’t always come naturally, and this book shows how faith and belief, even when tested to the core, can bring us to the door with banana pudding and open arms when we say yes and just show up.