She was wearing a knit hat. Not surprising for November in Colorado Springs. But when she took it off her suffering was exposed. Her eyes were bright and her smile was warm and her head was bald from chemo.
Now Kara has gone Home to be with the Lord. She was still battling cancer back in November, but in early February her doctors conceded that the chemo wasn’t working. It was time to concentrate on controlling her pain and easing her into death. As Kara said, it was time for the long goodbye.
I am seeing the fading of my life and the shortening of my days. The cancer cells are multiplying, and my strength is decreasing. There is only one answer: the Author of Peace will meet me in my deep distress. His answer is certain; His presence is my peace. — Anchor Devotional, March 11, 2015
Her confidence was confirmed in her final days. She had peace that all would be well with her husband and children; peace that God had written her story; peace that the cross had won her redemption; peace that entering heaven would be unimaginable joy. Jesus kept meeting her with an answer of peace every time her suffering raised a question. And the best answer was Jesus Himself. The anguish gave way because Jesus was there and “His presence is peace.”
Her husband Jason, experienced the same remarkable peace: “As much as it is heart-wrenching it is also peaceful. . . I have an us that cannot be lost . . . But I grieve as I watch her fade. The peace that is in our house is amazing, peace in the midst of tears, peace in the midst of impending loss, but it is peace.”
Jason is a pastor. He preaches on Sunday and then practices what he preaches every day in this crucible of pain. He knows Jesus isn’t telling them they ought to have peace or commanding them to work for peace. He’s simply giving them His peace as a gift of grace:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. — John 14:27-28