Be a Faithful Witness to Your Script: “And It Was Beautiful” (a review)

Gold Brush Stroke

When I stumbled on Kara Tippett’s blog several years ago, I couldn’t get enough. Drawn in by the vulnerable yet hope-filled updates of her battle with terminal cancer, I drank deep of the wisdom God imparted to her through her suffering.

I wrote a review of her first book written in the midst of her battle, Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard. In March 2015, the Lord took away Kara’s earthly burdens and ushered her Home.

Posthumously, two more books of Kara’s have been released: Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking through Suffering Together, coauthored by Jill Lynn Buteyn (which I’ve not read), and the one I’m currently reading and reviewing here: And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Goodbye.


faithful witness

The very first words of this collection of Kara’s reflections grabbed my attention: “I was here. I saw beauty. I embraced it.”

My immediate reaction was to adopt that mantra as my own. That’s how I want to live!

I’ve glimpsed that beauty. I’ve written about it. I want to walk in it daily.

'I was here. I saw beauty. I embraced it.' ~Kara Tippetts, And It Was Beautiful. Share on X


Like Kara, I believe every moment is pregnant with meaning. Every one is special, a gift.

Every moment is pregnant with meaning. Every one is special, a gift. Share on X

Yet, I still struggle with embracing the beauty embedded throughout my days. My blindness to the things of greatest value is a barrier.

I get caught up in my circumstances and miss the work of the Redeemer. If Kara were here, she’d likely admit to that same blindness.

Our desire for a life of ease clouds our sight. Believing the goal to chase is protection from suffering prevents us from really living to the fullest extent.

We settle for less than what God has for us because we blanch at the thought of suffering. At first signs of hardship, we run in the other direction as fast as we can. We all do it. I do too.

We settle for less than what God has for us because we blanch at the thought of suffering. Share on X


We need to “see” differently. 

I believe as Kara did that “suffering is caught up in the sovereignty of God….”

It is all planned. Nothing is a surprise to God.

Digging into the Genesis story of Joseph, Kara points out that, “Every bit of [Joseph’s] hard was part of the plan, and it was all for the glory of God.”

The same can be said of our story. All of it, for His glory! 

If that’s the case, shouldn’t we learn to embrace the suffering that comes our way? Not in wishing more troubles would come, but in anticipating the grace that will meet us in the struggles we find ourselves in

… in welcoming the beauty that infuse the hard moments.

Reflection after reflection, Kara gently and continually points us to the joy and peace that comes from acknowledging the sovereignty and goodness of God. She repeatedly reminds us that God’s grace is indeed sufficient.

Because “hard is grace too.”

God's grace is indeed sufficient, because 'hard is grace too.' ~Kara Tippetts, And It Was Beautiful Share on X

What a perfect perspective with which to see the beauty of each moment.

A Faithful Witness to the Beauty

We each walk an adventure, planned and stewarded by God. It’s not an easy, day at the beach kind of venture.

No, the adventure we’re each on is a rugged and glorious one, filled with impossible obstacles, unexpected experiences, and unimaginable beauty.

And as Kara discovered in her own family’s life adventure, “we are kept, closely kept near to Jesus in the midst of our story.”

As we walk near to Jesus in each day, we’ll begin to experience the beauty Kara so gloriously writes about. We’ll see it in each day. We’ll see it in the easy-to-stomach ones, and yes, even in those that make us blanch.

As we walk near to Jesus each day, we'll begin to experience the beauty in each moment. Share on X

Our Story to Share

Yes, we are all living a story, an adventure to live well.

Kara writes near the end of her reflections that this is her story to share: “I have to be a witness to the script I’ve been given. If there’s anything beautiful in it, it is because of the Beautiful One—Jesus.”

Oh, you’ve been a faithful witness to your script, Kara! And Jesus certainly did fill it with beauty, even in the midst of the ugly. Thank you for helping us see it!

May each of us be a faithful witness to our own scripts, trusting God’s grace will meet us and keep us as we walk out this adventure … 

… living out our story with eyes open to the beauty in it.

May each of us be a faithful witness to our own scripts, living out our story with eyes open to the beauty in it. Share on X

As for Kara, she is now living the real adventure in the presence of her Savior, to whom all praise and honor and glory is due!

Although I had not intended to give away a copy of this book, I cannot help myself. It is that encouraging! So follow the Rafflecopter below to enter to win your very own copy of this amazingly inspiring book, And It Was Beautiful: Celebrating Life in the Midst of the Long Goodbye. (And click the book title or image to purchase a copy for a friend.)

And it was beautiful

“When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2 NIV

Reflections: What are you facing in your life’s script? Where do you see the beauty in it? How can you be a faithful witness to God’s grace?

I am always thrilled to link up with Suzie Eller for #livefreeThursday and this week’s prompt, “the adventure begins.” Click on the image to check out the wonderful encouragement.


*This honest review is in exchange for a advanced reader’s copy of the book from David C. Cook. 

**Disclosure: There are affiliate links on this page, meaning if you click through and purchase, I’ll get a small commission at no added cost to you. 

By His Grace,



  1. Cindy on March 17, 2016 at 3:14 pm

    thank you Julie for sharing this. Unfortunately, my family needs these books right now. I will try and remember to look for the beauty. Cindy your # livefreeThursday neighbor.

    • Julie Sunne on March 18, 2016 at 10:59 am

      I’m sorry for your ongoing struggles, Cindy. Looking for His hand in our circumstances does help. You are in my prayers.

  2. ffpaws on March 17, 2016 at 6:40 pm

    I already am a Subscriber. My biggest battle right now is trying to admit that I have a Shopping Addiction. I am getting help to overcome this though. Plus, I am very ill and waiting for more testing and doctor’s visits.

    • Julie Sunne on March 18, 2016 at 11:00 am

      Sorry for your battles, ffpaws! The Lord does redeem and restore. Believe in Him for your hope and future. Prayers.

  3. Cecelia Lester (Quiet Spirit) on March 17, 2016 at 7:22 pm

    This sounds like an inspiring book.

    • Julie Sunne on March 18, 2016 at 11:01 am

      It is, Cecelia, and very easy and quick to read!

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Julie Sunne

Hello, I'm Julie, an imperfect wife and mother of four. Life in this broken world is not always easy. Yet, joy can be found in each day through the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ.

I find it's easy for our day's blessings to get lost in its happenings. But God's "mercies never end" (Lamentations 3:22) and His "grace is sufficient" (2 Corinthians 12:9).

May the posts and pages on this site offer you a measure of peace and encouragement.

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