The Summer God’s Love Changed My Life
“I had my vision of what my summer would be but by God’s grace, He had a remarkably different summer planned for me,” Kara Tippetts.
In her own words, Kara Tippetts shares about her Eagle Lake experience in her recent book, The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard.
God was more than gracious to me that first summer at Eagle Lake Camp. He brought so many beautiful things into my life. Most importantly, he brought Shaunda McQueeney (Eagle Lake staff). I’m not sure what she saw in me beyond a boy-crazy girl who didn’t know her way around a Bible. But I guess she saw something because she became a friend who loved me in my young faith and spent hours poring over Scripture with me, showing me the beauty of my new life in Jesus…she navigated the Bible with me. She taught me the importance of loving the Bible and knowing it well. She helped me begin to pray. I grew hungry for things greater than my next boyfriend.
I’ll never forget when Shaunda was transparent about her own weakness. Her openness with me freed me up to share my folly without judgment. I saw who I was without drinking and drugs. It was a freeing gift of love, and I was very hungry for more. She forever shaped how I would sit across from other young women in need of a mentor. I would always come ready to be honest, weak, and open. With Shaunda’s guidance, it was a summer of amazing growth.
My second summer, I appreciated the women who had grown up in faith and didn’t face the struggles I had endured. Coming back, I realized I had something to share with them. I could share the heart of the brokenhearted and challenge those women to return to their campuses and share the love they knew with someone who looked like me. I was no longer intimidated by my differences, because I knew I was uniquely made. My story mattered, I had grown in freedom and grace, and I returned not embarrassed that I wasn’t a spiritual giant. I simply had more growing to do, and with the endless stream of excited campers, I had love to give.
That same summer, I met my future husband. If meeting Jesus was the life changer, meeting Jason was the game changer. Jason was a young man given to gentleness, filled with a quiet strength. He enjoyed the person nearest to him, and didn’t need the attention of the crowds…I could picture my life’s story with him as the main character. The thought of living beside kindness and gentleness was not lost on me, the daughter of anger. Jason was the type of man I wanted to marry.
The rich experience of Eagle Lake Camp became part of the story for Jason and Kara Tippetts, who dated and married after meeting at camp. The Tippetts have four children and Jason is the founding pastor of Westside Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Their faith in Christ was stretched and deepened every day as together they faced life’s hard, including Kara’s battle with cancer. Kara trusted her days to Jesus; she lived life fully until it was time to go home to be with the Lord in March 2015.
Kara’s legacy will impact multitudes through her family and friends who saw her faithfully live out a beautiful and passionate life.
To purchase Kara’s book visit davidccook.com or your local Christian bookstore.
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