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Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking through Suffering Together Paperback – October 1, 2015
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About the Author
Jill Lynn Buteyn is the author of Falling for Texas, an inspirational novel, and a recipient of the ACFW Genesis Award for her fiction work. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from Bethel University. Jill lives near the beautiful Rocky Mountains with her husband and two children. Connect with her on social media and at Jill-Lynn.com.
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Just show up.
The late Kara Tippets, author of The Hardest Peace, and her friend Jill Lynn Buteyn candidly share their experience in the book of the same name, Just Show Up: The Dance of Walking through Suffering Together.
“The beauty in showing up, in choosing to enter the dance even though you might not know the steps, is that God creates something beautiful from our attempts.”
That is where we must begin. With God.
“It’s okay to not know how to show up for someone or how to take the first steps into walking through suffering with a friend. Ask for guidance. He will meet you there. You can tell Him how you feel and what your fears are, and He will open the path for you to take a first step.”
Just like being called to a mission field, I believe sharing in a friend’s suffering is a special calling God gives us. When God places us in their lives with all our tears, why-God prayers and the simply hard He has a purpose. It may just be to fill a need we are gifted to do but usually He has a grander heart purpose that is different for each one involved in the dance.
“If you’ve never really walked with someone through suffering, and if your view of God up to this point has resembled a math equation (prayer + God=healing), then I’m sorry to have to tell you, but you’re going to have to sacrifice pieces of that way of believing…If you can stay soft and open during that time, you can realize a bigger faith than you’ve had up to that point.”
Jill states how suffering can steal friendship moments from us and how we crave the times together we used to have. Oh, how I know that to be true! How I long for a trip to Moe’s to eat Mexican with my friend Denise who is battling liver cancer and then after shopping to eat Dunkin’ Donuts on the way home. But those moments aren’t able to happen for now. Chemo and liver cancer brings nausea and loss of appetite. So now on a good day I bring Panera broccoli cheese soup or a bakery treat in the hopes she will be able to taste and enjoy them.
The book also lists many specific things one can do to help a family going through an illness:
-Taking care of the kids
-Sorting medical bills
Not everyone has family close by that are able to do this nor should it always be family taking care of these things. This is where the beautiful can happen. God raises up a community to come alongside the family. Some cook meals, organize fundraisers and others take care of the kids. What could your place be in a community like this?
I love that the subject of insecurity is addressed in this book. Many times it is a group of women who are ministering in the midst of family’s suffering. There may be times we look to another and measure ourselves by what they are doing that we are not.
“We were speaking about Kara’s gift in growing community when Mickey mentioned that most of us have never seen good friendships done will. Especially between women. So often there’s jealousy and cattiness. We aren’t showing and teaching young girls how to do community together. Because of this, more women grow up not knowing how to enter safely in with one another.”
Take any insecurities you have to the Lord. Our loved one needs us even when the enemy plants those thoughts in our minds that they don’t.
I wept through this book. Many times inserting my and Denise’s name. This is a beautifully written book of friendship, community and the legacy of Kara Tippets.
No more excuses. Just show up.
I was offered this book, Just Show Up, at a good time because I have a short break from bible study for the holidays. I really didn’t know anything about the book, but I thought I could handle 190 pages of reading. Little did I know, I found this book difficult to put down!
Just Show Up is a book written by two friends, Kara Tippetts and Jill Lynn Buteyn. Kara and Jill are friends who met at the school of their children. Kara and Jill wrote this book together based on their friendship and the struggles they faced. Early in their friendship, Kara was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Kara is a mother, pastor’s wife, and a friend to many. She is also an extrovert and strong leader. It is through Kara’s struggle with facing death that she teaches many to “just show up”.
Often when people are suffering from illness or tragedy, we aren’t sure what to say or do. In this book, Kara and Jill show how important showing up is for both the person suffering and the person showing up. Sometimes we think ignoring the situation is the better choice, but Kara and Jill make it clear that saying nothing at all is not only hurtful but wounding.
Through Kara’s suffering, we learn how to BEST show up. Often we offer too broad of help to those in need. “The beauty in offering a specific help instead of a broad one is that we get to help within our gifting”. For example, I love to bake, so it would make perfect sense for me to offer to bake goodies to take to a person in need. However, I do not like cats and I’m allergic to them, so it wouldn’t make sense for me to offer to watch someone’s cat. We need to offer help in the area in which we are comfortable.
Kara begins this book in hospice care and therefore, her friends need to show up for her. Through this struggle, Jill learns how to just show up for Kara. Together the two of them teach their readers how to rely on God in the good and the bad and how to JUST SHOW UP!
If you are eager to be present for someone going through a difficult battle or if you want inspiration for making friends in a new way, I highly recommend Just Show Up.