This is Part 2 (If you missed part 1, and you care to read it, click here)
This is where I probably would have gotten fired up and long-winded ;)
The last thing I would have told you was this: No matter what this circumstance looks or feels like from our perspective, SHE WON! Don't you ever think otherwise. Not for one split second. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, and as much as I miss her, I wouldn't bring her back from His presence. It's where she longed to be.
If you didn't know her well, you need to know that Summer had the heart of a worshipper - full-on, didn't care what anybody thought, worshipper. And she loved Jesus. Like, really loved Him. Psalm 16:11 says, "You will make known to me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; In Your right hand there are pleasures forever." She's home now and she's experiencing the fullness of Joy, pleasures forever. Selah...pause and think on that for a minute!
Winning...overcoming...has nothing to do with our circumstances changing. It has nothing to do with getting our way. Our hope isn't in any earthly answers, but, rather, it's in a future place. Victory doesn't lie in a cured illness. Victory is found in the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts. Summer's real victory on earth was that she never wavered in her testimony of who God is.
She and I talked several times about the fact that if she were to die from cancer, the thing people would probably question most is God's goodness. You need to know that God is always good. If you could have had a conversation with Summer at the end of her life, she still would have said, "God is good." Cancer is bad, but God is good. She never questioned His goodness or His love and that is what carried her. She had an intimate relationship with Him, long before she ever had cancer, and that's why she wasn't shaken.
What she would want most for you, whoever you are, is that same intimate friendship with God. You can have it and it's where the power to make it through this life comes from. Don't wait for life to get hard or for a scary diagnosis, seek Him now.
She lived a life fully surrendered to whatever God would have her walk through, and she was willing to do it - for you. For the opportunity to point you to the Hope of this world. To take advantage of the spotlight to share her testimony, so that you might come to know Jesus, for the first time or in a deeper way. Hear me, loud and clear - I do not believe that God gave her cancer, but He did allow her to take that journey. And she did it with dignity and with confidence that no matter what, He would never let go of her, or her family. I hope you have that same confidence.
I could not be more proud of my friend. She did it. She finished strong. Cancer did not overtake her. She overcame cancer by the blood of the Lamb and by holding fast to her testimony about Jesus. And I cannot wait to see her again!