This morning before I drove Caeley to school, I got out my iPad to select a playlist for the drive and decided to choose one called, "Summer." It's a list of songs I used to listen to as I prayed for Summer Kempfer...songs that encouraged my heart and reminded me of God's faithfulness. It's not a list I have selected very often over the last year.

As I listened and thought back about last year I was overcome with the truth that despite what happened, Summer was a warrior. I remembered a day near the end that Lori, Rhiannon and I sat beside her bed praying and reading scripture to her. That particular day my heart was on fire with the truth that even though her body was weak and failing, that she was, in truth, strong - stronger than she had ever been - on the inside. I wanted so badly to communicate that to her and to let her know how proud of her I was.

I couldn't remember what passage of scripture I read to her, but then I remembered that Lori made a Caring Bridge entry that night. Something told me that when I looked back I would see that it was this same day last year. And indeed it was. On October 18, 2012, Lori shared that we had just visited with Summer and she named the passage of scripture I had read (thanks, Lori :).

I'm really awkward with words and I didn't know if she could really comprehend what I was saying, but I read Psalm 18:30-36:

 As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tried; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him. For who is God, but the Lord ? And who is a rock, except our God, The God who girds me with strength And makes my way blameless? He makes my feet like hinds' feet, And sets me upon my high places. He trains my hands for battle, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have also given me the shield of Your salvation, And Your right hand upholds me; And Your gentleness makes me great. You enlarge my steps under me, And my feet have not slipped. (Psalms 18:30-36 NASB)

My feet have not slipped. I love that.

On the same day, one year later, my heart again was burning with the same message. It's really the message that has been written on my heart from walking through that entire experience. Though I walked it at a distance, as compared to Summer, and to the ones who were there day in and day out, I walked it in my own way, nonetheless. And the word that continues to echo in my heart is OVERCOME.

We hear the words, "spiritual warfare," a lot in church circles, or some of us do, anyway, and I'm not sure a lot of people even understand what that means. Understand something. Spiritual warfare is not simply trying to pray evil away and change our negative circumstances.

It is mostly about standing our ground. It's about standing firm in the day of evil, as Paul says in Ephesians 6. It's about shoring ourselves up for the evil, for the bad, sad, uncomfortable, circumstances that will inevitably come. It's about maintaining our testimony that God is real and He is good, no matter what. It's about never turning back. When you're going upstream and the current seeks to sweep you away, it's about having a stronghold that keeps your feet in place and holds you upright. It's about keeping our minds on things above and on things that are true, when arguments and thoughts that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God come. It's about knowing who we are in Christ, who God says we are in the face of persecution, accusations or misunderstandings.

This is a beautiful picture of Summer, from October 17, 2012, where we see her lifting her weak arms to worship her God. The song playing was "Place of Freedom":

Photo used with permission
There's a calm that covers me
When I kneel down at your feet
It's a place of healing
It's a place where I find freedom
There's a place my eyes can't see
Where my spirit longs to beIt's a place of healing
It's a place I live in freedom
I'm gonna lift my hands
til I can reach heaven
I'm gonna shout your name
til the walls come falling down,
I've come to worship, I've come to worship

This is the heart of the Summer I knew. I have absolutely been marked by this and I continue to be reminded when I find myself in difficult situations, that I am an overcomer, too.

And what I really wanted to share with you today, what's set me on fire this morning, is that in Christ, YOU are an overcomer. If you want to be. It's in you. Do you know that?

To the one going through cancer treatments, stand firm! Overcome! You can do it!

To the one facing major surgery, stand firm! Overcome! You can do it!

To the one in financial distress and uncertainty, stand firm! Overcome! You can do it!

To the one with a troubled marriage, stand firm! Overcome! You can do it!

To the lonely ones, stand firm! Overcome! You can do it!

We have a "great cloud of witnesses" who have gone before us, showing us what it looks like. We can do this y'all.

Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, "For Your sake we are being put to death all day long; We were considered as sheep to be slaughtered." But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:35-39 NASB)


1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud of you spirit, in Christ nothing is impossible, for as a Christian following in His steps, it's even in death that healing comes for we will be like Him when we see Him as He is, face to face. We overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony ! Testify my precious daughter!! I love you!


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