Matthew 28:18(NIV)18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me."
1Peter 2:9 (ESV)9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
It seems like just a few weeks ago she sat down on the pavement when the neighborhood dogs barked at her. Tail tucked between her legs, bottom planted. She did not budge from fear of the unknown.
Now she walks with her head held high. And, why not? It's her street, her neighborhood.
Oftentimes as Christians we walk around with our tails between our legs in fear of offending someone. Seems like the day has come that just the decision to buy your dog over rescuing one from the pound will put someone in a fighting mode.
Today I mourn the passing of a friend. We didn't start out as dear friends. Funny thing how you can live across the street from someone and not really know them isn't it? Our busy lives run parallel with raising our kids, working inside and outside the home. We touch bases once in awhile, but, basically strangers with the ones who live closest to us.
But then the dogs start to bark. A diagnosis is made.
We plant ourselves in our own little safe place of comfort. It's better to do nothing than say/do the wrong thing right? And, yes, I am one of those people.
Your neighbor, his or her world comes crashing down. Life as they know it is over.
Then something reminds us of whose we are. We belong to the one who was born to suffer and die the worst death anyone has endured. Back then and still to this very day.
My friend suffered. She drank from the cup just as her Savior did. And, I was given the honor to walk with her.
She endured countless rounds of chemotherapy. Very weak, she would fight to bounce back. Regain some energy, hope, gain a little more strength and be back again for another operation. This went on with a brief respite of being cancer free over a very long three and a half years.
During all of this, she never complained. She steadily lost ground. When she couldn't walk, she'd sit outside on her front porch and chat with her visitors always asking how they were. With her body breaking down she was always happy to see me and ask "how is your family?"
I still cannot grasp how my sister friend could manage to remain a champion to the end. We didn't speak of "giving up". Well, you know there was talk of getting tired of the fight. But, always she wanted to continue to fight for the ones who she loved. So very much...
I'm so blessed to know my friend. She texted me last weekend saying that God was calling her. She even knew when it was time to go. How's that for a true princess? Making sure that all of the loose ends in her life were tied up to make it easiest for those she was leaving behind.
He bore our sins so that we might live as conquerors in a dying world.
My friend displayed this level of courage, grace and knowledge every day. Under the worst circumstances she stood up at the cross and moved through her difficult trial like a victor enduring one indignity to her body after another. But in her spirit she grew stronger every day. Each step closer to her final resting place in heaven she grew more at peace.
For me, she modeled christianity at its finest.
She lived like a royal daughter of the King. And, she died with the same grace. Giving hope to all those who loved her, blessing the people who were fortunate to meet her.
I'll see her again, but, oh my goodness I will miss my warrior sister friend.
She changed my life for good. Reminding me that a life worth living is one well lived. Do you know what she taught me? Soldier on. Be the princess or prince you were born to be.
As my friend breathed her last breath she fought and you know what? The cancer did not win. She did.