I was recently wed on January 18, 2014. It was a day full of joy and life and hope. Right after the ceremony an impromptu receiving line of sorts formed. Not surprisingly among the first to greet me, to greet us, was my best friend, Cindy, from high school. She had traveled from New York City to little Cary, NC to share in my special day.
Squeals of joy erupted as Cindy grabbed my two hands and held them over my head as if I had just won the gold medal in finding love. "Can you believe it? You're married," she beamed. Her beautiful eyes danced with joy as she enveloped me in a big bear hug. This was Cindy - always bubbly and effervescent in her view of life.
This was my friend with whom I had shared my deepest secrets, heart throbs and heart breaks, hi jinx and escapades...Life. It was no accident that Cindy and I would have several opportunities to interact that evening. It was almost like God kept drawing us together. Not, unlike how He had drawn us together so many years ago.
That's why my heart ripped in two and I fell to my knees when I got the phone call that eleven days after my wedding, Cindy had collapsed due to cardiac arrest while attending a charitable fundraiser. She went into a coma and had passed away less than a week later. "O God, NO!" was all I could manage to say over and over. Only weeks ago she had been fully alive and exuberant at my wedding. This couldn't be. It didn't make sense.
Cindy had her first cardiac arrest at the age of 27. Three more defibrillator surgeries later, she was still seizing life and fighting for the underdog. I remember emails from Cindy as she and her husband spent eight weeks in Xi'an China volunteering at the Starfish Foster Home. Starfish's goal is saving lives of Chinese orphans with special medical needs. See www.starfishfosterhome.org
I could tell from her writing that they were falling in love with one particular little girl who lay there in her lonely crib with a large sac on her head and spina bifida. This little angel was undernourished and under loved. There were only so many arms to go around. It came as no surprise to me that Cindy and Pat decided to adopt this little girl and provide her with the life saving surgery that she so desperately needed. This was so in keeping with Cindy's golden and loving heart.
Cindy lived the scriptures and mirrored the heart of God, who holds dear, orphans and widows.
Defend the cause of the weak and the fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed. (Psalm 82:3)
"I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (Matthew 25:40)
Surely the life of this woman who looked after orphans in their distress was one to be saved?!
So, Why? Why did my dear friend pass away when her daughter was only six and she was doing such wonderful works to champion the cause of these little helpless ones? My mind searched and I couldn't find an answer that made sense. For days I've alternated between spells of crying and prayers of seeking and searching for answers.
I wish that I could offer you some definitive answer, but honestly the real answer is simply, "I don't know." I can't pretend to know the vast mind of God. His ways are so much bigger than our ways. The one thing that came to mind when I prayed was Proverbs 3:5:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
When I don't understand the ways of God, I need to know the heart of God.
God is good all of the time and all of the time, God is good.
Above all...God is Love!
This is what I cling to when life doesn't make sense. God is Sovereign. God is in control. God is good.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)
On this side of Heaven's gates we only see in part. One day we will have the answers to all our questions, but for now, we must trust. I must trust. I will have to sit with the not knowing.
This I do know...when I reach Heaven, Cindy will be among the first to greet me. She'll grab my arms and hold them victoriously in the air and she'll beam as she always does. Then she'll squeal with joy, "Can you believe it...we made it?"
Not goodbye...but till we see each other again. I love you and miss you my dear friend...
In His love,
ps. Just a reminder that if you read my blog, know that I pray for you every morning and every evening. May you be blessed...