DAY#185 - Cindy Erb
Sometimes your actions and life can affect the people you would least expect it to in ways you never thought.
I first met Cindy Erb about 20 years ago. We were Christian Music acquaintances. I was managing a friend of mine who was a singer and Cindy was also ministering through music. We shared a common ground. Through out the following years I would stop in at Christian Light Bookstore and chat with her about music ministry and the Christian music industry and we became friends. We pretty much remained friends through out the years even though our lives went separate ways, Cindy to be a missionary and me to chase my dream in Nashville.
Alas, God brought us both back to Lebanon in His time, but we saw each other seldom. With the introduction of Facebook, we became friends and it was good to catch up with her again. I was happy to see the impact she was having in her church and especially happy to hear that from different people she had mentored. I was excited to see that she found a great guy and was making plans to get married.
Last September, Cindy's announcement (via Henry) of her diagnosis with cancer came as a surprise to me. It would be simple to say that I read about it, said a prayer or her and went on with my life, but it truly rocked me to my core. Not since my father passed away 15 years ago have I been so truly unhinged. I spent a good number of days in a quiet depression. Why would I be so moved by someone I only saw once a year at best? I am not completely sure, but I was.
I immediately subscribed to Cindy's care page and read every update the moment it came out. The updates while not always reporting the best health news were so spiritually encouraging to me. Cindy and Henry while in the midst of the biggest obstacle they would both have to deal with in their lives truly relied on God, gave Him praise and kept their focus on Him. What an encouragement to read week after week. While spiritually encouraging, the updates kept making a deeper hole in my gut.
You see, my extreme weight had been 'weighing' heavily on my mind. I knew that being that overweight would eventually be my own death sentence. My impending death was ok with me spiritually. I do believe that I am going to go to heaven because I trust in Jesus and His death on the cross for my sins. I just have issues with it humanly because of my five kids and wife that I would leave behind. I was and still am not ready for death from my human perspective. And even though I feared for the worst in my life I just had no motivation or will power to conquer it.
Cindy's fight with cancer became my wake up call. It made death and life more real to me. God used it to jump start my engine and to help me out of my depths. Cindy's fight with cancer and her faith in God continued to impact me for months. My fight was with obesity, while not a fast killer was taking a toll on me. I needed to fight back and I needed to rely on God. I stewed on this thought for 6 months. Until one night I was laying in bed I couldn't take it any longer. I needed to make a change, I needed to fight my 'cancer', I needed God's help and I needed to give Him the praise on my good and bad days.
Cindy's cancer had become my catalyst for positive change. We exchanged a few notes several times throughout the past year and Cindy posted a few comments on my Facebook page and pictures. All of them encouraging. Reminding me to focus on my family and what I was doing was for them and my time with them was important. Did she know? I may have to wonder about that for a while.
Tuesday morning as I ran my main thought was to express my thanks to Cindy for her life and her courage and faithfulness she displayed in her posts. I felt like I needed to do it when I was done running but I allowed the busyness of my daily schedule to delay my note. Tuesday evening Cindy passed. She is now in God's presence and I rejoice in that. Humanly, I am sad that I never got around to thanking her for the unintentional gift she gave me.
In the meantime, thank you Cindy for remaining strong in your faith in your final days. There is no better encouragement or testimony than that. Thank you for being a good friend and role model to so many. Thank you that you helped me find good in the bad. And someday I hope to tell you about it.
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.