Earp Takes Aim | Faith, Culture, Life

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For Her Kids

These words are being written by me to all six of you— Anj, Em, Jess, Lib, Josh and Drew— but each word, as you well know, was the deeply embedded passion of your mom and my bride— our beloved Cindy.

Next week we will observe an anniversary we never wanted.  On the one hand, it hardly seems possible that a year has passed since our lives were last brightened by her infectious smile, her ridiculous cackle, and her unforgettable voice.  On other hand, it feels like time forever stopped in that awful moment when our North Star breathed her last.  And if you’re like me, a big part of your heart wishes time had stopped.

But time didn’t stop, did it?  Instead, our lives have persistently plodded…on.  

Time has kept marching despite our vigorous protests— as each day has selfishly demanded our involvement.  We’ve had to buy gas for our cars, food for our stomachs, and milk for our babies.  We’ve had to prepare meals and do laundry and pay the bills— plus a thousand other stupid, mind-numbingly boring tasks that life requires that we must submit to— and offer up our continued, albeit grudging, allegiance.  

But big and wonderful things have happened, too.  Em has a new home, Andrea’s belly is swelling with new life, Jess and Lib are in school again, Josh is engaged, and Drew is making forward strides toward a God-honoring life.  Your mom would be so proud of all of you. 

And before 2011 passes, Grammy’s two little princesses, Liv and Iz, will welcome into their ranks beautiful Madison and rough-n-tumble “little D.” 

At first, we all resisted time’s forward thrust— with such a determined and dug-in rigidity.  But life kept dragging us forward anyway, despite our vicious protests. 

Only now do I realize [as I look back] that my stubborn dug-in boots were actually digging deep furrows behind me.  I couldn’t see it then, but I do see it now:  Those first few pages of my new calendar resemble cornfields in the early spring, cutting deep lines of upturned soil— almost inviting a new planting. 

At some point, though, my stupid resistance gave way to a plodding, or more truthfully, a seething stomp.  “Fine,” I thought.  “I’ll walk instead of being dragged, but I REFUSE to like it.” 

I can’t say exactly when, but at some point my stomping became a somewhat faltering, but forward gait.  And then, a settled walk.  And now, with God’s help…I run. 

I am.  I’m running!

And with this first-completed lap of His relentless four seasons, here I arrive back to spring again.  And into those same deep furrows I angrily dug, I’m finding that God has been faithfully planting seeds of…blessing.  New plantings that are visibly starting to pierce through and reach for the sunlight.  And for the first time in a long time, I find myself actually looking forward to a harvest I thought might never again come. 

Maybe you guys aren’t there yet.  If not, I get your reluctance.  And I respect your journey.  Trust me, every emotion you have, I have also had.  And will continue to have. 

But as I watch the seedlings of His blessings starting to poke through, I am also— increasingly understanding His purpose in all of this. 

Blessings. 

His purpose— in all of this— is blessings.  I’m beginning to realize that Cindy’s greatest gift to us— is His blessings. 

I very unintentionally discovered a new song early this morning.  As I listened, the “what if” of Laura’s question quickly pierced my heart even as my eyes flooded with tears. 

Tears of sadness?  Yes.  How could we not be sad? 

But even more, I shed tears of, well, blessings.  Tears borne from a divinely intimate early morning encounter with your mom.  I say that because this is what your mom not only believed— it’s what she said, to you and to me, many times during her journey.  And now, I receive this song as her words that she still longs to whisper to our searching souls.  Words that she, not us— only her, embraces not just by faith— but in fulfillment. 

A “what if” question that propels me to keep running even as I receive her death as God’s planting of new— wow, “blessings.”

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I miss her so much.  But I’m also getting to the other side of God’s “what if.”  And I’m starting to see that His plantings really are piercing through the soil and bringing to my soul a harvest of “blessings.”  And that the darkest night of my life really was His “mercies in disguise.”

Thank you, Cindy.  You are still finding new songs for me.  

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