Every Friday features a post from one of our pastor’s wives specifically for the women of Crossway Church.
Cindy Michaels. The name may not mean anything to you, but I would have loved for you ALL to have known her, and as I told some friends at her funeral last Saturday, she is a woman I want to be like when I grow up!
Kurt and I got to know Paul and Cindy Michaels as the guys were attending the Sovereign Grace Ministries’ Pastor’s College three years ago. After Pastor’s College, Paul and Cindy returned to Living Hope Church in Harrisburg to serve the church there.
We’ve all heard the phrase, “Live life with eternity in view.” But this was something I really didn’t understand the meaning of until recently, as I saw that my dear friend, Cindy truly knew how to do it!
As Paul said last Saturday of his wife, “She was an extraordinary woman!” She experienced both life and death with eternity in full view. This was obvious in the way she approached all of life. I could go on and on with an extensive list of the ways she did this, but I’m just going to highlight two that affect me greatly: her mothering and her dying.
Paul and Cindy had three children, all now young adults, and just hours after she passed, Paul was sitting with them at their dinner table, and asked them what they remembered most about their mother. “She was so gentle and kind”, was ALL of their response! WOW! This was not just a response of grieving children, but was an accurate description of this woman’s dealings as a mother. How do I know this? Because she was ‘so gentle and kind’ in literally ALL she did, so to believe that she was that to her children was simple! Paul even commented that she “killed him with kindness”. Cindy’s life was marked by gentleness and kindness. Cindy also knew how to COMPLETELY leave her children in the hands of God. Over the last few years, they saw many difficult times with their children, and Cindy’s quick and faith-filled response of, “God will have His way,” provoked me more than I can say. She knew that the Holy and Just God was the One with the power to change and save, not her, and she could leave it all to Him!
As Cindy faced death, she did so with joy. Did I say joy? Yes, actually joy! I got to spend some time with her recently, and found that even though she was suffering immensely, she never complained, and actually said with a gentle smile, “Hey, I’m in a win-win situation! If God chooses to heal me and give me more years, I win, and if I get to go be with Him without any more suffering or sin, I win! She truly could not wait to see her Savior face to face. It was unlike anything I have EVER seen!
So, how could Cindy really be this way? It seems completely unattainable when I struggle with anger toward my children daily, and know the inner battle between the desire to live here on earth, and the desire to be with God. I firmly believe it was Cindy’s love for the Gospel and Scripture that brought these things into proper view for her. This was a woman who made time for God’s Word, and loved that time. So, when faced with temptation, she had the perfect weapon already in her hand- “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”(Eph. 6:17) So, my desire, by God’s grace, is to learn to love God’s Word more, and have it in my soul, and I am so grateful to God, and my dear friend, Cindy, for reminding me that, “…for me, it is good to be near God” (Psalm 73:28), for it is there that I truly live with eternity in view!
I will miss my dear friend greatly, but I know she is rejoicing with the Savior, and, ladies, I’m excited to get to introduce you all to her there!