I’ve shared before how incredible the women in my life are. The one I’m thinking specifically about now is my mother-in-law Barbara Earheart.
She has been a rock for me since the passing of David. Yesterday was no exception. I’m not going to elaborate because of the intense personal nature of the subject matter, but ever since David passed from this realm of eternity into the next her acts of service have been priceless.
Barbara and I haven’t always gotten along because of choices I’ve made and personality issues, but this latest cross we’ve beared has closed that valley dramatically. The things Barbara has fought through in faith stand as a testament to me how loving our Father is. She is a fighter who’s faith in our all mighty God acknowledges life will never be fair in this realm, but His strength is unmistakable when we have to carry crosses. Her love and concern for people who have flat out betrayed and rejected her is the epitome of Christ’s love. Her love for God, David, my wife, Meg and Lee are again testaments that will not be silent at her funeral.
Her undying love for my daughter deserves a paragraph unto itself because we both know she has an extra measure of love for her granddaughter since she could have very well never have met her had breast cancer claimed my beautiful mother-in-law. She has shown Chloe what a 21st century Christian woman can and should be. When Meg and Lee got married I took Meg, Barbara and David to the airport to fly to Barbados. Somehow the subject of my desire for a daughter came up, and Meg and Barbara did not know that I’d been praying for a daughter. The odds were against us because there had not been a girl born into the Tomlinson family in 81 years. It was a surreal blessing that continues to bless the Tomlinson and Earheart families 15 years later. Chloe has grown up around all 4 of her grandparents, and now she grieves the passing of Bop. God said yes when I asked Him for Chloe, but He said no when I asked Him to heal David. I’m teaching Chloe how to process God’s no’s now, and even though I’m making it up as I go I trust our Father is holding us near as women like Barbara are rocks for us both. The commonality Barbara, Chloe and I have in feeling things deeply has brought us even closer as well, so in a confusing way this death has broken down more walls.
I’ve been reading the first book in the Harry Potter series over this Xmas break. It occurred to me that had Snape not carried so much bitterness and hate that he and Dumbledore could have saved a lot of witches, wizards and muggles from destruction. Love and forgiveness are underrated things in fiction and real life.
I’m a lot like Snape, but God has revealed to me during this season of life that that kind of attitude is destructive. I look forward to unveiling to you my faithful readers how people like Barbara are inspiring me to write a better story because of the crosses we bear.
Anything is possible with God.