Thankful and sad (FMF: Listen)

I wrote this before seeing that today’s FiveMinuteFriday word was listen.  It did only take me 5 minutes to write (including the time to run upstairs to the reading corner to grab the book) and it fits perfectly: she let me listen to God and follow His leading…

I found out via Facebook that one of my mentors has died suddenly.  Dr. Cindy Fitch was my pre-med advisor at SPU and professor of two of my courses (Genetics and Issues and Values in Biology).  My prayers go out to her family and I know I am not the only one who is grieving the loss of this influential and inspiring woman.

I wrote this on her Facebook wall, along with so many of the other shocked and saddened folks who will miss her:

When I told you midway through my [first] senior year I was going to stay a 5th year to become a high school science teacher rather than go to medical school (after already taking my MCAT), you laughed. Out loud. You proceeded to tell me you knew 2 years prior (in Genetics) but wanted me to come to the conclusion on my own. You then started listing all the examples/reasons why you knew back then that I should be a teacher. You always encouraged me in my pre-med studies even though you knew better. Thank you for letting me take the journey on my own and then support me once I figured out what God truly intended for my life. In a very big way, you mentored, empowered, and set an example for me. You will be deeply missed.

When I graduated from SPU, she gave me one of those Hallmark coffee table books titled Teachers Touch Lives.  On the inside she wrote,


Your wonderful decision to become a teacher has inspired me along with so many others.  You have listened to God’s call for your life and are following Him.  While this obedience will not pave the way smooth, it will give God the chance to use you as His instrument in shaping young lives.  May God richly bless your choice, your vocation, and your life.

-Dr. Cindy Fitch

I am forever grateful to Dr. Fitch (I can’t not call her that even though she asked me not too once I graduated 😉 ).  She let me follow God’s lead without forcing me into it and then encouraging me once I heeded His call.  I can’t even begin to explain how her words came to fruition: the way has not been smooth but He has used me even in my first 5 years of teaching.  God has already richly blessed me.

Thank you for setting an example of how to use our God-given talents to His glory.

You will be incredibly missed.

Dr. Fitch with one of her sons

Dr. Fitch with one of her sons

Here is an announcement by SPU Provost Jeff Van Duzer.


11 thoughts on “Thankful and sad (FMF: Listen)

  1. What an inspiring tribute to your mentor and friend! Just beautiful. And you studied science?? I have a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Nursing. So nice to meet you here at five minute friday! xo

    • Thanks so much for visiting! I got a B.S. in biology and minored in chemistry. Just before our baby was born last August, I finished my M.S. in science education. I love being a SAHM but I know that when she’s in school (and any other kids we have for that matter), I’ll be back in the classroom teaching high schoolers!

  2. Rachel, I have one of Cindy’s sons in my class at school. I hadn’t heard what happened to her, only that she had died unexpectedly yesterday. Her son came to school today – I think he has a lot of friends and it felt like a safe place to be. I didn’t know anything about her – that she was a professor, or a Christian, or any of that – but I was so sad for her son today and found myself praying for him in class, knowing that this will turn out to be a pivotal moment in his life. I was praying that God would watch over him and let this somehow have a positive impact on his life. I’m thankful that I read your post and know what kind of mom my student had. Life is so short. You just never know.

  3. Such a sweet tribute. She sounds like an amazing woman. I have many friends who went to SPU….I grew up in the Seattle area. I know she’ll be missed. Blessings to you!

      • I worked with Dr. Fitch for many years in my capacity as Director of Admissons for the CWRU School of Dental Medicine. She took a personal interest in each candidate from SPU and knew them with a depth seldom rivaled by other advisors. Her sudden and unexpected death has left me sad beyond words. Like you, I ask God to look down on her family with His infinite love and compassion. Truly a loss to everyone whose life she touched …

  4. Pingback: Discontent with discontentment (caution: brutal honesty) | reprezent98201

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