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My gift of a “spiritual mom” and friend when I needed one

Allie Struble’s surprising connection with volunteer Cinda Fischer was the turning point for growth into a strong woman of faith

The moment I prayed to ask Jesus into my life I received my first sweet gift from Him.

The Holy Spirit guided me out of the aisle and to the back of the auditorium because that definitely wasn’t something I would have chosen on my own.

Immediately, the kindest woman walked up to me and grabbed my shaky hands while smiling at me. She was celebrating the beginning of the decision of my salvation that I wasn’t even sure of myself.

The woman introduced herself to me as Cinda and we exchanged contact information after talking and fixing my smeared makeup for a bit. 

Cinda was definitely a mother by nature — and just wanted to take me under her wing.

Reaching Out

My friends and I had made the one-hour commute from Rutherfordton, North Carolina, to the Spartanburg Marriott, where NewSpring met, for only the second time.

NewSpring was different from any church we had ever experienced. If I’m being honest, I just went again because I was curious, and it was a fun road trip for me to tag along with my friends.

For the next couple of months, Cinda kept reaching out to me, just a high school sophomore, and I really didn’t understand why.

She is definitely a mother by nature — and just wanted to take me under her wing. Her children are spread all over, so it was just her. And then it was us!

We started eating pizza in my hometown on Monday nights, and she was so patient with me as I tried to understand following Jesus.

We would read through books together on purity, and what it means to live that out. Each conversation we had left me better than I was before.

I wouldn’t know the Lord like I do today if it wasn’t for her heart for me.

Unexpected Generosity

It was good for me to have a mentor in my life, but it was so new to me because none of my friends had a woman pouring into them spiritually.

She wasn’t only sacrificing her time to pour into me. At a Christmas service in 2013, she walked up and handed me a check.

I was a little confused at first. Then she said, “Just let me bless you! This is your first deposit for Israel.” I had never had someone older than me believe in me enough to send me somewhere just to experience Jesus.

She wanted me to experience the trip to Israel with NewSpring Fuse because she loved me, and she took the first step to help me get there.

I had met Jesus in November 2013, but it didn’t really click for me until that next September. Cinda was there through all of it, teaching me about who God said I was and what an abundant life looks like.

I wouldn’t know the Lord like I do today if it wasn’t for her heart for me.

I was blown away that the Lord entrusted me with the gift of Cinda.

Standing By Me

One of the biggest challenges for me came in my junior year when my best friend moved away.

Cinda and I spent a lot of time praying for the Lord to provide community for me — over text and through phone calls, but always in person — and we both knew He would.

In July 2015, right before I was starting back to school, Cinda and I met up for ice cream, and she was giddier than normal. She told me Jesus wanted her to pack up her house in Landrum, South Carolina, and move to North Carolina for my senior year.

My senior year was hard. Lots of things in my future were unknown for me, but Cinda wasn’t.

She was a constant part of my life during this time and was never too busy to grab dinner with me or laugh over an ice cream cone.

I was blown away that the Lord entrusted me with the gift of Cinda and was giving me more of her in a time I needed it the most!

The fact that she wanted to spend her free time with a 17-year-old girl was incredible to me.

She gave me keys to her houses and always welcomed Friday night sleepovers. There is something special about someone opening their home to you — no questions asked. She loved me enough to do that.

Our Saturday mornings were filled with walks, brunch, tending to Cinda’s horse, and sharing clothes and shoes, and, on occasion, a Nicholas Sparks movie.

Cinda’s bold prayers have changed me in so many ways.

Lasting Love

Cinda has been patient with me through all of my growth. Thinking back, I can’t believe how much she has put up with me!

But Cinda says Jesus has been just as good and faithful to her in all of this! In a time where she didn’t have family around and all of her kids were hours away, He knew what she needed, she says. It’s crazy because it’s exactly what I needed, too — a friend.

Every time we sit down at a restaurant, Cinda takes my hands and prays for us — for things she believes for me, and for our friendship, just like she first took my hands when I met Jesus!

Her bold prayers have changed me in so many ways. Through being loved by Cinda, I’ve learned how much Jesus cares about me, and what kind of woman He has called me to be. She taught me how to be bold, pray with faith, love others better, and always choose to forgive.

Life with Jesus doesn’t have to be boring or a compromise of fun, which is what I thought for so long. And no one has shown me that more than my friend, Cinda. She is worth being celebrated all day, every day!

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