You are going to enjoy meeting my friend, Nancy. In my series, A Woman of Worth, I will introduce you to women that have made an impact on my life. Many are friends I’ve had for years and some I haven’t known that long. Whatever the case, I hope you are inspired by them as much as I am. We all need friends who lift us up and are positive influences in our lives while hopefully we do the same for others. All that to say, let’s talk about my friend Nancy….
When my Jim and I moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area a year after we were married in order for Jim to attend seminary, we attended a church in the Arlington area. It was a fairly large church, the size I was used to. I had only been a member of one church and that was my home church. Now my new church was basically a very unfriendly church. Lot’s of people, but, we found out if your were a seminary student, they didn’t really have time for you. I was used to serving in the church from the nursery, choir, children’s church, nursing home ministry, young married class and the youth department. We were busy with working full-time plus going to school. I still wanted to be a part of the church and when I inquired about the choir, they said they didn’t want seminary students in the choir. I guess they heard about my singing skills. As time went on a former pastor from our home church had moved to a small town outside of Fort Worth and was now pastor. When he heard Jim was in the area, he asked us to visit and then asked my Jim to serve as associate pastor. After driving the long drive from Arlington to Burleson for a while, we were able to find a duplex to rent. The people of this church were like a breath of fresh air. They loved us and took such good care of us. A short time after we were serving at this church a couple visited and joined; Jim and Nancy. We had met them briefly at our home church as Nancy’s brother-in-law was a friend that we served with in children’s ministry. I sure hope all that makes sense…home church, new church then a newer church. Trust me the next many years of full time ministry gets even crazier. As I usually say, that is a story for another day. I want you to meet my dear friend, Nancy!
Nancy became a dear friend about 40 plus years ago. She always had a sweet smile and I loved the way she would laugh a gentle laugh when I would talk to her. I’m sure she thought I was a country bumpkin fresh off the vine. She and her husband Jim had their own business. They sold mufflers and other “car things” wholesale to muffler shops. (I hope I have that explanation correct.) Back then, their business was just getting off the ground and today, it is a huge corporation. What fun it has been to watch them grow. The tag line they use in their business is “Ain’t God Good!” So if you ever see a delivery truck, 18 wheeler or even their personal vehicle with “Ain’t God Good” on it, honk and wave! I could write a book on the blessing they are to so many people. During this time, I learned much about NASCAR, Southern Gospel Music and how to enjoy life while serving the Lord.
Jim and I drove a red mustang during this time. Jim bought it for me when we were engaged to be married. I loved that car! It had white interior and ran like a dream. But……the moment we made our plans to make the move for Jim to attend seminary….our car began falling apart in every way possible. Which was sad as Jim sold his truck that he loved in order for us to attend seminary. Before our big move we were told we needed a new transmission. We had that done and once we got to Arlington, our car had a transmission issue constantly! The place we had our transmission done didn’t make good on their work. They were a national brand and I would give you the name, but, what good would that do. Okay, back to my main reason for talking about our car. Every time we were around Jim and Nancy, Jim would check our tires, pop the hood and take a look at things. Many times he took our car and had repairs done. What a blessing that was. We literally drove that car in the ground. One day it stopped and never started again. Whew, this is bringing up crazy memories of my favorite car that turned out to be my enemy. Let’s move on shall we! Oh, wait! One of my favorite stories, when we first met them was….the four of us went to a high school football game one Friday night. We took our car and Jim and Nancy were sitting in the back seat. At this time, our car was having exhaust issues. We were used to it and Jim began asking questions about our car exhaust. We tried to make light of it so we wouldn’t have to tell our car story. Then Jim said, “Well, Beverly, don’t light a match, the car will blow up!”
Nancy is an honorable, compassionate and kind lady. If you have her as a friend, you are blessed! I have never seen her upset at anyone or anything. She laughs that gentle little laugh at her husband when he is acting silly. Which her Jim is a hoot; he will have you laughing constantly. As we served in this church for 5 years it was busy and full. Both of our children were born during this time. Between school, church, babies and then working at the church, we didn’t know much of anything else. Jim and Nancy were always there to lift us up and encourage us to keep on going and letting us know it was all worth it. Let’s just say, the day we left to take on a pastorate of a church in another town far away, we barely could afford the gas to get down the road. No one knew this. We didn’t get a moving expense of any kind. (I laughed out loud as I wrote that! Moving Expense?) Jim’s check for his work was going to be mailed to us, so it was really tight. Come to find out, Jim paid for our U Haul that we needed to move our things to our new world we were heading to. That doesn’t count the many times they treated us to lunch and dinner over the years. That is an example who they are and not just to us…I have a feeling they are a blessing to so many more. Let’s just say they will have many jewels in their crowns someday!
I love Jim and Nancy’s story of how they met. Jim’s father was a pastor and Nancy’s family moved in the area of their church. Jim’s dad visited Nancy and her family and invited them to church. Jim and Nancy became friends and sweethearts. Jim was drafted into the Vietnam War while they were dating. They married shortly after Jim returned home. (So thankful for his service and that he was safe!) They eventually moved to Texas, joined and served in a local church. A wonderful older couple took them under their wing and mentored them. This couple taught Jim and Nancy how to love others and how to be a blessing to others whenever possible. They worked with the youth for several years. They then moved to the Dallas/Fort Worth area and that is when we met them. They are still serving in their church in many ways. Jim is also a Deacon/Elder and they just celebrated their 52nd wedding anniversary!
After all these years, we still keep up with one another and have watched each others kiddos grow up. Both of their children work with them in their business. They also have two of the cutest grandkiddos. So fun to watch Nancy be a “Nana” to her grandchildren. We have met Jim and Nancy in Branson a few times as well as a few other places. I could write a book about how much fun we have had with them and enjoying the goodness of God together.
Nancy shared with me that she was saved as a teenager and struggled a few times questioning her salvation. Thankfully, she has realized that she was saved the moment she asked Christ to be Lord of her life that day as a teen and no longer had doubts about her salvation. On a side note; so many struggle with the security of their salvation. It is always such a relief to have the security of knowing that when you ask Christ into your heart and forgive you of your sin, you are then a Christian and you will have eternal life in Heaven one day. Nancy can testify to having that peace is a wonderful feeling!
Nancy had the sweetest mom. She lived in Michigan and the winters were long and cold. Nancy made sure her mom came to Texas for the winter months each year until she passed at the age of 90. Nancy taught her kids how to love and honor their grandmother. Many memories were made in their family with Nancys mom. When I asked Nancy what her advice to others would be, she said, “to honor your parents. I know my family has been blessed as I tried to obey this commandment.”
I also asked Nancy what she feels like her purpose in life is and how she wants to be remembered. She said, “to honor God, family and my church.” Anyone who knows Nancy, can describe her by that very statement and she has also mentored many women to do the same.
Nancy’s favorite verse:
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10
I’m so glad you met my dear friend, Nancy!
Until next time,