I shared a version of this on Facebook last week but wanted to also post it on my blog, and add a few more things.
Last week was the anniversary of the day Nanci and I met 55 years ago, December 7, 1968. The photo at the top of this blog was taken exactly one week earlier on her 15th birthday. The night we met, Nanci was wearing that same outfit. I remember her exactly as the photo portrays, including that impish look on her face.
It fills my heart with joy to remember that day, as if it were yesterday, when my life began to change. I thank the Lord Jesus for bringing Nanci into my life, leading me to come to a youth group and a church where I first heard the good news, and eight months later knelt with an open Bible in front of me in my bedroom, and gave my life to Him.
What if I had not met Nanci (all the odds were against it) and come to Jesus a year later? Since my name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, I won’t ask the question of whether I would’ve come to Jesus without meeting Nanci, but I certainly believe she was central to His plan in drawing me to Christ. Even though the circumstances of our meeting and the fact that we were together in a serious relationship 10 months before I came to Jesus were not God’s moral will, they were part of His sovereign will.
I thank God for the 54 years Nanci and I were best friends, including the 47 years we were married. I can’t imagine my life without Him, and I will be eternally grateful for His entrusting to me my soulmate Nanci, who walked beside me as together we walked with Jesus.
I will never forget Nanci saying to me a week before she died, “Randy, please take me home.” Of course, we were in our earthly home, where she lay in the hospital bed we had moved into our bedroom, but we both knew she was speaking of our home with Jesus. In tears, I responded, “Sweetheart, if I could take you home right now, I would, and I would never come back to this fallen world. But we know God is in charge of the timing.”
That Monday morning in 2022, when I held Nanci’s hand as she exited her body and entered the presence of Jesus, I could picture Christ’s outstretched arms and hear His loving words, “Well done.” I could imagine her broad smile as He hugged her. Home at last! And I thought of all the people from all over the world she would then meet and get to know and love—those we had the privilege of helping through our giving and ministry, and who thereby received the gospel, food, clothes, clean water, medicines, Bibles, and good books. Sometimes I feel like part of me went to Heaven with Nanci. That’s not only because of our deep love for each other, but because she and I partnered together to invest in people for eternity. I so look forward not only to seeing old friends but to having Nanci introduce me to these new friends we invested in before we ever met them!
I can’t wait to see Jesus face-to-face—Him above all—and then Nanci above all others. ♥️