"Her children will stand up... and bless her"

Remembering Nancy Missler

Proverbs 31:28 says “Her children will stand up… and bless her.” My mom deserves to be honored. Deuteronomy 6:5 says, “To love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul.” She loved this verse. She loved this verse so much that she had a license plate made that said “DEUT 6.”

She served….. She served her family. She served others. She served God and reflected the fruit of His spirit. AGAPE — is a word that will always remind me of my mom. She would sign off all the time, “Agape, Nan” or “Agape, mom.”

She poured her heart into every book she wrote. Many people would write to her after one of her seminars or after reading one of her many books, and she would always take the time to handwrite a note back to everyone who reached out to her. Even after e-mail came out many years ago she still would take the time to handwrite each person. Literally hundreds of thousands of letters she wrote in her lifetime.

She had only one mission… To show God’s Agape Love… To somehow convey that God is faithful and He is worthy of trust. She was faithful and loved God, worshiped Him, served Him, talked with Him and now she is with Him. There was never a time in her life that she walked away from the Lord or lost her faith. He was her faithful friend and now she is with Him. I can only imagine her in heaven receiving “Well done, my good and faithful servant.”

Claudia Lovejoy wrote so eloquently about my mom and I wanted to share this with you:

“How do I describe Nancy Clark Missler?
The woman whose heart was captured by the King.
The disciple who showed me how to forgive.
The Christian who stored her treasure in heaven.
The wife whose tears watered a garden of grace.
The teacher who taught us all how to overcome.
The leader whose walk matched her talk.
The wanderer whose only home was Heaven.”

When I met Nancy Clark Missler many years ago, I was deeply discouraged by my experience with organized Christianity. Though I hadn’t walked away from Jesus, I had decided to trust no one. I especially mistrusted Christian leaders, and whenever I attended a seminar or study, I would walk in late, sit in the back row and keep my head down. I still wanted Jesus, but I was no longer willing to open my heart to human beings. Too many disappointments. I was done.

I was also tired of hearing testimonies that claimed miraculous transformation through faith, because I no longer believed that emotional healing or spiritual freedom was even possible. I had adopted the philosophy: “Life is hard, then you die, then you go to heaven…and then it’s better.”

Until one day someone talked me into attending a “Way of Agape” study. I took my seat in the shadows and tried to ignore all the female chit-chat as I waited for the video to start. I remember the attractive woman on the tape had perfectly styled hair and I thought to myself: “Oh great… another talking head for Jesus.” What had I not heard?

But then this woman said her life was a mess even though she and her husband were Bible teachers. My ears perked up a little. She said they’d been on the verge of divorce even though they were leaders in the Church. I sat up a little straighter. This woman explained that, even after leading Bible studies in their home for 20 years, she and her husband had really no clue concerning Agape love. Okay, she had me. This woman was worth listening to. Someone was actually addressing the giant question mark within my mind. Someone actually had the courage to say, “You can believe and still be missing the heart of the Gospel by a million miles.”

That someone was Nancy Clark Missler, who would later become my friend as well as my teacher. Never put off by my questions or impatient with my brokenness, she listened. She shared. She stood with me… not above me. She didn’t give spiritual suggestions. She gave me her heart. In truth, Nancy gave spiritual CPR to me when I could no longer breathe. And I was not her first patient, nor would I be her last. She was ever willing to give an answer for the hope that was in her, and this wisdom was offered with gentleness and respect. For in God’s unique plan, this bright soul was also a woman of sorrows, well-acquainted with grief, and she was not frightened by the pain of others.

This lovely woman knew well the ugliness of the human heart, and her life work was to steer that heart back into communion with God. Nancy was an extremely diligent worker, and seemingly tireless in prayer, in study and in meditation upon His Word. She never stopped asking, seeking and knocking upon the door of the Lord. She wanted to learn, and whatever she learned, she faithfully shared with the rest of us through books, tapes and seminars.

And there was something else about Nancy that earned my deepest admiration. She was not a respecter of persons. It didn’t matter whether she was in the presence of a waitress, a weirdo or a world-famous leader, she treated everyone with honor and respect. This was one of the things I loved most about her. Her kindness wasn’t stored up for the few, but was lavished upon the many. No man, woman, child or creature ever stood in her presence without knowing they were worthy of her time and attention.