The celebration of Nancy’s life and ministry (last Friday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) was a rich time of both laughter and tears. You can see the video here.
During the service, Nancy’s daughter Michelle shared a portion of something a friend of Nancy and the ministry had written. We offer it here as a blessing to you, and a memorial to our beloved Nancy.
On December 19 a final service was held at River Lodge, New Zealand. The video of that service is available through K-House TV.
The first service held in Nancy’s honor was on November 19 at Grace Chapel in Tennessee. The video can be seen HERE.
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.”
And that someone was Nancy Clark Missler, who would later became 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.
She once said she was a direct descendant of William Clark, the man who (along with Meriwether Lewis) led the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition in 1804. I chuckled when she told me this, because that legacy fit her so well! Nancy Clark Missler was herself an adventurer, but her expedition had nothing to do with high mountains or raging rivers. No. Her life’s discovery was to prayerfully map the journey of the heart on its quest to find the Source of Life in Christ. Her task wasn’t to lead people West, but rather to lead people Home. Home to the purpose for which they were created; home to the perfect Love of 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.
I suppose I could go on and on, but I will stop here. Nancy would be the first to say that her human attributes are no longer important. She is now in the Presence of Love Himself, and her disciplines have been changed into delight. Her often painful journey has now been exchanged for joy, and her longing has been swallowed up by light. How glorious is the eternity which she entered just a few hours ago?
I can only imagine.
We thank you, Nancy, for blazing a trail so we could follow. Thank you for enduring as seeing Him Who is Unseen. Thank you for finishing the race with honor, and pointing us all towards the finish line. Thank you for loving us with your life, Nancy. We will see you soon and very soon, beloved friend. Until that day…
Written by Claudia Lovejoy