Strength by Way of Grace

I love this family.

Nancy is not just a cousin to me, not just a mentor but a friend who loves and desires to see growth and joy in my journey. This is truly a woman who has changed my life.

Nancy and Corey have 6 beautiful children, all with their own unique and distinct personalities. Zach is the big brother who loves while he tortures his siblings, Heidi is the old soul- I think she’s a middle-aged 12 year old, Lindsay is the princess, Anna is the mischievous one and Silas… he’s the one you can’t resist.

Of course, I’ve only mentioned 5 children and after all, I did say they had 6 beautiful children. Eli would be 15 now, likely the most handsome boy around, full of creative energy and independence….

After thousands of cups of coffee, much laughter, and maybe a few tears too many...  I know of Nancy’s tremendous journey. It’s possible that Nancy has one of the most beautiful and compelling stories that I have ever heard. Her journey has been difficult, but through that the Lord has brought her into love and obedience with Him in a way I rarely see.

It was June 16th when the accident happened. Zach was hurt badly, everyone else has some scrapes and bruises, but blue-eyed Eli didn’t make it. The celebration of life service held over 400 guests, there were so many tears, but much joy too- knowing that Eli was up with the Lord. Salvations resulted and family drew close, the immediate side effects of tragedy.

But it hasn’t always been joyous. The difficult moments are heart wrenching for a family who lost a son and brother, loss brings a sting of pain that aches continually. Corey has pulled his family close and walked on in a God-given strength, Nancy has decided to be resolute in her obedience to the Lord even when it’s fearful and is teaching her kids the same. A marriage didn’t just survive, but it thrived when many marriages fail within the first year after losing a child.

Seven years is a long journey, and I’ve watched and listened to Nancy go through it. I’ve listened as she talks about Eli every day. As she teaches her children here on earth how to love the Lord and how to appreciate the life He gives. I’ve seen her love and support Corey while still being human and vulnerable and I’ve watched her gain strength by way of grace.

I’ve constantly been sharpened by Nancy, whether I wanted it or not. She has always given me the ability to be myself and say just what I think even if it is terrible, and then tells me I’m wrong in a way that is unique to her. The ways that Corey and Nancy have impacted my life are innumerable. I’ve learned many lessons and most of them weren’t even directed at me, they were just apparent because of the way they live their life. The Lord has blessed me with them and given me a woman to look to whose journey is far from average and who’s life is abundantly blessed…

“It’s hard, obedience is hard and people think I’m crazy. But that doesn’t matter because I am seeking the Lord with my family and He… is… blessing us.”

-Nancy Banks

Shout out to Corey for being the best teacher in the world. I probably would have no hope of getting a husband in the future without his lessons on cooking, etiquette and desserts.


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5 Comments

Filed under Reflection, Women's History Month

5 responses to “Strength by Way of Grace

  1. MommaDuck

    I love this! This has been a journey that has had many difficulties but so many more blessings. Thanks for posting this.

  2. Courtney Vestal

    Nancy,

    Grateful for your exhibit of faithfulness to our Lord. He blesses those who cling to Him. Thank you for showing Tiff, AND myself, the reality of God’s peace in the life of an obedient follower. Only have met you twice, but have heard so much from Tiff, and one doesn’t have to be around you long to sense the joy of the Lord. Hope to see your family again! May the Lord continue to guide you & Corey & your beautiful family.

    With love,
    Courtney Vestal

    • Nancy

      Courtney,
      So thankful for the blessing your friendship has been to Tiffany and the lives you have both impacted for the Lord together! Keep on Keeping on for His Name ! It’s all about Him.

  3. Nancy

    Tiff,
    What an awesome reminder of God’s mercy and grace ! You truly have been an encouragment to me in return. To know God has used this for His honor and glory is awesome. In return for the sharpening God has allowed me to be in your life, I have seen Him use you to do the same for others. It is my prayer that God will use you to sharpen many more!
    This morning God gave to me something very special in my devo’s that I just have to share with you.
    Timing a coincidence ? I think not !
    Psalm 16:5-6 what is says to me… Lord, in all the chos and crisis, all the threat and doubt, You caused my life to work out. Instead of me falling apart, the lines of my life have fallen together. Truly I can say you have given me a delightful inheritance. No matter what life – or Satan himself hands us, the favor God has on His children causes that “lot” to tumble out on the table in such a way that, instead of destruction, the child will discover that her portion turned into destiny one trusting step at a time. When all is said and done, she will see that the protion God assigned her was Good, Right and Full of Purpose! I have seen God show you the same favor in your life and He will continue. Continue to be patient and stay faithfull. Praise be to Him !!!!!

  4. Janette

    Nancy and Corey~
    You both are an amazing inspiration to all of us. You truly are the strongest and most loving people I have had the privledge of knowing!

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