"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Titus 2 Tuesday ~ Missy

Today is my first Titus 2 Tuesday offering. I am very excited to begin introducing you to the women that have impacted my life.

Today I want to introduce you to my friend Missy.

Missy is a rare soul. God’s princess since she was young, Missy uses her life as a testimony to God’s grace as well as an opportunity to be a servant to those God places in her path. She truly embodies and lives out the fruits of the spirit. She is always ready with a smile, a gentle hand or a stern admonishment (spoken in love and based in scripture), for all those she meets. She has the greatest laugh and tends to say “Nuh Uh!” when something “interesting” is said. She presents the image of a gentle pastor’s wife, but has a silly side that is infectious. From snow skiing to climbing a rock wall, her adventurous nature is balanced by her love of providing a sanctuary for her family. She is one of those homemakers whose home is actually in order (mostly!) no matter when you drop by. She is a wonderful hostess and very creative in her ability to decorate her home as well as for events and parties.

From the first time I met Missy I felt a sense of calm and peace about her. Over the first months of our friendship I was navigating the emotional and unfamiliar waters of a true walk with Christ. I had so many expectations and thoughts on what it should mean and look like for me to be a true follower of Christ. During that time Missy was there with scripture and advice and a smile, and sometimes a gentle kick in the butt. The first year we attended Hearts at Home was really the beginning of our friendship. I learned that even though she is a pastor’s wife, she has the same struggles as I do, but others that I will never understand. She also taught me that no matter how much you know or how long you have been walking with God, He will still have things to grow and refine to bring us closer to Him. That is the weekend I took her off the “Pastor’s wife pedestal” and begin to walk along side her as her friend.

Missy is married to our pastor; if Mike is a hurricane, Missy is a summer breeze. She perfectly balances him and is his biggest supporter. He is like a high school boy with a crush around her. It is such an encouragement to me to see that there really are marriages out there that never lose the wonder of the dating years, even when years of trials and problems and struggles have become part of the marriage’s history. Especially over the last year, I have watched God bless this marriage in ways that have brought tears to my eyes and a pain to my heart for love of what He can do with the children He loves.

She is the mother of three amazing and caring children. Each one is so very different, but just by talking to them and watching them interact with others you can see the Godly influence that Missy has on them. Her daughter is developing Missy’s gentle spirit, while her son is Missy’s creative and charming side personified. Missy’s youngest daughter is not quite a year old, but (although her Dad tries to convince us otherwise J ) is a sweet baby with an adorable smile. Both her older daughter and her son have a level of integrity and values that make me proud to know them. I fully expect the baby of the family to follow in these fine footsteps.

Missy tends to be the shoulder that everyone leans on, the source of wisdom for advice seekers, and a wonderful spiritual leader to all the women in our church.

In March of this year, Missy received the devastating news that she had breast cancer. Already pregnant, Missy was faced with the challenge of trying to decide the best courses of treatment that would not harm her baby, while also keeping her body healthy and strong. Missy had surgery the first of April, and three weeks later her beautiful baby was born 100% healthy. They call her Missy’s little lifesaver, since the increase in hormones during pregnancy caused the tumor to grow much quicker than normal, allowing for detection and treatment sooner. They even handed out lifesaver candy in the hospital after delivery.

Missy went through chemotherapy as well as radiation. Although it would have been perfectly human and perfectly acceptable by anyone’s standards to worry and grip and moan, or even go through periods of anger and resentment, Missy chose to tighten her grip on her faith and let God’s glory shine like a beacon. (Lest you think she is perfect, she did have times that were rough, but how she chose to deal with those times and the fact that she didn’t stay in those times long was a huge testimony to God’s spirit in her and in her life).

Now completely through with treatment and PRAISE GOD!!! Cancer free, Missy has resumed her work in the children’s ministry of our church, as well as leading a Wednesday morning ladies Bible study.

During this season of her life, Missy was still there for the women in her life, offering her shoulder to lean on as well as her hands and feet to serve. She even served as a special support for her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer during Missy’s own journey.

I am very excited to see how God will develop our friendship in the years to come. I hope that I bring to this relationship as much joy, comfort and strength as she does. My favorite shopping buddy, and the woman who introduced me to Starbucks Chai Tea Latte, she has blessed my life in many ways. Please feel free to read Missy’s blog (no longer updated, but a wonderful glimpse into the daughter of God that I love).

I’m sure Missy will be embarrassed by all the great things I have written about her, but I am sure she can just get over it and accept the fact that I love her and am excited that God loves me enough to put someone like her in my life.

Missy on the rock wall at the women's retreat this fall. check out the stylin' cap (it's gone now, Missy has HAIR!)

This was Missy's trunk during our church's Trunk or Treat Halloween event. Anne Geddes never looked so good!

Missy and Mike. He's been married to her for some time now, but they still treat each other with the wonder and love of honeymooners.

Oh my! I’m sorry this is so long! There are just so many great things to say about her. I didn’t even really get started. Thanks for hanging in there and meeting my friend! Click the Titus 2 Tuesday link in my side column to go to the Titus 2 Tuesday home blog.


Kingdom Mama said...

How wonderful! I am so glad that you have such a godly friend!

Missy Stancil said...

Who IS this "Missy?" I'd love to meet her...! Thank you, darlin'. Love you dearly.

Shanda said...

I love your post honoring Missy! I'm glad you are joining in on the Titus 2 Tuesdays!

I too lost my mom to cancer (I read your latest post as well) I know the waves of pain and humor. My mom had a lot of "loopy" moments too while she was on the pain meds. One time (she was in a hospital bed at the time) I was laying on my dad's bed that was right beside her hospital bed. She woke up, looked at me through the rails of her bed and said, "What are you 'in' for?" (I guess the bars made her think she was in jail?!?) It totally cracked my sister and I up! Of course, she drifted right back off to sleep...

HUGS as you remember your mom!

April said...

Being a friend to these wonderful women is a blessing. Everything Shannon said about Missy is true and then some. We are truely blessed to know her.

Anonymous said...

Oh Shannon, you have brought tears to my eyes,tears of love for you and your beautiful way of describing our little girl, and tears of love to our heavenly Father for allowing me to be the mother of such a fantastic human being, and tears of joy to know that GOD has choosen to use Mike and Missy to influence so many people nationwide through this "cancer" journey.She never ceases to amaze me at how truly wonderful she is! Thank you for sharing her with others!
Millie (Missy's Mom)and your friend.