This week I had the privilege of interviewing Nancy Cross. I’m so encouraged every time I talk with Nancy. When you meet her you may first see the wheelchair she sits in, but Nancy’s joyful countenance and confidence in the Lord will leave you seeing Jesus Christ.
Nancy has been married to C.W. for almost 26 years and has two children by a previous marriage. She had been divorced almost 10 years before she met C.W. at work. All their married lives they have prioritized the Lord and faithfulness to Him in a local church. For 20 years they have been glad to call West Park home and are faithful members of the Fruitbearers ABF.
May God be glorified in your life as you read Nancy’s perspective today.
Nancy, thank you for talking with me today. I’d like to know what your current experience is during this time of the Coronavirus.
Probably during this period of time the thing CW and I, even though we do the online services and everything, miss is the physical fellowship of the believers. We just really do. It’s like it’s given us a new appreciation for the church body. It’s more than a building, and I know I’m not telling you anything that you haven’t told all of us, but it’s a fellowship. And I understand why God’s Word says, “Don’t forsake the assembling of yourselves together with other believers,” and I understand that. When I say we feed off of each other, God gives each one of us gifts to share in a body, and that’s why we need to be one in the body. Not only in what we say but what we do and how we love one another. And that’s what we have so missed!
And you know, the other thing we’ve talked about also is that this period of time has given us a new insight into what believers in other countries who do not have the opportunity for open fellowship with one another, what they have experienced all along! I don’t think God wastes anything, does He?
Nancy, people describe those in our elderly community as “at-risk.” Do you consider yourself to be at-risk during this time?
Honestly, no. I guess the reason I say that is I don’t go out and do things that our authorities have said don’t do, because not only would I be putting myself at risk but I could harm somebody else. I don’t fear; I’m not afraid. That’s just bottom line. Although I’m sure if people looked at me and saw my age and that I’m in a wheelchair and everything they’d say I’m at-risk. But I don’t think about that. We’re trying to live our lives as normally as possible under the guidelines of what the government has said.
Nancy, what difficulties have you faced in your life, and how have those difficulties prepared you for what you face today?
You know, I grew up in a very difficult emotional situation. My dad was an alcoholic for much of my early years, and that was a really difficult time both emotionally and financially for us growing up. But now that I’ve experienced breast cancer and then the spinal cord situation, they have been difficulties, but I almost look back at that, Joe, and think, you know, in a way, all that was difficult for me in my early years has somewhat served me well for now because this doesn’t feel as difficult as maybe those years did, and some of the things that I learned then were how to be emotionally dependent on God and also to be wise in how we deal with our finances. So I know all that sounds like a fairy tale but really when I look back on my early life, and it was really painful for me and my siblings and my mom as well, somehow or other the scripture that says “God uses all things for the good,” He has! He has in my life, and it’s not to say there aren’t difficulties at times. Of course there are. I’m human just like everybody else, but I know that all those years of hardness that I dealt with then as a much younger person has shown me how dependence on God and then opening up to people in my life that I need to talk to that can help me deal with things… and it’s not to say things now aren’t difficult, but it’s not as difficult as [it may be] for someone who hasn’t experienced the things I did growing up. And that doesn’t mean that I’m all excited that I had all that difficulty! It’s just I’ve looked at those things as things that can useful for me today.
May I ask, what is the name of the condition that requires you to be in the wheelchair?
I have transverse myelitis, and it is a spinal cord disease that… can be caused by a virus or you could have some kind of immunization that can settle in the spinal cord area, and then it just takes over the spinal cord. It shows how marvelously and wonderfully God made our bodies and then because we live in a world that is affected by sin, that sin has affected everything around us, our environment and everything, so that you’re susceptible to getting anything.
Nancy, thank you for sharing what God has used to prepare you for these times of suffering. Last question, if you were to sit down with someone from our church, maybe someone young experiencing lots of difficulties right now who doesn’t have the background that the Lord gave you, what would you encourage them to focus on? What lessons from the Lord, in addition to how He works all things for good, would you encourage them to be thinking about?
I love young people, Joe, and I love young women and men, married couples, and I look at them and recall being like them, raising children, and it’s not really easy. There is so much going on, even in the church and in the communities and everything, and I pray for the young people in our church, I pray for all of them. It’s not easy emotionally, spiritually or financially, and especially in relationships.. that can be really tough!
I would encourage them to think on a daily basis about how God will lead them through that day through the power of the Holy Spirit within them. If at the beginning of that day they sit down and have time with Him before they rush out into the world to see what’s going on and seek His guidance in His Word. Joe, I know when I pick up God’s Word… most of the time there’s something in that scripture that speaks to my day or to my life at that time that I could use. And I know better than I did when I was thirty years old, how important God in my life is. I mean every day. You have to get up every day and intentionally seek His fellowship with you that day.