I met her in Georgia. She was a small woman, probably five foot four or five inches tall. Physically, she was attractive, but that was not what you noticed when she spoke, rather it was the quiet force you felt, a gentle but firm tone in her voice, which let you know she was someone to be reckoned with.
Zandra was born in 1957 to a West Texas rancher and his Louisiana Cajun wife. She grew up on the ranch working alongside her father, doing pretty much what he did. She met and married Nolan and they had four children. Life was not always easy for them, but their love for each other and their God sustained them.
I was in Georgia a number of years ago visiting a friend, and since she was involved with the local Women’s Aglow, we attended the meeting. Zandra was the president. I heard how God had led them to Georgia to start a church and an Aglow chapter and now they were selling their home to move back to Texas. God had told Zandra, “You are going home and you will live in your parents home.” She struggled with that for some time, but eventually she came into agreement with the Lord.
The house sold and Nolan, Zandra and the children moved back to Texas and into the original home on the ranch. Zandra’s parents had built a beautiful home a number of years before and the old house had stood empty for some time. It was small and in need of repair, but they moved in and it worked.
By this time Nolan had his pilots license and had begun flying. I was on a nine month prayer mission across the U.S. and I needed a place to stay as my partner had to fly home, Zandra invited me to stay with them. I was given daughter Noel’s room. I enjoyed my stay with them very much and also getting to know Zandra better.
God said they would be moving into the big house and Zandra wanted me to see it. She got permission from her mother and gave me a tour, it was lovely. We prayed in the house and I could picture them there. In time they moved in. Many times she invited me to come to Texas, but I never had the finances, time or liberty to do so. We corresponded a little on the internet, but she really did not really care for e-mail. A few phone calls here or there and one visit to the city where I live is all I was privileged to have with her on earth, but the impact was lasting.
One thing high-lighted Zandra’s life – soul winning and prayer. Her early training in prayer was at the feet of a woman she called “Nonie”. Nonie was the mother of a world famous minister who literally wore out her body in intercession. She advised Zandra not to do what she had done, however, Zandra did not heed those words of advice and would spend many hours in intercession for her family and those that God had brought into her life. I was privileged to be among those she brought to the throne of grace. Thank you Lord.
I recall when I was with her once she told me that she made a point of speaking to people in elevators, or any where she was for that matter. She wanted people to know the man who changed her life, Jesus the Messiah of Israel. She was compelled by love for Him to tell others what He had done for her.
The last time I saw her I observed that the M.S. she had battled in the past had recurred, however, she did not let that stop her. Nolan would be at the controls of an aircraft, she a passenger, going with him to spend the time of his layover together. She did this frequently. She told me that it was her job to keep Nolan happy. She took that job very seriously.
As I left her the last night I would see her on earth, she charged me to follow the Lord fully, with everything in me. I did not know that would be the last time I would see her here, but I took that charge seriously and have endeavored to do just that.
There have been many people who have influenced my life. Zandra was one of those whose life made a permanent impact on mine. I learned how to treat my husband by her example. I learned that people matter, that they mattered to God and so they they must matter to us. Zandra loved, not in a gushy emotional way, but everything she did was because of the Love of God within her. She was Kingdom of God minded.
Today I learned that Zandra’s “Dancing Day” came last Friday; she entered into the Kingdom of Heaven to be forever with the one she loved. Jesus came for her and she gladly left her mortal body behind and went home with him.
Blessed be her memory to her family, to her friends and to her spiritual daughters. I honor Zandra, one of my spiritual mothers in the faith, I will miss her, and I look forward to seeing her soon.