From Lorna Stankoven

NICOLE AN AMAZING WOMAN OF LOVE AND FAITH

 Hello my name is Lorna Stankoven, my husband Bill Stankoven has worked with Nicole for over 17 years, and Bill and I also pastor a home church.  I have had the blessing of knowing Nicole over the past 17 years as part of the Mayfair family, as a friend and also on a spiritual level.    She was an amazing woman of faith, hope and love.  She thanks her dad for instilling in her a faith when she was young, going to youth group taught her right from wrong, and gave her such a great foundation on which to build her faith on.

About 7 years ago I was privileged to spent time with Nicole where I had the honor of leading her to the Lord, we would pray and read and talk about what the Lord was showing her over coffee at our home, it was a special time I will always treasure.   Nicole was not one to preach her relationship with Jesus she was one to live out her relationship with Jesus in everything she did.  Besides her family and friends her faith was very important to her.  She knew that faith wasn’t a set of rules; it was a relationship with Jesus.  Her Faith, hope, and love were the cornerstone of who she was.  She truly knew what it was to have a relationship with Jesus, a real one, one where she could talk, cry, get angry, laugh, she truly knew how to talk and hear from God.

One of her favorite verses that she lived her life after was “love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength and all your mind, and love you neighbor as yourself.”  She lived that every day to its fullest.  Her favorite times with the Lord was when she was alone at home with Him just talking to Him about things, about life, it was her special time with Him.  She would also treasure times when she would look at nature and marvel at the beauty and then she could feel the love of Jesus filling her till she would cry, as she realized how much He loved her and how much beauty was around her, she truly saw Him in the nature that surrounded her.

She knew in her faith that she was always loved and accepted by Him, a scripture close to her was Psalm 18:19 “He delighted in me”.  That was something that was so important to her because she felt life was too short and that her faith showed her it was so important to love, forgive,  accept and embrace others around you, and she did just that each and every day.  Her faith was part of her everyday life.

She would cherish driving in the car to work with her praise music on, praising and singing to God because she said it would set her up for the rest of the day.  Even though she would drive her scooter at times, she needed that time with Him on her way to work.  It would give her a strength and peace to help her handle everything that came her way.   Her faith without her even knowing it carried the love and light of God to everyone around her.

Her faith was also a source of strength for her, one scripture she held on to was Deuteronomy 3:18 “The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you.  He will not fail you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed”, she knew that “Jesus would never leave her or forsake her”.  When she did her walk for cancer she was unsure if she could do it, but the lord told her “she can do all things through Christ who strengthens her”.  She knew that day as she completed the walk that the Lord walked that entire walk with her and that with Him and the love of her family she could do anything.  She knew He was right by her side, that day changed her in a very deep and profound way.  When you see God move in a tangible way it deepens your faith, hope and trust in Him and it did just that for Nicole.

Nicole also knew God protected her and her family and that the Lord watched over her once in an amazing way in the past.  One time she was driving home from Whistler on the road between Whistler and Pemberton and the road was slick and icy.  Nicole describes how she hit a patch of ice, spun, and hit the guard rail, spun back where there was a cliff on the other side.  She was about to go over the cliff when all of a sudden something as she describes it, a force, actually stopped her car from going over.  She knew that the Lord had saved her life that day.  She tells how that really sealed the deal for her and how real He was and how much she knew He cared and loved her.

She knew she could walk through anything with her faith and the love of her family and friends.  Her last months sure showed that in such a miraculous way.  As she walked the last part of this journey she knew He would be with her every step of the way.  In fact she was the strength for most of us.  Psalm 56 meant so much to her “When I am afraid I will trust in You.”  She had a peace, a love, a hope and faith that can only come from heaven above, it truly was not of this world.

Nicole knew that this life was just the journey to where our final destination really is.  She said, “I’m not afraid because I know where I am going”.  That gave her such a deep peace and hope in the middle of the storm.  She knew without a doubt that the Lord would give her everything she needed to walk this out with her family and friends.  And he did just that.  Her courage and strength was a testimony of what faith and hope truly is.  Her bible was highlighted with verses that she held so dear and leaned on, one in particular was that the” Lord would not give you more than you could bear”.  She hung on to that and knew he would supply every need of hers and her family’s.  She knew that for that verse to be true she would be strong enough to get through this ordeal.

She was a spiritual strength to all those around her. As we would have times of prayer she would say how she could feel God’s presence in the room with her and his love and peace surrounded her.  She was so calm and at peace, Psalm 23 spoke to her so real now, “And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”  She was a shining star reflecting the love of God to everyone around her.  The most important thing to her was that she knew Scott and the girls would be one day with her in heaven.  She cried with joy when she knew Scott started his own relationship with Jesus.  She knew she would be forever with Him and the girls in paradise.

Nicole’s love toward everyone was so special, all embracing of everyone she met.  She knew in her heart that when you couple the love in your heart with the love of God you can truly touch and change lives and that is just what Nicole did.  She touched each one of us in this room in a very special way.  Her life will continue to touch and change lives in the days to come as we remember her inner strength, her attitude, her peace, her love and her awe inspiring faith.  She had a faith and a love that is ringing out loud and clear for all to hear now and forever.

I’d just like to finish with the words to the song “I Will Rise” that Nicole picked for her first song, it truly sums up her faith.

I Will Rise

There’s a peace I’ve come to know
Though my heart and flesh may fail
There’s an anchor for my soul
I can say, it is well

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead

I will rise when He calls my name
No more sorrow, no more pain
I will rise on eagles wings
Before my God, fall on my knees
And rise, I will rise

There’s a day that’s drawing near
When the darkness breaks to light
And the shadows disappear
And my faith shall be my eyes

And I hear the voice of many angels sing, Worthy is the Lamb,
And I hear the cry of every longing heart, Worthy is the Lamb.

 

NICOLE / HER LEGACY

 As you can see by all the testimony of Nicole’s life she was and amazing woman.  She made a difference in this world; this world is a better place for having her here.  She knew that life was a gift, and that is why she always looked at the glass as being half full.  She knew life was a gift and to be embraced and lived, she also knew she was also given the greatest gift of eternal life with her Lord in heaven.

As I was writing this I didn’t want to use the word was, but is, because she is an amazing woman, she still lives, just not here.  And as she said in a blink of an eye she knows she will see her family again.  She knew to “be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord”.  She truly saw life through the eyes and heart of God that is at the heart of her saying life is beautiful.  There is so much beauty and life around us if we choose to find it and live it.  Nicole knew that.

The love she has for her husband, girls, family, and friends still burns in her soul even at this moment.  Nicole understood that we come into this world with nothing and we leave with nothing except the relationship with Jesus and the love we carry in our hearts for each other.  She understood this more than maybe we really knew.  Her heart, love, faith and passion for God and life that she carried and passed to each one of us is now something we will carry forever.

One of her favorite verses was Isaiah 40:31 Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength, they will mount up with the wings of eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”  Nicole is soaring on eagle’s wings.  She is in a place where there is no more sorrow, no more pain, where every tear ever cried will be wiped away.  Nicole’s life was a testimony on how to love, live and walk in faith, while always embracing, always accepting, and always touching everyone she met.  Nicole truly left an imprint on each of our hearts that will remain with us forever.  This is a celebration of her life, and the life that she is now living in heaven.  It is never good bye; it is till we see each other again.

(PRAYER FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS)

As I write this I pray that in Jesus name the love that Nicole shared with each one of you that shone from her heart, the love of Jesus, would shine upon each of you, and give you strength through this difficult time.  May the strength that Jesus gave to Nicole be yours, and may He carry and support you through all that each of you will walk through in this life.  May the faith and hope that Nicole knew be planted in each of your hearts, watered, and grown to give you the joy and vision to see how “life is beautiful”, and full of love.  I thank you Jesus that the love that Nicole shared with each of us, your love, will continue to shine in each of our hearts.  I pray that none of us leave here today the same way as when we came in, that we will be forever touched by heaven’s love that Nicole shared with us each and every day. I ask Lord that you carry Scott, Brook and Jada, and that you be with them each day, supporting, loving, and caring for each of them, as they walk the journey out that You have for each of them.  Lord bless each person that reads this site, and as they remember Nicole may they truly understand that “life is beautiful, and the glass is always half full”.