Sister to Sister: Dear Rebekah

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Dear Rebekah,

Caleb and BekahI hope you don’t mind that lots of people are reading your mail. It’s just that lots of moms need to know that it’s possible in the 21st century to raise girls with pure hearts and lofty eternal goals. And lots of sons and daughters in our world need to know that finding someone who has this heart and these goals is worth the wait.

I want you to know that Glenn and I have prayed many times for Jim and Debbie Meinsen. Oh, we did not say their names, but we were praying for them. We prayed before Caleb was even born that there were some parents somewhere raising up a little girl with heaven in her heart. We prayed that they were having family Bible times and that they were diligently putting Him in all of their decisions. We prayed and prayed. Little did we know that, when we started praying, Jim and Debbie Meinsen were probably not even married yet. But all of those details—the timing, the circumstances, the places and the decisions being made way back in the 1980’s and before, were the wonderful Romans 8:28 answers to our prayers.

Then later we started praying more specifically for you. Glenn Colley began several years ago praying for Caleb to find a wife…”soon”. I prayed for him to find a wife when the time was right. But we were  praying for not just any wife. We were praying for someone who would be willing to submit to a godly man…someone who would love the Lord more than she loved that man…someone who could appreciate righteousness more than riches…someone whose hope was stayed in the Lord. We were praying for you.

Little did we know that there was a period of years in which he, a college graduate was occasionally, visiting in your home. You were a middle schooler on those occasions when he traveled to Springfield as an Apologetics Press representative to set up an AP table at the homeschooling conferences your father organized. There you were, right before his eyes—his wife. That’s right. Who knew that one day, when you were all grown up, you would be THE one who would have all of the characteristics of a wife for which he was searching, even then? Certainly not the guy behind the AP table at the homeschooling conference!

So he just went right on though grad school…in fact, a couple of grad schools…and the next time he saw you, you were “all grown up.” And the rest is history and…chemistry. =)

Glenn and I are still praying; now in praise and thanksgiving for His great grace given our family through you. My favorite question on Saturday was not the big one…just because I was pretty sure I already knew the answer to the big one. My favorite question came later while we were celebrating your birthday and playing that game where you have to answer Bible questions to open gifts and the people who are not going to get any gifts (like my husband) get ridiculously hard questions like “Quote Revelation 14:6,” and the people who are going to get presents get questions like “Without _______it is impossible to please him…” (And, by the way, you are  tough competition in any Bible game.)

So your question, at one point, when we veered a bit from the Bible theme was “What are your three favorite things about your new fiancé? I will treasure your answer in my heart forever. You said it without hesitating:

“What I like most about Caleb is how much He loves and obeys God. Next, I love the way that he treats everybody…EVERYbody. And then, I love the way he laughs.”

Can I just tell you once more that I prayed for many years, diligently and frequently for somebody who knew how to answer that question; somebody who could appreciate the best things about Caleb? I know you love these characteristics because you have Bible studies with non-Christians every time you can get the chance. You have Bible studies in your dorm room with other Christian women. You, as one of the elder’s wives at Macland Road told me, “are comfortable in conversation with everyone around you all the time. It doesn’t matter how old or young, rich or poor.” I’ve entered the dining room and found you all alone  at our breakfast table on Sunday mornings (the day of the week when breakfast is definitely piecemeal and “come-grab-a-bite-when-you-can”) with your head bowed in morning prayer. I’ve watched you study the Bible, poring over a Greek word or writing a paper about a complicated passage. You are beautiful on the outside. But these spiritual traits are the prettiest thing about you. They’re the beauty that time enhances rather than fades.  “Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fear the Lord shall be praised.”

See,  I believe you could, without even thinking about it, list the three things you love most about Caleb because you’ve worked so hard to be sure they are in you.

I’ve heard about some mothers who resent the women who come along and take their place in the hearts of their sons. I want you to know that we tried very hard, as Caleb grew up, to keep that heart clean and pure, heaven focused and holy, for you. We’re glad you’ve moved into it and we know you will help Him keep it fit for heaven.

We’re glad you like to hear him laugh, because he laughs a lot. We pray there will always be lots of laughter and few tears. We pray there will be children and songs and homeschooling and lots of visits to grandparents. We pray there will be heaven at the end for all of us. We love you.

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