Today I rode in my car with the windows down, listened to "Do you know? (The Ping Pong Song)", "John", and "Do the John Wall". I laughed and cried as I sang and danced hearing Rebekah's voice in my head singing right along with me.
I pictured all the nights we cruised Chobee, buying scratch offs and using our winnings to buy ice cream before heading back to one of our houses to hang for the night.
We usually made chocolate chip cookies when we were together. We loved Mexican food and Diet Vanilla MT Dew from the cooler.
We had fun together. We laughed together. We cried together. We prayed together.
I'm thankful for the friend I had in Rebekah.
I'm thankful for her laugh and that when I get quiet and think about her I can still hear it.
I'm thankful for her testimony.
I'm thankful for the wife she was and what she and Jared taught me about marriage.
I'm thankful for her family who scooped me up and love me so.
I'm thankful Pook knew I was pregnant and that she got to tell my belly she loved it many times.
I'm thankful for that sweet name Jane that my Sawyer now carries.
I'm thankful for the legacy Pook left behind.
But I'm most thankful that I'll see her again.
Below are the words I wrote when asked to write something for her memorial. I read back on it now so thankful for what she and Jared taught me. I'm thankful I had the opportunity to do life with them.
I can't wait to see that girl again.
Rebekah came into my life in 10th grade. We had Driver’s Ed first hour, and in a weird way we were drawn to each other. The first day we really talked she said, “We’re gonna be best friends.” And from that day forward we were. I spent many evenings at the Bishop house making chocolate chip cookies, watching movies, riding the golf cart, and just laughing constantly. P-Dub would make fun of my ever changing hair color, and Netters treated me like a daughter. At my house Rebekah went right to the fridge to steal my Dad’s beloved cookie dough, always making herself right at home. Our brains processed things the same way, we understood each other’s silence, and loved the simple things. We were meant to be besties.
When Rebekah was diagnosed again in our Junior year, over a series of events the Lord told me that she would be healed. I struggled with that for a week before going to her parents as I didn’t want to speak too boldly and be wrong. But I did. And she was.
Fast forward a few years at Rebekah’s wedding when I spoke a few words as her Maid of Honor. God reminded me that the healing HE spoke over her, her junior year, was necessary because THIS day, THIS marriage, was already ordained to happen. No weapon of cancer would prosper to keep that day from coming.
I know now that this union between Pook and Jared was one with such purpose, as God intends all marriages to be. Their union served a much bigger audience than their families. Today many are encouraged and lifted up because of their commitment to their Savior and to each other. At their wedding, Jared also came to me and said (almost exactly like Rebekah did in 10th grade) “So you ready for another best friend?”. And he was. They were such a unit that they ministered to me and to many others, together.
Over the last several years Rebekah and I have learned a lot about waiting and God’s timing. Though our circumstances were different, it seemed that God was teaching us much about the same concepts. Because of this we prayed a lot together, and for each other. She was my first call or text when I needed prayer, and after Jared I was hers. She reminded me that ALL things work out for good when we are seeking Jesus, and I helped her channel her anger when Satan really ticked her off. She wasn’t afraid to tell him where to go! When I met Jake, Pook and Jared were there as I prayed him through some difficult moments. It was to their house I went first when God spoke to me that I’d marry him. They bathed us in prayer, and as Jake and I walked through some muddy waters, they spoke life over and into us. Consistently reminding us to trust God and HIS timing. Their love, rooted in Christ, was and is an example that Jake and I work hard to emulate. Rebekah didn’t “wait” with a mentality of “sitting on her hands”. She waited expectantly. She waited in ACTION, calling forth God’s word and speaking it into her and Jared’s circumstances. She believed in the BIG God. There were days when her faith was small, but she called on her husband to remind her and he stepped in and did just that. When they were apart, she sometimes felt feeble, but together is where Rebekah found her fight, her strength, and her faith. That is what God intended for marriage. A union of two people that push each other toward Jesus, living out a life that furthers HIS kingdom.
It saddens me that there won’t be anymore “scratch off scavenger hunts”, “She’s The Man” quoting contests, or that I can’t laugh with her anymore here, but I’m overwhelmed with peace that in time I WILL get to do that again. Rebekah knew that THIS life was but a season towards a greater eternity. I choose to live with that at the forefront of my mind, cherishing my husband as she cherished hers, praying boldly over my circumstances, living authentically, and loving people towards Jesus.
And in the words of my sweet Mother – “God wins.”