Besides the practical help it gave me, I was completely drawn into the story of her and Jim Elliot’s courtship.
Her description of Jim put a picture in my mind that shaped my expectation of a future husband.
I told her she was my Amy Carmichael, my spiritual hero and godly example. With wide eyes I turned to my husband, “Matt…I think this is from Elisabeth Elliot! Gren spent at our tiny apartment was brief, but precious. The best moment was when my spiritual hero held my newborn like the seasoned grandmother she was, and smiled down at her little namesake.
” When I opened it I found a signed copy of her book with a handwritten note to my husband and I that felt like a blessing on our marriage. Six years ago when my first child, Grace Elisabeth, was two weeks old the phone rang in our tiny apartment in Fort Worth. This is Lars Gren.” I stood, open-mouthed in the kitchen. He had looked us up in the phone book presumably, since my letter had not included a phone number. I tried not to babble, or fawn, but to be a good hostess to these honored guests.
Six years later when my husband Matt and I were engaged, I eagerly read , a book written for Elisabeth’s daughter Valerie when Valerie was engaged to be married.
My husband is grateful I read it and let it affect my thinking and practice as a wife.
I told him thank you, thank you SO much, but I have a two week old baby girl so I don’t think I can. Even in their golden years, they extended themselves and poured themselves out for others. They demonstrated Christ’s love and service to me that day.
Again I was struck by the practical help found in this book, but was also drawn into the compelling story of her own childhood.
I didn’t have any children at the time, but was hoping this season was just ahead.
The book meant so much to me that I decided to tell her in a letter how formative her books and ministry had been in my life. When a plump package did arrive from Magnolia, MA, my heart caught in my throat. My husband was working multiple jobs and couldn’t be there, but my mother-in-law had come to help me host, and she bought some of her books, and Lars gave me some audio recordings of talks his wife had given years ago.
But for years she had spoken to me through her books.
A “Ramblings from the Cove” newsletter was also included, and at the bottom I saw it: a type-written personal note to me. “Elisabeth and I will be in Dallas for a meeting and wondered if you wanted to meet her.” And like the overwhelmed, sleep deprived, first-time new mother I was, I said no. After they left, I sat down in amazement at this surreal thing that had happened to me, me so undeserving.I had not adjusted yet to parenthood, and the thought of driving across the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex with my teeny baby in tow was too overwhelming. I was humbled that they would take the time to drive all that way to our little apartment, go to such trouble, all to be a blessing to my family.