Hello my friends!
I haven’t been able to post in a while, but I’ve really missed sharing my ideas and thoughts with you all! ❤ You may not know this, but I am a senior in high school this year. I’ve been struggling with what I want to do after graduating. Ultimately, I desire to find a husband and live a godly life with him as a wife and mother. Yet, the world out there seems so big and scary. 🙂 What if God doesn’t bring that man into my life for a while? I want to have a plan on how to live a godly and successful life until then. As Christians, I believe we are called to be wise with our current time and resources. During this soul searching, I really started thinking about who I admire and why. What truly makes a successful person? If I could be compared to anyone, who would I want it to be?
Ever since I was a little girl, my parents shared with me no small amount of courageous and godly Christians, both men and women. Yet, one lady stood out. From watching the Torchlighter film on Jim and Elisabeth Elliot to pouring over my parent’s Christmas gift of Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot, I have been astonished at her godly character and legacy.
Elisabeth Elliot, a Christian author and speaker, demonstrated true compassion, forgiveness, love, and wisdom. Her first husband, Jim Elliot, was one of the five missionaries speared to death by the Huaorani Indians in Ecuador during 1956. Afterwards, Elisabeth immortalized that moment with three books — Through Gates of Splendor, Shadow of the Almighty, and The Savage My Kinsman — and shared her wisdom for the cause of Christian missions and Christian womanhood in numerous books, hundreds of newsletters, and forty years of conference speaking.
Elisabeth was born to missionary parents in Brussels, Belgium. Shortly after her birth, her family moved to Pennsylvania and then New Jersey where her parents faithfully taught her what a life serving others should mean. After graduating from Wheaton College, Elisabeth surrendered to missionary service in Ecuador. In 1953, she married a former Wheaton College classmate, Jim Elliot.
As you all likely know, Jim was murdered in 1956 as a missionary to the Auca in Ecuador. Yet this did not cause Elisabeth to grow bitter towards God and the Auca tribe. Even though she had a daughter just ten months old, Elisabeth continued as a missionary first to the Quichua; and then for two years, she served as a missionary to the same Auca tribe members who murdered her husband. Sacrifice, suffering, and forgiveness were woven through her ministry with these both of the tribes as well as her numerous books.
On top of that, Elisabeth Elliot is a role model of wisdom. She has written more than 30 books, held a thirteen year radio program, and spoke at numerous churches and conferences. Even though Elisabeth lived through tumultuous seasons of life, she focused on the big picture always returning to the unchanging principles of the Holy Bible and never deviated from their Divine truth and power.
As Christian young ladies, what should we learn from Elisabeth Elliot’s incredible life?
First, like Elisabeth championed, we should seek to return to biblical femininity. In a world in which femininity is weak and self-promoting, Christian ladies must stand bold in biblical truth. God-given differentiation between the sexes should not be abolished but celebrated. Our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, not as two identical or interchangeable halves, that God created humans. Elisabeth wrote, “To me, a lady is not frilly, flouncy, flippant, frivolous and fluff-brained, but she is gentle, she is gracious, she is godly and she is giving. You and I have the gift of femininity… the more womanly we are, the more manly men will be and the more God is glorified. Be women, be only women, be real women in obedience to God.”
Second, our lives should be filled with sacrificial love. January 8th, 1956. That is the devastating day that the Aucas killed Elisabeth’s husband and four other missionaries. I am sure that this searing loss must have been heart-rending. I lost my grandfather two years ago, and I can just imagine Elisabeth’s pain at loosing her husband after just three years. Yet, Elisabeth later said, “I prayed what seemed to be a rather ridiculous prayer at the time. I said, ‘Lord if there is anything you want me to do about the Aucas here I am, do whatever you want with me.'” This sacrificial prayer shows a heart that was fully surrendered to Christ — one who was living for His glory, rather than personal comfort, pleasure, or enjoyment. Elisabeth wisely said, “There is nothing worth living for, unless it is worth dying for.” She knew that the gospel, for which her husband had died and for which she easily could have also died, must be shared to the lost Aucas. Elisabeth showed the tribe the same humility and sacrificial love that Christ showed in Philippians 2:5-7, coming to serve those who had sinned against her.
Third, we should always stand for the truth. If you have ever listened to or read Elisabeth Elliot, you have probably noticed that she did not beat around the bush. But rather than being harsh, her words were filled with the love of Jesus. In fact, it was this love for the Lord and others that motivated her to always share the truth. Her life was dedicated to seeing others come to the knowledge of the truth so that God might be glorified in and through many lives.
Personally, Elisabeth has inspired me to be courageous, forgiving, humble, and remain focused on God. Life can be hard; yet, through Christ, Elisabeth became stronger in her struggles. While I may not know what I want to do after graduating, God does love his children. His timing may not be my timing and His plans may not be my plans; but, God knows the best for us. Like Elisabeth, we must rely on God’s strength and love.
“The will of God is never exactly what you expect it to be. It may seem to be much worse, but in the end it’s going to be a lot better and a lot bigger.” –Elisabeth Elliot
Have you all read any books by Elisabeth Elliot? If so, which ones are your favorite?
I love Passion and Purity, which accounts her relationship with Jim. It presents a beautiful picture of godly love, purity, and faithfulness.
Who is your role model?
Thanks for reading! Have a great week!
Julianne K. 💕