Memoir of Elisabeth Elliot
Elisabeth Elliot is one determined and strong woman. She was a missionary to many vicious and pagan Indian tribes that other missionaries were scared of even going near to. My parents had a high regard for her for years, but it was not until a friend recommended a book that came to know how amazing her life and books were. My parents read her books for many years when they were newly married. They were fascinated by her serving spirit in missions, as they were also contemplating going on missions as well. When I first heard about her I thought she was just some boring woman who wrote books that my parents liked. But, after I checked her out myself, she has showed me that she loved the Lord. She showed me that her love for the Lord went above all else. She has showed me that motherhood is a blessing from God, to be done for God. She is an inspiration to me because she not only lived a life of selflessness, but encouraged other women to do the same.
I have been and continue to learn to be a woman who is firm on her beliefs. I try and live every day for Christ, like she did. She has taught me through her books the truth of being a true woman and how I can try to be a better woman for God every day. She has taught me about being disciplines in my daily life. Her books about remaining pure during relationships, trusting God in life, and sharing her life experiences have been very helpful for me in my daily walk. Through her life experiences she has taught the importance of putting my life fully on Christ and His Promises. She went through many hardships and in them, I learn as well that I need to be content even through the hardships in life I surely have and will have. I have implemented this in my life by reading Scriptures, praying often, focusing on God throughout the day, and being kind and loving to others in a Christ like love. Elisabeth writes, “I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God” (Elliot).
She has taught me about love and how I can have a love life, with Christ as the foundation. When Christ is the foundation of any relationship you are in, then the relationship is truly strong and will last.
She has been an inspiration for how I need to live my life and how I need to focus on Christ throughout my days. I need to be a less selfish person, caring about myself more than the Gospel of Christ and reaching out to others with it.
Elisabeth Elliot and Living Her Passion
Elisabeth Elliot has been such an inspiration to many people, for her writing and life as a missionary. I am no exception. She brought to me the understanding that God is above all else and that you can get through anything if you place your hope on Christ. Through her ministry and much loss she stood strong and stayed determined to keep sharing the Gospel.
Elisabeth Elliot was born in Belgium into a missionary family, but they moved to the United States when she was young. She met a man named Jim Elliot at Wheaten, the same college she went to. They corresponded for many years. The attraction grew, but Jim was not sure if he was called to being a married a man while he went on missionary work. Through this she learned a lot about patience in God’s timing, in contentment, and trusting in Christ. Later in her life, Elisabeth urged other single people to remain chaste during their waiting seasons. Susan Dominus writes, “She became the kind of speaker who could preach abstinence to an audience of 17,000 college students and bring them to their feet” (57). “As she writes in her book Passion and Purity about her journey in this unknown state of being attracted to Jim, but married to him: “I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty, to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts. Its easy to talk oneself into a decision that has no permanence – easier sometimes than to wait patiently” (Elliot). She shows here that she prayed to God when she struggled and understood the reality that it is easier to do the less correct thing at times, but she stayed patient when God said wait or when she did not understand a situation in her life. Something that is good to keep in mind is that when we don’t have answers to something we need to give it to God and let Him handle the situation, not stressing ourselves out when we can not do anything. She also writes, “I realized that the deepest spiritual lessons are not learned by His letting us have our way in the end, but by His making us wait, bearing with us in love and patience until we are able to honestly to pray what He taught His disciples to pray: Thy will be done.” In this she explains her deepest lessons are learned when she did not get her way, but God controlling the situation with his timing and for her to remember to pray that God’s will would be done. To remember that God is in full control is something that is so important to keep in mind and something that will help through every thing you go through in life.
Eventually Jim did marry her and two years into their marriage they have a daughter.
They were inspired to share the Gospel to a certain Indian tribe, who did not have much, if any, communication from the outside world. Sadly, either from miscommunication or deceiving of one of the tribe members, Jim Elliot, only after 3 years of marriage, got killed by them.
Elisabeth Elliot, determined to continue her husband’s work, went with her now toddler daughter to befriend and share the Gospel with the same tribe that killed her husband. As Laurie Crouch of TBN, wrote, “Her love and devotion to her Savior, and her choice to love those she might have hated, helped to turn many in that tribe to faith in Christ. What an awesome testimony!” This is so true; such a great testimony. How many of us can really love those who have done such a thing in our lives, all for sharing the Good News with them? As Elisabeth wrote in her book These Strange Ashes, “To be a follower of the Crucified means, sooner or later, a personal encounter with the cross. And the cross always entails loss. The great symbol of Christianity means sacrifice and no one who calls himself a Christian can evade this stark fact” (Elliot). Wow! In some way or another, as a Christian we will suffer loss, but we must know that this means we take the Christian walk seriously, as we walk through the dark ashes and pits of life. Laurie also writes, “Elisabeth encouraged believers – especially women – to lift their gaze above disappointment, heartache, tragedy, fear, and the daily challenges of life, and to make loving Jesus and serving others their priorities” (Laurie). Through disappointment, heartache, pain, and so much more Elisabeth stayed strong. She showed us determination to not stray from what we really want to achieve in life. Elisabeth showed us how nothing should stop us from loving Christ and His Word. Her passion of the Gospel and sharing it with others, inspires us to do the same in out own way no matter the circumstances we have in life. She shows we need to live our lives for Christ, no making excuses for why we can’t or are not able to.
Even though Elisabeth Elliot is known for her missionary work, her thoughtfulness of others, and other noble things in her life, she is remembered as a Christian wife that really did love her husband. She treasured being chaste and staying pure; knowing that Christ needs to be the center of relationships. Elisabeth writes, “I am convinced that the human heart hungers for constancy. In forfeiting the sanctity of sex by casual, nondiscriminatory “making out” and “sleeping around” (Elliot), we forfeit something we cannot well do without. There is dullness, monotony, sheer boredom in all of life when virginity and purity are no longer protected and prized.”
Vera Laska writes in her book American Women Writers, “Where a lesser believer would acknowledge only a common denominator of birth, joy, sorrow, and death, Elliot sees with the eyes of a true believer that all of us…were created by the same God, all of us were broken by the same Fall, and all of us might be redeemed by the same Grace” (18). So, she inspires us to see every sorry, every joy, and every little or big thing in life as a understanding that we are all sinners that need to be redeemed by Christ our Savior’s Grace.
Elisabeth has been and continues to be an inspiration to many woman in their walks as Christians. Thought the Christian walk will be hard, she reminds us that we need to look to Christ as the author and finisher of our faith.
Roberts, Sam. “Elisabeth Elliot, 88, Tenacious Missionary to Ecuador.” New York Times 21 June 2015: A20(L). Biography in Context. Web. 4 Aug. 2016.
Laska, Vera. “Elliot, Elisabeth.” American Women Writers: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present: A Critical Reference Guide from Colonial Times to the Present. Ed. Taryn Benbow-Pfalzgraf. 2nd ed. Vol. 2. Detroit: St. James Press, 2000. 18. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 4 Aug. 2016.
Dominus, Susan. “Leaps of Faith.” The New York Times Magazine 27 Dec. 2015: 57(L). Biography in Context. Web. 4 Aug. 2016.
Roberts, Sam “Elisabeth Elliot, 88, Tenacious Missionary to Ecuador.” New York Times June 21, 2015, page A20
“TBN’s Laurie Crouch on Being a Woman Who Makes a Difference.” PR Newswire 30 June 2015. Biography in Context. Web. 8 Aug. 2016.