I couldn't think of a better way to pay tribute to my all time favorite writer than to write. Simply and purely. To finally put on paper the profound way in which she impacted my life.
"I guess I had never really thought of myself as any sort of role model..." -EE
Although I never had the opportunity or honor of meeting Ms. Elliot, the year I spent reading through her many works of writing was by far one of the most crucial in my life to date and we developed a sort of friendship along the way.
Maybe that's strange. But honestly, I cannot even begin to count the number of nights I spent in my reading chair in my lovely little room in my third floor attic apartment in Seattle, WA sobbing and sipping coffee and soaking up every word of wisdom this woman had put on paper. My evenings and afternoons and morning cups of coffee and bus rides and plane trips and days at the park spent reading and rereading Elisabeth's stories and lessons learned and God given wisdom made her feel like a sort of friend and often times a mentor telling me just what I needed to hear in that moment to keep living my life for Jesus. I often joked to my friends that I was going to "hang out with" or "spend the evening in with Elisabeth." But there was really so much truth and weight to those statements. And if you follow me on any form of social media or have even a short conversation with me, it is inevitable that I will quote Elisabeth at some point and probably more often than not.
I cannot thank Elisabeth enough for her great faith, her passion, and her obedience to follow God's call and His leading always. I am thankful that she blazed a trail for single missionary women like myself (although that of course was not the path she meant to set out on.) I am thankful that she heard His voice telling her to write down her journey and that she gladly obeyed so that young women of my generation can be encouraged and inspired in our own callings and journeys.
To think that she is now sitting with her Jesus. That she can finally look into His kind eyes and understand all of the things that she could not for so long. To imagine the smile in His eyes as He stands before one of His most faithful servants so full of love for her and so thankful for her constant trust and obedience in spite of everything. To know that she has now joined my "great cloud of witnesses" and that she is looking down and speaking life and encouragement over me as I continue on my own journey with Jesus.
Well. I could say I am sad to see her go, and I certainly am. But the life she lived for Jesus and the thought of them finally being together fills my heart with so much joy that I can't seem to do anything but smile. And only hope and pray that when I finally meet Him face to face He will look at me with those same eyes...and maybe let me have a coffee date with Elisabeth!
So, in honor of this lady and her life lived for Jesus, here's a little photo trip down memory lane, just a few of the lessons that changed by life and heart forever, and a small glimpse into my year spent with Ms. Elliot...
One of Ms. Elliot's earliest pieces of writing and one of my first reads. SO appreciate her real, honest look into those initial steps and years living out missionary life.
"Many letting goes..." Thank you Ms. Elliot for a gentle, gracefully stated crash course in life as a missionary.
One of my favorite photo of Christmas spoils.
Always amazed at how her words could pierce so deeply before the book had actually even begun. Just the preface and already SO much to take in.
His heart must be so very full today as He meets a servant who lived this out with so much grace.
Honestly STILL trying to figure out exactly what this means and the weight of it.
How I spent many a Friday evening in Seattle.
While the children were at school...a book about one of my heroines written by Ms. Elliot...another of my heroines.
I of course love how much Elisabeth looked up to Amy.
Learned a lot from Jim by default. This has become a daily prayer of mine.
This couple reminded me of what an honor it is to be called by God and what a huge responsibility I have to live it out daily.
Challenging read that cuts to the core but that helped me live Christian life on a deeper level.
One of my life mottos...and one of the many I have adopted from Ms. Elliot
And of course as I embarked on my own missionary journey, I brought along Ms. Elliot and her story of Amy for last minute encouragement and inspiration.
Another life motto of a missionary lady. The missionary lady I hope to be.
So many difficult questions answered with such grace and beauty.
Endless amounts of her little pearls of wisdom scatter my spaces and make them feel like home.
I love her God perspective on culture.
If you have not ever had the extreme honor of reading Ms. Elliot's writing or getting to know her story, now is the time! Feel free to send me a message and I will gladly make you a list of must reads...AKA a list of everything she's ever written. There is so much growing and learning to do in this life that we have been given and a year with Ms. Elliot (or even an afternoon) is a great place to start.
I am forever thankful for my year with Ms. Elliot and her words that will resonate in my heart and spirit for the remainder of my journey.