Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Widow's Story: Elisabeth Elliot

This week as we raise awareness of widows in other countries, it's timely to consider Elisabeth Elliot, one of the most influential Christian women of the 20th century, a beloved Christian author and speaker, and two times a widow, who went Home to Jesus last Tuesday at the age of 88.

Image result for elisabeth elliotHer first husband, Jim Elliot, was one of five missionary men killed by Auca Indians in the jungles of Ecuador, South America in the 1950's, leaving Elisabeth with their 10-month old daughter. Elisabeth remained with their ministry to Quichua Indians. Through a remarkable "coincidence" of meeting two Auca women who lived with her for a year, Elisabeth herself made contact with the men who killed her husband and was accepted to work with the Auca's.
She remained a widow for many years, and then married Addison Leitch in 1969, who died in 1973. Eventually she remarried again, this time to Lars Gren who has been by her for 36 years now.

I heard Elisabeth speak only once in person, at a conference for college students called Urbana 76 (because it was in Urbana, IL in 1976). She took command of our hearts with her calm but very firm faith, full of wisdom borne of great commitment through loss--- a gift God makes available to all who suffer loss. We pay a high price, but oh!... the riches of God's grace!

Image result for elisabeth elliotHere's a fantastic opportunity for us all to continue to learn from this remarkable woman:
 Ligonier Ministries has made available without charge Elisabeth's series on "Suffering Is Not for Nothing." Just click here and you'll see the instructions for streaming it. Be patient, I could not pull it up today but perhaps you have a better connection. Peruse the rest of the website for other good resources too.
For a Facebook community page of quotes, tributes and links to articles click here: Elisabeth Elliot
There are soooo many resources: just google her name and you'll find articles from Christianity Today, World, and all of her excellent books. See what the Lord can do with a woman who will trust and obey Him through all of life's challenges?

Have you been inspired by the life of Elisabeth Elliot and how she remained faithful to God? Let's talk about it in the comments today, and remember the comments still count as entries in our drawing this week. Thanks!
ferree

12 comments:

  1. We are all lucky to have each other.
    G Jarratt

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  2. I wanted to say that for the first time today I had to circle W for widow when I had to fill out a form while seeing a chiropractor. It was heartbreaking, even though my husband went to Heaven 15 months ago. It will never be less than heartbreaking. I loved him so very much and I miss him so very much. I'm sure I'm just like every other widow. Joan

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    1. Dear Joan, Yes, those forms and the choices they give us, the memories they stir. Even after the first year "little" things like a W for widow can bring back such strong feelings. You are not alone dear one.

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    2. For a while, I would not even answer the question. It has taken me four years to come to the point where I am learning to embrace my widowhood but it has not been an easy journey. I pray that the Father will continue to sustain Joan in her journey....

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  3. I appreciate your links to resources. I don't have time to watch the suffering series today, but I will see if I can watch it tomorrow. Thank you!
    ~Shirley P.

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  4. Elisabeth's story is a ray of hope as I move to another place on this journey from wife to widow. It offers a since hope that there is purpose for my life and that if I choose to allow God, He may offer me as a present another deserving man, but if He does not there is still purpose in this pain...

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  5. God makes life's challenges interesting.
    G Jarratt

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  6. Happy Wednesday Ferree,
    Another entry please. Waiting for the plumber: A job I would rather leave to David! Grateful that I can afford to have him though! In His Love, Cathy

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  7. Reading this gives me hope. I just told my dr last night, I hate my new life without my husband. I want to know if I will ever accept this new stage of my life. I hate being with out him by my side for everything. Like we say we choose to be married but this was not our choice. We were at such a good place and so happy. I am just coping and lost my faith in God on this one, but still ask for his help.

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    1. You're not alone dear anonymous, feeling like you've lost your faith but still asking God for help is what true faith is all about. Find some good support people and other widows in your neighborhood, church or here online or Facebook because we all need others to carry us to Christ at times. And other widows can encourage you to know the feelings you have are entirely normal and they won't last forever, it'll get better. <3

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  8. I was unable to open this website up, I tried all three options. There are several of her wonderful teachings on (YouTube). Just type - "A Father's Love" Elisabeth Elliot and many of her different lectures will come up. Ferree in your book "Postcards From A Widow's Path" you said you looked for a role model of one who had been there and could identity with your grief........ Ms. Elisabeth Elliot is one who has been there and can identify with the grief of suffering. She now has entered heaven's portals. Dodi

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    1. Hi Dodi, I always love hearing from you. :) Thank you for the suggested work arounds on You Tube. She truly was/is a role model many widows can identify with. I look forward to meeting her in heaven someday to say "thank you" for publically living her authentic faith.

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