I read Elisabeth Elliot’s Passion and Purity: Learning to Bring Your Love Live Under Christ’s Control a few weeks ago. It was right on time. Although it started out rather slow, the middle and end of the book were meaty with revelations about what it means to live for God as a single who thinks they’ve been called for marriage. (But it’s ironic that Elisabeth Elliot just knew she was called to be a missionary – which at that time meant a life of singleness.) Many people often get confused with the title of this book and assume she’s talking about a sexual passion. But that’s all wrong. It’s definitely the passion that you have for Christ. One of my (many) favorite* passages from her story:

A settled commitment to the Lord Christ and a longed-for commitment to Jim Elliot [her suitor] seemed to be in conflict. Discipleship usually brings us into the necessity of choice between duty and desire. They are not always mutually exclusive, however.

And the fact that they are not always mutually exclusive is truly a gift from God. It may be a struggle but struggles for Christ’s sake are never in vain. And I’m glad about it.

The concept of story has been showing its face lately. And how people share their stories as a way to be a blessing to other people. Elisabeth Elliot probably had no idea that God was going to use her story in such tremendous ways and help so many single people begin to bring their love lives under the control of Christ. Trey Erwin, the young boy who recently passed from pancreatic cancer probably had no idea how many lives he would touch just by sharing his story and his faith. Dr. Parker (and his wife) share intimate details of their marriage, Priscilla Shirer, lets us into her life, and so many more people really just bare their souls just so that they can win others to a life of discipleship. A really good friend from college shared her testimony to a group of young adults (and to me) and I was practically in tears realizing how much God had his hand on her life. It’s inspiring. And it makes me realize I shouldn’t be ashamed of some of the secrets I have in my past. Because they’re in my past and I’ve overcome them and been washed by His blood and forgiven. And the story that I have is one that can help others. God is so very good and I desire nothing more than to let Him use me and my life for his purpose.

(On another note, I like how God speaks to me about certain things. I never noticed it before but I think I’m beginning to be able to discern the voice of God clearly. First, I was constantly surrounded by commentary on the concept of fear – and eliminating it. Then there was this concept of purpose. And now it’s just letting God use me and telling my story. I love that guy!)

*My favorite passages are usually the ones that ring true to me at any given point in my life, that convict me and make me raise my hand to God while I’m reading on the metro or let out a soft “my God” – not necessarily the ones that are the most beautifully written or that speak to hope. Yes the truth does hurt but it also sets you free – word to John 8:32.