Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot

Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot

by Valerie Shepard


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Their paths to God’s purpose led them together.

Many know the heroic story of Jim Elliot’s violent death in 1956, killed along with four other missionaries by a primitive Ecuadorian tribe they were seeking to reach. Many also know the prolific legacy of Elisabeth Elliot, whose inspiring influence on generations of believers through print, broadcast, and personal testimony continues to resonate, even after her own death in 2015.

What many don’t know is the remarkable story of how these two stalwart personalities—single-mindedly devoted to pursuing God’s will for their young lives, certain their future callings would require them to sacrifice forever the blessings of marriage—found their hearts intertwined. Their paths to God’s purpose led them together.

Now, for the first time, their only child—daughter Valerie Elliot Shepard—unseals never-before-published letters and private journals that capture in first-person intimacy the attraction, struggle, drama, and devotion that became a most unlikely love story. 

Riveting for old and young alike, this moving account of their personal lives shines as a gold mine of lived-out truth, hard-fought purity, and an insider’s view on two beloved Christian figures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781433651564
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/01/2019
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 168,706
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)
Age Range: 3 Months to 18 Years

About the Author

Valerie Elliot Shepard was only ten months old in January 1956 when her father, Jim Elliot, was killed, and then spent her childhood through age eight in Ecuador alongside her mother. A graduate of Wheaton College, Valerie and her husband, Walt, are the parents of eight children. She is also the author of a children’s book (Pilipinto’s Happiness) containing memories of her Amazon upbringing.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Preface xiii

1948 Love's Stirring 1

1949 Love's Questioning 39

1950 Love Lets Go 97

1951 Love's Longing 127

1952 Love Waits (Again) 173

1953 Love Transcending 231

Epilogue 277

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Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
aspiritfilledlife 3 months ago
Devotedly, is a love story between author Elisabeth Elliot and missionary Jim Elliot. Devotedly is the collection of love letters and journal entries from Jim and Elisabeth, which are intimate and pure with commentary from their daughter Valerie. Devotedly, also outlines the triangle of love shown between Elisabeth, Jim, and God. This book details the love and commitment two people have for the Lord and one another, individually, as well as a couple. This collection of writings are pieced together chronically and tells their story wonderfully. I got to know Elisabeth through her book "Suffering is never for nothing" which she speaks of Jim, I can now understand the magnitude of their foundation and love for one another. This was a great read. Take it slow and enjoy it's an adventure through 6 years.
Julie12 4 months ago
I really didn't know a lot about the relationship between Elizabeth Elliot and Jim Elliot. I was intrigued by this book and that it would go into their courtship and marriage. It's always so revealing when we read the letters of others. They wrote eloquently of their love of God and of each other. They were torn between staying single and of their growing love for one another. There was a lot of back and forth for them as they knew they wanted to be missionaries and share the Gospel with others. They struggled with this dilemma for quite a while. There are wonderful photos throughout the book and I really enjoyed that. It's so nice to see the people that you are reading about, their family, and friends. There is poetry that they wrote and since they used the pro-nouns thee, thy, and thou, it took me a bit to really get an understanding of these writings, but as I kept reading, it became easier. They were totally worth the effort as so much of their writings, even as young people, focused on their adoration and love for God. These letters show real people struggling with real-life situations and emotions. As time has gone on, there has been the tendency to put these people up on a pedestal but that is not really fair. They faced the same issues and struggles that many of us do. I really enjoyed this book. I felt like I came away understanding why they chose the life they did and how much they truly loved each other and God. It was a lovely book and I highly recommend it. *This book was provided to me by B&H/LifeWay. I received a copy of this book to review but I was not financially compensated in any way. The opinions expressed are my own and are based on my observations while reading this book.
rkfall 6 months ago
Devotedly by Valerie Elliot Shepard, the daughter of missionaries Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, did a great job of putting together a timeless work on the love story of her parents. It was such a gift to be able to part-take in reading this work. What an inspiration to the testimony of their walk with the Lord individually and with each other. Willing and surrendered to put the Lord’s will above all else. Their letters to each other expressly displayed His sanctification process in their lives and the conviction to concede to His direction for their futures, whether together or apart. What a joy this book was to me. Thank you to the author for sharing such personal family information with everyone who picks up this book. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
michelemorin 6 months ago
Valerie Elliot Shepard has combed through her parents’ letters and journals and the resulting treasure is Devotedly: The Personal Letters and Love Story of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. While the story of their courtship has been told in Elisabeth’s classic Passion and Purity, it is now possible for readers to trace the unfolding romance from love’s first stirring at Wheaton College in the late 1940’s all the way through the birth of their daughter Valerie. A Persevering Love When Jim and Elisabeth (“Betty”) landed in classical Greek classes together, the love that grew between them surprised them both. She was serious and studious; he was a visible presence on campus (and something of a character) who was quite vocal about his intentions to embark upon a career as a single missionary. Nonetheless, through crisscrossing postmarks and star-crossed years of separation by circumstances and geography, their love persevered and survived five long years of waiting for a green light from God. Journal entries and letters document a growing devotion to each other alongside an expanding desire to follow unswervingly the will of God, even if it meant giving up all hope for a future together. Listen in: From Elisabeth’s journal (116): “Oh, the joy which has come in knowing that I am one with Christ . . . oh, the marvelous, unspeakable interchange of joy–He my joy, I His joy–He my satisfaction, I His satisfaction. For I am accepted in the Beloved. . . I am In Christ–may He be seen in me.” And from Jim’s journal (31): “Prayed a strange prayer today. I covenanted with my Father that He would do either of two things–either glorify Himself to the utmost in me, or slay me. By His grace I shall not have His second best. . .” A Persevering Faithfulness Just as young adults in 2019 cannot conceive of a relationship conducted entirely by snail mail, it is also likely that few can visualize a love in which each seeks his greatest satisfaction not in the beloved, but in the Savior. Because they allowed their vision to be shaped by Truth, Jim and Elisabeth were able to maintain an astonishing degree of clarity about their callings while still acknowledging the depth of their longing for one another. When the Bible says, “In Your light we see light,” this is not a promise of an uncluttered and pain free life, but rather an assurance that while “faith does not eliminate questions, faith knows where to take them.” Valerie Shepard’s stated purpose in unpacking and sharing this trunk full of written memories left to her by her mother is that readers would discover anew God’s “unchanging, faithful, merciful, and loving character,” and be “fully moved in obedience to Him that we too might leave a lasting legacy of faith as [her] parents did.” (45) With mid-twentieth-century black-and-white pictures, images lifted from the handwritten letters, and a vintage feel to the book’s layout, Devotedly was a delight to read and to savor. Readers can expect to be challenged by the laser focus of two young adults who took seriously their role as disciples–as followers of “Him who bore a cross.” As a mother and a grandmother, I want to let my prayer life be shaped by the knowledge that my most-loved people will not be exempt from disappointment, delay, or even confusion at times, for perseverance through difficulty is often the tool God uses in the shaping of a deeper devotion and a more faithful following. Many thanks to B&H Publishers for providing a copy of this book
ADelightfulGlow 7 months ago
Devotedly is a beautiful compilation of letters exchanged between Jim and Elisabeth. It shares journal entries and contains pictures and poems from their history. It portrays their desire and devotion to love, follow and serve the Lord. Valerie Elliot Shepard puts it all together with her perspective and thoughts. Another unique aspect of this book lies in the letters themselves, in our current day of emails, texts and instant messaging. The preservation of written word down through history really is a gift, whether it be books, letters or cards. Anyone who has been inspired by Jim and Elisabeth Elliot will enjoy reading this book and taking a deeper look at this side of their story and the insight and inspiration in the pages. Even if you aren't overly familiar with Jim and Elisabeth's story, this book is intriguing and interesting. Not only in the adventures, decisions and hardships they face, but in the beautiful model of their loyal faith and fear of God. I received a copy to review and all opinions are 100% my own.
luvnjesus 7 months ago
Their paths to God’s purpose led them together. “Devotedly,” a love story about Jim and Elizabeth Elliot is written by their only daughter, Valerie who shares her parents letters, personal journals and pictures. The book reveals how their commitment to follow God ‘s will shaped their missionary work and marriage. Valerie takes the reader on a six year journey of their lives when they first met to their marriage 5 1/2 years later. The devotion each showed towards one another and God is awe inspiring. I highly recommend the book