“I think we need to get squared away how we feel about each other.”

the story of the story of Elisabeth Howard & Jim Elliot

Just before our graduation, he took me out for a walk and he said, “Bet, I think we need to get squared away how we feel about each other.” I was floored! I almost went through the sidewalk because I didn’t know Jim had any feelings for me.

My Mama had told me when I was thirteen years old, “Never chase boys! And keep them at arm’s length!” So I had done my level best to make sure that nobody had any idea that I was interested in Jim Elliot!

So it made me a little bit irritated to think that Jim Elliot was saying, “I think we better get squared away how we feel about each other!” I thought, Well, what gives this guy any idea that I have some feelings for him!?

Listen to Valerie Elliot Shepard retell her parents’ love story on Revive Our Hearts:

Listen to Elisabeth Elliot tell parts of her love story with Jim Elliot on FamilyLife Today®:

One week before I graduated, a junior from Oregon named Jim Elliot, who had been sitting beside me in Greek classes and studying Thucydides with me in the hall outside the library, got around to admitting that he was in love with me. Marriage, however, was not a possibility, it seemed. He was convinced that God wanted him to be single like the apostle Paul, at least until he had been in jungle missionary work for long enough to determine whether a wife would be a liability or an asset. It was five and a half years before we got a green light from God to be married, five and a half years of learning to trust Him with what matters most, of walking by faith and not by sight, of believing the promise of Psalm 84: “No good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (v. 11).

-Elisabeth Elliot in Love Has a Price Tag

Read more of Elisabeth & Jim’s love story:

"If you’re single, real-life love stories can reassure you that God works through all different kinds of circumstances. Don’t read with an eye to copying them in your own life, but take note of His faithfulness. Rest assured that He is equally faithful to write the details of your life story, whether or not it includes marriage."

(Jeannie in "Humorous & Authentic Real-Life Love Stories")

Looking for more love stories?

Visit the love story collection, find love stories in print, or browse more love stories in the same category as the story of Elisabeth Howard & Jim Elliot’s: Long-Awaited Love.

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

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.

Find on Amazon