“It’s like Grouchy, but with an F!” Ellen would tell our small group friends, explaining her complicated-looking last name.
Ironically, Ellen is the least grouchiest person I know.
I met Ellen in February, when I was probably going through one of the darkest times of my life. I was like the earth that got covered with layers and layers of cold, bitter experiences during Winter in Siberia. Ellen provided me with warmth that melted down some of the icicles that were so harshly engraved in my heart.
Ellen has a way of connecting with people that most people don’t. She is like the glue that allows everybody to come together regardless of the different backgrounds, ages, and stages of life. She is a free-spirit and doesn’t even know her amazing and unique gift in being able to help everybody join the party and feel connected.
I hated happy people. It was some sort of weird, jealousy-type-of-thing that other people’s lives seemed easier than mine; however, Ellen taught me something different: she passed on a part of her joy and happiness to me. Furthermore, she took some of my bitterness and burdens and carried it with me. Every time I saw Ellen, a part of me got uplifted. That was when I realized people are able to multiply their joy or diminish their pain by sharing it with others in a safe community. Isn’t that beautiful–the art of companionship?
Ellen’s way of living without fear through Christ inspires me. The best part is… the more I got to know her, I discovered that her joy didn’t come from her circumstances, but through Christ. When things were bad, she knew for certain that it was all going to get better through Christ. This hope had a crazy ripple effect on me. I clung deeply into the joy that she’d freely received by faith.
Life didn’t feel as lonely anymore. God continuously uses Ellen in my life to melt down some of my hurt and walls I had built up over my life.
Every time I live and get overwhelmed by life, I think about Ellen. Ellen would tell me it’s all going to be okay. Ellen would remind me how Christ has me and that it’s okay.