Dear Rachel, You Named Us Women of Valor

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Rachel Held Evans named us. 

In 2012, when The Year Of Biblical Womanhood was published, there was one particular gift in there that still echoes in my heart. Rachel Held Evans had found a blessing—not just for Jewish women on a Friday night, but for all women. She found an olam—an ancient way—built into Hebrew culture that was, I believe, meant to bless the women of the world. 

Instead of Proverbs 31 being a measuring stick to remind us of how we fall short, she learned the intention and named it for the blessing it is. She heard it around shabbat tables and brought it to thirsty souls—a generation of women who longed to hear this blessing.

Eshet Chayil. Woman of Valor. Rachel Held Evans named us: Women of Valor.

It is a blessing for what we do—yes, but first, it is a blessing for who we are. At our essence, we are Women of Valor.

We already are brave.
We already are enough.
We already are so loved.

Rachel Held Evans brought us these words back from her research. Eshet Chayil! You are a Woman of Valor.

I can now see that it was how she saw womanhood. 

She saw us as Women of Valor.
She named us: Women of Valor.

She gave us language for many things—an evolving faith, for one. But she also gave us this blessing.

These words—eshet chayil—have echoed in my heart since 2012. It cemented something in my soul. It became a beautiful blessing for each other.

How much more beautiful and life-giving it is when women name each other, Valiant.

Brave hearts, we are.
Courageous souls, we already have.

When we know we are already Women of Valor—not because of what we do, but because of who we are—we also rise, living as the Woman of Valor we’ve always been. 

This will now forever be Rachel Held Evans’ legacy in my heart.

She believed in us. She believed in the original blessedness of every woman. 

To honour her legacy, I want to live this out. I want to be as brave as I can be. I want to be the Woman of Valor she named us as.  

In 37 years, Rachel Held Evans made such a significant mark on the earth. She left us with a body of work that will continue to edify the Body of Christ. She leaves us with a blessing. Now her life inspires us to rise.

Rachel Held Evans, you are and were and will always be a Woman of Valor. I can imagine Jesus whispering to you even now, Well done, good and faithful servant.

From your SheLoves sisters, we long to say this: Thank you for your life, your work, your words and your example. Eshet Chayil, Beautiful and Brave Sister. Eshet Chayil. 

May we honour your life by living the way you always saw us.

____________________________

Our sis Sarah Bessey has set up a GoFundMe campaign to support Rachel’s husband Dan with the medical and other expenses. You can donate here.

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