One of my heroines in life is Rachel Held Evans. If you haven’t come across her, I suspect she’s probably a little like marmite in the Christian world – you either love her or you hate her, but I’d really recomend checking her blog out at http://rachelheldevans.com/blog/?offset=1411506527591.
Anyay, I’ve been reading her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood, recently. Too many gems to number, but one of the things I love most is when she talks about the Proverbs 31 woman. She points out that the phrase used to describe her, eshet chayil is best translated – “Woman of Valour!”
For some reason, that’s resonated with me recently. The word valour speaks to me of strength in the everyday struggles. It’s about embracing and owning our struggles, but not letting them define us. I want to be a woman of valour.
But I also want to take the chance to honour some of the many, many women of valour in my life. It’s a necessarily short list – not because I’m not blessed with many valourous women in my life, but because I’m blessed with too many – the blog would go on forever! Lovely women in my life, I love you and I honour you. Please know that. But I also wanted to publically honour some amazing women of valour who’ve blessed me recently.
Jenny – Oh Jen, it’s hard to put this into words. I know no-one as genuine, as kindhearted, as beautifully spirited as you. Despite illness and pain and stress, despite having more to deal with in a day than most people deal with a month, you not only keep going but support so many others to do the same. Please, please know, even if I only ever say this once, just how loved and important you are. You stood by me in a very dark place this year, and made it just that tiny bit more bearabl. Eshet Chayil – Woman of Valour! I love you.
Bex – you’ve recently had to deal with one of the most difficult situations of your life. Though you’re ridiculously strong, I can only imagine how much that must have hurt, how hard it must have been. And yet you reached out to me in a dark place, an made it just that little bit easier. I know that whatever happens in life, you will always be there. Most people have cousins – I am so glad you’re my friend too.
Emma – your honesty has enabled me to begin, even slowly – to be honest. Your compassion and love has pointed me to the Father’s love. I am so grateful for the way you allow God to have even the darkest parts of your life. I’m not sure whether you can always see it, but please believe me when I say He has, and will, use it. And what He’s making out of it is truly beautiful. Thank you for being you.
I could mention so many other incredible, wonderful women. I am so blessed to have you all in my life, and I’m going to try to make a point of honouring them more often. Thank you for being you. Please know as you read this that you are loved ,you are cherished. it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. It doesn’t matter what you think of yourself. You are enough. You are beautiful. You, my friend, are a Woman of Valour.