Updated: Jun 2, 2019
This week I’ve focused on how you can bring YOU into the work you do in life. We always try to find the right job based on external factors, but we forget to dive inward to see what we can offer the world that comes from our true self. That is, the part of us that lights up more…comes alive with the work we are offering. Today, a funeral is held for someone who found that passion in her life and offered the world a great deal through her writing. Rachel Held Evans passed on May 4th because of complications related to medication she received to combat the flu. It’s a horrible, sudden tragedy. But, with her life she lived with hope and wrote about matters she cared about deeply.
Her most famous books are:
A Year of Biblical Womanhood
Evolving in Monkey Town : How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions
Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
Inspired : Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again
She is known for writing on the topic of questioning and doubting the Christian Faith. But, it doesn’t stop there. She doesn’t stay cynical. Rather, she’s able to re-discover the church and adopt a richer, fuller faith only after releasing the easy-answers with which she had been given growing up. As I think of her books, I only wish I had known about them when I had been going through my own faith-unraveling process. I completely understand her bravery in writing about letting go of a faith while living in the Bible belt. When you are in a culture that declares to know the answer to life, when you doubt that answer provided by the culture you live in there is a lot of SHAME for experiencing a lack of crystal-clear clarity. At least that’s how it was for me. How could I have doubted something that was always so clear? And so clear to others? How could I doubt a faith that I had previously been declaring and wanting others to adopt?
It can be terribly lonely to not only release a way of understanding the world, but also a group of people who might not understand your shift. I’m thankful I went through that period, because like Rachel it brought about a more vibrant faith. I can only imagine how much backlash Rachel received throughout her time writing about such a touchy topic within the culture she lived. As I think about that, I’m reminded that the work we choose might not always be popular or understood by those around us. But, I’m certain that it came from the core of who she was. I think for each of us there is work to be done that does not grind against who we are, leaving us exhausted and feeling spent. I don’t mean that you won’t ever feel tired from a hard day’s work. What I mean is the type of tired that leaves your soul feeling depleted. That’s when you know it’s off the mark. And I am honoring Rachel and her life devoted to NOT going against the tick in her own heart, rather, she risked going against the grain in the culture in which she lived.
I am terribly saddened by the sudden loss her loved ones are experiencing. There really are no words to comfort when someone is traveling through the pain of losing a loved one. Without words to gloss over a loss that is far too soon, I also want to honor the life she lived and the beautiful contribution she gave to the world through her work. She stepped into work that was risky with a fresh sense of humor, which is often needed when working on topics that can be taken very seriously. Her life was lived courageously and is an example to us for how we can bravely step into our own “life work.”