Rachel Held Evans, a well-known Christian blogger, author and speaker died on Saturday, May 4 from a massive brain swelling after being hospitalized for an infection. She was 37.

Evans left behind two young children, a husband and four books to her name. Her death has been met with grief and appreciation from loyal readers, famous pastors who sparred with her and especially young people who saw her as a mentor. Evans was a New York Times bestselling author who wrote about faith, doubt and life in the Bible Belt.

She had been featured in the Washington Post, The Guardian, Christianity Today, The Huffington Post, the CNN Belief Blog and on NPR, BBC, Today and The View. She served on President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and kept a busy schedule speaking at churches, conferences and college and universities around the country.

Evans did not lead a denomination or a movement or even a church, but she did invite people to come along as she worked through her relationship with Jesus. She publicly explored her faith and doubts in her writing and will be missed by many.

Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water and Loving Bible Again
By: Rachel Held Evans

If the Bible is not a science book or an instruction manual, then what is it? What do people mean when they say the Bible is inspired? When Rachel Held Evans found herself asking these questions, she began a quest to better understand what the Bible is and how it is meant to be read. What she discovered changed her, and it will change you too. Evans examines some of our favorite Bible stories and discovers that the Bible is not a static work but is a living, breathing book that can equip us to join God’s loving and redemptive work in the world.

Faith Unraveled: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask Questions
By: Rachel Held Evans

In this book, Evans recounts growing up in a culture that is obsessed with apologetics—struggling as her own faith unraveled one unexpected question at a time. In order for her faith to survive, she realizes it must adapt to change and evolve. Using an illustration her own spiritual journey that traveled from certainty to doubt to faith, Evans challenges you to disentangle your faith from false fundamentals and to trust in a God, who is big enough to handle your tough questions.

A Year of Biblical Womanhood
By: Rachel Held Evans

See what happens when a thoroughly modern woman starts referring to her husband as “master” and “praises him at the city gate” with a homemade sign. With a mixture of humor and insight, compassion and incredulity, this book is an exercise in scriptural exploration and spiritual contemplation. What does God truly expect of women and is there really a prescription for biblical womanhood? Come along with Evans as she looks for answers in the rich heritage of biblical heroines, models of grace and all-around women of valor.

Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church
By: Rachel Held Evans

In this book, Evans exposes her own thorny relationship with the church, articulating the concerns, frustrations and hopes of many of her peers. Through a series of stories told around the church’s sacraments— baptism, confession, communion and among others, Evans offers the beginnings of a road map back to church and the resurrection that awaits when we are willing to give up and begin again.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.