One of the things that I have taken away from Rachel Held Even’s book
A Year of Biblical Womanhood was the concept of taking back the Proverbs 31 woman,Eshet Chayil(woman of valor), not as a to do list but as a blessing by celebrating women of character. I am descended from generations of Eshet Chayil. Women who bravely fought to create a good life for themselves and for their children in spite of circumstances. Ribbons of abuse, abandonment, and mistreatment at the hands of the men they loved weave their way in and out of several generations. Poverty and hardships ever present. Yet, my mom and my grandma, my great grandmas, and generations of women whose stories I do not fully know, have done the best that they could with what they had to work with at the time. Determined that the next generation should have it better than they themselves did.
In the past, I admit that I have stood in judgement of some of my female relatives and their choices. I picked at their imperfections. Maybe not out loud, but in my head. Now I have lived enough of my own life to realize just how hard life can be and how sometimes now matter how hard you want something to work out a certain way, it just doesn’t happen the way you wanted. I’m tired of comparing myself to the perfect woman I have in my head that has it all together all the time. I have run out of energy for picking apart the flaws in the women in my life. As for the men….. ha, I’m still working on it. Though truly, I am working all the time to become the kind of woman who is compassionate not just to people who are distant, which is easy for me. I want to be able to love those closest to me with less conditions and more acceptance for who they are. I want to be a Eshet Chayil, woman of valor. Not because I have stood up to a long poetical list of the perfect woman but that in spite of everything I have been through, I have fought for hope, for love, for joy, for a better future for my children and will not give up until the last breath leaves my body. There I will be joined once again with my creator and perhaps all those lovely Eshet Chayil that are waiting for me in heaven will pull me into their bosom and welcome the daughter who did her best with what she was given and trusted that God would take care of the rest.