What started out as treatment for a relatively typical infection unexpectedly turned into an all-out fight for life. Doctors placed inspirational Christian author and speaker Rachel Held Evans into a medically induced coma for weeks. But the mother of two eventually passed away. And now, her family needs your prayers.
Rachel Held Evans was a progressive Christian writer and speaker, as well as the author of the several inspirational books on faith.
Rachel Held Evans Books
- Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (2018)
- Searching for Sunday: Loving, Leaving, and Finding the Church (2015)
- A Year of Biblical Womanhood: How a Liberated Woman Found Herself Sitting on Her Roof, Covering Her Head, and Calling Her Husband Master (2012)
- Evolving in Monkey Town: How a Girl Who Knew All the Answers Learned to Ask the Questions (2010)
On April 14, 2019, the Searching for Sunday author asked followers on her Rachel Held Evans Twitter account to pray for her health.
Rachel was in the hospital with the flu and a urinary tract infection (UTI). Additionally, Rachel revealed the antibiotics doctors prescribed resulted in a severe allergic reaction.
Rachel’s humor-laced tweets suggest she was optimistic about her condition. But then things took a terrifying turn.
Husband Announces Unexpected Downturn On Rachel Held Evans Blog
According to a post on the Rachel Held Evans blog by husband Daniel Evans, the Search for Sunday author was placed in a medically induced coma on Friday, April 19, 2019, after her infection led to seizures.
Daniel Evans wrote, "During treatment for an infection Rachel began exhibiting unexpected symptoms. Doctors found that her brain was experiencing constant seizures. She is currently in the ICU. She is in a medically induced coma while the doctors work to determine the cause and solution."
The announcement came as a shock to many in the faith community. And as a result, so many turned to social media to offer support and prayers for a miracle.
Support For Christian Author During Health Battle
Well wishes and support rolled in from all over, praying for the Christian author to get better.
Christian author Sarah Bessey worked closely with Rachel Held Evans. And she posted a call for prayer on social media.
"Hi, friends. Yes, @rachelheldevans is in the hospital and it has been a difficult few days. Please do respect her family’s privacy and please simply pray. Our hearts are heavy and we are so sad. We will update when it’s appropriate."
Hi, friends. Yes, @rachelheldevans is in the hospital and it has been a difficult few days. Please do respect her family’s privacy and please simply pray. Our hearts are heavy and we are so sad. We will update when it’s appropriate.
- Sarah Bessey (@sarahbessey) April 19, 2019
Mike McHargue is the author of Finding God in the Waves. In his regular podcasts, he more often goes by the nickname Science Mike and looks at topics through the lens of science, art, and faith.
Hearing of the Rachel Held Evans health battle, Science Mike tweeted these words of encouragement.
"I can think of few people who are such examples of what I imagine a healthy Christian would look like as @rachelheldevans.” he posted on Twitter. “So, I’ve been on my knees in intercessory prayer that I’m not sure I believe in this morning. #PrayForRHE"
I can think of few people who are such examples of what I imagine a healthy Christian would look like as @rachelheldevans. So, I’ve been on my knees in intercessory prayer that I’m not sure I believe in this morning. #PrayForRHE
- Science Mike (@mikemchargue) April 19, 2019
Health Battle Inspires Christians To Unite
Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and Rachel didn’t always see eye to eye. But he reminded everyone that times like this call for unity, regardless of theological standpoints.
He wrote about Rachel Held Evans, saying, "@rachelheldevans and I are, as you know, theological opposites, and we've debated each other on all kinds of stuff over the years. She needs our prayers right now. Conservatives, progressives, centrists, everybody: let's pray for RHE."
. @rachelheldevans and I are, as you know, theological opposites, and we've debated each other on all kinds of stuff over the years.
She needs our prayers right now.
Conservatives, progressives, centrists, everybody: let's pray for RHE. https://t.co/B8gc6eTAWI
- Russell Moore (@drmoore) April 20, 2019
Rachel Held Evans Dies At 37
Dan Evans, Rachel’s husband, used his wife’s blog to share health updates on his wife. She spent weeks in a medically induced coma while doctors worked to balance her treatment. They were trying to put an end to her constant seizures while at the same time avoiding the negative effects of any medications.
Sadly, Dan posted an update on the Rachel Held Evans blog on May 4, 2019, delivering the tragic news no one wanted to hear. Dan wrote:
“Rachel died early Saturday morning, May 4, 2019.
This entire experience is surreal. I keep hoping it's a nightmare from which I'll awake. I feel like I'm telling someone else's story. I cannot express how much the support means to me and our kids. To everyone who has prayed, called, texted, driven, flown, given of themselves physically and financially to help ease this burden: Thank you. We are privileged. Rachel's presence in this world was a gift to us all and her work will long survive her.”
Condolences Pour In
Again, so many of Rachel’s peers and friends took to social media to express their heartache and condolences.
It is with a broken heart that I share that @rachelheldevans passed away early this morning. She was surrounded by her family and her close friends – we sang, prayed, held her always. Woman of valour, eshet chayil. Official update: https://t.co/WYznnc5tYh
- Sarah Bessey (@sarahbessey) May 4, 2019
- JenHatmaker (@JenHatmaker) May 4, 2019
The last word’s of @rachelheldevans‘s last blog post (Ash Wednesday):
Death is a part of life. My prayer for you this season is that you make time to celebrate that reality, and to grieve that reality, and that you will know you are not alone.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. -RHE pic.twitter.com/G86j4RDwa1
- Brian Zahnd (@BrianZahnd) May 4, 2019
The Rachel Held Evans story reminds all of us just how fragile life truly is. But there is comfort in knowing she is now fully healed and embraced by the arms of our Savior.
Please join us in continuing to pray for Rachel’s family as they go through this difficult time.
(This article was updated May 6, 2019, to reflect Rachel’s tragic passing)
Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Jen Hatmaker