For such a time as this

Nearly five years ago, an odd assembly of women gathered together, infrequently and informally to study the Book of Esther together. We were an unlikely bunch. Between us we were an elite athlete, a business professional, a law student, a veteran, unemployed, despairing, seeking, joyful, thriving. And, (me) surprised by an unplanned pregnancy and grappling with what new normal may look like on the other side of this pregnancy.

I will always remember the utter grace I found when I shared the news with these women, a mere 7 weeks pregnant, as we clustered around the pale wooden table in my one bedroom apartment. I don’t remember what exactly I said, but I remember the grace. One promised we could go for coffee (since drinks were now out) and vent about what this might mean. Of course they were excited for me as well, but in that moment the permission to even need to vent was the oxygen I desperately needed. I began measuring my life in weeks; we continued our unorthodox study of Esther.

The story of Esther is hard not to love for me, as I’m such a girl’s girl. She is brave, beautiful, and good. As the lovely new wife of the king, she is in the rare position of an ability to speak out and save her people when her cousin exposes a plot to kill the Jewish people in her kingdom. So much depends on Esther. And yet, as her cousin Mordecai makes clear to her while she is weighing her desire to take action, she will not determine the fate of her people – but she can have a hand in aiding them.

Mordecai tells her: “If you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will come to the Jewish people from another place, but you and your father’s family will be destroyed. Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this.” (Esther 4:14)

That part doesn’t show up in the kids’ version of the Esther story, and studying this book deeply was the first time I really understand that passage. The call, that opportunity, continues to strike me ever time I come across it.

Perhaps you have come to your position for such a time as this.

Today, I am no longer a reluctant mother. In fact, the opposite. I am reluctant to miss out on the details of the days with my two sweet children. So much can be excused or blamed on this season of life, made up of whirlwind weeks and hanging-in-there months.

But perhaps I have come this this position, this precise one, for such a time as this.

What can I influence as a result of my position? What can you?

That Bible study group flowed into one more study, and then geographic dispersement and life changes ended the group. Without any uncertainly, I know were were having an Esther moment, banded together for such a time as this.

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