I’ve been thinking a little more about our queen, Esther, and I think she deserves another post. Not because I didn’t like my first one – it was inspired by Tim Tebow, so of course it was moving. And not just because she’s a queen, although you know I love royalty. But, Esther has a lot more to teach us and speaks to a place I’m currently in. I suspect maybe some of you are, too.
Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that Esther was, essentially, trafficked and probably a very scared and lonely teenage girl. We’re not told much about her emotions in this story, but I think it’s safe to assume what I said above was true (especially, since she was an orphan, anyway, and now had been taken from her cousin, too). However, in her captivity, God gave Esther a friend in the eunuch, and he helped her prepare to be the best candidate for queen that she could be. Esther followed his advice to the letter, and in the end, she was chosen to be the queen, and as a result, positioned to save her entire people from destruction.
While she was in this holding period, Esther could have – and would have had every justification – pouted, felt sorry for herself, and completely wasted her preparation time. She could have disregarded the eunuch’s instructions, as he was the king’s employee, and therefore, part of her captivity. She could have been proud and assumed she knew what was best for her life.
Instead, Esther was humble and obedient and made the most of her time (12 months) of isolation and beauty prep (honestly, though – I would have a hard time saying no to 12 months of beauty prep). She did not lie around in self-pity or try to take short-cuts to speed up the process – she followed through on what was required of her, and in the end, her hard work and diligence paid off in a major way for her, her family, and her people.
When I first moved to Georgia, I decided that I was going to treat my transition period (which has turned out to take longer than I expected) as a season of preparation, focusing on myself and personal growth – spiritually, physically, and just as a general well-rounded person. Of course, in my mind, I was preparing for marriage – becoming “Mrs. Right”, and all that. I suppose I needed more prep than most.
However, I haven’t always been faithful to focus on this growth. I think in some ways I’ve matured, but in many other ways, I’ve spent a whole lot of time feeling sorry for myself and resenting being alone. So, I’m challenged by Esther to change my attitude and make the most of this season as I’m waiting for the next. One of my mentors always said, “preparation time is never wasted time.” Really, we’re all in preparation for something – whether that be marriage, kids, empty nest, education, a new job – so, if we wasted our time when we should be preparing, we’d never be ready for the next step. And, perhaps most significantly, as we prepare ourselves for the future, we’re bettering ourselves in the present.
What are you in preparation for? Have you been a good steward of your time, or have you, like me, squandered it in self-pity or mindless/unintentional “waiting”? I’m making a pledge to take some active steps towards preparing myself for the next season of my life, and here are a few of my ideas:
- Physical goals: taking care of my skin and body. I want my husband to be happy with his choice, even if we don’t get married until we’re 85 (an increasingly likely scenario) – I’ll be the most toned 85 year old that nursing home has ever seen.
- Financial goals: thanks to Dave Ramsey, I’m super inspired to get my finances in order. I’ve never been in bad shape financially, but I don’t really have much to offer a future partner (or even future me, for that matter). With Dave’s plan, I’ll probably be a millionaire by next month. (Or at least, have paid off my student loans).
- Spiritual goals: to find my validation solely in the Lord so that when my husband doesn’t validate me as I’d like (I’m realistic enough to acknowledge this will happen eventually), my world doesn’t fall apart, even if only temporarily.
Those are some of mine that I’m working on right now, to become a better me today, so I can be a better wife (and mom) tomorrow (figuratively, of course, but I’d be okay if that tomorrow was literal).
What are some of your goals – do you have some practical steps to take to achieve them? Please share some of yours and let’s inspire each other toward greater versions of ourselves!