Sometimes if not oftentimes, the circumstances in which you find yourself are the last ones you want. You look around and wonder how you got here. You look back and see a few crumbs that help make sense of your current reality, but when you look ahead in the hopes of spotting a guiding light on the horizon, there is nothing. You swirl in a messy, oft’ painful, no-matter-which-way-you-turn-it-sucks reality. You want something to shift so dramatically that all the pain, all the frustration, all the darkness, all the fear just evaporates. And you want all of this to happen exclusive of you having to step in and make it happen. *sigh*
I say “you,” but believe me, I know this all-too-well.
I feel a sense of helplessness, the lump in my throat, the tears that brim and threaten to spill. I want relief, answers, clarity. And none seems forthcoming. In this place, it is easy to feel immobilized; no action feeling better, somehow, than having to step forward. I stay stuck. I wait. I hope. I might even pray. But despite it all, it appears that the only person who can bring about the needed change is me. At the end of the day, the work is mine. The steps are mine to take. The decisions are mine to make. The movement is mine to compel.
I don’t like it.
Truth-be-told, the temptation is strong for me (and I’m guessing you, as well) to feel excruciatingly alone in such spaces and times, but if we listen, we’ll hear a whisper that gently and insistently reminds us that we are not.
“Hear me,” it breathes. “There have been other women who have known these binds and seemingly no-win situations. They see you. They hear you. They know you. And their stories surround, sustain, and speak – reminding you that, like them, you will survive; that you will make the right choice; that you do have the capacity to step up, step forward, stand tall. Because you are their daughter, their lineage, their kin.”
For me, there are times when these whispers are corporate: a choir of women’s stories that hover and hold. Today, as I’ve chosen to be still instead of spin, it’s a single voice: the clarion call of Esther.
She was a woman who had an entire book named after her in Scripture (one of only two who can claim that distinction). And though the well-known aspect of her story is that of being a queen, it holds far more dark realities than golden ones. An orphan, raised by her uncle. Forced to join the king’s harem when a violent roundup of all young girls was made throughout her village. Prepared for a year to provide the most exquisite of sexual favor and delight. Paraded before the king at his fancy and whim. Indeed, chosen to be the queen. Frightened by the discovery of a plot to kill an entire nation of people through genocide. Aware that to not act would cause the death of thousands and that to act would certainly cause her own.
It was in this place, backed into a corner, and completely overwhelmed by what was required of her, that her uncle spoke these words:
…if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?”
For such a time as this…
This is the whisper that Esther breathes into my confusion, reluctance, and reticence. It is her voice I hear when I keep wishing for a savior, a fix, an easy-out. And it is her face I imagine when I take a deep breath and realize that it is up to me to do what needs to be done – no matter the risk, the cost, the consequences. She is the one who assures me I am up to the task.
I would wonder if Esther’s whisper might be exactly the thing you need to hear right now, too; if maybe you find yourself in a place that feels trapped, damned-if-you-do-and-damned-if-you-don’t, and impossible to come out of without battle scars. I would wonder if maybe you need to be reminded – by her and by me – that you are not alone. And I would wonder if taking ownership in the fact that you are the lineage of a queen who dared greatly, risked profoundly, and dramatically changed the course of events, might just give you the courage you need to choose, to move, to speak, to act.
- The circumstances in which you find yourself, though not preferred, are the very ones that invite you to be you. For such a time as this…
- The pain you know and the fear your feel are the very emotions that declare the necessity of your perspective, your heart, your voice. For such a time as this…
- The risks inherent and the nearly-certain costs you will bear are the very realities that compel you to rise up to your full stature, your royal identity, your core strength and step forward. For such a time as this…
And in all of this, not alone.
Esther whispers. Countless other women encircle and chant. The Sacred Feminine swirls, surrounds, and supports. And the blood that courses through your veins carries everything you need to do what must be done. You know this. You’ve got this. You are here for a reason.
Is it hard? Yes. Is it scary? Undoubtedly. Is it necessary? To be sure. Do you-and-me-both continue to wish that something else, anything else could happen to shift the earth on its axis and prevent what we are called to do? Mmm hmm. But that is not to be your fate – or mine.
“…And who knows but that [we] have come to [our] royal position[s] for such a time as this?”
May it be so.
You can read Esther’s text here. And if you’re interested, here’s a post I wrote just a week or so ago that tells of Queen Vashti – the woman whose bold stance was what created the context for Esther’s story in the first place.
If you wonder whose voice whispers on your behalf, you can order a SacredReading from me. One card. One story. One woman. Just for you.