How do you react when life throws you a major setback? Do you take time to think through your reaction? You may be struggling with a decision because your family landscape has changed. The decision might be how to change your perspective so you can find a place of peace. Each of us faces decisions which can change the direction of our lives, even if you’re a Queen.
Queen Esther’s story reads pretty much like a fairy tale until a man named Haman made a decision, out of revenge, to destroy all Jews. Men, women and children. Esther was a Jew but had never mentioned her heritage to her husband, King Ahasuerus. She and Mordecai, her adoptive father, were Christ-followers and from a long lineage of God’s chosen people.
Mordecai refused to bow down and worship any other gods which captured the attention of Haman, King Ahasuerus’ right hand man. Haman became enraged with Mordecai and declared death to all Jews immediately. Haman convinced the king to agree and the declaration became law.
Talk about being between a rock and a hard place, what could Esther do? She had two choices but either choice could result in her death. Choice number one was to keep quiet about her heritage and stand by while all of her people were murdered. If her secret were discovered she would surely be put to death. Choice number two was to ask permission to approach the king and reveal this nasty scheme to him. However, according to law, the only way Esther was allowed to approach the king was if he requested to see her. If King Ahasuerus declined to see her she would be put to death.
Esther was a young lady like you and she trusted Mordecai’s advice. He advised her to speak up for her people. Esther 4:15-16, “Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!”
She took Mordecai’s counsel and then retreated to a time of fasting and planning. Three days of fasting and listening to God must have been excruciating but she came up with an idea and was prepared to go before the king on the fourth day. The king allowed Esther into his chambers and Esther calmly invited him to a large banquet she was planning which would also include the king’s court. He accepted and this is where Esther revealed Haman’s murderous plans. Haman’s plan backfired on him and he lost his life instead. God showed favor on Esther and spared her life and the lives of all Jews.
Encouragement: If you find yourself between a rock and a hard place allow yourself time to retreat, mourn and be angry but give yourself a timeline to process this and plan to move forward. Follow Esther’s example. God will give you clarity through an adult or through prayer and He will give you the confidence to do what you need to do.
1) Seek counsel from an adult you can trust
2) Spend alone time with God for at least 3 days
3) Plan how and when you will approach the problem/person
Know I’m praying for you,
The counselor’s office was neat and businesslike; the only identifying feature being a gold, engraved nameplate. My slightly plump interviewer flipped distractedly through the papers on his clipboard before clearing his throat and settling in for his umpteenth college interview that day.
He began with the questions I had expected from an interview at a Christian college, and he nodded politely as I responded, but I could tell that he had probably heard the same thing many times over. The next question was a little different: “What is the biggest spiritual lesson that you’ve learned?”
I thought for a minute before answering. “Well, I’d have to say it was through my parents’ divorce. My dad left when I was very young, and I didn’t grow up with a constant father in my life. But through the years God has been so faithful to take the place of a father and to show me his love in a way that I wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise.”
The counselor’s eyes grew more intent as I spoke, and I saw a change in his demeanor. He asked a few more questions about the subject and seemed genuinely interested this time. When I was done, he nodded thoughtfully. “Yes, thank you, that’s excellent.”
There have been several instances like this where I have been able to share specifically about God’s love because of my parents’ divorce. Guess what? You have this same opportunity if you have gone through a challenging time in your life! People – believers and nonbelievers – are usually more willing to listen to you if you have learned something through personal experience.
Psalm 66:16 says: “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.” You have a responsibility to share the things you have learned about God – whether that is in the context of personal conversations or even to an audience! He has given you your particular circumstances and lessons for a reason. What is something you’ve learned through a hard time in your life? Leave a comment and tell me about it. I’d love to hear!
Recently I have been reminded how God has so orchestrated my life and is in all the little details. I never thought 10 years ago I would be living 7 hours from my family working full-time at a church and married to an incredibly handsome man from Michigan. I also never thought that at the age of 28 my parents would be separated. It is so crazy how life takes it turns and swerves. Despite how we might perceive how our life is going, one thing remains the same and that is who we are in Christ. Christ has promised us that He’ll never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6).
We must be reminded what we do does not define who we are. Rather it’s the other way around. What we are should define what we do. We should live each as the person we are now in Christ. The amazing thing about being a believer is that we are now a new creation in Christ. 2 Peter 1:4 says, “Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” It is so amazing!!! We take on the nature of Christ Jesus. That gives us the ability to conquer anything. That tough test coming up, friend drama, or parent separation/divorce, God is our comfort and our strength through all of those times.
You my friend are a precious daughter of the King. He longs for you to lean on him through the tough and great stuff. When we get that and understand that we can rely on him through all things, life becomes so much more manageable. It is no longer our burden to carry, God already took care of it on the cross. Rejoice in the fact today that you can claim 2 Corinthians 5;17, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”.
Maybe you haven’t accepted Christ in your life and you are curious what a relationship with him me. I would love to talk to you more if you have questions. Just leave a comment below and we can chat.
“Here’s the keys. Remember, don’t drive over the speed limit and be home before dark.” Parting words of advice for any parent with a new teen diver.
Warnings are gifts whether they come from your parents, your teachers, your girlfriends or even a doctor. We are more susceptible to mistakes or even danger without them. Peter warns us about Satan. “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8
Satan is the master of disguise. Beautiful Eve experienced him as a serpent tempting her with knowledge. He makes himself known to us where we are weak and he doesn’t care who you are. Satan tempted Jesus with food after He hadn’t eaten in 40 days. How does this translate to you? Maybe that naughty guy who’s too cute for words or that club or sorority you’d do anything to be a member will prompt Satan to craft a perfect scenario for you. You will walk right into his trap and suffer because of it. You’re not alone, we all do it.
Peter says BEWARE. The desire of Satan’s heart is to encourage us to make bad decisions to ensure we live with pain, regret and misery. How do you keep Satan at bay? First, you must be aware every day that Satan is lurking around the corner. Second, pray for God’s protection. God is more powerful than Satan. Never forget this. Third, ask God for wisdom and discernment with your friends and with all theyour choices.
Your family situation may be Satan’s opportunity to rationalize bad decisions you would not ordinarily make. Some of the worst decisions I’ve made in my life have been on the heels of a major setback. We can lose our way when we feel powerless.
Our enemy knows us well and if you’re following God’s will, He will attempt to make your life miserable. Count on it. Satan also preys on us when we find ourselves feeling low. The little voice inside your head telling you you’re not worth anything or all the other girls are prettier or you’ll never be anything in life, is your enemy. Jesus created you and would never convey any of these feelings to you. Don’t let Satan make you doubt who you are for a second. Be strong precious young lady.
Try this as a reminder to guard yourself against Satan. Brushing our teeth is one of the first things we do in the mornings so while brushing your teeth ask God to bind Satan from you all day. Remember, God is more powerful than Satan.
Know I’m praying for you,
My ten-year-old mind was determined. In one hand I held the phone book opened to the “V” section, and in the other I held our household phone. Mom had said that my siblings and I could get a kitten if we found out all the information about owning one beforehand. Today I was searching the yellow pages for a veterinarian who might have cats for sale.
I found the next applicable phone number in the hefty book and dialed. After ringing twice, a female voice answered the phone in a slight drawl, “Hello, what can I do for you today?”
“Hi, do you have any cats?” I asked shyly.
“Yeah, I am looking for a cat and a vet for our family.”
“Umm…oh! She said with sudden realization. “Honey,” her voice sounded like it was trying to conceal laughter, “this is the Veterans Association – not the veterinarians association!”
“Oh…” I felt my face turning red, “well, thank you.” I quickly hung up the phone to the sound of her uproarious laughter.
Have you ever judged incorrectly about something like I did? Maybe you have made presumptions about your parents or step-parents that you cannot be sure of. It’s important that we are extremely careful when making decisions about another person’s motive. Just like mixing up a veteran for a veterinarian, it can be pretty embarrassing to misjudge someone for motives that were different than you thought.
Luke 6:42 says, “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take our the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” You might be upset at your parents for the decisions they have made lately. But before becoming angry with them, take time to remember that they are humans and subject to the same temptations as you are. Most importantly, remember that you both have been redeemed by Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. All of your sins and theirs have been permanently forgiven.
And always make sure that you double-check the number before you dial