I’m on vacay! In the mountains of Tennessee. And don’t you know Prince William and Prince Harry are schedule to be at a wedding in Memphis the weekend we arrive at our cabin! On the other side of the state. But still… when will I ever be that close to royalty!
Anyway, I’ve asked friend and author extraordinaire Katie Ganshert to share with us while I’m relaxing in the lush of eastern Tennessee.
I’m no Jewish queen. And I have no people to save from the hand of death. But I sure resonate with the words Mordecai spoke to Esther all those thousands of years ago, when God entrusted her with a great and terrifying task.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place… who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?”
For such a time as this.
I know the Bible wasn’t written to us, but it was written for us. Which means the principle behind Mordecai’s words still applies to our lives. I don’t know about you, but that principle brings such a sense of comfort to the now I find myself in today.
As a writer, I plunk my characters into a setting—a specific time and place. I don’t choose randomly. I consider my character’s strengths, her weaknesses, the gifts I’ve bestowed to her. I consider what I want to accomplish through this person on the page. Then I choose accordingly—the perfect time, the perfect place, the perfect circumstances. My choices are far from random. They are far from accidental. In fact, they are incredibly strategic.
And I’m just a writer.
Now imagine God, the Author of our souls, who penned the universe and all who inhabit it into existence. God knows us better than any writer could know his characters. He’s fashioned us. He’s considered our uniqueness. He wants to accomplish things through us. And He chooses accordingly. Strategically.
I’m not living in the 21st century, in Eastern Iowa, going to a particular church, living with a particular man, raising a particular son, adopting a particular daughter, and writing particular stories that find particular readers all by random chance. God knows. He’s placed me here. In this setting. On purpose.
And in the midst of such intentionality comes more whispered words from Mordecai.
“For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another…”
I can say yes to whatever God’s calling me to and experience the wonder of being used by Him, or I can say no and miss out. The wonder can fall to another.
Sometimes I say no.
Not intentionally or rebelliously, but I say it nonetheless. I tune out God’s voice and let the megaphone of discontentment blare in my ear. Why can’t my life look like that person’s, Lord? Why can’t I have what they have? Why am I stuck in this place when I want to be in that place?
Satan speaks to our discontentment. He fires the flame into something greater, something insidious. Until we forget God has us exactly where He has us for a reason. For a purpose. For such a time as this.
Fashion is a fickle industry, a frightening fact for twenty-four year old model Ivy Clark. Ten years in and she’s learned a sacred truth—appearance is everything. Nobody cares about her broken past as long as she looks beautiful for the camera. This is the only life Ivy knows—so when it starts to unravel, she’ll do anything to hold on. Even if that means moving to the quaint island town of Greenbrier, South Carolina, to be the new face of her stepmother’s bridal wear line—an irony too rich for words, since Ivy is far from the pure bride in white.
If only her tenuous future didn’t rest in the hands of Davis Knight, her mysterious new photographer. Not only did he walk away from the kind of success Ivy longs for to work maintenance at a local church, he treats her differently than any man ever has. Somehow, Davis sees through the façade she works so hard to maintain. He, along with a cast of other characters, challenges everything Ivy has come to believe about beauty and worth. Is it possible that God sees her—a woman stained and broken by the world—yet wants her still?