The book of Esther in the Bible can almost be read like a novel. Think about it all the elements are there. She is an orphan girl who rises from her past to become queen. Isn’t that stuff that fairy tales are written about. It is almost like she is the Cinderella of the Bible. She hides her real identity just like Cinderella so that no harm will come to her. Just like in every fairy tale, there is a villain who the main object in life is to destroy the innocent. But just like in every fairy tale there is a happy ending for Esther because she believes not only in herself but also her God.
She understood that the trials that she was going through would be hard, but she also knew that if she obeyed God that things would turn out alright. She didn’t once think twice about the future but relied on the assurance of God.
The story of Esther is one that speaks to me in volume. Several years ago, I was going through some trials of my own. It just seemed like everything that could go wrong did go wrong. No matter what I did things appeared to go from bad to worse. It started in January of that year; I received a call from the school that my then 12-year-old daughter, had two seizures at school. One within minutes of the other. She had never had a seizure before so we immediately picked her up from school and called the doctor’s office. The nurse at the physician’s office uttered words that no parent wants to hear. “Take her to the ER immediately.” After months of doctors appointments and tons of test and a scare with the results of her MRI (showing a mass possible tumor), we finally get a proper diagnosis Epilepsy.
After months of going to school half days which cut our income in half because I was unable to work, she was finally given the approval to go back to school full-time. Thinking that finally, things are starting to look up; I was excited that not only would she be able to go back to school full-time after Spring Break, but that I would be able to go back to teaching. But sadly, that plan was thrown out the window when our car was rear-ended by a truck the day before Spring break was about to start.
This led to months of doctors appointments and ultimately surgery for me because as a result of the accident I had a torn rotator cuff. Finally, the shoulder was on the mend, but then probably the most devastating thing happened. My dad who was and will always be my hero was told that he didn’t have that much longer to live.
You see he had battled since 2002 with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, but it had slowly turned into SLL (Simple Lymphatic Leukemia). As I watched my dad, my hero, slowly slip away, I questioned why God was allowing this to happen to us? Didn’t God love us? One of my friends told me that during our biggest time of trials that is when God is calling us nearer to him.
That is when I started reading my Bible on a daily basis. Before I had read it whenever it fits into my schedule but this time I made my schedule around my daily time with God. That is when I discovered the story of Esther and realized that God is bigger than any problem or emotion that I might face.
God stood by Esther just like He will stand by me if I let Him in. All I have to do is ask. Watching my dad slowly slip away from us, being put into the hospital, then a nursing home and finally into a hospice facility. I drew strength from Esther’s journey. I knew that God would protect me and guide me through the loss of my dad. As my dad’s days on earth drew to a close, my eyes fell on this from the book of Esther.
Because to me losing my dad was the certain destruction of my family, he was the glue that held us together, but as I delved deeper into the chapter, I realized that my dad’s life was a legacy for us. It wasn’t until he passed away that we realized what an impact he had on the community. To me, he was just my dad and my hero, but to others in the community, he was a hero as well. He fought for veteran’s rights and well as the rights of the visually impaired. He learned from his circumstances ( being the oldest of 8 kids who was brought up by a single mom, who later in life became blind.). He decided that he wasn’t going to let his upbringing define him, that he was going to learn from it. And that he did. He left an enormous legacy.
To this day, when I hear of people in need, I help whether it is making blessing bags to keep in the car to hand out to the homeless, donating books to a local library, donating clothes and baby items to local pregnancy center, even collecting and donating used bras to a group that wants to stop human trafficking. It has made me look for ways to help others and in doing that I have found my own kind of fairy tale. I have found myself and the joy that comes from helping others.