This passage in the Bible is spoken by Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, telling her to be brave and stand up for her people (the Jews, because God has placed her in her position of Queen “for such a time as this.” God placed Esther in her position at exactly the right time, because if she hadn’t have been there, her entire people would have been wiped out.
This verse was first introduced me through the song “For Such a Time as This” by Wayne Watson and it has become my true desire to seek the place where my heavenly Father wants me “for such a time as this.”
After realizing that Sudan was placed on my heart, but not for this summer, I struggled. I asked God why so many months of seeming preparation to go to Sudan had turned out fruitless because once again I was stuck in my little hippy hometown. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my summer; all I knew is that I didn’t want to waste it. I struggled as I saw many of my friends embarking on their own missions trips to all corners of the world, and I asked, “Why not me, Lord?” After awhile, I decided to begin focusing on who God is (something that theMILL in Colorado Springs had been talking about before I left for home), instead of searching for specific answers as to what to do with my summer. In doing this, my answer came.
I was praying for God’s will for my summer and on my 19th birthday my heavenly Father told me (as written down in my journal for that day):
Instead of always just looking for answers, just get to know me. In knowing me, my will, will become evident.
And as I have sought the face of my Lord exploring qualities from faithfulness to patience to creativity, He has revealed precisely why I was meant to be in Durango, Colorado instead of Yei, Sudan for summer of 2010. After a long summer I clearly see that God’s answer for my summer was not a denial, rather it was a delay. A delay in which God has taught me that he has placed me in the perfect spot… for such a time as this.
~For such a time as this… The Lord has made me the caretaker for my 92-year old Grandmother while my family tries to find a new caretaker for when I leave (her previous caretaker had a stroke right before I moved back to Durango). Being her caretaker has been incredibly difficult, but also very rewarding. Each day I pray for the patience and compassion that my heavenly Father has shown me. But this is hard when my Grandma won’t eat anything I feed her—and I mean anything. I watch as she lost 8 pounds in two weeks, and struggled with the frustration I had in knowing it wasn’t my fault, but at the same time wishing I could do something about it. Taking care of her has made me question my career plans—am I really cut out to be a nurse? Sometimes I don’t think I have what it takes to be a compassionate and caring nurse, but it has also taught me to be easier on myself—there will be times I lose my patience, but at the heart of the matter I love my Grandma dearly and realize I only get frustrated because I care so much about her. She was one of the best nurses this part of the world has ever seen—I take her to her doctor’s appointments only to have the current nurse respond, “Oh that’s Blanche?! She was a great nurse!”
She is my hero, and one of the main reasons I am studying to be a nurse. I have realized that this summer I was given the opportunity to take care of an incredibly needy soul right here in my hometown; a soul that has taken care of others her whole life. I have been given the incredible privilege to be the one spending the most time with her in her last days, and I know that when it comes time to say goodbye, memories of this summer will stay with me for the rest of my life.
~For such a time as this… the Lord has led me to go back to my old youth group, The Well, to be a youth leader for the summer. It was incredibly difficult at first—the pastor was new, the atmosphere was new, and I only knew a small fraction of the kids. I’m fairly outgoing when I get to know people, my overall shy nature makes it a little difficult for me to adjust in new situations. About 3 weeks after I’d been leading, there was a bonfire and this was a true turning point. It gave me the opportunity to go up and introduce myself to kids and interact with them in a more relaxed atmosphere. From then on, youth group was something I looked forward to (as I always had), and I even began meeting one-on-one with one of the young girls I’d met. Being given the privilege to go to youth group and just worship with teenagers and people in places that I had once been, was just amazing. I had the opportunity to work with them as we cleaned up the local skate park, play with them on game nights, but most importantly pray for them. I only have a couple weeks left, and I will be sad to go, but I am incredibly thankful for Jesus allowing me to still be a part of a place that so dearly helped me in my walk with God in high school.
~For such a time as this… the Lord has given me two young girls, Carly and Angela, to teach piano lessons to. This will be my 3rd year teaching lessons and it never gets old. Teaching others something you’re passionate about (like the piano), and sharing the gift of music is something I hope to be able to do forever. The smiles of these 6-year old girls and their enthusiasm to learn a new instrument has renewed the childlike spirit within me, and once again reminded me to live life as though everything is a miracle.
Photo credit: http://afreesingingvoice.com/piano_keys.jpg
~For such a time as this… the Lord has given me a summer to learn more about what has been placed on my heart—Sudan. I realize now, how uneducated and unprepared I would have been if I had gone to Sudan this summer. After reading book after book and novel after novel and watching report after report on the conflicts going on in Sudan, I have, at best, a rudimentary knowledge of what is going on in this African country. In my reading I have realized that there are so many unsettled vengeances, and underlying religious and political conflicts that it will take a true miracle of God for there to be even a semblance of peace in that nation. An old Sudanese proverb says, “When he made Sudan, God laughed.” This expresses the hopelessness that people in the country feel, and I realize that when I do go, it won’t be to change their circumstances. I will go instead to give them their health and hope to deal with the circumstances they have been born into. I don’t know if I realized this at the beginning of the summer, and once again the Lord knew what he was doing when he told me to stay in Durango.
Photo Credit: http://www.humesk9fund.org/buttons/American-Flag.jpg
~For such a time as this… I’ve been given experiences that show me the beauty of being in a relationship, but also the joy and happiness found in this season of singleness.
~For such a time as this... I have been reminded to treasure my family for their unconditional love and support, and I truly have learned that those who mind don't matter, and that those who matter don't mind.
|Isaiah, Jacob, me, my mom, my dad|
For such a time as this… God has placed me in my hometown to do small works and experience seemingly small things. But through these small things his will has been shown, and I have never been more in love with a loving, forgiving, compassionate, and faithful god.